Where, when, and how was Ariat founded?
Ariat inspired by a love of equestrian
Ariat was founded in America by current CEO Beth Cross and co-founder Pam Parker. Having grown up on a working farm in Pennsylvania, USA, with 7 brothers and sisters, Cross had a passion for the country lifestyle from a very young age. Her mother run the farm and her father run his own business. They had all sorts of animals on the farm, and cross loved horse riding and spending time outside. Cross went to college for two years and quickly decided this wasn’t for her, she dropped out and went travelling, securing a job as a cook on a salmon boat in Alaska. She recalls this time in her life as when her sense of adventure sparked.
The idea behind the brand
Having gone back to school and finishing her degree, Cross got a job with Bain & Company. During her time here, Cross, and fellow founder Pam Parker worked on a Reebok strategy project – simply put: what sports can we make shoes for? Cross and Parker, came up with the idea of making technology led riding boots, with a firm belief that horse riders were athletes, and with a view that horse riding is a tough athletic sport. They put their proposal forward, however, Reebok declined and said that it was not right for them. Fortunately, Cross and Parker didn’t go back to the drawing board for Reebok, they had enough passion and belief behind their proposed technical riding boots for English and western riders that from there, drew up a business plan. In 1992, they assembled a team of footwear engineers, podiatrists, and top athletic shoe designers to develop Ariat’s first line of riding boots and by 1993, they were shipping product out.
Where does Ariat’s name come from?
Beth Cross’s mum raised thoroughbreds on their farm, they would go to the races a lot as a family, and would also watch them on television, a highlight being the triple crown, including the Kentucky Derby. Cross remembers watching legendary thoroughbred Secretariat winning the triple crown and admits to having a fascination with the horse. Inspired by his spirit and determination (similar to the qualities required from Beth to make Ariat the number 1 equestrian brand in the world), it is fitting that Ariat is named after Secretariat.
How do you say Ariat?
The correct pronunciation of Ariat is simply Secretariat but with out the secret.
Euh · ree · uht
Many overseas fans refer to the brand as “Ah · ree · uht” which is technically incorrect, however recognised by many over the Atlantic Ocean.
Where is Ariat today?
A global brand, with strong US roots
Today, Ariat is global brand. Born in America, Ariat laid strong foundations in the equestrian world, with a huge market in western boots and apparel. They work with many athletes from cowboys and cowgirls to bull riders and equestrians. In recent years they have branched into workwear, offering apparel and footwear to people who work on ranches and farms and even those working in construction. Most importantly for us, they have branched out internationally with their English equestrian style and country lifestyle products, making them the largest manufacturer of equestrian product in the world with a worldwide customer base.
Where is Ariat made?
When it comes to producing and sourcing their products Ariat have a very open-minded approach. They operate a global sourcing strategy, in an endless effort to find quality manufacturers. They currently produce out of the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Asia. Along with finding the best manufacturers they also source the best tanneries and suppliers of their fabrics and materials.
What makes Ariat boots superior in quality?
A clear objective – from rider to athlete
Beth Cross was born and raised an equestrian girl and understood the lack of good quality riding boots that performed in comfort, functionality, and stability. There was also a clear intent to communicate that not only the horse is the athlete, but the rider is also, and they should be treated with the same respect other athletes are given.
Horse riding is no doubt a sport, and participants should be viewed as athletes. It not only requires physical strength but endurance, skill, and balance, this, along with a mental focus and emotional relationship with the horse. As we like to say at A·Hume horses are dangerous at both ends and unpredictable in the middle, and it takes a lot of stamina and determination to be a horse rider.
Focus on innovation and performance
Ariat focus on producing products that are designed to perform, no matter the demands put on them, they want to enhance the performance of the wearer whether that be in a lifestyle, athletic or working environment. With over 150 patents for their sole technology, a dedication to innovation means they are constantly asking themselves, how they can get better and set new standards for comfort, performance and durability
Products put to the test
The design, development and testing process is lengthy and for some products this can take longer than 18 months. They work with top performance labs and athletes to ensure that their footwear provides the support, stability, rotation and movement that is required to be top of the game. Ariat apply this vigorous and in-depth testing through all their ranges, including their country lifestyle range.
In-depth production and technology
Many of the Ariat boots go through 150 steps to completion. A lot of thought goes into their construction and what they are being used for. As we have already mentioned, they are the market leaders in applying technology to their boots. Not sure what it all means? Here is a guide as to the technology in the A·Hume Ariat footwear collection and what the technical jargon means…
Ariat technology explained
ATS Pro® sole and footbed construction – supports and cushions your foot as you move, promoting good posture and reducing fatigue, so you can enjoy as much time outdoors as possible.
- Moisture-wicking layer that delivers comfort and durability and Agion® technology which protects against odour. Full length, anatomically engineered polyurethane footbed offers superior, long-lasting support.
- Smart Rebound™ dissipates pressure in the forefoot and cushions the heel.
- Base layer air vents regulate temperature to keep feet cool and comfortable.
- Lightweight, composite, forked shank creates superior stability.
- Duratread™ outsole for maximum wear resistance.
