Ariat Heritage Contour II Field Zip Tall Riding Boot
- Very smart
- Good quality zips
- Broad range of sizes
- A little tricky to get on initially
- Heel raisers needed initially as boots a little high at back of knee (but this may not be the case for every rider)
Price as reviewed:
Ariat Heritage Contour Field boots
The riding boots market is a vast one with so many options available, and the Ariat Heritage Contour II Field Zip Tall Riding Boots are a super choice if you’re looking for an all-rounder suitable for various disciplines.
My first impression was how smart the boots look, making them perfect for everyday riding, clinics or competition. They are made from a premium full-grain leather upper, with a full leather lining and Ariat’s 4LR technology. They have an elasticated panel and gusset, and include a moisture-wicking sock liner to keep your feet dry.
The boots come in UK sizes 3–8½ (for ladies’, UK 6–12 for men), four calf sizes from extra-slim to wide, and you have the height choices of short, medium or tall.
I’ve always ridden in short boots and gaiters, and finding boots that I’d describe as super comfortable has always been a bit tricky as my feet are in between sizes, and I have wider calves. Ariat provide a very useful size and measuring guide, and after measuring my legs, I opted for the boots in size 6½, full calf, short height (for reference I am 5ft4in).
When the boots arrived I confess to panicking that I had got my measurements wrong as on the first attempt to get them on I failed and thought they were too small around my lower calves. However after consulting with a wise colleague (our products expert Georgia Guerin), I was advised to enlist a willing helper. The trick was to stand as straight as possible with my feet in the boots and have my helper carefully do up the zips.
As with any leather product, they should fit snugly because over time the leather will stretch and mould to you. Once the boots were on, although they were tight, they weren’t uncomfortably so. They were however quite high at the back of my knee – but again, boots will adapt to you over time and eventually drop as you break them in – and so I was advised heel risers can come in handy to wear inside the boots until they dropped that little bit. Adding heel raisers made a huge difference, especially when jumping with shorter stirrups, and I’ve since been able to remove these after wearing the boots regularly.
It took a little bit of getting used to riding in the Heritage Contour field boots as they felt a little more restrictive than my well-used gaiters, but over time as the boots moulded more to my legs, they became much more comfortable. I think the boots look really nice on and create a lovely streamlined appearance, and I’m particularly looking forward to using them for some dressage and jumping competitions over the winter.
Ariat is a brand I associate with high quality products, and the boots feel well-made, particularly the zip – which doesn’t feel flimsy. The Heritage Contour Field Zip Tall Riding Boot is also available in a lovely brown colour and in a waterproof insulated version aimed at winter riding, so there is plenty of choice.
Georgia has had a pair of these boots for 10 years – she advises that they’ll last well if you don’t walk around in them and always change into a pair of yard boots once you dismount. Even better, store them in one of the best riding boot bags.
H&H Approved – I am very pleased with the Heritage Contour field boots, firstly for the fit and good range of sizes available, and secondly for how smart they look. The boots needed a little time to ‘break in’ and mold, as do most leather boots, but quickly became very comfortable. These boots are worth saving up for – and if you look after them, they’ll last you a long time.
Who tested these Ariat boots?
Becky Murray started freelance writing for Horse & Hound in 2016 alongside other equestrian titles, before joining the H&H news team in July 2018. She was made senior news writer in January 2022. During her time at H&H she has reported on a broad range of topics across the equestrian industry including welfare issues, veterinary studies, FEI Tribunal hearings, rider safety, and road safety campaigns. In 2019 she attended the national Strangles Symposium and the Scottish welfare conference.
Becky was part of the home remote reporting team for the Tokyo Olympic Games and the European Showjumping Championships and has reported from Morris Equestrian, the Royal Highland Show and Blair Castle International Horse Trials. She also regularly contributes to the weekly H&H podcast.
Based in north Scotland, Becky learnt to ride at the age of five. She got the showjumping bug with her 13.2hh older pony Phoenix, who used to particularly enjoy a chase-me-Charlie. She went on to compete in British Showjumping and riding club activities as a teenager with her pony Sparkle. After losing two horses in 2015 to illness and injury, Becky is now producing her Irish mare Chloe, and has returned to the showjumping ring. She also has two miniature Shetland sisters, Mootie and Poppet, who keep her on her toes.
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