In an earlier post, I had explained why Freejump has been successful. A big part of this success comes from their relentless desire to innovate. No other boot maker has accomplished so much success. By success, I do not mean just volumes of sales. At the end of the day, riders determine the success of a boot. The rider alone can determine if the boot is comfortable and good fit.
At TACKNRIDER, we believe in listening to what our customers have to say. Customers’ feedback measures whether a product delivers on its promise. Here is a sampling of direct feedback collected from all our customers in Wellington, FL
“The most comfortable riding boots”
“I have an ankle issue that gets exacerbated by riding in tall boots. Freejump Liberty Boots was the answer to all my ankle trouble. My only regret is not switching to Freejump sooner”
“We usually ride 7 to 10 horses a day for hours during the hot South Florida summers. Freejump Liberty XC boots have not only lasted longer but they are the most comfortable and well-fitted boots.”
To say that Freejump accomplished this success by accident is untrue. Take one look at the Freejump Liberty Boots and Chaps. It will give you an understanding of the Research and Development (R&D) behind this innovative system. Freejump designed these boots with the dynamics of the human foot in mind. The shape of the foot, pressure points etc are factors to create a boot that fits like custom boots.
A Boot For Everyday Riding (and competition use) : Liberty XC EVO
It is important to separate boots for everyday riding and those for showing/competition use. When you use just the one pair of show boots everyday, they will wear out much faster (regardless of how well made they are). This is true in general. Especially true for boots. Most riding boots are constructed from natural leather. Leather is hide, after all. It wears with repeated use. It must be allowed to breathe between uses.
Freejump Liberty XC EVO presents an EVOlutionary approach to boots. Freejump Liberty XC EVO boots are comfortable and well fitting. Without changing the comfort and fit, Freejump has improved upon the design. The Liberty XC Evo (and its show cousin, Liberty Air Evo) boots feature better foot support. The boots have a suede leather tongue with shaping elbows. This enables extra comfort. The centralized elastic “strapping” supports your foot. It enables better positioning. The end result is a better posture.
Also, these boots include a 3D-shaped insole. The insole enables leg and foot alignment with the heel. It conforms to the natural shape of the foot. It absorbs the pressure and protects the base of your foot.
Little details matter. This is evident in the design of these boots. With incremental improvements, Freejump achieves big strides in riding boots technology.
Week 1 through Week 12 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) 2014 passed by in a blitz. That is how busy we were at our three locations (WEF Showgrounds, the Stadium at PBIEC and the TACKNRIDER store). Before the season started, we had a somewhat expectation of how busy we would be. Oh Boy…we were wrong! We were caught off guard with the amount of traffic and business we received.
This season, by far, has turned out to be the busiest for TACKNRIDER. For that, we are thankful to our customers. We thank you for supporting our business. We will continue to bring you delighting products and services. We have enjoyed a lot of ‘firsts’ this season, notable among them:
New State-of-the-Art mobile showroom trailer at WEF Showgrounds.
New offering of custom Tucci Dressage Boots. We are pleased to partner with a reputable name as Tucci for custom dressage boots.
New Print Catalog
What began as a series of unknowns, has now ended with a bang. Let me correct that…it has not quite ended. The momentum continues as our customers return back to their home bases. They continue to place phone orders and online orders. We have seen a dramatic increase in store traffic as well.
While I would like to write in more detail about all the 12 weeks of this season, that will have to wait. Let me re-cap by bringing you some highlights from the WEF season, both in terms of products and the experiences of our customers.
It has been a hit season for Freejump. For the first time, Freejump received full exposure at WEF directly from us. The Freejump Soft Up Pro Stirrups were so popular we ran out of them 3 times. We had pre-orders for customers clamoring to get them.
Freejump Soft Up Pro Stirrups are not only important for safety, but comfort and performance as well. We had first time Freejump customers returning to buy more pairs of stirrups.
Along with the stirrups, the Free Jump Liberty XC Boots and Free Jump Liberty Boots sold exceptionally well. Riders of all levels took well to adopting Free Jump in favor of traditional tall boots. Obviously, the Freejump Liberty Boots do not drop or bunch up like tall boots. They retain their fit and are the most comfortable pair of boots and chaps. Our customers repeatedly told us their experience with the Free Jump Liberty Boots was unlike any other. They felt like riding in a “second skin”.
