Celeste, right now, I am a huge fan of Ariats. Both pairs of them I've owned have lasted years. I've had one pair for 5-6 years and the other for 2-3 and they are still perfectly functional except for the average signs of wear and tear in the form of scuffs and scratches.
I don't ride in them (I did when new) but they are my go-to, very well used and abused boots. Ice, snow, mud, been stomped on more times than I can count by cows, horses, pigs, goats and so on. They are worn-looking (gee.. so not surprised) but they are perfectly functional and really, not all that worn looking. They would look really good if I actually cleaned/polished them up but that's pointless IMO I'd just be back outside tromping through heaven only knows what 10 minutes later.
I have never bought any Ariats. These Justins that I am wearing are bullhide. They are hand me ups from my son. He outgrew them. Now that my son is no longer growing, he wears out a pair of Justins about every year, but he is really hard on boots. If I am going to be in muck or mud, I usually wear gortex hiking boots rather than riding boots.
I know there are lots of folks out there that don't like Ariats and complain that they aren't good quality, but I've never found anything to complain about with them. Sure, they aren't a $800 pair of customs, but they are some of the only ones I've found that don't hurt my feet.
Here's mine after I'd had them for over 2 years. Granted, they are dirty in these pix because I had just come from the barn, but they still look pretty darn good in spite of daily barn wear in heat and dust and mud and poop and water and brush. Like Delfina said, stomped and scraped and generally hard used. They still look exactly like this too. I can knock off the dust, oil them up and they still look nice enough for a night on the town.
The lining is starting to get a bit worn now because they are just a bit big and my feet move around in them, but it's not enough to really notice other than to see it when I'm picking them up to put them on.
I had a pair of ariat lace ups for 10 years before I finally cracked and bought new boots. I bought a pair of Justins, and hated them. I ended up with a pair of Tony lamas and I'm in love. Posted via Mobile Device
Leather footwear at one time was always lined with pigskin which was almost indestructable. I've seen that fabric footbed lining and steer clear. My Justins are the paddock boots, an older style laceup, pigskin lined and leather sole. I ride with them as it is ingrained in me to ride with a leather sole for valid reasons. My boots are still in good shape altho not worn daily and I've had them about 4 years.