Tasked with testing out a pair of Ariat’s Treadfast 6” waterproof steel-toe work boots, Forestry Journal’s deputy editor put them through the wringer across multiple countries and conditions. How did they fair? 

WHEN it came to testing the all-weather capabilities of Ariat’s Treadfast boot, there was only one thing for it – head down to Wales at the height of British summertime.

So there I was, the rain pouring down with Biblical brimstone and fury on day three of the Royal Welsh Show, when it hit me; my feet were remarkably warm, dry, and comfortable. 

In many ways, this is all that needs to be said about Ariat’s 6” steel-toe work boot. But I’ve got a page to fill, so let’s crack on. 

Forestry Journal:

When it comes to footwear, I’m not exactly in my comfort zone. I’ve got a pair of trainers with heels so badly worn that by this point they are basically sandals. For a long time, I (stupidly) resisted the urge to pay any decent money for working boots, believing instead the ones I found on Amazon would do the job (hint: they did not). 

But when the chance came along to try out some proper forestry boots, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity, and I was lucky enough to be sent a pair of Ariat’s Treadfast boots. 

Now, I know Ariat pretty well. The brand is frequently found in these pages. But I had never tried its work boots for myself, so I was going in completely blind and open minded. 

The first thing I noticed when unwrapping the shoes was just how premium it all felt. The box – and this will mean something to a surprising amount of people – was beautifully designed and sturdy. From the first moment, it was obvious that this was a premium product and not some cheap knock-off found on the internet. 

According to Ariat, the boots are “practical from ankle to toe, designed to offer outstanding safety and comfort thanks to a plethora of design technologies”. These include: an “all-day cushioning insole and an ATS midsole”, a “waterproof PRO construction” (see above for the effectiveness of that), and “an oil- and slip-resistant Duratread outsole giving ultimate stability”. Which all sounds very good on paper. 

At this point, you may be thinking that, of course, Ariat’s own blurb would have you believing these are the best, most carefully-thought-out boots that have ever been.

But the good news is, they very much live up to the brand’s hype. 

Since receiving my pair, they have stood up to just about everything I’ve thrown at them. I wore them in the bog that was the Royal Bath and West Showground for the Confor Woodland Show and my footing felt secure from start to finish, even when I found myself knee-deep in the after-effects of a previous storm. I took them along to Estonia, and whether it was on the plane or among the towering conifers of a commercial woodland, they were comfortable, sturdy and never felt out of place.

Forestry Journal:

When it came to exploring Pentland Biomass’ timber yard back in August, the boots barely broke sweat, despite a relentless day on my feet. 

All in all, then, I’d struggle to find a single glaring fault in the boots. They do exactly as it says in the tin, and plenty more besides, and at £140 (at the time of writing) aren’t exactly breaking the bank for an absolutely essential piece of kit that you’ll likely see more than your children. 

The only real caveat I have to add is that, by virtue of not being a hand cutter or operator, I haven’t yet had the chance to test them out during a day of genuinely back-breaking graft, and that’s always the real test of a pair of boots’ capabilities. 

But I suspect you can do a lot worse than Ariat. 

For more information, head to www.ariat.com/gb/en