Barn Boot Recs

First off – I know, I know, I missed Foal Friday last week. Many apologies, and no I’m not dead, but truth be told I’m insanely busy right now and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Unfortunately when that happens the blog is the first thing to go by the wayside. I have some posts half-done, including foal stuff and Pau analysis, but I’ve had zero time to sit down and finish. It’s coming, I promise.

Until then, I have a practical, more pressing issue.

My beloved barn boots have been on their way out for a few months now but the insanity of the past week has been their real coup de grace. They’re falling apart more and more by the hour at this point, and I need new boots like yesterday. I’m not 100% convinced I want to go with Blundstones again though, I feel like these didn’t last me as long as my previous pair. I don’t pay much attention to the paddock boot market so I’m not sure if there’s anything similar out there that I should try this time instead.

Here’s what I want:

  • ankle height
  • pull on with elastic sides
  • brown
  • good tread
  • can take a beating – I muck stalls and dredge through mud in these things
  • not stupidly expensive
  • comfy for all day wear
  • not narrow in the footbed or toe

Give me your recommendations please!

I’m off for another full day, hopefully things will be more normal around here by tomorrow.

19 thoughts on “Barn Boot Recs

    1. I am not familiar with these Dublin’s (not do I know of any that meet Amanda’s specs, u fortunately) but I just wanted to chime in to say that my zip-up paddock boots are Dublin’s and I like them very much. The footbed in particular is very comfy – their RCS system has memory foam and I can wear them for hours without fatigue.

      My style does run a bit short – I wear an 8.5 and have to wear thin socks. Other than that, the materials and craftsmanship are excellent.

      Good luck and we’ll be patient about blogs as we know you’re in the middle of moving!


  1. I third the Dublin Venturer’s. Granted, I’ve only had mine a few months but they show zero sign of wear so far. And they were less than $100 at riding warehouse.


  2. I don’t know how you feel about Ariat but my barnyard gore H2Os have lived a long life of abuse. I’ve had them 8 years and I have had to shoe goo my sole twice but the leather has held up without any cracks or issues all this time.


    1. I have worn the Barnyard pull ons for years. They typically last me about 2 years with pretty rugged use. My current pair were the only shoes I took with me to Montana for a week (guest ranch, working cows, etc) and to Boston (walking 13+ miles a day). They are some of my most comfortable shoes and I love that they are waterproof.

      I do think this latest pair, however, is narrower than they used to be. That would be supported by them splitting on the outside by the pinky toe (right foot only), which has not been a problem in the past. I have VERY wide feet, so any change there would be felt. Mine also always crack across the top, which is often the fatal blow. I do ride in them so there is extra stress from my heels being down, I suppose. I’ve never had the sole separate or crack.


      1. I’m having the same experience. My first pair lasted years and I recommended them to everyone. The replacement pair I got last summer were way harder to break in and still rub if I go for a really long walk…the fit is definitely different. They’ve also split across the tops and the sole is coming apart already. My first pair though, I wish I could duplicate them, They were perfect, comfy and waterproof and stood up to working at a barn 2-3 hours every morning before work and going back riding after work for something like 5 years 🙂 They’re worth a look, just try them on first!


      2. Yes,, my first pair of Barnyards were wonderful! They lasted 5-6 years. The 2nd pair, not so much, tried them a 3rd time, and they just lasted a year. The last pair definitely was not as rugged or heavy, they were rather disappointing (like all the Ariats tend to be now, just disappointing).


        1. I had a similar experience; after less than a year (of admittedly heavy and not particularly careful use), mine are cracking and pulling away from the sole. No longer waterproof because of the cracks, which is the main reason I purchased them. i will say that I do use and abuse my boots, but I really expected these to hold up for longer. Disappointing. They were also a real bugger to break in – took a few months before they completely stopped rubbing and I’ve never had so many blisters while breaking in new boots as I did with these.


  3. Ariats have served me well. They are my hiking as well as barn boots. Can wear them all day for everything. And I forget I’m wearing barn boots once I’m back in town.

    However I’d be pleased if they were a skoch wider. Would probably try on the Dublin’s on that point, as the wider Ariats are too wide for me.


  4. You might look into RedBacks, my current pair is quite old, just now beginning to crack out (we have plenty of mud to test their toughness). They fit all of the criteria except cost. but if they last more than a year (mine certainly have) it might be worth it.


  5. Redbacks 100000%, especially if you like how Blundstones fit. I am a confirmed boot killer and my Redbacks typically last around a year of daily (10-14 hours) abuse. And after they break in they’re insanely comfortable, even if you’re walking miles of fenceline. I can usually get them off eBay for around $100 shipped from Australia. I’ve also tried Rossi boots and those are second to the Redbacks. Similar fit, not as comfortable, but still good quality.


  6. try any of the following brands (including Blundstone/John Bull as they are honestly my favs). Definitely suggest shopping via Australia, as thanks to the mining industry, super rugged work boots are plentiful and often cheaper than elsewhere.
    Steel Blue
    Blundstone/John Bull


  7. My Ariats seem to be crazy durable and comfortable… and I treat them like poop.

    My husband also recently switched to Ariat for his work boots (he does concrete construction so he’s really rough on boots). He normally has to buy a new pair every 8 months or so of other brands (still nice and pricey brands) but his Ariats lasted over a year.

    Mine are 7 years old and just started to think about replacing them because the insides are wearing out. No leaking or sole issues though!


  8. Ive always preferred Rossi over Blundstone. A bit wider and a super comfy sole. Blundstone have off shored their production for all their leather footwear.
    Rossi are still made in Adelaide, south Australia


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