I really like the Tuffrider Tundra boots for flexibility, inexpensiveness, warmth and comfort. They had hard use everyday last winter and began to crack across the instep, though. Still, I'd buy them again. Hoping to get another winter out of the current pair.
I have had the Ariat Bromonts(?), the Mountain horse ice riders, and the stella polaris. IMO, the MH boots are considerably warmer than the Ariats, although they are bulkier. The Ariats are a more refined presentation, but the MH boots have them beat in the warmth department, which is my primary consideration in a winter boot. I do not wear the MH boots at shows, obviously! Despite the bulkiness, however, I have had no problems riding and lessoning in them as I would in any other boot. The material on the MH boots does flex enough and I haven't noticed a decrease in feel at all. The MH boots are the only thing that helps me get through the winter without my feet freezing! I highly recommend them!
I live where it gets reallly cold and snowy, and I've tried a few boots over the years.
For me, the best I've had are the Mountain Horse Rimfrost Riders. Only downside is they run shorter than I'd like (I could use another couple inches in height). The foot is wide enough to get a decent sock in there, and the calf has enough room that I can wear leg warmers over my breeches and under the boots. For teaching lessons and being in the barn all day, these are selling points for me.
I tried the Ariat Brossards, and didn't like the fit. They were slimmer and didn't allow me as much flex in the ankle or space to wiggle my toes.
I also briefly owned the Mountain Horse Active Winter Riders. Couldn't stand them. The zipper comes across the ankle and when I would bend my ankle, the zipper would bend in and gouge my flesh. Dislike.
Currently I have Mountain Horse Ice Riders. They're slimmer than the Rimfrosts, and I can't fit my leg warmers in them, but they're really warm. They run taller than the Rimfrosts too, which I like. I wish I had a bit more room for my fluffy socks and leg warmers though. Sigh. I'm a creature of habit, miss my old boots.
I loved my Middleburgs.. I have very poorly insulated feet and they freeze all winter long with any other boot/ sock combo- like stone cold white, looks like you have hypothermia and your feet are falling off.
I could wear regular socks with my Middleburgs and my feet were nice and toasty all day long at the barn or a freezing winter show. It took a couple rides, but they broke in nicely and I wore the crap out of them - to cleaning stalls, bringing in horses through mud, riding, and going to class. They were pretty waterproof and I had a few classmates ask me where I got them. Life savers.
The only issue is that I had them for a season or two and the wool inside is coming apart at the heel which has caused them so be less warm (but still pretty dang warm) and I am having zipper problems. BUT - like I said I wore the dog crap out of them.
I'm seriously thinking about replacing them with another pair if I can't fix the zippers.
I have the Ariat Bromonts and the Mountain Horse Active Winter Riders and both worked well for me, but it also isn't that cold here. I prefer the fit of the MH as they are the right height on me, where the Bromonts are a bit short (as am I, so surprised they are short on me!). But the Bromonts beat the appearance of the MH, especially after a winter of use.
For barn work, I now have the Muck Boot Brit Colt and I think those are going to be pretty toasty this winter when paired with wool socks. I haven't ridden in them, but should be able to unless the bulkier foot makes it stick in my stirrups (have had that in the past with winter boots!). Last year, I had the Bogs Rider boot and they were really comfortable but cracked after a few months. Bogs replaced them (great warranty!) but the new ones broke down the same way. I did ride in those a few times and they were ok, but I suspect that riding would make them break down even faster. The Muck version seems hardier...only time will tell.
For barn work, I now have the Muck Boot Brit Colt and I think those are going to be pretty toasty this winter when paired with wool socks. I haven't ridden in them, but should be able to unless the bulkier foot makes it stick in my stirrups (have had that in the past with winter boots!).
I've got those as well and LOVE them. I ride in them as well as do barn work. I also have the Mountain Horse Rimfrost riders and I prefer the Muck Brit Colt. In deep wet snow the MH's zipper leaked and they also rub at the backs of my ankles if I try to do much walking in them. None of those problems with the Brit Colts. I ride in my normal stirrups without any issues. And if they get muddy, no problem sticking your foot under running water and scrubbing off.
Long time lurker, first time poster. I received the Middleburg winter boots last year as a gift and really like them. I prefer brown to black, and that's one reason I asked for them rather than other winter boots. They are nice and warm and broke in quickly - dropped about an inch or so. The leather is soft, so that helped. At first I could barely zip them, since I inherited my dad's hockey-player calves, but after a winter of use they now zip fine over winter breeches. After a summer of riding in paddock boots and half chaps, I've started wearing the Middleburgs again and they are definitely helping my leg position. I remember from last year that Dover did a 12 days of Christmas sale, and offered the Middleburgs for $99 - might be worth waiting for a sale price!
I have no problem fitting the MH Rimfrost Riders into the stirrup - my issue with them is ankle flexibility. I have way more flexibility AND leg feel with the Muck Brit Colt neoprene boots, and they're warmer (and this is coming from the land of -40 deg C/F, it's all the same at -40). I haven't ridden at -40, but have ridden at -20 (when it was sunny and no wind) - that's -4 deg F. Perfectly fine in the Brit Colts with thick socks -- not so much in the Rimfrost Riders, probably because they fit tighter and I can't move my toes around as much.
I have the Ariat Brossards and really like them. they are actually water proof and I have never been cold wearing them, but I will say that although I live in MA, I dont ride if its less than 25 degrees or so. I think the Brossards are nice to actually ride in, in that they flex enough and have a nice grippy suede-like inner leg
Love my MH Ice Riders. They are very flexible and even break in a bit over time. They are warm and slim. I have huge feet, size 11, and they don't make me look like bigfoot. I'm afraid I'd have problems with the Rim Frosts in my size.
I adore my Ariat Bromonts. Temps in the teens this week and my feet are toasty warm in them with just a single pair of socks. They are totally waterproof as well. The best part though is that they are not super clunky. I can't standing riding in thick clunky boots!