Ariat Challenge Field Boot
Retail Price: $399
What I Paid: $379
Purchased: July 2014
Ariat Challenge Field Boot Review
I bought these boots over the summer because I was paranoid that my other pair was going to break… plus I really wanted a pair of field boots with a higher-cut top and contour ankle. So I convinced my DH to let me buy a pair of field boots just for showing. I’ve owned Ariat tall boots for years and I absolutely love them — the brand fits me well, lasts a long time and is overall pretty affordable. I tried both the Ariat Challenge Field Boots, as well as the Tredstep Donatello Field Boots, and obviously the Ariats won. For me, the fit is just so much better: the calf is truly a wide, but tapers very nicely at the ankle so you can avoid the glorious “cankle” of the 90’s. I went with a square toe, instead of the typical round, for just a touch of variety and I think it looks quite good on me; either way, it’s nice to have the option for no extra fee. The swagger tab has a nice silver metal Ariat logo for just that touch of “sparkle” that is so popular on tall boots right now too.
The leather is fairly thin, but thus far has held up to riding one horse four to five days per week, plus horse shows for about four months with hardly any sign of wear. Initially they took about two weeks to completely break in, but now they’re soft and flexible; comfortable enough for me to walk around in completely zipped up. Speaking of zippers, the ones on these boots are made to last and look [and feel!] very sturdy. Once cleaned, the leather shines up quite easily with just a quick buff. I’m interested to see how well they clean up when I actually shine them with some product!
My only complaint is that the footbed seems to be a bit too narrow for my foot, which sometimes causes slight discomfort. I think I’m in between a regular and wide footbed, so others may not have this issue. I have noticed that the slight numbing sensation has lessened over time, as the boots became more and more broken in.
At the very least, give these boots a chance! I know many equestrians are skeptical about the durability and quality of Ariat tall boots, but my experience has been tremendous. I love these boots and I’d highly recommend them to anyone. Not only do they look like a much more expensive brand, but they wear fabulously and are built to last. Now all I need are a pair in brown for schooling…