ATS® Technology Sole – Stability and Comfort from Ariat’s Innovative Mid-Level Technology: Ariat’s exclusive Advanced Torque Stability (ATS®) Technology supports and cushions the foot as you move, promoting good posture and reducing fatigue so that you can work or play all day.
- Moisture-wicking footbed provides cool, dry comfort.
- Gel-cushioned footbed with heel stabilizer delivers support, rebound, and stability.
- Lightweight, ergonomic composite forked shank enhances stability.
- Works with a variety of use-specific outsoles.
4LR™ cushion bed technology – Outstanding Everyday Support and Comfort: Ariat’s entry-level technology, Four Layer Rebound (4LR™), cushions and stabilizes the foot for all-day comfort and performance.
- Four-layer footbed provides superior comfort.
- Lightweight shank stabilizes to add support.
- Works with a variety of use-specific outsoles
Duratread™ Outsole – Lasting Performance, Protection, and Flexibility: Ariat’s exclusive Duratread™ rubber compound combines maximum wear-resistance with comfort and flexibility.
- Exclusive rubber compound outlasts traditional rubber.
- Extremely flexible for ergonomic performance.
- Highly resistant to barnyard acids, oils, and slips.
GORE-TEX® Technology – A fully waterproof and breathable membrane
- Fully waterproof and breathable
- The membrane stops water from getting in but also expels perspiration from inside the boot
- Keeping you dry and comfortable.
Waterproof Pro™ – Protection from the Elements: Ariat’s Waterproof Pro™ offers top-of-line protection from rain, snow, and wet conditions.
- Boot construction utilizes waterproof premium leathers for superior exterior protection.
- Durable, impermeable waterproof/breathable barrier is built-in for long-lasting protection.
Ariat boot types explained
If their commitment to quality and technically advanced products doesn’t reassure you, perhaps the fact that Ariat offer a 12-month warranty on their products will.
Why we love Ariat at A·Hume
They take sustainability seriously and are ethically responsible
Ariat have created a paperless way of operating behind the scenes, installed electric charging points for their workers and regularly check their company vehicles to ensure they are always reducing their carbon impact. They have removed plastic bags from their production and packaging.
Within their production they work closely with BLUESIGN® CERTIFIED fabric mills that ensure their fabrics are created using sustainably responsible resources and processes, and therefore doing their part to protect the environment. The fabrics in our Woodside Vest, Harmony Jacket, Argentium Parka and Coastal Jacket all come from Bluesign certified factories.
They also use an earth-friendly waterproofing called ECODRY™ TECHNOLOGY which protects you from the weather without causing any harm to the environment. The ecodry technology can be found in our Harmony Jacket, Argentium Parka, Ideal 3.0 Down Jacket and Vest and the Coastal jacket.
Ariat have a clear sourcing strategy for their wool and down and adopt the internationally recognised Five Freedoms standard to ensure no harm comes to the animals in the process of obtaining the raw materials. They are also part of the Leather Working Group, an organisation that focuses on setting environmental standards within the leather manufacturing industry. They ensure that all their leathers are sourced responsibly using Leather Working Group Tanneries and working closely with their suppliers.
They look after their workers and suppliers
Ariat have modern slavery policies in place and go to great lengths to ensure fair and above-board working conditions for their own staff, suppliers and contractors and business partners. Ariat are committed to conducting themselves in a responsible, ethical, and transparent way and do this by working closely with all their suppliers and building strong relationships with them. All suppliers are vetted before a working relationship is established to ensure they are operating in an appropriate manner.
Their passionate support of athletes and charitable work
The respect that Ariat has for horse riding as a sport is apparent in their support of their athletes. From eventers to dressage, cowboys, and cowgirls to bull riders, Ariat passionately support the best in the game.
Ariat also support many worthwhile charities, from charities that provide support to families and those who served in the armed forces, to the Secretariat Foundation that supports equine welfare in terms of research, rehab, and retirement.
There is something for everyone
Whilst Ariat have made a name for themselves and have a positive reputation as being the best equestrian apparel and footwear brand in the world it is not their only focus. They ensure their products and collections are there for those who enjoy all aspects of outdoor life, work, and play.
Hear what our customers and MD have to say…
“Quality of the boots superb. Over the moon.” – Anonymous
“Warm and comfortable great to ride in.” – Alison Garner
“Whilst I no longer have time to ride, I use my Ariat Coniston boots on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s walking the dog through the muddy fields or at the beach. The reason I am so passionate about my Coniston’s is they are the comfiest country boots I have ever worn, I can literally walk the dog for hours in them and they are as comfortable as my favourite trainers, this, and the fact they are totally waterproof and can be adjusted to my calves with the front lacing system (meaning I can get them on and off quickly, with no effort at all).” – Rachel Thomson, Managing Director, A·Hume.
A·Hume are behind Ariat and believe in what they stand for
We decided to introduce Ariat footwear in winter 2020 and have been blown away by the brand. Our confidence in the brand has grown massively, their quality, comfort, durability, and usability are unmatched amongst other country brands.
They are leaders in providing the best footwear for the equestrian world and those who work and enjoy spending time outdoors. They have a complete understanding of the importance of timeless style and design, but also the importance of quality materials and production. They want to build boots that last for years not seasons and are constantly working to identify opportunities to innovate and improve their products, so people can do what they love most.