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Ariat Launches Next Revolution in Performance Technology


From the same company that revolutionized the boot industry by incorporating performance technology into its English and Western footwear products comes another technological breakthrough designed to reduce immediate and long-term stress on the body. Ariat International, a leading manufacturer of equestrian footwear, clothing and accessories, announces the introduction of its Cobalt XR™ (Extended Range) Technology, representing the most innovative engineering offered in footwear today.

Capitalizing on its existing Cobalt™ technology, Ariat developed Cobalt XR™ to support and enhance the three stages of a person’s natural gait cycle: the heel strike, mid-foot transition, and toe-off. Cobalt XR™ technology addresses the natural movement of the foot with the combination of cushioning, stability and flex at each separate stage of motion.

While Ariat’s ATS™ and Cobalt™ technologies were developed to lessen the rider’s fatigue and enhance performance, Cobalt XR™ goes one step further by minimizing the effort that the body must exert to maintain balance and momentum. Cobalt XR’s forefoot stabilizer works by allowing natural forward flex while providing lateral to medial stability, thus achieving a delicate balance of flexibility and control. Cobalt XR effectively reduces fatigue and extends the range of a rider’s daily performance with minimal body effort.

Cobalt XR™ features a unique combination of components and materials that provide a sequential process of shock absorption, cushion and rebound when the heel of the boot strikes the ground. At heel strike, the body absorbs three to six times its own weight in force, so the Cobalt XR shock absorption effectively minimizes jarring of the entire skeletal system.

The Cobalt XR footbed contains an elastomer heel pod to disperse the shock of heel strike. When compressed, the elastomer pod also works with a heel shock-dissipating barrier to dissipate energy and cradle the heel. This triggers Cobalt XR’s heel rebound matrix, returning the energy of the heel strike and helping to propel the foot smoothly into the next step. During the mid-foot transition, the goal is to keep the foot squarely over the center of the boot. Torsional stability is achieved with the combination of Ariat’s patented forked shank, TPU orthotic and Duratread side wall construction. At toe-off (the last stage of gait), XR maintains metatarsal stability, fore foot cushioning and enhanced flexibility.

In addition to the ergonomic benefits of Cobalt XR, the unique XR footbed delivers additional comfort features to keep feet happy: breathable, moisture wicking sock liners which keep feet dry; anti-microbial fabric to reduce growth of odor-causing microbes; and, a low-friction surface to help reduce heat buildup and blistering.

“While it’s important that our footwear products look good, we’ve always differentiated ourselves from other manufacturers by focusing on the functionality of our products, and how we can enhance a rider’s performance,” said Beth Cross, Ariat’s founder and chief executive officer. “We spent years refining our Cobalt technology to result in the new Cobalt XR technology, for which we currently have a patent pending, because we knew people wanted a boot that would give them stability and flexibility…two features that historically, have not been combined to the degree we offer with Cobalt XR. By giving consumers a way to reduce body stress and fatigue, we’re extending their range of performance and, essentially, giving them a leg up on their competition.”

Ariat Cobalt XR™ Western and English boots will debut in retail stores worldwide in Spring 2006.

About Ariat

Ariat International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear, belts and apparel. Featuring patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat is the pioneer of integrating athletic shoe technology into equestrian footwear. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world. For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800-899-8141 or visit