Manufacturer: Ariat (View all products by Ariat)
Model: Frost Biter Tall Winter Boots (View all Frostbiter Tall Winter Boots reviews)
Category: English Chaps/Boots/Helmets
Purchase: $89 Ebay + shipping.
Likes: I really like the style, fit and comfort of these boots. Excellent true to sizing fit. Really warm and comfy with the 4LR comfortable footbed. Slim styling so not as big and clunky as some winter style boots. Grippy Suede inner leg, so does not scratch my saddle like some synthetic plastic materials on some winter boots. Fits my short wide calves.
Dislikes: A little on the short side in a size 6 and I have short legs. Like many others have seen that have bought these boots, the synthetic material is stiff and will crack around the ankle portion of the boot that flexes alot. No zipper, not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Zippers break eventually and it is expensive to have them replaced, but they can sure make it easier to get a boot off and on.
Quality: Concerning the cracking of the synthetic material, I contacted Ariat concerning information about care for the synthetic part of the boot. Since it is an older model, customer service seemed to think that like a banana, their was a time limitation on the life expectancy of the material regardless of how little the boot was worn. Kind of strange, since you would think a plastic would outlast leather. So if you are buying a pair of these boots, be aware the synthetic material is going to crack around the ankles and back of the foot. By experimentation and trial and error I have found that super gluing the cracks does not work because super glue is not flexible, so it re-cracks. The best way to fix the cracks so far has been to coat the crack with urethane rubber boot repair glue. The glue is flexible like rubber. To prevent any more cracks I went ahead and coated the synthetic material from the ankle down to where the synthetic material meets the leather. It forms a thick rubber coating over the synthetic material that is flexible and helps to strengthen the original material. Be aware the glue is clear and shiny so it is going to show. I wish I had done this to begin with as a preventative. After reading up on synthetic material, I have found that there is some maintenance you need to do to keep it flexible. Heating the material and applying mink oil or fabric softener has helped some people to restore some flexibility.
Summary: Do not buy these boots unless you get a great price deal and can live with the maintenance issue of the synthetic material cracking around where the material needs to flex around the ankle. They are such a comfortable boot, warm, grippy in the saddle, it is such a shame about the synthetic material around the ankle cracking issue.
Usefulness Rating: 2.4 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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