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Ariat Volants - holding up? Update - asked Ariat

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  • #21
    I like the red Volants, they look space age. Not too keen on the waterproof ones -- my punk rock days are solidly behind me now and I'm not sure I could convince my husband that was true in these boots.


    • #22
      I'm always surprised to read that Ariat boots don't last long for people. I've got several pairs of old Crowne Pro boots that were used and abused that are still going strong at 12 and 15 years old. I may have sold one of my pairs to Calvincrowe (or maybe that was another brand....can't remember my boots that well! ). My Monacos are 3 years old now and while they did have to have the zippers replaced (because of the wimpy ones they started the line with), Ariat was super helpful and did it for free despite the fact that I didn't buy them from a tack shop and had no receipt. I haven't had any issues since. And my Monaco half chaps are the best half chaps I've ever owned. 2 years in the zipper is starting to separate from the half chaps at the bottom....but they're older than any of my Grand Prix, Tredstep, Lende, or other brands of half chaps that all disintegrated much more quickly. And it's an easy fix that will leave them in practically new condition.

      As for paddock boots, I just figure you get what you pay for with Ariat (and really with all of the manufacturers). I have the Monaco paddock boots and abuse the heck out of them. I'm on year 2 of my current paddock boots and they're still in great condition. I bought a second pair of Monaco paddocks to act as backups and keep expecting my first pair to die so I can bring out the second pair, but so far it's a no go.

      FTR, my Dehner, Grand Prix, and Tredstep Paddocks died a lot faster than my Monacos have (I won't comment on my cheaper Ariats, though, since they have fallen apart relatively quickly).

      I just assume that unless you pay top dollar for boots you're not going to get longevity. And even then you're not guaranteed anything (i.e. I don't love how my custom Vogels have worn).

      But a few weeks into my Volant ownership I can say that I would be shocked if they fall apart quickly. I just wish some other brands would get on board with the tennis shoe/tall boot theme so we could get some competitive things going on with comfort in mind As much as I love my Ariat boots, I would happily give other brands a go if they offered comfort and a little bit of a fashion edge (like the red on the Volants).
      Flying F Sport Horses
      Horses in the NW


      • #23
        I have owned the red Volants for about a year now. I love them, they are by far the most comfortable, best fitting boot ever, but I'm not so sure they'll hold up for year 2. That said, I live in a wet place, so that doesn't do them any good. But other things aren't really due to the wet. Some of the stitching has come undone, and there are some tears around the spur rests. The leather on the inside of the leg does not appear to be wearing through at all, but there are cracks in the foot leather, (from wetness I guess), and one of the heels has worn badly. The zipper, however, is going strong, which is more than I can say for my last pair of Ariat Challenges, in which the zipper broke after one month.

        I think $500/year is too much to spend on one pair of boots. I am disappointed they aren't wearing better, but I do love them. Not sure what I'll get next.

        ETA: I wear them 4-5 days a week. I ride one horse usually.
        Last edited by Starda01; Feb. 2, 2012, 10:09 PM. Reason: ETA: I wear them 4-5 days a week or more.


        • #24
          Originally posted by pds View Post
          Planned obsolescence
          Unfortunately, things are built to be replaced in the current day. Hopefully without sacrificing consumer loyalty.


          • #25
            Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
            My Monacos are 3 years old now and while they did have to have the zippers replaced (because of the wimpy ones they started the line with), Ariat was super helpful and did it for free despite the fact that I didn't buy them from a tack shop and had no receipt.
            I've heard this kind of thing before, and it really makes my blood boil! I had the same issue a couple of years ago- got a great deal on a pair Crowne Pros not from a tack shop and the cheapo zipper busted within a couple of weeks. I did, however, buy them brand new and had a receipt showing that. Ariat refused to replace it, and I asked twice. I was miffed, but decided to pay for the replacement anyway. A few weeks later, the other zipper breaks. Ariat has not gotten a dime of my money since. I don't know if it depends on who you talk to or what, but count yourself lucky, PNW!
            The best is yet to come


            • #26
              I can't buy any pretty Volants because my Ariat tall boots I purchased in 1993 are still fine for barn use. My nice ones I have had since 2004. I bought a replacement pair a couple of years ago but haven't needed them yet. I don't use mine everyday, but use them often in summer.

              If you want boots to last, don't buy ones with zippers. Zippers break and boots are high stress on zippers, no way to avoid that. Teeth wear out with use.

              They are much more convenient but the price you pay for that is reduced longevity.


