Ariat vs. Carhartt – Is there a clear winner?
Your work will be much easier when you have the right gear. Depending on the nature of your job, the appropriate footwear and attire can keep you protected, supported, and comfortable while allowing you to move more efficiently.
Ariat and Carhartt are two of the most trusted brands regarding high-quality work boots, shoes, and clothing lines. These brands offer durable products that can be depended on for long-term use, making them popular for professionals with varied job descriptions and work environments.
This article will delve deeper into each brand’s unique characteristics to see what makes them stand out and how each can benefit you and your job.
- Ariat and Carhartt are well-established, trusted brands offering a generous selection of work footwear and apparel catering to varied job requirements and work environments.
- Ariat offers premium products, including a wide selection of Western boots and work jackets. The brand uses responsibly sourced leather, exclusive technology, and various safety features for better performance on the job site.
- However, Ariat products are generally costlier than Carhartt’s, and the work boots can be too heavy and bulky.
- Carhartt manufactures products known for their lasting strength and rugged styling, proprietary technologies for maximum functionality and comfort, lots of choices for cold-weather apparel, big & tall sizes, and are typically lower-priced compared to Ariat.
- Carhartt workwear and work boots may look too rugged for more formal work environments and may not have a lot of options for slim-fit designs.
Ariat began manufacturing comfortable riding boots, using modern technology to make their products as easy to use as more comfortable shoes. The company continues to be immensely popular for its top-quality Western boots for lifestyle and more functional purposes.
Through the years, Ariat continued to grow its product lines, offering work boots, workwear, and lifestyle clothing to cater to a wide range of requirements and preferences – both for professional and casual use.
Key Advantages of Ariat
Exclusive, advanced technology
Ariat products are developed using cutting-edge technology, delivering maximum performance, comfort, and aesthetics that work remarkably well in different environments and more laid-back settings.
Most of the boots feature a wide variety of exclusive technologies that provide different levels of cushioning, support, shock absorption, and support to cater to a wide range of needs in and out of the work area. The workwear choices also come with advanced technology, including low-profile yet strong insulation and fabrics with ample stretch for unrestricted movements.
Premium quality products
Ariat doesn’t hold back when it comes to providing top-notch quality. The products are built with some of the finest quality materials available, so it’s not surprising that the brand’s offerings deliver superior aesthetics and performance that can easily take on various work conditions and job requirements.
Ariat boots and workwear are designed to provide remarkable performance for a long time as the materials and construction don’t deteriorate easily, even with heavy use.
Wide variety of Western boots
Ariat is well-known for its premium quality Western boots for work and lifestyle use.
The company manufactures these boots in the classic cowboy silhouette – which typically has a taller shaft and elaborate stitching – and in modern cowboy boot styles with lower shafts and heels. A dedicated line of cowgirl boots is also available in pointed-toe and rounded-toe profiles.
Responsibly sourced leather
Ariat crafts its leather boots using leather that’s responsibly sourced, mostly from American cattle ranchers.
By mainly sourcing the leather from suppliers within the US, the company more easily ensures the top-notch quality of its leather products.
Ariat is a part of a non-profit organization called the Leather Working Group that maintains strict standards when analyzing and sourcing materials from environmentally-sound leather manufacturing facilities.
Wide range of size options
Ariat covers a wide range of sizing options for its products, making them available to even more clients who want to enjoy premium-quality items.
Most boot styles are offered in regular and wide widths, with some available extra-narrow width options. Meanwhile, some work pants and shirts are offered in big & tall size options to better cater to a wide range of sizing needs.
Extensive range of work jackets
Ariat stands out with a wide array of work jackets for both men and women.
Some of these jackets are quite similar to those offered by Carhartt and may also come with more enhanced qualities. These jackets come in different profiles that cater to varied work requirements and settings.
To keep up with challenging work environments, Ariat offers work gear with safety features for added protection while on the job.
Depending on the style, the brand’s work boots can be equipped with safety toes and have water-resistant designs to protect the feet against dangerous compression and impact or severe wetness. Meanwhile, workwear products – such as jackets – may be fitted with protective components, including insulation materials to fight the extreme cold, wind, and abrasion-resistant structures for safer and more comfortable experiences.
Key Disadvantages of Ariat
Generally, more expensive than Carhartt
Ariat work boots and clothing lines cost more than Carhartt’s products. The cutting-edge, proprietary technologies and top-notch materials can justify the significant price difference. However, Ariat still isn’t the best option for those searching for brands that offer the most affordable workwear choices.
Some boots can be too heavy
Some of the work footwear offered by Ariat, such as the ones with Western boot styles, are much heavier than other brands’ work boots.
The extra weight comes from the tall shafts and sometimes even from the thick soles. As a result, these work boot options could be better for people who prefer lightweight boots.
Uses of Ariat
Ariat work gear comes with top-quality, reliable styles that can be maximized by different professions, including:
- Warehouse personnel
- Sales & marketing professionals
Carhartt is known for its wide range of durable work boots and apparel that are tough enough to withstand heavy use in challenging conditions.
The brand uses exclusive technologies to build work boots and apparel lines that deliver reliable protection, comfort, and support exactly where they’re needed for better performance in the workplace.
The robust profile showcased in plenty of Carhartt products can boost workwear’s style while delivering maximum functionality while on the job.
Key Advantages of Carhartt
Carhartt work boots and workwear are designed to offer superior performance without easily deteriorating for a long time.
These products will continue to look, function, and feel remarkably well for a long period, featuring high-quality materials and construction that can take on heavy use and abuse.
Carhartt uses proprietary technology in its work boots and works clothing lines for high-performance use.
These technologies protect against the elements and other hazards in the work area and aim to make movements easier and more comfortable to manage.
