We invited clinician and guest columnist Amy Skinner to review a pair of Ariat English boots. She writes:
Most of my riding career, if I’m in a dressage saddle, then I’m in tall black boots. It’s tradition. The high black cavalier boot dates back hundreds of years to military ranks and the army age of the horse and musket. The boots were practical, stylish and standard issue. And they still are.
Since dressage evolved from military movements, it makes sense that we brought some of the garb with us. But why do we all settle for standard issue? Why not stand out in the crowd with a pair of exceptional boots from Ariat?
Go boldly into the arena with colors your fellow riders don’t see too often. Think outside of the box. That’s the idea I followed when I chose these Midtown boots in caramel.
I was excited just opening the packaging. The beautiful, deep honey colored leather was soft with the delicious smell of quality leather. They were beautiful in the box, but I wondered how they would hold up to the real world.
The soft leather comfortable immediately, requiring no break-in time. I wore them up to the barn without any discomfort, then I changed into my muck boots to catch my horse. I didn’t want to taint the nice leather in the late fall mud.
The leather is flexible enough that my calves and heels didn’t get the usual chafing from new English boots. The heel and toe both work nicely in a stirrup, and the sole has good grip, a real plus.
The zipper feature is nice, saving me from the normal strain of trying to wriggle in and out of pull-on boots. They have a nice tight clasp at the top of the zipper, along with a contoured top to fit under your knee and not pinch behind the knee. The Midtowns are double stitched for durability and lined for comfort. They also have nice pull straps tucked inside the boot for a clean look without losing the practicality of the pull straps.
These tall boots don’t just look great over breeches. They look fantastic with a pair of skinny jeans out to dinner and are comfortable enough for wearing out (In fact, I don’t believe in wearing uncomfortable boots wherever I’m headed). My friends all complimented me on the choice and most didn’t realize they were riding boots.
The Midtowns are a great value. They are versatile, comfortable, and good looking, like a good riding horse. I originally thought they would be too beautiful to ride in. But Ariat has made a quality boot that is not just nice to admire, it stands up to the task.