I'm surprised to report I like a pair of Ariats. I never took the brand seriously. But I bought a pair with 16" tops and a 2" riding heel a couple years ago, honestly as a joke, and they've really held up.
I do clean them frequently and treat with 100% neatsfoot oil, chap wax, Skidmore's Leather Cream, whatever I'm using on tack.
As a result, they are waterproof so when I have to cross one of our creeks to get a horse it's no problem. But during deep mud season, or if I'm pulling branches out of the creeks after spring runoff, I wear my irrigation boots when I'm not horseback.
My favorite riding boots are an old pair of Olathes. 18" tops, 2 and 1/4" riding heel. But I save those for days when I'll be horse back all day.
Back before kids and life getting serious, I had custom boots.