Ariat Workhog vs Workhog XT [Which is Better Work Boot?]

Written By Sunny

As a seasonal climber, I’ve used several pairs of Ariat Workhog, and these sturdy boots held out great in such challenging outdoor environments.

However, when the XT version of the Workhog hit the market, many boot lovers got confused if they would be better than the previous Workhogs.


Hence, I took the test and compared the all-around performance of these two Ariat boots in various work settings.

And in this write-up, I’m gonna pointing out my findings here.

So, stay put!

Key Differences Between Ariat Workhog vs Workhog XT

Along with the equestrian styles, Ariat has a reputation for making sturdy yet comfortable work boots for all workers.

However, as an affordable work boot, Workhog covers all your needs, such as durability, protection, comfort, and so on.

As an updated version, the Workhog XT also doesn’t lag behind. Ariat added some extra features in this iteration to benefit the workers even more, such as a dial-on for a secure fit.

Moreover, both Workhog and Workhog XT has many distinctive features you should know before choosing your next working pair.

So, let’s find out the key differences between Workhog and Workhog XT:

1. Upper Material

Both Workhog and Workhog XT come with a highly durable full-grain leather upper with a rough texture. But, the leather of classic Workhog is a bit softer in touch, making it easier to break in.

Another difference in their material is that the classic Workhog doesn’t feature a rubber lining, but the XT version does. And this rubber lining adds some longevity to the upper of Workhog XT.

Furthermore, I wore them in hot weather for long hours, and I found the XTs more breathable as they feature an extra mesh panel.

2. Construction Quality and Performance

Ariat boots are pretty good as they come with a Goodyear welt construction. The same goes for the Workhog classic and XT.

However, if compared, I found the overall construction quality of Workhog XT is better than most classic Workhogs.

That’s because the XT version offers extra features such as:

  • Waterproof construction.
  • Double stitching line.
  • Carbon toe for better protection.
  • Side zip for easier foot entry.

With all these, Workhog Xt is a high-performance workboot for all kinds of environments.

The classic Workhogs also offer some models with composite toes for better performance, but in my experience, the XT version performed far better.

3. Waterproof Ability

The classic Workhog or the XT both did great when I walked through marshes wearing them.

However, the extra waterproof shield of the Classic Workhog did halt water for a while, but it eventually got wet. But the boots dried up quickly as well may be due to the mesh and inner fabric in the shaft.

Meanwhile, the XT was dry in the water for a longer period than the classic ones. Surprisingly, the laced carbon-toe XT models were even completely waterproof.

And I must admit, the dry shield waterproofing construction of this pair does a top-end job on wet grounds.

So, the XT Workhogs will be a better option if your works require extremely wet conditions, such as construction sites.

4. Durability

I had a mixed experience when it came to the durability of Ariat Workhogs. As both versions use full-grain leather, the upper was pretty durable and pinch-proof.

However, the issue was in their rubber sole, as they started to peel off within a few months after wearing them longer in wet conditions.

Other than that, the boots’ 90° heels with dura tread soles can survive well for a long period. Yet the good thing is that you can resole them anytime you want.

However, the Workhog XT offers some super durable models with double leather construction, such as the Workhog XT 8″.

So, if you want a more durable one for extraneous work conditions, the XT version will suit you better.

5. Comfort and Support

Ariats are the comfiest boots I’ve ever worn. Both models excel in providing cushioning and support with the lightweight EVA midsole and ATS max technology.

Hence, both boots offer great arch support for workers who are always on the go.

However, the XTs feature an extra Energy Max insole to prevent you from developing foot fatigue. Another best thing is that the Workhog XT BOA models feature a dial-on, with which you can easily customize the fit for better security.

6. Slip-Resistancy

Ariats are non-slip as they feature a Dura tread outsole.

Hence the outsole of the classic and XT Workhogs are slip and puncture resistant as well. Plus, their treads are so grippy and supportive that whether you climb a rock or a ladder, the boots will keep your feet in the right place. slip-resistancy

Yet, the XT Workhog has a distinguishable and more advanced tread pattern from the classic one. Apart from being slip resistant, the Workhogs XTs are oil resistant as well.

So, if you encounter grease or oils all day long while working, the XTs will be the better ones.

7. Style Offerings

The XT Workhogs offer a lot more style options than the classic ones.

With durable and protective lacing styles, fashionable square toe, and a more secured carbon or composite toe to patriot pull-ons, the XT version has every style according to your need or preferences.

The Classic Workhog also offers a variety of styles, but as said before, the XTs are way more versatile, in my opinion.

8. Pricing

Usually, all Ariat boots are so expensive due to their quality and craftsmanship.

However, when it comes to the price, the Classic Workhog will be the winner here, as it falls on the affordable side. And the price range for a pair of Classic Ariat Workhogs is $100 to $269.

Despite this budget-friendly price, the Classic Workhogs are pretty good in quality while offering tons of support and protection.

However, as the XT Workhogs come with a few updated features, they cost more than the Classics. And a pair of these boots will cost you around $190 to $280.

In a nutshell, both the Ariat Classic and XT Workhogs have their fair share of similarities and distinctions. So, your choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences in terms of style and function.

Pros and Cons of Ariat Classic and XT Workhogs

You don’t buy boots every day. And when it comes to purchasing workboots, knowing their benefits and drawbacks becomes very important to make the right choice.

So, let’s find out the pros and cons of Ariat Classic and XT Workhogs:

Workhog XT

  • »More durable.
  • »Survive longer in water.
  • »Oil and slip-resistant outsole.
  • »Better overall construction.
  • »Wide range of protective styles.
  • »Easy put-on and off design.
  • »Expensive.
  • »Stiffer leather.

Classic Workhog

  • »Full grain leather.
  • »More contoured insole.
  • »Super comfy material.
  • »Suitable for light to medium intensity works.
  • »Shorter break-in period.
  • »Affordable price.
  • »Less slip-resistance.
  • »Not completely waterproof.


Both Ariat Workhogs offer great support and protection with a comfortable all-day wearing experience.

However, I like the XTs better as most of them come with advanced features required for heavy-duty work.

So, this boot will be more suitable when the budget isn’t an issue, and you want a good pair of work boots that will provide-

  • Excellent support and protection.
  • Better foam cushioning.
  • Protection from getting wet.
  • Excellent grip.

Other than a few features, the Classic Ariat Workhog serves as good as the XT version in several working conditions.

So, if you want a decent pair of Ariat work boots at an affordable price, the classic one will be a better option.

And this boot will be even better if you do light work like digging up the yard, painting houses, or pitching the driveways.

While doing such work in hot weather, you need lightweight yet supportive boots. And These comfy Classic Workhogs have all the features you need for that.

Final Words

When it comes to work boots that offer durability and comfort, Ariat has carved a niche for itself in the industry.

And the Workhog and Workhog XT are two of its popular models that have gained a reputation for their exceptional performance.

As I’ve already explained all the facts about these two popular work boots, hopefully, you can now make the decision with ease.

However, if you got further queries, comment down below!

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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