Here are some pictures of our happy first time Free Jump Boot customers. Almost all of these riders were so pleased with the comfort and look of these boots, they wore them right away for riding.
Many customers opted for the Free Jump Liberty Boots and the Freejump Liberty XC Chaps. This gives them the best of both worlds. They can use the Liberty XC Chaps for everyday and wear the Liberty Air Chaps for show use.
One of the biggest and most surprising hits of this season were the Fior Da Liso shirts. Our customers will tell you they absolutely love the designs and colors of these shirts. They have a flattering fit, perfect for riding and also for going out at night. Such is the appeal of these shirts, that we never sold just 1 shirt. Customers wanted as many different styles as possible. Particularly, the Emma, Raphaela, Sara and Arianna were immensely popular. These shirts offer a classy look with so many patterns. The large selection of colors and patterns allows individuality to shine. Check out our Facebook page to see some of our happy customers wearing these beautiful shirts.
We introduced KEP Helmets at WEF2014. We have had a great response. These helmets are Made In Italy. They are considered the safest helmets in the riding industry. The KEP Italia helmets have the prestigious PAS015 certification, the only riding helmet to receive this. To me the best part of the helmet is the ultra light weight. It is almost like wearing a hat. You will not feel like you have a helmet on. Just like Samshield Helmets, the liners are removable, washable and replaceable.
Here is a picture of Laura in her KEP Italia helmet
4. For Horses
This smaller Italian name has made a big splash at WEF with their innovative fabrics and styling. The For Horses Collection includes Show Jackets for Ladies and Men, Show Shirts and Show Breeches. Quite a few of our customers were so pleased with the For Horses breeches, they said “it is like wearing nothing at all”. Stay tuned as we will be adding the entire For Horses line up to the website soon.
The Kastel shirts combine light weight fabric, exciting colors and great fit to produce the best-selling riding shirts. This is another new brand that has just made its debut at WEF.
The Kastel shirts are popular because of their lighter and more breathable fabric. The fabric has built-in protection for UV rays. The wrist sleeve is elastic for an optimum fit. The under-arms are made from mesh material which contrasts with the main color of the shirt. The same color is used on the zipper of the shirt as well. With so many beautiful color selections to choose from, this shirt was clearly the most popular riding shirt at WEF 2014.
Be sure to leave comments below about your WEF 2014 experience!
The riding clothing market is undergoing a transformation. The introduction of technical fabrics to rider’s clothing has been a major contributor.
No More Velcro
A few years ago, all you saw is Velcro lined breeches for the ankle closure. Today, that trend has been largely replaced by flexible sock bottom made of technical fabric. Not only is this feature nicer and cleaner looking, it also has a number of other advantages. One of the biggest issues with the Velcro bottom is the fraying. Over time, the Velcro strap would become loose and cause irritation. No such issues with the sock bottom. The Velcro breeches also come in Regular and Long sizes. The addition of the sock bottom has eliminated that need, since the technical fabric is flexible and adapts better to the rider’s legs.
Most the top European brands, such as Equiline, Kingsland, EuroStar, Accademia Italiana and others have incorporated the sock bottom in their respective offerings. From in-person feedback gathered in the Wellington circuit, more women prefer the sock bottom to the Velcro strap.
The European brands are once again at the forefront of using technical fabrics in the breeches. The advancements in fabric technology have made it possible for better wear of the breeches. This allows lower cost of care, for maintenance. Also, the breeches have a much better fit and feel to them compared to the cotton ones. The technical fabrics, such as Schoeller provide enhanced ventilation and breathing which keeps the rider cool and dry. Add to that, the breeches themselves have a superior fitted look. It is a win-win. Some examples of the bestselling breeches are the Equiline Ash Knee Patch Breeches on the women’s side and Equiline Grafton Knee Patch Breeches on the Men’s side.
Some examples of technical fabrics include Polyamide and Elastane. The addition of Elastane lends a degree of flexibility to the fabric while still maintaining a good fit. The flexibility allows for comfort during the rider’s movement.
One example of a company doing very well on the use of technical fabrics is Accademia Italiana. These breeches are made in Italy by Accademia Italiana. These are unlike any other breeches. The brand distinguishes itself from the competition by using special flexible fabrics along with bolder colors. More like fashion breeches, but yielding very nice wear.
