I originally bought these boots in January 2015 as part of a splurge to myself. I have always fit in Ariat boots really nicely and these were priced (at that time) at about $260 US. I wasn't super fond of the blue tops but wanted something "different" and these were in my price range at the time so I went for it.
Out of the box, they weren't exactly what I expected even with a lot of research (although at the time there was relatively little as they'd just come out). There are A LOT of holes in the uppers and the foot bed is a little different than the standard 4LS footbed in that it seems to be a little more narrow and the toes are a little... different? All in all, nothing major for me but it's worth noting if you're close in sizes with Ariat. The calves are also about 1/4" smaller. My calves are normally 16.5-17" so these just fit me nicely but it's a little of a struggle. The height I think is about average for most Ariat boots and looking back, I kind of wish I'd gotten the tall size but they work ok at the height they're at and for lower level dressage and eventing no one's going to be looking at that with these boots. Just FYI, I got the 10MW in these and I'm 5'9" with a size 10 foot.
Long term, well... I do like these a lot. Since I'm more in the realm of "stove pipe" legs at this point, I don't wear these for shows anymore (I have a pair of Ariat Cadence boots instead) so they live in my trailer most the time just waiting and as a back up for if my Cadence's blow a zipper or something at a show. I do like wearing these a lot of schooling; however, but I'm also worried about them wearing out from that and not having them as show backups or something too. I have issues lol. The fit on the V Sports is much more what I've consider "hunter" type with the contoured ankles and nice calf fit. This is very much a half chap/paddock boot fit but in a tall boot. I don't notice that the holes in the uppers really cool me off THAT much but it's a nice look to me. I was hoping for more of a sneaker feel in the foot bed but it's an odd hybrid of sneaker and tall boot, leaning more towards a tall boot size. I don't mind walking around in my paddock boots, flip flops, tall boots, etc so I'm probably not the best to say I love wearing these all day as I don't have major issues with this in anything I wear.
The "ankle contour" in these and the other Ariat boots that are cut with this are AMAZING. I've tried several on at the local Dover and they really did a great job of fitting in the ankle and then fitting the calf. I have a large calf so bootmakers seem to assume I have cankles and make the ankle part ridiculously huge for me. I've been suffering with this in off the rack boots for decades so it was a nice selling point for me. My Cadence don't have this and I miss it.
The current price of these in 2017 is $309 and I'd say they're still worth it at that price point. Mountain Horse, Treadstep and some other brands may have something that suits your taste and sizing better at this above $300 price point though so check it out unless you just have to have blue uppers and Ariats fit you normally. I tried the Treadsteps and Mountain Horse boots in 2015/2016 when I was shopping for my Cadence boots and well, they just don't fit my calf/ankle combo so I had to sadly end them back.
I've seen some comments online about how easy/hard these are to clean/condition with all the holes in the uppers. I've just used a creme cleaner and it's always worked out just fine. I don't have time to pick out each hole over and over again and the creme cleaner does a wonderful job of cleaning and then absorbing without me having to work over time with it. I believe my groom uses Lederbalsam since she's an addict.
I have worn these at recognized shows (my Cadence were NOT all the way broken in as I found out in my first test of the day with plenty of "lengthen leg" and "shorten stirrup" comments on that test as I couldn't bend my knee and was struggling to just keep stirrups with those beastly boots. My coach actually liked these a lot when I shamefully swapped to these for my next test and the blue is hardly noticeable from a distance.
What do I NOT like about these, well... they won't stay zipped up on my calves. It's probably that 1/4" too small, but while they zip up beautifully before I get on, inevitably they unzip themselves as I warm up and leave a HUGE gaping hole showing off my normally ridiculous socks under. I'm not a huge fan of this and have several pro pics of this :/ I'm sure someone more desperate than I could just put a key ring through the zipper and attach it through the leather keeper but I always manage to forget to do this and well, I have half chaps still for schooling and my Cadence for showing (and they don't do this).