Written by Emily M

When I mentioned I was interested in pursuing some endurance riding I was suggested the ARIAT Terrain Pro Zip Boots.  As a rider I was a little skeptical as they seemed more like a hiking boot than a riding boot. A little chunky if you will in the heel.  Disclaimer. I have a memory of having hiking boots stuck in my stirrups. I was 8, it was winter, and my pony was frisky that day. I wasn’t dragged nor did I  fall off, but having your boot stuck in a stirrup to any degree is never a fun thing. Yes I know, small feet  in larger stirrup irons were probably the cause but the recollection still haunts me. LOL. Granted, I could see the appeal of this boot as they were very comfortable as soon as I put them on. The more I wore them the more I began to understand the recommendation but I was still a little hesitant to ride in them.  Well mostly, let the truth be told, I was a little scared about the pre-mentioned chunkiness in my low key standard stirrup irons.  The boot was definitely holding up to the daily chores around the barn ie. cleaning, mucking, washing, grooming, walking to the public turnout, working in the round pen etc. the waterproof stamp of approval most definitely. I knew I’d have to try a ride soon to really see what these boots were made of.

Time to test the boot in the saddle.  Primarily I ride an off the track Thoroughbred in typical schooling gear. We ride in an arena and on the hilly trails of Griffith Park with an occasional jumping session. It’s only been recently that I’ve been considering doing longer hauls and some endurance riding. He seems to prefer a day on the trail as oppose to 30 minutes in an arena and he has the stamina to go on forever. So in preparation for this endeavor I’ve been collecting gear.  The boots have been difficult.  Perhaps these were the solution?

OK let’s do this. The boot fit nicely into my standard english stirrup irons. Could I feel my iron on the ball of my foot? Yes. Yes I could. Did it feel weird? Yes it did. Did the feeling last? Nope. I did my 15 minutes in the arena and 35 on trail and rode home with feet feeling just fine. My only complaint was the tightness around the ankle due to the chunkiness working strangely with my jumper fitting half chaps.  Another pair of half chaps or no chaps and I would have been fine.

All and all, I’m impressed. I’m going to give the boots a few more rides to see if they become my go to trail boot but I will say the price is awesome and they really are comfortable.  No wear-in process required. In my opinion, they are designed with equestrians in mind, just with extra support. Ariat designed the Ariat Terrain leather boots with endurance riders in mind, incorporating its ATS technology for fatigue-reducing support and cushion, plus its Duratread outsole for durability and flexibility. The manufacturer says the boots’ outsoles will last up to four times longer than traditional rubber outsoles, and are highly resistant to manure and acidic waste. The Ariat Terrain is available in zip and lace, in women’s half sizes 5.5-10 and 11, in medium and wide widths; and men’s half sizes 7-12 and 13, in medium and wide widths.