Shires v. Ariat Winter Boots

It’s winter, let’s talk boots.

I decided this past year that I wanted a pair of winter barn boots for traveling to the northeast/out west for work as well as for snow days, the barn, etc. and so the shopping began.

I had been eyeing the Ariat Berwick GTX boot for probably over a year before I decided to bite the bullet and buy them from Dover last summer (look at me, planning ahead…).

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Having bought them so far ahead of time, I slipped them on, decided they fit, and moved on with my life. Smart, right?

Well, I went to put them on this past month and realized how much I hated these boots! Let me start by saying I’m sure they work perfectly for some, but for my purposes, I don’t know why I spent almost $450 on them.

I found they were too big in the foot, even with a thick sock (and I’m a solid 8.5). They were far too bulky to be packed in a carry-on. Totally my fault, but they also may have been a bit overkill for my purposes. I don’t work on a barn for 14 hours a day in Wisconsin, so the warmth factor was a bit much for Virginia.

Anyways, here’s my big takeaways from these guys:


  • They are ADORABLE. I mean, look at those laces! Why can’t all winter boots be that stylish.
  • Super super super warm. If you ride in, say, Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Russia, you get the idea, these are the PERFECT boot for you and I cannot recommend them enough. The Gortex lining is everything you need and more.
  • They actually come up to your knee!!! Such a pet peeve of mine, but I am your completely average, American woman size-wise at 5’6″, and nothing annoys me more then when “tall” boots don’t reach my knee. It’s like the manufacturers just decided that you didn’t need your whole leg covered or something? I don’t know, but it makes me feel like I’m missing boot that should be there.
  • Good grips. Definitely no slipping and sliding in these.
  • Waterproof. ‘Nough said.
  • Excellent quality materials. These babies would probably last a solid ten years.


  • Not suitable for VA winters. We’re cold folks, but not crazy cold.
  • Expensive. $450 for a boot I wear maybe a dozen times a season? Ouch.
  • Bulky. Not good for travel.
  • I think the sizing is a bit off. The fact that an 8.5 didn’t fit me like a glove is incredibly unusual. All of my other Ariat boots are 8.5’s, and they fit great, so this was a surprise.

Naturally, I had to hunt for a new pair once I decided the Ariats wouldn’t work.

Dover had a huuuuuuuuge clearance sale recently (had to crack a joke there), and I saw these beautiful Shires Broadway boots:

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I immediately loved the secure snap, the side zipper, the sleek, less bulky look, the grippy looking tread, and bonus: they’re waterproof! For $170, I grabbed a pair in an 8.

These guys are perfect. They looked much more professional for meetings (in ID, ND, and WY), they are much easier to pack in a carry-on, the price was a steal, and the warmth factor seems much better for VA.

I wore these on a short hike on a super cold day in VA the other week to test them out and take the dogs for a walk. It was maybe 20 degrees w/ humidity outside, and you had that wonderful chilled-to-the-bone, mid-Atlantic wind hitting you in the face too. These boots definitely kept my feet warm for the entire hike, no water leaked in, the tread was very helpful, and because they come close to my knee (okay they’re about 3/4 inch shorter than I’d prefer, can’t win ’em all), I was able to climb through tall grass without getting those pesky prickles on my legs.

Overall, depending on where you live and what you’re hoping to do with them, both boots are great, but I definitely LOVE the Shires’ more!

Cheers y’all



  1. I’ve been struggling for a while with which winter boots to get to replace my current boots (I have the oldest pair of Mountain Horse winter boots one has ever seen). I’ve been between these exact Ariat boots and a pair of boots that look similar to the Shires. But, I just haven’t been able to justify spending the money yet.

    Looks like it might be too late for this season–its supposed to snow tonight and I think Dover just emailed me that their hugeeeeee sale ended yesterday lol. Summer winter boot buying sounds like a plan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh bummer! Yes I think you just missed it, but there will be another I’m sure 🙂 I have a lot of friends who have the Dublins too and they seem to like them! Personally I like things more “locked down” than a shoe string at the top (for work purposes), but it’s a personal preference. They seem warm either way, so they’d be worth considering too!


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