An example of Carhartt’s proprietary technology is the exclusive Rugged Flex technology that makes work jackets and works boots’ outsoles more flexible, enabling the products to function at a high level without hindering natural mobility.
More affordable than Ariat
Typically, Carhartt work gear products cost less than the choices from Ariat.
Carhartt products offer great value for money by being more affordable and providing top-notch quality and performance.
Carhartt’s generally lower price points (compared to Ariat) make this brand a better option for those who prefer more affordable workwear.
Wide selection of cold-weather apparel
Carhartt has a line of products specifically designed for cold-weather use. This line includes insulated vests, coats, and jackets that can all be maximized in professional settings and for leisure or casual use. There are also insulated work boots to protect the feet against the brutal cold while working outdoors in winter.
Carhartt products have robust designs meant to keep up with demanding conditions that can be encountered in work areas and while enjoying outdoor leisure activities.
The work boots and jackets inject a rugged vibe into different work attire and are ideal for outdoor or informal work environments. The rugged appearance of these products is a great way to boost the style of plain clothing choices used on the job.
Available in big & tall sizing options
Carhartt aims to be more inclusive with its products by offering big & tall size options and better sizing choices for those specifically looking for these products.
This line includes pants & shorts, outerwear, shirts, bibs & coveralls, and sweatshirts in larger and longer sizes that can offer increased comfort and performance.
Key Disadvantages of Carhartt
Few options for slim-fit styles
Carhartt workwear options are known for their roomy designs, which can be comfortable and offer better mobility.
However, there are limited choices for slim-fit styles, so those who prefer these designs may not have a lot of options in Carhartt’s product lines.
It can look too rugged for formal office settings
The rugged styling of Carhartt work boots and work apparel can be trusted to perform well in tough conditions, but they can look too rugged or casual for more formal job environments.
The rugged look also won’t suit professional settings with strict or formal dress codes.
Uses of Carhartt
Carhartt work gear is designed to last through tough environments, making it suitable for professions such as:
- Construction workers
- Delivery personnel
Ariat vs. Carhartt – Comparison Table
Personal Testing Experience
We had the chance to try out two high-quality work boots from the brands we discussed above – the Ariat Groundbreaker 6-Inch II Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot and Carhartt Rugged Flex 6-Inch Comp Toe Work Boot. The Ariat Groundbreaker Steel Toe Work Boot is made with waterproof leather and Waterproof PRO construction to seal out liquids and keep the feet dry in wet conditions. We’re impressed with the lightweight shank that supports the feet and enhances structural integrity without excess weight. The steel toe caps protect the toes against dangerous impact and compression, especially in hazardous settings. We like the four-layer footbed that cushions the feet for increased comfort and the reflective piping that makes the boots more visible in low-light conditions. However, the top portions are rigid and need to be properly broken in as they’re slightly uncomfortable, making the boots challenging to put on and remove.
On the other hand, the Carhartt Rugged Flex Work Boot comes with composite toes that offer superior toe protection without the bulky feel of steel toe caps. We love the Rugged Flex sole that’s flexible enough to support the foot’s motion without a restrictive feeling. This outsole also offers exceptionally strong traction to prevent slipping on challenging surfaces. The interior is seriously comfortable, thanks to the PU insole that offers ample cushioning and the shock-absorbing EVA midsole. This isn’t a waterproof boot, so there are better choices for working in the rain and other wet job locations.
Carhartt and Ariat are two of the most trusted names for high-quality, durable work gear that can be worn in various work environments. Ariat manufactures premium products using exclusive technology and responsibly sourced leather, offering a wide range of Western boots, more size options, plenty of choices for work jackets, and a host of safety features – but these products are generally more expensive than Carhartt, and some work boots can be too heavy. On the other hand, Carhartt is known for products that deliver remarkable durability with rugged styling that can be maximized in tough settings, using proprietary technologies, featuring more affordable options (compared to Ariat), a wide selection of cold-weather apparel, and insulated work boots, as well as big & tall sizing options for work apparel – although the brand has limited options for slim-fit products and can look too rugged for more formal work surroundings.
- Do all products in Carhartt’s cold-weather apparel line come in big & tall sizes?
- No, there are only specific styles for pants, shirts, and jackets that are available in big & tall sizes.
- Can all Ariat Western (or cowboy) boots be used for work?
- It depends on the work conditions. For example, the Ariat Hybrid VentTEK Western Boot looks great in casual office settings and has mesh panels that make it suitable for warm conditions. Still, the absence of safety toes makes the boot unsuitable for hazardous job sites.
- Are Carhartt work boots true to size?
- Carhartt footwear tends to be roomy, offering enough space for the foot to flex naturally for increased comfort and mobility.
- Does Ariat have work jackets for cold-weather use?
- Yes, Ariat manufactures work jackets ideal for cold weather use, with features including wind resistance, waterproofing, and insulation to help seal out the cold air and deliver superior protection against the elements.
Do all products in Carhartt’s cold-weather apparel line come in big & tall sizes?
No, there are only specific styles for pants, shirts, and jackets that are available in big & tall sizes.
Can all Ariat Western (or cowboy) boots be used for work?
It depends on the work conditions. For example, the Ariat Hybrid VentTEK Western Boot looks great in casual office settings and has mesh panels that make it suitable for warm conditions. Still, the absence of safety toes makes the boot unsuitable for hazardous job sites.
Are Carhartt work boots true to size?
Carhartt footwear tends to be roomy, offering enough space for the foot to flex naturally for increased comfort and mobility.
Does Ariat have work jackets for cold-weather use?
Yes, Ariat manufactures work jackets ideal for cold weather use, with features including wind resistance, waterproofing, and insulation to help seal out the cold air and deliver superior protection against the elements.