              • #27
                just got a pair of the back zip Volants. This is my first pair of zippered tall boots. IMHO I've walked around in them twice now, and they hurt. I sorta hope they drop more than a 1/2" because otherwise I worry about them breaking behind the knee before the ankle breaks enough to make them drop.

                I bought them because I thought they'd be easier to break in than regular tall boots, and because they fit me better than any other off the rack boot I've ever had.

                Fingers crossed!


                • Original Poster

                  I will fess up and tell you that I also bought a pair of the back zip, black Volants a few months ago. Even though Ariat said they might only last a year.

                  It took me a little longer than I expected to break them in – as compared to some of my other Ariat tall boots (Challenge, Quantum Crown Pros) - I would say I was pretty uncomfortable the first two weeks before they finally did break in. But don't worry – they WILL break in. Mine are super soft around the ankles now. AND they stretch. A lot. I like to think the longer break in time means the leather is going to be more sturdy and I won't wear holes through the inside of them in less than 2 years. Fingers crossed.

                  If anyone reading this is between sizes, go down a size. I am a hard core Ariat regular calf – like…I eye the slim calf boot in my size and those zippers just start laughing at me. I couldn't even zip up all the way the regular calf Crown Pros I got last year for about a month and to this day, they are pretty form fitting. I am nowhere CLOSE to a slim calf. However, I actually think I would have a decent shot of eventually getting the slim calf Volants to zip up once they broke in and stretched. The ankle on the Volants is form fitted, but pretty sure if I tried, I could probably wiggle my hand down the inside top part of my boot right now and scratch at least my mid calf, if not lower, with the boots zipped up.

                  They also run tall IMO. My other two pairs of Ariat tall boots were the tall height and I only needed the regular height in these. They rubbed the heck out of the back of my knees the first couple weeks and now have dropped to a more comfortable height, but not definitely not too low, especially with the really high cut Spanish top. I think I would have been miserable in the tall height version of these.

                  Are they the most comfortable things I have ever had on my feet? Meh. Not really. Wouldn't say they are uncomfortable by any means, but I find them hotter than my normal leather tall boots. The "vented" stretch panel is like foam/neoprene type material on the inside. I do not buy that it makes them "vented" - IMO, it makes them hold more heat. My legs are pretty much drenched in sweat when I take them off. I DO really like the grippy inner panels on these – my show boots now feel very slippery in comparison. Would I buy them again? We'll see. If they hold up…then maybe. If I burn through these in 2 years (only using for schooling, only 1 horse, 3-4 times/week), then…nope.

                  One last thing – I usually use the wrap around Comfort Grip pads on my irons and had to swap them out for cheese graters with these boots because I kept loosing my irons! I described the footbed of these as "moon boots" - very thick sneaker sole that takes some getting used to and I could NOT feel my stirrups at all with the Comfort Grips on there. I still can't feel the cheese graters (a good thing IMO!), but at least I can feel there are irons down there now.


                  • Original Poster

                    I also wanted to add that I did get my hands on the waterproof blue/black zip back, weird lace side waterproof Volants to try and those things are CLUNKERS!

                    Reminded me very much of my insulated/waterproof winter tall boots (Iceberg, I think?) from Ariat. Weighed more than the regular Volants and just not nearly the close contact feel. So while the waterproof part appealed to me, I chose to go with the lighter, not as clunky (but still sorta moon-booty in the foot) boots.


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                      If you want boots to last, don't buy ones with zippers. Zippers break and boots are high stress on zippers, no way to avoid that. Teeth wear out with use.
                      Easier said than done! Unless you go with custom boots, it is very difficult to find pull on boots anymore! I went to the New Hampshire Dover store last weekend and guess how many pull on boots they had for sale??? ZERO! Every company is getting cheaper by adding cheapo zippers but charging more money! Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of zipping in and out of my field boots, but believe me, my old pull ons are still in the trailer for that unfortunate day when the zipper breaks at a show!


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by TrakeGirl View Post

                        One last thing – I usually use the wrap around Comfort Grip pads on my irons and had to swap them out for cheese graters with these boots because I kept loosing my irons! I described the footbed of these as "moon boots" - very thick sneaker sole that takes some getting used to and I could NOT feel my stirrups at all with the Comfort Grips on there. I still can't feel the cheese graters (a good thing IMO!), but at least I can feel there are irons down there now.
                        I had the same experience with my Volant paddock boots! I kept losing my stirrups, and had to switch to grater pads, which I hate. It was like the tread on the boots is really slick, but not due to wear, as mine did this from the moment I got them. I do love how they feel and fit, and particularly like how short the paddock is, which wouldn't appeal to everyone. Mine were ridden in close to every day for about six months and have held up well so far.