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Updated Apr 6, 2023 4:16 PM
Ariat work boots have their roots in horseback riding. In fact, the company Ariat, which is named for the famed racehorse Secretariat, is credited for integrating athletic footwear technology into equestrian boots. Over the years, the company has expanded its offerings to include a broad range of performance boots for the outdoors and the workplace. Ariat’s work boots feature some of the best quality soles for keeping your feet comfortable over long hours, whether you’re toiling on muddy ground or a hard concrete floor, with necessary work boot features that include steel and composite toes and non-slip outers.
But unlike other more utilitarian work boots, Ariat’s work boots stay true to their roots with Western styling that’s clearly rooted in horseback riding. For those who are serious about keeping their feet comfortable and safe and who also like style in a work boot, the following are some of the best Ariat work boots available.
Work boots are about keeping your feet comfortable over long days on the factory or warehouse floor, while at the same time protecting them from heavy objects and machinery and preventing slips and falls. There are certainly cheap boots out there that fail to do either. You really can’t go wrong with a set of Ariat work boots, all of which will fulfill those two basic needs. That doesn’t mean that some Ariat boots aren’t better than others. In selecting the boots I included on this list, I considered the following:
- Safety: The boots we selected include either steel or composite toes that provide crush protection for your feet, vital for many workplaces.
- Comfort: While it’s safe to say that all Ariat work boots offer a high level of comfort, I looked for the best of the best. Our selections have multi-layered soles that feature ample cushioning and superior rebound.
- Style: While style may not be high on the priority list of a work boot, it’s clearly something that the designers at Ariat think about. With features like Western stitching and pattern seams, the company caters to a crowd that cares about style along with comfort and safety. If you’re looking for a purely utilitarian look in your work boot, Ariat isn’t the place to find them.
Best Ariat Work Boots: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Ariat Intrepid VentTEK Composite Work Boots
Why It Made The Cut: Perhaps no Ariat boot offers as much protection and comfort as the Intrepid.
- Waterproof: No
- Toe: Composite
- Safety: Oil and slip-resistant sole
- Flexible 100 percent full-grain leather
- SpiderTek sole for added cushioning and rebound
- Breathable VenTek shaft
- Composite toe
- Shaft style may not appeal to everyone
Most work boots are either too stiff to be comfortable for a full day of work or too flimsy to provide adequate support and protection. The Ariat Intrepid has found a way to be neither and, in so doing, keep your feet safe and comfortable.
For starters, the boot is made of genuine full-grain leather, giving the boot the flexibility and durability to be comfortable. Inside, the Intrepid uses what it calls its SpiderTek pro-technology, which lightens pressure on the feet while providing enough flexibility for movement and rebound while walking. Adding to that comfort is ample padding and a roomier toe box than most work boots. Rather than having a leather shaft, the Intrepid is equipped with mesh panels that encourage airflow, keeping your feet cool. A 90-degree heel adds support for long days on your feet.
The Intrepid boots are as safe as they are comfortable. The outer soles are oil and spill-resistant, while a composite toe provides protection from heavy objects and machinery.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Ariat boot without a Western-inspired design. The Intrepid comes with plenty of styles thanks to the eye-catching flame pattern that covers the boot shaft. By successfully combining comfort with features that will keep your feet from being safe and dry, Ariat’s aptly named Intrepid work boot is the best all-around work boot the company has to offer.
Most Popular: Ariat Men’s Groundbreaker Square Toe Work Boot
Why It Made The Cut: Soft genuine leather and thick cushioning on the insoles make these boots one of Ariat’s most comfortable options.
- Waterproof: No
- Toe: Soft
- Safety: Oil and slip-resistant
- Flexible 100 percent full-grain leather
- Four Layer Rebound technology on the insole
- Mesh-lined interior
Ariat’s Groundbreaker checks all the boxes in what you want out of a light-duty work boot, which is probably why you can find it on so many feet in farms, warehouses, and factories across the country. At first look, the Groundbreakers don’t look like your run-of-the-mill workboot. With its full-grain genuine leather and Western stitching, the Groundbreaker is the classic mid-calf leather riding boot. Pair them with some nice jeans, and you’re ready for a night out. But don’t be fooled by the Groundbreaker’s stylish looks. Inside, these boots are all business.
