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Barn work boots

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  • Barn work boots

    What do you all wear for barn work? I have a working student opportunity that I am strongly thinking about taking in the fall. I've only been doing lessons since coming back to riding so I don't have work boots. I'm planning to just use my old Ariat paddock boots when its warm but WINTER IS COMING and they won't be warm enough. I am in the mid atlantic so it doesn't get arctic cold but I will need something more mud and cold resistant than paddock boots.

  • #2
    Muck boots are good for cold, wet environments. They last forever, too. My son wore the same pair for a year of working in the dairy milking parlor and they were still in good shape when he outgrew them. I find them way too hot for summer, but good for winter.

    I wear LL Bean boots to the barn during the winter, but I don't do serious barn work anymore.
    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
    that's even remotely true."

    Homer Simpson


    • #3
      I stumbled upon these Ariat Western work boots several years ago. They are well made and last forever.


      • #4
        Your socks are going to be your best friend here - splurge on these and get good thick hiking socks - these will absorb sweat which is your worst enemy in the winter.

        I find that Bogs or MuckBoots work great, unless they don't fit well in which case you will get mad blisters

        Mine usually last about a year of hard use before splitting and not being waterproof

        I like the Noble Outfitters version the best


        • #5
          LL Bean boots and good wool socks.
          "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


          • #6
            If your feet are small enough, Bass Pro Shops carries kid's winter boot in their house brand that I love for cold-weather barn work. They're lightweight, have room for extra socks (but are so warm I haven't needed them in NC winters, so I wish I'd gone a half size down), waterproof and cheap (mine were $30 a couple of years ago). I think they had up to a youth 6, which is a women's 8, but it might have been a 5 (women's 7). Mine have lasted two winters with no issues. I find the bogs/muck/etc are too tall for my taste.


            • #7
              I do self board and ride, at a barn without actual real mud.

              My priorities are waterproof, warm, and good foot support.

              In summer I like the Ariat twin gore H20 boot, except it is a bit too sweaty for really hot days. In winter I like the Ariat insulated laceup H20 boots. Both of these are very comfortable walking and can also be used for riding with half chaps.

              If I did not want to ride right away, or if I was spending hours on barn chores, I wouldn't use up my Ariats on barn work. The smartest suggestion I've read on COTH was to go to the thrift store and buy up gently used hiking boots. They have the foot support and the ankle support to keep you safe in the barn, and if you can get a pair for $20, it isn't the end end of the world when they finally fall apart. Boots will fall apart, because of the pee content of the stalls and the water you get on them in the course of the day.

              If you are however in a truly muddy environment, you will need something in the rubber boot family. I have stayed away from all those boots because I don't need them plus they are not comfortable for me. But if you have real mud, try to find a rubber boot that has some construction in the foot. I think some of the muck boots do.

              Your winter boots whatever they are should be insulated plus you want room for socks. You need a good wool blend hiking sock and if necessary, a silk or microfibre liner sock if the wool bothers your feet.

              Mid Atlantic is still cold enough. I am in the PNW, lived 5 years in Baltimore. Spring comes faster and hotter in the mid Atlantic, but there is certainly frost and snowfall there. And it doesn't even have to be frosty for toes to get miserable if you are outdoors or unheated or wet for 5 hours. I do find though that toes get colder riding than they do on the ground, doing barn work.


              • #8
                Not sure how much riding you will be doing this winter, but my "go to" winter wear is thick socks, like soccer player knee socks, a few layers of clothes (yes I know this post is about boots but it all goes together at the end) and my clothes are all tighter fitting peelable layers, with Ariat winter arctic extreme paddock boots, or my tall fleece lined Dublin boots and the creme de la creme.. IMO... Ski bibs, yep, the zip up overall looking ones.They're super insulating, not nearly as heavy as those carhart bibs, and when you hang em up in the mudroom to dry they dry a heck of alot faster! What's this have to do with your boots you may ask? The ankles of them I always put over my boots, and my body is so warm from the bibs that my feet actually will stay warmer!! If you are cold natured, you could wear mid calf or tall winter boots, still with the ski bibs if it was me, they also act like a water proofing between your under layers and the outside, I wash them with my horse sheets when i waterproof the sheets and it waterproofs my bibs too hehe. Happy boot shopping!!!!


                • #9
                  The big thing about barn wear in chilly but not arctic conditions is that it needs to be layered and breathable but still have waterproof components.

                  Think through the day as you expect to spend it. Mucking stalls or carrying hay will get you hot and sweaty. You need to be able to dry off after that, then have warmer layers to put on over. If you are working outdoors like doing turnout you will need a big raincoat to go on over everything. Microfiber tech wear or lightweight wool next to the skin.

                  If you are going to then sit down and watch someone ride for an hour, for instance if being a working student includes shadowing your coach, you will need a big parka and maybe a lap robe because that's when the winter temperatures really catch up with you. Even if it's only about 55 F you will get chilly fast especially if you have been sweating.

                  hat and gloves really help too.


                  • #10
                    I've worn LL Bean boots for decades. Started way back in the 1970's with their (now) old fashioned Rubber Mocs and today wear Stormchasers. I like the Stormchasers better because they hug my ankles and keep shavings and gravel out of the boot. The are waterproof, warm. and they last forever.
                    ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~