Knee Patch Revolution
In conjunction with the technical fabrics taking over the breech market, something very fascinating has occurred. The traditional leather, cloth or more recently clarino knee patch has undergone a complete transformation. Realizing the need for making breeches lighter in weight and easier to care, the breech manufacturers set along to discover a different fabric for the knee patch. The results: X-Grip from Equiline, silicone dotted knee patch from Accademia Italiana, along with Silicone self-patch from Tuff Rider. Others have taken a different approach of same-fabric knee patch, making the breeches ultra-light.
Almost all the riders have universally embraced this new change. Mostly because of the several advantages it offers. The silicone treated fabric ensures higher stability and better freedom of movement. Add to that, the weight of the breeches is significantly reduced. The maintenance and care of these breeches is simple as well.
Dazzling Color Selection
The number of colors that knee patch breeches are available is mind boggling. Once again, leading on that front is Accademia Italiana. This company produces the wildest designs, that our customers love. Accademia offers something new and exciting. With Italian styling and clever use of technical fabrics (used by athletic apparel manufacturers), Accademia has presented to the market a much needed freshness. Their efforts have paid off, as customers are now lining up for these exciting breeches.
Another upside is the matching outfits to go with these beautiful colored breeches. The show shirts in Pink and Blue are now gaining popularity.
We would like to know how you like your breeches. What works for you best? What doesn’t? What do you think of the new changes?
TACKNRIDER’s entire selection of breeches is available here:
The riding clothing industry is undergoing a transformation. New technologies are being introduced. Nowhere is this more apparent than in competition shirts (show shirts) and breeches. We just received a new shipment from Cheval, of their revolutionary Polo Show Shirts that doubles up as a polo shirt.
The Cheval Polo Show Shirt is made from super-light stretchy cotton. The fabric itself is high quality, unlike the low grade cotton used in some show shirts. It feels extremely light and comfortable. It breathes and dries very well….it does NOT get stinky. This is one of the major features of this shirt.
2-in-1 Polo Show Shirts (Polo Shirt and Show Shirt)
This 2-in-1 Polo Shirt and Classic show shirt is a cute and dons a fitted look. When using as a show shirt, you simple wrap the collar, sleeves roll down under jacket. When used as a Polo Shirt, unbutton the top collar buttons, then roll up the sleeves and snap them to the side, showing a beautiful trim. The versatility of this shirt makes it a favorite in our book. This shirt is brand new to the market and being introduced at the WEF by TACKNRIDER exclusively.
The Cheval Polo Show Shirt has pearl snap buttons.
The shirt comes in several color options, with white as the base. The collar and sleeves trim are different color, giving it a sporty fashionable vibe. The Cheval shirt is tapered to fit well.
The shirt is made from 77% cotton, 5% Lycra and 18% Polyamide. Let me emphasize there is not a another show shirt that matches this shirt when it comes to stretch.
The shirt can be hand washed with cold water, or can also be dry cleaned. The label advises against the use of bleach, or starch. Warm iron is recommended.
We think this shirt will be very popular quickly. Given its flexibility, light weight and super thin fabric, this shirt may become the show shirt of choice. What more can you ask for in a show shirt?
We would love to hear from you, so leave your comment.
Are you ready to experience the ultimate mobile shopping experience?
Wait no more….TACKNRIDER is unveiling a full-size mobile showroom at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (WEF Showgrounds) tomorrow!
WHAT: Grand Opening of TACKNRIDER Mobile Showroom
WHERE: WEF Showgrounds (in the vendor row) between Ann. K Hubard’s Tack Shop and Kochers
WHEN: November 27, 2013 , 10 AM
If you have not seen the mobile showroom yet, be sure to stop by. Bring your friends over as we celebrate and kick off the WEF season. Free Gifts included with every purchase, as appreciation for our customers.
We are excited about this new addition to our business. The showroom is state-of-the-art, equipped with full Air Conditioner, Canopies, Center stage, and an uber-cool fitting room etc. We will feature new apparel and tack from Equiline, Schockemohle Sports, GPA, Eskadron, Samshield, HKM, Jeffries, Accademia Italiana.
Stop by to check out the newest addition to WEF! You will not be disappointed. Stay tuned for more exclusive pictures of the showroom, coming soon!