The soles are equipped with Ariat’s Four Layer Rebound (4LR) technology, which adds cushioning with a bit of bounce, saving not just your feet but also your knees. Inside, a mesh lining helps to improve airflow and keep your feet dry. A 90-degree heel adds stability, while the square toe has ample room for your toes. While the outsole is both oil and slip-resistant, the toe is soft, making this boot suitable for work that doesn’t require toe protection.
Most Comfortable: Ariat Sierra Wide Square To Steel Work Boot
Why It Made The Cut: A design suited to fit those with high arches or wide feet makes these boots comfortable for pretty much any feet.
- Waterproof: Yes (with oil)
- Toe: Steel
- Safety: Oil and slip-resistant
- Tolerates extreme heat
- U-Turn entry system creates a good fit
- Comfortable ATS soles
- Stiffer fit may not suit some feet
If you have high arches or wide feet, then you know that finding comfortable work boots can seem like an impossible task. Ariat’s Sierra has you covered with what it calls its U-Turn entry system, which makes the boots easier to pull on while creating a comfortable fit even for those with wide feet and high arches. Once on, your feet will appreciate Ariat’s ATS soles, which combine a rigid base that provides ample rebound while walking with the cushioning of a gel sole.
In terms of safety, the boots are rated to endure temperatures up to 750 degrees, making them ideal footwear for those whose work involves extreme heat, such as welding. In addition to being comfortable, these boots also look good, thanks to Western stitching and decorative seams on the shaft. You’ll feel just as comfortable wearing these boots at the bar as you will wearing them all day at work. They come in a classic brown look or an edgier black with red detailing.
Best Looking: Ariat Rambler Western Boots
Why It Made The Cut: With their weather-beaten look, the Rambler boots are a sophisticated alternative to the Ariat’s more stylized work boots.
- Waterproof: No
- Toe: Steel
- Safety: Oil- and Slip-Resistant Outsole
- Sophisticated weathered look
- Removable insole
- Incorporates Torque Stability Technology
- Lacks Western stitching and decorative designs of other Ariat work boots
While other Ariat boots have a decidedly cowboy-inspired design, the Rambler eschews the decorative stitching and patterns found on most of Ariat’s line of work boots for a more classic weather-beaten look. The result is a work boot with a sophisticated look that’s suitable for long days on the farm or factory floor or evenings out on the town.
They’re certainly comfortable enough for both. Out of the box, the Ramblers look as though they’ve already done quite a bit of rambling, so you won’t have to spend as much time breaking them in. The boots’ mid-calf height and curved top allow for freer movement than other boot styles while making them easier to pull on. Inside, you’ll find the same quality insole construction found on all Ariat boats. The Rambler incorporates Ariat’s Torque Stability technology, which combines a gel-cushioned footbed with a heel stabilizer for both cushioning and rebound. The insoles are also removable, making them easier to clean or replace, and a rubber outsole adds stiffness for support.
As for safety, the Rambler comes equipped with a steel toe and an outsole that resists slipping and oil.
Best Waterproof: Ariat Men’s Turbo H2O Work Boot
Why It Made The Cut: The Turbo’s hiking boot style design and waterproof construction make it ideal for working in sloppy outdoor environments.
- Waterproof: Yes
- Toe: Composite
- Safety: Heavier tread for rough terrain
- Waterproof construction
- Lace-up design offers an excellent fit
- Includes ATS insole
- Not as stylish as Ariat’s other work boots
With their waterproof design, the Turbo’s are an ideal choice for those whose 9 to 5 involves tramping through muddy conditions and uneven terrain. While the bulk of Ariat’s line of work boots have designs inspired by the classic riding boot, the Turbo’s take their inspiration from hiking boots with their lace-up design and a shaft that extends just above the ankle. The laces and lower boot shaft combine to create a snug fit that conforms to the foot while also allowing for a lot of freedom of movement, crucial for moving around slick or rough ground. A carbon toe provides crucial toe protection, and a heavier tread prevents slipping in wet and muddy conditions.
As with many of Ariat’s work boots, this model includes Anti Torque Stability (ATS) with a gel insole and heel stabilizer. They’re lightweight and flexible, making them ideal for various jobs. A foam insole provides ample cushioning to reduce the impact of hard floors.
