Ariat Hera Expert Review

8.6
8.6 score
[Editors rating (8.6)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.6)/10


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Editor rating: 8.6 / 10
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Ariat has been manufacturing riding and cowboy boots for almost 3 decades now. Founded in Union City, California by the two equestrian aficionados, Ariat managed to expand the merchandise over the years. And today, Ariat offers shoes like work boots, English-style shoes, causal and lifestyle shoes. Pretty much everything that you can imagine. That everything you can imagine statement includes even clogs. Yes, that’s right. Clogs.

Today, Ariat is also the main footwear supplier for the International Equestrian Federation. The company also has a long term partnership with some of the best elite horse jumpers. Jumpers like Hope Glynn, Mary King, Beezie Madden.

And as an interesting trivia fact, plenty of the Ariat merchandise was featured in the 2015 hit movie The Longest Ride. Yes, we’re talking about the film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel. You know, the one with Scott Eastwood in the lead role. The romantic drama movie featured a  handsome PBR athlete (Eastwood) who was training for a comeback after a life-treating horrific injury.

But for now, let’s focus on the Ariat Hera Expert shoe. It’s not a riding boot per se or a cowboy boot. It’s a clog and it’s one of the most interesting shoes in Ariat’s long list of products.

Check it out.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Entirely made out of leather

Removable insole

2-inch high heel

Duratread outsole

Cons

Heavy for the size

Outsole

Outsole

Rubber outsole and leather upper go well like chocolate and vanilla. But more on the outsole, the rubber provides a great sturdy foundation to this otherwise study shoe. But the fact that the rubber in the outsole is duratread gives another meaning to the comfort and durability of the shoe. Why? Well, because the duratread rubber, the outsole will not only have long-lasting strength and durability, the ridges on the rubber outsole guarantee that the outsole will be slip resistant. And if it’s slip-resistant it will most definitely make the shoe all that stable. Oh, and last but not least, the heel in the outsole measures 2 inches in height. Yes, the heel is quite high, but with that height, the insulation is greater than compared to a shoe that has a flat heel.
Midsole

Midsole

There’s a lot going on in the midsole so pay attention. It’s probably one of the busiest parts of the shoe (of course in a good way). But let’s start with the midsoles it’s made out of PU and its cushion. Both attributes that will ensure that your feet are well protected and supported from the midsole and that the shock absorption is up to the highest standards.

The padding in the midsole is light but oh so present and noticeable to the foot. You’ll be able to feel that cushioning, especially in the arch area, and that comfort is bound to last for a longer period of time. On top of the midsole sits the removable insole. Yes, that’s right you can easily remove the insole if you please, and insert an insole that’s more fitted for you. Or you can leave it as it is. It’s up to you and your preference. Right above that midsole sits the cushioned footbed and there’s plenty to be said (and written) about that too. What makes the footbed so special? Well, for one, unlike the insole, the footbed is not removable. Yes, the footbed is fixated to the shoe, but it is cushioned and it features the ATS Technology.

What is the ATS Technology you might ask? Well, it’s one of the 25 (yes that’s twenty-five) different technologies that Ariat uses in the making of their shoes. Each technology is suited for different pairs of shoes, and the clogs are used with the ATS technology. But what does the ATS Technology entails?
Well is the company’s special mid-level shoe technology.

Meaning it’s used on the mid-level part of the shoe, like the midsole. ATS stands for Advanced Torque Stability and it provides the best moisture wicking properties. The technology used in the making of the midsole will make sure your feet are dry at all times. Secondly, that cushioned that we mentioned earlier it’s made out the gel, which adds to the comfy feeling, and the midsole has a heel stabilizer as well. That stabilizer is inserted to provide rebound to the foot, stability and plenty of support to the entire leg, not just to the foot.

The forked shank in the midsole is ergonomic and lightweight at the same time, which amps up the comfort as well. You’ll love every single inch of the midsole.
Upper

Upper

The use of premium leather is nothing new in high-quality shoes. But this is high grain quality leather that will leave your foot not only supported but also very secured. The texture of the full grain high-quality leather is very sturdy which only allows the better more studier fit to occur. The upper also has non-metallic technology, that’s also metal detector approved and friendly. And you know why the upper has this particular technology?

Because the clogs are classified as work clogs. They’re worn during work and by having the non-metallic technology to key areas of the foot; it allows your feet to be protected at all times.

