November 6, 2011

Vendor Review: NuShoe Ariat Boot Renewal

(Since this blog is going to explode with Contender stories shortly, I figured I’d take advantage of this down time to work on a few promised posts, including finishing my history and writing a review of one of my favorite sort-of equine related vendors ever, NuShoe Inc.)

(Disclaimer: I am in no way being paid by, or affiliated with, Nu-Shoe, aside from being a very satisfied customer.)
From the moment I got them, everyone told me the plastic back zipper on my Ariat Performer III paddock boots would go out.  It did, but only after I had owned them for four years, so I consider that to be an achievement.  When it did, I decided it was time to finally either repair or replace them, since the rubber outsole had split at the toe right when I got them.  This led me to NuShoe.

NuShoe is an authorized Ariat repair shop that uses 100% authentic Ariat parts to essentially completely "renew" a boot.  They service Western fat baby boots to zip-up field boots and everything in between.  When you send your boot to them, the only original piece of the boot you’re getting back is the leather: everything else is replaced.  This includes: laces, zippers (they replace plastic ones with Ariat metal zippers), outsole (which is all the rubber on the outside of the boot, including the heel) and insole.  They also condition and polish the leather.  This was perfect for me, since I didn’t want to give up my well-taken care of leather upper that had been perfectly molded to my foot over the course of my four years in college.  Plus, at $60 $70, I could afford to have them redone twice before approaching the cost of a new pair of Performer IIIs.

The process is simple:
  • Request a free kit from
  • Fill out the service order form and tear off the part with your unique number on it.
  • Place the form and the (generally clean) boots into the provided bag, then seal it.
    • ****Protip: make sure the boots are dry when you put them in, or else they may be harboring new life by the time they get to California.
  • And wait.  And wait.  And if you’re me, obsessively check the “Order Status” page on Nu Shoe’s website, where they will actually give you timely and detailed information about the status of your boots.

In the end, it took approximately four weeks from the day I sent the boots out to the day I received them back.  They were shipped back in a nice shoe box with very thorough packing, and from the moment I laid eyes on them, I knew I’d made the right decision.  You couldn’t have told my trusty four year old boots apart from a brand new pair of Ariats, except that the leather was butter soft and wrinkled in all the right places for my feet – it was love at second sight.

In conclusion: I was extremely happy with the communication, the process and the result.  Nu Shoe has my business for life, but if you don’t have a backup pair of boots to ride in, weigh your options before sending them off and finding yourself without your paddock boots for an entire month.

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