Things to Consider Before Buying Ariat Work Boots
Before we jump right into our picks for the best Ariat work boots, here are some factors you’ll want to take into consideration before purchasing a pair.
This probably goes without saying, but fit is the most important consideration when purchasing a pair of boots. Luckily, Ariat is known for the excellent quality of its fit, whether you choose a pull-on or lace-up model. Unlike other boot manufacturers who may be all over the place when it comes to sizing, Ariat’s boot sizing is spot on. However, given that Ariat boots are an investment, it’s a good idea to measure the length of your foot and compare it with the company’s size chart if you’re buying online.
First and foremost, a work boot should protect your feet (after all, you’ve only got two of them), so pay attention to the type of toe. While all Ariat work boots have slip and oil-resistant outsoles, you have some options when it comes to the toe box. Ariat shoes come in soft, composite, and steel toes. Steel-toe work boots provide max protection, making them ideal for those who work with heavy construction and industrial machinery. A composite toe box consists of a combination of Kevlar, plastic, carbon, and even rubber. They don’t offer the same crush protection as steel, but they’re ideal if you’re working around electrical hazards or having to pass through metal detectors. If your job involves more mud and dirt than heavy objects and machines, then it’s fine to go with a soft toe work boot, which is usually a little more comfortable, thanks to the added space in the toe box. If you do need a safety toe, you can check out our roundup of the best steel toed boots. Not sure if you need steel toe boots? Check out this guide from Construction Informer.
Luckily, it’s tough to go wrong in the comfort department with Ariat work boots. The company spends a lot of time developing technology that makes its soles some of the most comfortable of any brand of work boot you can buy. With Ariat work boots, you get technologies such as SpiderTek, ATS, and Four Layer Rebound (4LR) technology—all of which are aimed at keeping the soles of your feet from aching after eight hours on your feet.
Of course, Ariat may not have the right boot for every situation. If you spend your work day on a boat, consider a pair of the top deck boots. If you aren’t on a boat but still need waterproof protection, then consider a pair of the best rubber boots or rubber hunting boots.
Q: How good are Ariat work boots?
Ariat is serious about quality craftsmanship, which is apparent in its 150-step-construction process. Ariat’s boots are made from high-quality materials, such as genuine full-grain leather, and the company spends a lot of time field testing its products, so you can count on them to hold up for many years.
Q: How much do Ariat work boots cost?
Ariat’s work boots range between $175 and $250 a pair. While this price tag may seem high, that’s because Ariat uses high-quality materials in its boots, including genuine leather and gel soles.
Q: Are Ariat work boots durable?
Ariat uses high-quality materials and invests a lot of time and technology into its soles, making its boots some of the most durable you can buy. A pair of Ariat boots can last up to 15 years, depending on how well you maintain them.
Q: What are the best Ariat work boots?
The Intrepid, with its classic mid-calf height, genuine full-grain leather, and comfortable four-layer insole, is Ariat’s most popular and best all-around work boot. It features Ariat’s SpiderTek technology while providing plenty of protection with a composite toe and oil- and skid-resistant outer sole. With its Western and decorative design on the shaft, it’s also one of the most stylish Ariat boots you pull on your feet.
Q: What are Ariat boots best for?
Ariat boots can serve a wide range of needs. While their Western look makes them popular choices for farm work and even horseback riding, they’re also at home in the factory or warehouse due to their comfort and safety features. Pair them with some nice jeans, and most Ariat work boots are stylish enough for a night out.
Q: Can you ride in Ariat work boots?
Since many Ariat work boots are inspired by the classic cowboy boot, they are ideal for horseback riding. In fact, their durability, comfort, and Western look make them very popular boots in equestrian sports.
Q: What are the most comfortable Ariat work boots?
Ariat’s Sierra boot uses a combination of Ariat technologies to make it the most comfortable boot the company has to offer. In addition to its soft full-grain leather construction, it also has a U-Turn entry system that makes it easier to pull on and creates a better fit, as well as Ariat’s ATS sole technology that cushions impacts while providing rebound during vigorous activities.
The Intrepid work boots feature a comfortable insole, rigid composite toe, a shaft that promotes ventilation, and an attractive design, making them Ariat’s best all-around work boots. Those looking for a lighter-duty option should consider the Groundbreaker, which has the same comfort technology you’ll find on other Ariat work boots without the rigid toe.