Just before Badminton two members of the EWW team were lucky enough to be sent some footwear from popular brand Ariat to try during the duration of the event and beyond.
Being an equine journalist’s boot is probably one of the toughest tests for any kind of country footwear. Not only do they have to look smart, they also have to be comfortable (one of the team clocked up 20 miles of walking in just one day). Boots also have to withstand changes of weather – from cold, wind and rain to warm sunshine. The last thing you want is to have sore feet when filing your reports at the end of the day so great footwear is a necessity.
The styles sent to us to try were the iconic Ariat Grasmere H20 in chocolate and the shorter length Barnyard Belle H2O in dark brown.
Both testers had already owned Ariat boots and were familiar with the brand before the test so were really keen to see if the boots would pass this major challenge.
‘Id previously owned a pair of Grasmere boots for about 6 years and so I was familiar with the design. As an all-round boot they have been great for riding out, and then can be worn for yard work. They even survived a walk through the water at Blenheim.
What I love about these boots is the quality. They have a classic look but I’ve also worn them Point to Pointing with jeans and a Holland Cooper cape for a really functional, yet stylish look. Because they are built so well they are safe to use around less polite horses (you know what I’m saying!) they also wear well and put up with abuse. The laces at the side aren’t as time-consuming to do up and undo as you might think. I think this adjustable feature is great for those with wider or narrower calves. The boot itself supports your ankle well which makes them comfortable for walking.
At Badminton the Grasmere’s were the perfect boot for the press room as they looked smart but I was able to course walk and run about in them too. I think for the price they are good value for money as they last, whereas other slightly cheaper brands don’t appear to. If you are looking for a multi-functional boot definitely try the Ariat Grasmere. ‘
The Barnyard Belle’s
‘I was really thrilled to receive a boot in a different style to the other Ariats that I owned (5 pairs at last count!). I have been a fan of the brand for quite some time but had never owned a ‘pull on’ pair so was intrigues to see how they performed. At first I wasn’t sure if the shorter, mid-calf, length would suit me but they looked great with trousers or breeches tucked in. The quality of the leather and production methods was excellent. Although the boots had a simple design they look smart and are easy to wear in many scenarios. They are also very waterproof – which I discovered at Badminton. I wore the boots nearly every day, all day long and not once had tired or sore feet. The instep supporting technology really came into its own at Badminton! I’ve used the boots for over a month now as yard boots in all sorts of weathers. I have been very pleased with their functionality and style. They are also great for summer months as the slightly shorter length makes them cooler to wear, but still robust around horses. The Barnyard’s are quick to pull on and easy to pull off. I don’t think there is anything I would criticise design wise. If you are looking for a boot for yard jobs, course walking, teaching and driving in then these fit the bill’.
Ariat continues to produce iconic, well designed and manufactured boots. Both pairs performed exceptionally well and continue to do so. Priced fairly considering their quality and longevity they are definitely ones to add to a wish list if you don’t already own a pair.
Ariat Grasmere H20 boots available in chocolate suede / leather mix.
RRP £249.99 sizes 3 – 8 with 2 calf fittings
ATS® technology, Sympatex® waterproof membrane, a Thinsulate™ lining for warmth and a riding outsole all offer practical features, while a fashionable lace system and modern eyelets ensure a flattering look and tailored fit.
Ariat Barnyard Belle H20 in dark brown
RRP £159.99 sizes 3-8.5, one calf fitting. The Barnyard Belle H2O is an everyday yard boot with a touch of equestrian style. It’s an easy pull-on packed with comfort and performance features such as a waterproof membrane lining and elasticated upper boot tie.
To find out more about Ariat or to locate your local stockist visit www.ariat.com or call 0845 600 3209.