REVIEW: Ariat Rambler Men's Square Toe Western Boot
These Ariat Ramblers are, without a doubt, my favorite pair of boots. I've been wearing this pair daily for just under three years now, and they've been my work boots, range boots, rain boots and even, at times, my hiking boots. I've kicked them through mud, rain, snow, brush and covered miles and miles on concrete and asphalt. I've beaten the hell out of these boots, and they just keep on performing. If you want to talk about value for the money, at $150, you can't beat these boots with a stick.
There was pretty much zero break-in time for my pair of Ramblers. They were comfortable from the minute I put them on and continue to be so whether I'm wearing a pair of basic work socks or some nice, thick winter foot-warmers. They're definitely not my first choice for a long hike. But, for impromptu trips, they've served me better than any other cowboy boots I've worn.
One of the key selling points of this super-simple boot is the broken-in look they start with. It doesn't matter how many times I kick-up rocks or scrape the sides, they just keep looking like a well-used pair of boots. When they're looking at all rough, a quick rub-down with some cleaning leather conditioner (make sure you get the right stuff to go with the matte finish of the boot) will get them looking better than when you picked 'em up.
While the Ramblers not advertised as being water-resistant or waterproof, these boots have no problem holding their own when you need them to. I can't tell you how many times I've been wearing these on a rainy day or had to hop out of my Jeep into a muddy creek for a little recovery action. As long as I don't sit with them submerged for a significant amount of time, my feet will always come out dry.
My only complaint would be about the relaxed throat/shaft of the boot. Even if I'm wearing a set of Wranglers with a nice stack to 'em, I'll still find that after a lot of movement, the cuff of the jeans will end up working their way up and over the sagging collar of the boot. It's not a deal-breaker, but just something to be aware of.