You may remember back at the beginning of Autumn I wrote a post on Ariat’s new Country boot – the Wexford H2O, a short ankle boot that is perfect for absolutely everything (Autumn with Ariat). I have to admit I’m still living in them, they’re a great quality boot that’s look super stylish and are just as easy to slip on to pop out to the shops or the stables – what’s not to like?
You may also remember at the beginning of the year I had made the commitment to keep my blog a little more up to date, as there were so many posts that I had wanted to share with you over the winter and just didn’t get the chance to for so many reasons. Well my next post is I’m ashamed to say, a very long overdue one – featuring another boot in the Ariat Country range, the Coniston Pro GTX Insulated long boot – my excuse is that it’s because I’ve been giving them a proper road (or more appropriately, field) test!
Back in August last year, I visited Blair Horse Trials with one of my best friends who now lives up in The Highlands. Of course, the aim of the day was to walk the cross country course and watch some of the world’s top eventers show us how to ride but it would have been rude not to stop by the shopping village! Becky had been telling about these new boots that had been on her wish list for a while – the Coniston Pro’s and decided to treat herself to pair whilst we were there. I have to admit, I pretty much fell in love with them there and then – a very elegant, stylish and quite unique stand-out-from-the-crowd long boot, which is no mean feat considering how much competition is out there for long country boots. I definitely have my fair share of long country style boots so I certainly didn’t need to add to the collection but there’s just something about these boots that I couldn’t resist and within a month or so I had my own pair!
The Technical Details
Designed by the global leader in innovative equestrian footwear, the Coniston Pro’s carry all of the same traits as Ariat’s riding range and feature Ariat’s signature ATS (Advanced Torque Stability) Pro® technology – which in short is revolutionary. Designed to offer maximum support to the foot, reduce pressure and improve posture, the ATS Pro® innovation is ultra-light but extra hard wearing thanks to the Duratread® sole meaning that you stay comfortable – seriously comfortable – all day (and I do mean all day). So they’re already sounding pretty unbeatable right? But if that wasn’t enough…
- Waterproof, which is kind of essential for a long boot that is most likely going to be in puddles 99% of the time
- Warm. The boots are lined with Thinsulate Insulation which has kept my toes toasty all through the winter. These boots did replace my wellies for a good few weeks when it really cold for that very reason. But don’t worry, they’re not so insulated that you can’t wear them all year round and are still perfect for when the weather warms up
Adjustable, so perfect for calves of any width.
I think this is really one of the top selling points for these boots because I know so many people that have trouble finding beautiful country boots that actually fit them – whether that be too wide and they look like wellies, or too tight and so they are unable to buy them. The Coniston Pro is suitable for everyone because of the full length lace up at the front which means you can adjust them to any width you want!
- Rider-friendly. Yep, these boots are suitable for all country pursuits and that includes riding. Designed to fit comfortably in the stirrup, with equestrians in mind just as much as everyone else, the Coniston’s are perfect for riding out in which is ideal if you don’t like, want or need proper riding boots.
I think it’s fair to say the Coniston’s are brilliant from a technical perspective, not that I would expect any less from Ariat, and would happily stand up to the challenge of any country pursuit whether it be walking, riding, shooting, fishing or anything else you can think of! But what really elevates these boots from being just superbly practical – I mean as far as yard boots go, look no further – is the attention to aesthetic details. In short, these boots are serious eye candy – if like me you have a thing for country boots (which seems to contribute to 99.9% of my shoe collection!) you’ll appreciate how stylish and classically elegant they are. I love the lace up front, which is brilliant for adjusting the fit of the boot but has definitely been designed with style in mind too (there is a full zip at the back of the boot to get them on, so the lacing isn’t a necessity from that perspective).
Traditional yet modern, practical yet sophisticated, the attention to small details really elevates the design – the Ariat logo on the eyelets of the lace holes, the tartan interior lining and the embossing on the leather, all make such a huge difference to the overall fell of the boot.
I also think that they are great value, ok £359.99 isn’t cheap I grant you, but look at all of the other long country boots out there – they’re all around the same price point. However, Ariat definitely have the advantage because these boots are so much more practical than many of the others – you can also ride in them so you don’t need a pair of riding boots too (not a huge advantage for non-equestrians I know) and they really do keep you comfortable all day – unlike many of the others.
Ariat have managed to create a country boot range that definitely rivals any of the country style giants – it’s hard to choose just one boot because there are so many gorgeous and practical ones in the range but for me, the Coniston Pro’s combine style, functionality and quality and are a true country boot icon.