Sunday, April 5, 2015


My bargain basement zip-up Ariats took exactly seven months to completely lose their shit.  The zipper on the left boot doesn't zip at the bottom, and comes completely undone before you even get out the door.  I need to take them to the local cobbler to see if he can install a new zipper AND a full length elastic on the inside to offer more "give" to the zippers.  I'd like these Ariats to stick around and be my schooling boots, but for the time being they're on the bench, and my 14 year old Ariat Frankenstein boots are back in the rotation.

And you know what...I still love them.  I've tried to retire these boots twice now.  They don't have the fashionable Italian tops of the new Ariats, they're a medium height to the newer Ariats in the tall height, so these look almost comically short in comparison, but they're so comfortable it's not fair.  That massive elastic was put in years ago in an effort to make an originally slim calf boot (from my high school and college days!) fit a now regular calf.  So not only does it work, but the elastic has held up well over the last several years and it makes the boots feel like comfy half chaps.  I highly recommend it!  So until I get the newer zipper Ariats fixed, I'm back in the old ones and I just wish these boots could live forever.  I almost don't want the zippered boots fixed, because I'm totally over the idea of zippers and it hasn't even been that long yet.


My custom (pull-on) Dehner field boots arrived back in August of 2014 and I have not had the inclination to do much with them, for no reason whatsoever.  I was so excited about them initially that it's pretty pathetic how I let them sit in a closet for the next seven months, but....whatever.  I remember when I initially tried them on that they felt almost a little loose in the calf and not as tall as I expected them to be (you know, the "I can't bend my knees and I never will again!" feeling).  I could bend my knees with only minimal discomfort, so I sort of freaked out thinking that they were too short.

I'm not completely convinced that they're *not* too short, but Dehner told me to go ahead and break them in and we'll see if anything needs to be adjusted or done over.  They're also missing the swagger tabs that I requested (my perfect boot experience was anything but), so the boots ARE going back to Omaha at some point, we'll just see after they break down if they're going to be obnoxiously short or not.  I don't love super tall boots, so if they end up not being fashionably tall, I'm ok with that, I just don't want them looking completely ridiculous.

I also don't love the painted-on look of the new zippered boots these days.  I do prefer a riding boot to look like a more traditional riding boot, but it's tough looking at these now having seen almost nothing but painted-on boots for the last year or so (mine not included, obviously).  I'm trying to remind myself that YES, they will be baggier above the ankle and that's totally fine.  No zippers means I won't look like the majority of riders these days, but I'm sure as heck not dealing with zipper drama anymore either.

I will say that this was my first custom boot experience, and I wore a pair of thick socks intentially thinking that would help me avoid recieving boots that were too tight...instead I think that threw off the measurements enough to make them feel loose at first.  To Dehner's credit, they have super customer service and even seven months later, are ready to take the boots back anytime to make adjustments and add the swagger tabs.  I just need to get these broken in first, so they can install the tabs and make any needed adjustments in one trip.

So here I am breaking in the Dehners.  They took a hot bath this morning and now I'm wearing the around until they dry in order to expedite the break-in process.  I'm debating taking them to the barn to check out Soonie, or dunking them again this evening and wearing them around the hotel some more later.  Not sure.  The Bathtub Method is way easier, though, so there's that.

Water up to mid-calf!

Hi pretties

They don't look as huge as I thought
First world problems, yes.

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