Recently Patty and I embarked on a working holiday to Europe and, of course, many horses and stud farms were on the schedule. Before travelling I tried to have a good look at any reviews or recommendations on what shoes or boots were best and really couldn’t find too much out there. So we decided we would road test or travel test two riding boots on our trip.
I packed two pairs of shoes,
1. A jogger style shoe (fearing that maybe the boots might not hold up to some of our days in the big cities where a large amount of walking would be involved, also thought might be better for the fun long flights).
2. My Ariat Devon Pro (I chose this one for the extra cushioning in the sole)
Patty packed the same. However, she went for the Ariat Heritage (lace-up boot). Opting for the laces in the thought that it would provide better ankle support for those lovely uneven cobble roads!
We hit the ground, and the very next day was full on day at a horse show in London, so we spent the whole day on our feet and walking/standing. After day one both boots held up well and at the end of the day neither of us had sore feet! So far so good! Over the next few weeks of our travel, both Patty and I wore our boots every day! Even on our flights. (I found the zips great to easily kick of my boots when I could!)
I found the Devon Pro’s extra support in the sole fantastic and as the time went on my shoes (as were new before we left) softened and became extremely comfortable. My knees were sore a bit after walking on the cobblestone roads, but the feet were fantastic. Most days we would easily do 10kms or more and not one day did I get back to the hotel room complaining of sore feet. And that I’m being very truthful. Patty’s feet too were good, however sometimes were a little tired, but still she did not feel any pain in her feet!. I suspect it was the extra support that the devon pros had that saved my feet each day.
The zip made it easy to get on of easily, especially when you are flying and have to put your shoes through the x-ray machines!
The pure design and cushioning of the Ariat range is superb. For long days on your feet the boots withstood the wear and tear and did not loose support and cushioning as some shoes do as more they get worn.
The laces did provide a great flexibility to how much support you wanted around the ankles. You can easily loosen or tighten to your liking, which came in handy with the different surfaces and temperatures (like in Duabi!)
Doubled as lovely dress boots for the non-horsey days, and of course, were ready to go riding at a moments notice 😉 that’s always a pro!
Traveling in boots can be painful when you have to take them on and off again to go trough the x-ray’s machines in security, however at least the zip was easy, the laces proved to be a bit more time consuming.
Overall, I would highly recommend anyone travelling (whether they actually go riding or not) look at the Ariat paddock boots. They get an A++ from me. Never wore my other pair of shoes, they just got to take up space in the bag that could have been valuable shopping space 😉
For me, I would recommend spending that little extra for the pro range with the Cobalt VX technology as it held up did not flatten into itself (as sole cushioning do), it was very comfortable day after day. The extra cost was well and truly worth it in my opinion. However, if you want to keep your budget down a little, the standard 4LR system held its own and proved also to be a fantastic boot that you could easily travel with.
To show you the travels of the boots, I have taken several photos for you to see that I did actually were and test these fantastic travel boots!