On this page you will find info on Hoof Boots,
Boot Accessories, Fixed Shoes and
Other Protection. In the Member's section, soon to come, you will find in depth reviews on these products.
There are a vast array of hoof boots on the market these days, unlike when I started and the choices were original Easyboots - a lot like Epics without the gaiters - and original Old Macs. I will discuss the pros & cons of different boots further down. But first lets look at general info for consideration of different boots...
Which Boots Do I Choose?
The first & biggest thing you need to consider when choosing boots is the fit. Different boots fit different sizes & conformations of foot differently. For eg if your horse's hooves are round, wide or wider than they are long, this cuts down the options a bit(eg Macs are likely inappropriate).
If your horse is high heeled, that makes some boots inappropriate. So first & foremost you need to measure after a fresh trim & consider the overall shape of the hoof, before you can look at the different sizing of different boots & consider which ones will work.
It's annoying that there can't be a 'standard' sizing for boots... but like with our own shoes, you can't just pick any 'size 8' out of a catalogue & expect them to fit the same.
So, how to measure & what to consider
Measure Width & Length
*after a fresh trim*
Some boots are sold singly, many only as pairs, so if your horse happens to have mismatched feet, that will also effect your decision.
Fit of course also depends on how often you trim & how much 'leeway' you want to allow for overgrown hooves. I love Glove boots for eg but not only are they not great on hooves with much if any 'deformation', as without any means of adjusting, they must fit tightly & almost perfectly, so you really need to be prepared to 'brush up' the trim every 2-4 weeks for them to fit well. The Back Country Gloves are a little freer, as they have the uppers to help. Most other boots, esp 'high profile' ones are a bit 'freer' in that regard, as the 'uppers' can be fastened tightly anyway.
But virtually all boots are compromised when fit is compromised too much, and while loose fitting boots may be fine for quiet walking trail rides, they can twist & come off with much more difficult or fast riding. So when considering 'leeway', that is a big factor - unless you only walk easy trails... and I don't advise budgeting for longer than 6 weeks max between trims(anyway, but for boot fit too). Because your horse's hooves may not be in a good state initially, you need to also consider what fits now may not fit well 6 months and a handful of good trims later.
Then you need to look at what they're used for. For eg for the average pleasure rider, 'high profile' boots like Macs & Cavellos are fine, but for lots of miles, long hard rides, can rub - which isn't generally a prob if boots fit well anyway, but can be, when worn for long periods. If you do a lot of miles regularly, you would probably be better keeping to 'low profile' boots like Renegades or Epics, Or Scoots that don't come over the hairline, so not much chance of rubbing.
If you regularly ride in sand or fine gravel, That can be an issue with just about any boot IME, esp to the bulbs. The more snugly the boots fit, the less the problems IME. You can generally get around it with a 'sock', be that neoprene or otherwise. Tho sand is generally great to have the horse bare on anyway...
Ease of putting on & off is an issue for many. Epics for eg, are a great boot, but should fit tight & are not the easiest to get on & off. My first set of Epics(old early style with 'teeth' in the sides) I got them on for a ride, but then found them almost impossible to get off - thought my horse was going to have to live in them! I ended up just removing the strap with the teeth at the back & all was good. Trails, Macs & Cavellos are all easy to put on & off, Renegades & Scoots are pretty easy too.
Clunkiness... Bulkiness. Old Old Macs(original pre Easycare) at least were pretty clunky. I have not seen anyone with New Macs, so... they look very similar(in effect) to the Trails to me, and I don't know what the difference is, except in looks. Cavellos are quite chunky too. Trails, and all others with big uppers [I]look[/I] a bit clunky to me, but fit snugly, they're not really, and I've not known of any to be an issue because of this. I think in regard to the 'clunk factor', it's really just cosmetic.
Many boots aren't suitable for riding and paddock rehab. It also dependent on whether you might need a boot for paddock rehab or treatment. Therefore I will stipulate these qualities in my reviews and there is a separate section for boots only suitable for rehab, treatment and soaking boots.
Other riding boots
Rehab / Treatment / Soaking Boots
Hoof Boot Accessories
Fixed Shoes and boots
Glue on Boots