Autumn is now in full swing and I have to confess I absolutely love it! For me there is no better type of day than a cold, crisp, sunny one. Morning rides across the last of the remaining stubble, afternoon walks with the dogs through the changing leaves and of course, roast dinner season. What I also love the most about autumn is that it’s acceptable for the winter wardrobe to return. This is certainly a reason to celebrate because I am most definitely a winter dresser. I am ashamed to say I have a whole wardrobe dedicated to coats, and a drawer full of cable knit colours in every colour under the (very neutral-to-mustard-to-aubergine) rainbow. Boots are another thing I seem to collect and as soon as it’s acceptable to wear socks again, my toes are not seen until the summer! So I’m rather excited about the cooler weather, it means I can share some fantastic new items in my winter wardrobe with you, which are sure to be a staple in yours too!
Whilst it’s most definitely boot weather, I am switching between short ankle boots and longer knee-high boots at the moment as I don’t think it’s acceptably cold enough to wear long boots all the time – I know, it’s such a predicament to have. So to resolve my boot issue, I have been on the lookout for something new that can withstand rain and mud, keep my feet warm and still look stylish and smart enough to go out in. Not possible I hear you say…well guess what, I think I’ve found just the thing – the Wexford H20 boot from Ariat.
A Bit of Background…
For those of you that are not familiar with the brand, Ariat are world-renowned for producing the very best quality equestrian wear that is not only practical, innovative and technologically superior to many other equestrian outfitters, but also super stylish making it a firm favourite with a whole host of world-class equestrian riders. Equestrian institutes such as the FEI (the international governing body of Olympic equestrian sports) and top equestrian athletes choose Ariat for very good reason. Ariat have always been a number one choice of mine for riding gear, particularly for their riding boots which are a firm favourite of mine and can withstand a battering!
So we know how great Ariat are for equestrians, but what about the rest of us non-horsey, country people? Well, just recently Ariat have branched out to the world of country performance footwear and have not disappointed. Combining the same innovative approach dedicated to ensuring their line of equestrian footwear is practical and performance perfect with a stylish twist on a classic country boot has led to a range of boots that are not only up to the challenges of the countryside but elegant and stylish at the same time. Put it this way – the top equestrian riders choose Ariat to make sure they are performance ready and Vogue have recently chose to feature some of their boots. I mean, if Vogue are featuring Ariat boots we can’t really argue with the fact that they’re stylish.
To the boot…
So about the boot – I chose the Wexford Pro in Sage although it is available in two other gorgeous colours, all of which are absolutely perfect for completing a country outfit. Now, everyone knows how much I love my boots and how many pairs of a particular brand I already have, so why the need for another pair of ankle boots? Well the Wexford Pro’s are a little different to your normal country style boot. They are not only perfect to complete an outfit for that classic country look, they’re also practical enough to wear out in the countryside without fear of ruining them. These boots take you from a country pub lunch on to the shooting ground via a walk in the woods to getting the horses in and everything else in between. Trust me – I’ve tested them in all possible situations.
The finer details
What traits do I look for in an all-round country boot? Probably the same as most – practical, check. These boots are the most practical boots I’ve found to date for two reasons:
1. They are waterproof. Yep, these boots have Waterproof Pro™ technology meaning your feet stay dry no matter what the weather. Which is pretty handy considering how changeable and unpredictable our seasons can be.
2. They are comfortable. I mean really comfy, which is all thanks to a little innovation of Ariat’s known as ATS – Advanced Torque Stability apparently – sounds really fancy but what does it actually mean? Well it means that the boots support your foot as you move which encourages good posture (always good) and reduces tiredness (even better). Basically, the soles are gel-cushioned so they are super supportive – perfect for wearing all day.
Not only are the boots practical, they are also stylish which is kind of important to me considering I’m attempting to run a country style blog… Seriously though, the attention to detail really goes a long way. I love the embossed logo at the back of the leather boot pull and the beautiful plaid, almost tartan-like pattern inside the boots. Add this to contrasting stitching to really make the detail of the boot stand out and the complementing materials used and you have a winning boot.
I would also say that they are true to size. I am usually a size 3 in shoes, sometimes a 4 depending on the brand. I went for a 3.5 (another great thing about Ariat is they offer half sizes) and think the fit is perfect. There’s enough room in there for a thick winter sock but they’re definitely not too big.
So the boots are practical and stylish, what else? Fantastic value for money. These boots are £149.99 and are worth every single penny. True to Ariat form, they are very hardwearing and can take a beating without keeling over and dying. They don’t need any looking after and are sure to last a lifetime. They’re also perfect if you are looking for an all-in-one boot to do everything, they look really smart on the yard or on the shooting ground but not at all out of place. Similarly they look great in the pub or a café or at the shops. I have to admit they have become my go-to boot that’s always in the car just in case.
I really hope that I have conveyed just how fantastic these boots are, they will make great Christmas gifts (yes, it’s almost that time of year again) for someone special or a lovely treat for yourself! My mum has already tried mine on a few times and remarked at how much she needs a new pair of boots for wearing around the farm (Christmas present sorted!). I think that for the price, they are an absolute steal. I really haven’t been kind to mine and yet they are still as good as new. I also hope that I’ve managed to convert some of my non-equestrian readers to give Ariat a try, I know you won’t be disappointed!
If you treat yourself to a pair, I’d love to know – send me a message or a photo!