The start of winter this year came with a full-on “puppy dog face” beg to my husband for some new boots for Christmas that were both waterproof and warm. Admittedly, I do live in California where the temperature never drops too low (but I’m a winter wussy), but our winters are typically very, VERY wet. This El Nino forcasted winter looked to be even wetter than normal. My Ariat Volant paddocks and half chaps were doing the job when the weather was nice, but they are so holey they don’t’ hold up well to mud or water any longer. Not to mention that they’re not warm at all.
After trying on several pairs of “winter” and “country” style boots, I narrowed my selection down to the most comfortable and the most attractive ones I found (I wanted black). It was amazing how hard it was to find a pair that fit my requirements of durability, warmth, being waterproof, and hopefully being black. Here’s my review of the Dublin River Boots.
Thankfully my husband granted my Christmas wishes several weeks early and I started wearing my boots right away. The temps in December were quite chilly this year with some evenings well down into the 30’s and some 20’s and boy…did the rain come! I can’t handle having cold feet, and these boots + wool socks did the trick. My feet were never cold and they never got sweaty (thank you Drilex lined calf!).
I tested these boots to the max. I wore them daily for 3 and a half months for as long as 8 hours at a time. They were comfortable for long wear, never once made my feet sore from walking/standing, and were reasonable enough to ride in. Where they really shined however was the mud.
As you can see in the photos, I tested this whole “waterproof” thing. The turnouts were a flooded mess for weeks on end. The Dublin River Boots never leaked once. I even stood in water for a half an hour while teaching a lesson, just to prove the point. My feet never got a bit damp and were happy and warm. I never once slipped in the mud with these boots and the tread was quite impressive and didn’t wear out at all in months of use.
They are incredibly easy to clean off…a water hose does the trick. I cleaned them every once in a while with Leather Therapy Wash and used Leather Therapy Waterproofing spray to keep the leather ready for the worst conditions. These held up to really hard abuse.
My only real issue for these is riding (which they’re not really made for). The extra wide foot bed made stirrups a bit snugger than I’d normally like. The slightly lower height of the boot caused some problems at times as well when the boot would get caught on the saddle flap. Those complaints aside, I did ride in them a number of times.
They held up well to heavy use and are still in fantastic shape after a winter of wear. The thin top fabric on the insole is coming loose, but I always have that problem no matter the shoe. They are still waterproof, soft, comfortable and sturdy with the cool weather and rain winding to a close. They’ll be hibernating in my closet until October or November, but I guarantee you they’ll be back in my life daily when the weather turns bad again.
I love these boots and would buy them again and again if I had a time machine. For the rest of the country…where it rains in the spring, these boots will keep you sweat free and dry until summer comes to stay.
Update December 2016: These boots made it through the winter of 2015 with flying colors. I pulled them back out for the first rain in October and have been wearing them to the barn ever since. They’re still holding up great with no leaks. They are still keeping my feet warm and dry and are still quite comfortable! I still highly recommend these for a “country” boot on a budget!