Manufacturer: Ariat (View all products by Ariat)
Model: Challenge II Zip Field Boots (View all Challenge II Field Boots reviews)
Category: English Chaps/Boots/Helmets
Purchase: I needed a pair of show boots that fit well but didn't break the bank. I went over to Dover Saddlery (where I received amazing service by the way!) and got these boots for somewhere around $380 I believe.
Likes: I like the design of the boot, there is that little leather tab sewn on at the top of the boot, which looks nice. The boots have a somewhat contoured look (can't get much better for the price) and fit well through the ankle. The punched toe cap looks nice and makes the boots look even more expensive than they really are. Ariat must have updated their zippers or something because I haven't had any issues with them yet.
Dislikes: These boots were absolutely horrible to break in, although now I love to ride in them. Those first two weeks though were rough. Even with walking in them for days prior to getting on a horse with them, I could not get my heels down at all or keep my leg on the horse- the leather was just too stiff, even with consistent cleaning/oil etc.
Quality: The construction has good attention paid to the details for the price I must say. The leather stays quite hard and stiff for some time, but eventually breaks in somewhat. I do not like the fact that now their boots are made in China, compared to when they used to be made in Italy. The quality is noticeably different, but not horribly. The lining of the boots doesn't seem to be made of real leather, but the outside leather shines up nicely when polished to give the show ring-ready look.
Summary: They are worth the price but not much more than that. If you want an inexpensive pair of show boots that fit well, go for these, just beware of the break-in, because it HURTS.
Usefulness Rating: 2.75 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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