Saturday, August 2, 2008

New Riding Boots for a Bootaholic

Most women have some kind of addiction to buying shoes. For me, my addiction is riding boots. I wear them everywhere I go: Work, shopping, hiking, yard work... Fortunately, since I moved to Nevada 20 years ago, I haven't had any need to wear high heels. Those college days of spikes and mini-skirts are long gone, thank God.

I usually just buy whatever I can find that resembles a riding boot, because for a long time there were no stores in my area that carried actual riding boots. I'd go to horse expos and shows, but the vendors only brought western boots, which I wasn't interested in. For years, I've been admiring various Ariat boots on the Internet, but didn't dare order boots over the Internet where I couldn't try them on. I didn't want to have to keep returning them through the mail if they didn't work out.

I received a coupon in the mail for Boot Barn. I called them and asked if they had any English riding boots. The girl said they did not, but S&W Feed should have some. So, off we went to Carson City to S&W Feed. They had exactly the type of boots I had been admiring. The first pair I tried on were a disappointment, because I couldn't zip them up. Apparently, most people have flatter, thinner feet than I do. I tried on a lace up pair, but they were so high above the ankle that they were bruising my calves.

Then I tried on another zip up pair that fit just right. They are the Ariat Cobalt XR Devon Pro H2O. I was ready to get them until I saw the price: $200 with tax! I got nervous, but then started thinking about quality and getting what you pay for. If I got these boots, I probably wouldn't need to buy another pair of boots for a very long time. I could keep buying a $40 pair of boots every six months to a year, or I can buy a $200 pair of boots and have them last for many, many years.

Buying boots is kind of like buying a saddle. It's an investment, so you may as well get the best quality, most comfortable ones you can afford. I talked myself into the purchase and brought home the pair that fit that also happened to be the most expensive pair in the store. My husband was kind enough to say nothing about the purchase. The inside is a soft leather that molds to the ankle.

The insole is a masterpiece... very squishy with shock absorption. The right boot fit just perfect because a lot of people had tried it on and stretched it out. The left one was a bit snug and digging into the top of my foot, so I wore them around the house while vacuuming to break them in. Then I went for a horseback ride at my neighbor's house, and returned home to do some horsey chores. By the end of the day both boots had broken in enough that I wasn't even aware that I was wearing them. Almost all of my old boots rub me or hurt me in some way after a few hours, so I am constantly changing boots throughout the day. I have a feeling these new ones will be a pair I can live in and forget about.


Twinville said...

Ooooh! Those are cute boots! And even when they get worn out after a long time, you'll be able to get them re-soled. Ariat is a really good brand, I hear everyone say.
You got a great deal, I think.

Congrats on the great pair of boots! :)

Mrs Mom said...

Ooo Ariats... Dear Husband and I have worn them for years, and literally had them LAST for years too. Everyday hard use- cleaning stalls and paddocks, riding, hoof care, mud, snow, etc etc... They are comfortable, and last, and provide support where we need it.

Way To Go!!

IamRockinhorse said...

Those are beautiful! I would love to own a pair.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I love the Ariat boots, these are really nice. I also practically live in my Blundstone's, they are comfy and look nice too.

One Red Horse said...

I have these exact boots - they are the most comfy thing I've ever put on my feet. I have to remind myself to wear something else occasionally. Love your blog! Of course it is "bootaholic" entry that I'm readling first.

gina armfield said...

I have the same ones and the half chaps - just got new ones after many years and love them - I use Effax in the yellow bottle and with a swipe and a sponge wipe them down after each ride so they last.