Everything can occur during your work shift. Heavy objects can fall; sharp objects can harm your feet and it’s best to have this technology on the shoes. It’s great protection, and despite giving the shoes their hefty height (12 oz per shoe), it will help you in plenty of tricky situations.
Comfort

Comfort

A work style shoe has to have protection and comfort. And thanks to the fine craftsmanship allowed by Ariat, and the high-quality materials used in the making of the Expert Clog, it has both. But in the comfort department, the use of full grain high-quality leather is the key. It’s used in 100% of the upper and it’s comfy without being restrictive to the foot. However, because of the pointier toe silhouette used in the upper, it may become too tight in the toe area. Some of the customers complain that were left on the official Ariat website, singled out this as a major setback in the comfort department.
Support

Support

However, if there’s some flaw in the comfort, there is virtually none in the support of the Expert Clog by Ariat. Seriously. The support is evident and provided by several key areas of the shoe, most notably the amazing midsole. There are plenty of benefits to the footbed inserted in the midsole. In fact, the addition of the footbed in the midsole is one of the most lauded and revered things in this particular shoe. Plenty of the customers have singled out the use of ATS technology as one of the best in existence, and the number one in providing support to the entire foot. The PU midsole that’s also lightly cushioned helps a lot, but the footbed is the MVP here. When you have to be on your feet during the entire working day, you’ll definitely need all the support that you can get.
Durability

Durability

Say hello to the full grain leather upper and rubber outsole. That’s right. Both of the materials are the main culprits for the durability and longevity of the clogs, but the manner in which they were treated says a lot more about the durability. First of all, the outsole is made with duratread rubber. Because of that, the ridging in the outsole is more pronounced and therefore responsible for the slip resistance of the shoe, and the longevity too. Natural rubber is a lot sturdier than the synthetic man-made rubber, so it makes sense that this rubber in the clog will wear down much slower. This will prolong the life of the outsole, but the overall durability of the shoe is also due to the use of full grain leather in the upper. The rubber takes 100% of the upper’s surface and the addition of the non-metallic technology allows the durability to be enhanced.
Flexibility

Flexibility

Sadly this is one of the least flexible clogs in existence. Some flexibility can be found in the cushioned footbed, but other than that the Expert Clog by Ariat severely lacks flexibility in other areas of the shoe. The thick rubber outsole with a 2-inch heel is thick, sturdy and brings out the stability in fullest. The very same can be said about that sturdy rubber upper. So, don’t expect the clog to provide much of the comfort. If there’ are some faults to be said about this shoe, the lack of flexibility will certainly come first.
Stability

Stability

The stability of the clog is certainly one of the best features. Almost a virtue, stability is allowed by almost every single part. Seriously. Ariat takes the stability to a whole another level, and it’s all thanks to the fantastic rubber outsole that’s duratread at the same time and the amazing full grain leather in the upper. However, don’t underestimate the power of the midsole inserted in the middle of the shoe. The footbed that has the AST technology, the PU used in the creation of that midsole, the cushioning, the lining with premium moisture wicking properties, and last but not least the ergonomic forked shank. They’re all pieces of the puzzle and just like with any puzzle, if one piece is missing, the entire picture is wasted.
Traction

Traction

The duratread rubber is the true star here. Seriously. Thanks to the sturdy, hefty outsole, even the 2-inch heel seems like a joke. The duratread rubber allows stability and will certainly help you to navigate yourself though plenty of tricky and unstable terrains. No terrain will surprise these clogs, and you’ll be left with plenty of support and stability from the bottom part of the shoe. The traction in these clogs in on point.
Color

Color

Unfortunately, the color selection is unsatisfactory. It’s such a shame that an amazing shoe like this has only three color options to chose from. The black option is the most sought after, according to the official website, but the espresso colored upper comes in the close second place. However, interesting detail in the third brown color option is the interesting flowery print in the back of the shoe. The other 2 options don’t have this print. It’s exclusive to the brown color version of the clog, and it’s amazing.
Style

Style

The style is minimalist and serious, but the intentions behind that style are well meaning. Seriously. Every inch of the shoe is uniformed in color and design, and the style is the panicle of practicality and simplicity. Because this is a work clog, Ugg has given priority to the practicality, and the style has been a little bit neglected. There are no other stylish embellishments (this is a men’s clog after all) but the surface of the upper remains smooth, clean and practical.
Bottom line

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a great work clog, then look no further. The Hera Expert model by Ariat is responsible for creating one of the finest models on the market. The duratread rubber in the outsole really amps up the stability of the clog at any type of terrain and allows the traction to be greater than with the rest of the working clogs on the market.

Yes, this is quite a heavy clog, but that’s the beauty of it. The safety technology that’s been implemented in the shoe is partially responsible for the hefty weight of the clog, but the rest of the features contribute to the weight as well. Namely the rubber upper, the PU midsole that’s also cushioned and so on… All the pieces in the shoe find each other and create one hell of a safe, comfortable and wonderful work clog.