My horse doesn’t quite match the size chart for the boot I am interested in. He has his width in one size, and length in the next size up/down, which size should I choose?
If one measurement is in the smaller size, and one in the larger size, you must either opt for the larger size or, ideally, look to see if another hoof boot is more appropriate. A boot that is too small may rub or come off, or it may not fit the hoof at all. Some boots, such as the Easyboot Glove, will not fit your horse properly if his measurements do not fall within the same size category on the size chart for that particular boot. Other boots, such as the Renegade hoof boot, are slightly more forgiving and do not require a tightly fitting shell to be successful.
My horses measurements are right at the top of one size and the bottom of the next size up, which size will work best?
Generally, if the width and length fit into both sizes, go for the smaller size as this will offer the closest fit and we have found that hoof boots generally work best with a tight width in particular. However, some boots do not have any stretch in the boot material and too tight a fit may not allow sufficient room for growth in between trims, so this may need to be taken into account.
It is best to choose a hoof boot based on it being a good fit for your horse, rather than a boot that has a good reputation but that may not be right for your horse. Some boots are designed to perform better in certain situations, but a hoof boot that fits the size and shape of the horses’ foot most closely is more likely to give miles of stress free riding than a hoof boot that doesn’t fit properly. Even the best hoof boots, if they are the incorrect fit, tend to get trodden on or fall off, twist or rub, so it is better to choose one that may not be your first choice but you know is a good fit for your horse.
Should I go up a size if I am going to use hoof comfort pads or Sole Mates?
If you are using any of the hoof boots we sell with the comfort pads (12mm or 6mm) that we sell to go with them, you should not need to alter the size you need to buy. This means when you no longer need to use the pads, the boots will still be a good fit. Sole Mates sometimes supplied by trimmers for hoof improvement vary greatly and can be 1” or more thick- the hoof boots have not been designed to be used with pads this thick and you may need to go up a size to accommodate their thickness, we always advise that you consult your trimmer in this situation first. The Renegade hoof boots should not be used with comfort pads (due to the manufacturers advice) although it is possible to purchase these with a factory fitted gel pad (which stays in for the life of the boot) if required, and the same size Renegade should fit well with or without the gel pad.
How do I know if the hoof boots fit properly?
Each style of hoof boot we sell comes with comprehensive fitting instructions and pointers to tell if the hoof boot is fitting correctly. Universally good tests are to try putting the bottom of the hoof against the outside bottom of the hoof boot to see where the hoof will be sitting in there and if it looks a neat fit, and when the boot is on it is usual for the boot to not be able to turn more than 5 degrees either way (the boot should move with the hoof). Sometimes the only real test is to ride or work the horse in them which is why we always advise you to hire hoof boots from us first if you are at all unsure.
My horses’ near fore has different measurements to his off fore – it is possible to use two different sizes of a hoof boot to make a ‘pair’?
Yes, as long as you use the same style of hoof boot. It is not uncommon for horses’ hooves to have slightly different measurements (even with a front ‘pair’ or hind ‘pair’) but often this will only be a couple of mm difference and the same size of hoof boots will accommodate both sets of measurements. However, occasionally, the measurements will fall into different sizes of the same style of hoof boot – in that case, it will be best to use the two different sizes (if possible, as some hoof boots such as the Old Mac G2s, the Equine Fusion boots and the Boas are only available in pairs) to avoid one of the boots twisting or falling off.
What if my horses’ measurements don’t fit in any of the boots that you stock?
Firstly, it would still be worth contacting us with your horse's measurements as it is often possible to have custom sized Renegade hoof boots made, or it may be possible to modify a hoof boot to fit your horse's hoof well. Failing that, you may find that a make of hoof boot we don’t stock will fit your horses’ hooves. Please see our Advice and Guidance section for a list of the most popular makes of hoof boot on the market. There are a couple of businesses that make custom hoof boots – made to measure for your horse – and these are also listed. We plan to develop Hoof Bootique to stock as many makes of hoof boot as possible in the future. (Please do check out our second-hand boots, as we may have a make of boot that we don’t yet stock new).
If you don’t already have a hoof care professional involved with your horse, you should make it a priority – they will be able to sympathetically trim your horses’ feet and give you recommendations for care. Many feet improve and change under regular trimming performed by a good hoof care professional familiar with barefoot trimming techniques.
Using Hoof Boots - Riding
Can you jump and do all the things you can with a shod horse when wearing hoof boots?
Yes, with the correct hoof boots correctly fitted (this is paramount!) there is no reason why your horse cannot gallop, jump, splash through rivers and everything besides as you would with him shod.
What are the best boots for long periods or riding/ endurance?
Please look at our Boot section to see the boots that are best suited to endurance/competition (where permitted). You will see these boots are all lightweight and either fit below the hairline or are very unlikely to rub. If your horses feet fit this style of hoof boot we would always recommend them first, but often the foot shape is such that another style is more suitable in which case that is the best boot. Every hoof boot can perform well for long periods, if properly fitted and used with consideration. For example, boots that fit above the coronet band may require you to protect the horse from potential rubbing, but this is little trouble compared to a more streamlined boot that doesn’t fit properly because of the foot shape and is ripped off or lost on a regular basis!
Can I use studs with hoof boots?
Yes, we do sell studs for use with hoof boots, but we advise studded boots should only be used on soft surfaces as with any stud. The Easycare studs and quick studs can be removed when not required, and the quick studs are small enough to be safe on some hard surfaces (at the riders’ discretion).
We also supply a studded Renegade hoof boot, where the studs are bonded in place and cannot be removed, although we need to special order these from the Renegade factory. The Easyboot Grip and Equine Fusion Performance are also excellent boots for off-road grip, if your horses’ feet fit the shape of them.
Will hoof boots stay on in really wet and muddy conditions?
As long as the boot fits well and is correctly fitted, there is no more chance of loosing a hoof boot than there is loosing a metal shoe in mud or water.
Using Hoof Boots - General
Can I turn my horse out or keep him stabled in hoof boots?
Yes, but be aware that hoof boots have really been designed for working barefoot horses, where the horse is normally more in control than a horse at liberty. There is a greater chance of the boot getting damaged or pulled off particularly when rolling etc. Shod horses are also more likely to loose shoes in the field than when being ridden for the same reasons! The Equine Fusion Ultra and Performance are both suitable as therapy/turnout boots and these will often be the best boots for the job. The Easyboot RX has been specifically designed as a therapy boot which is suitable for very light turnout, but it is unlikely to cope with turnout in a muddy or large field. The Old Mac G2, and the Easyboot Trail, are also hoof boots that can double as a treatment boot, and some people use the Easyboot Epic.
How can I tell if I need to boot all four hooves, or just the front/hind?
This depends upon the health of the hooves in question, the sort of terrain you ride upon, the speed you travel, and the time you spend out riding. A horse with hooves that are not in optimal barefoot health, or going through a barefoot transition, might need boots on all fours for most terrain, distance and speed. It is common in approx 75% of cases than only the front (weight bearing) hooves need protection, and the hinds are comfortable without. However, a healthy-footed horse going for a long ride on super rough terrain, especially stony tracks, might also need boots on all four.
It is perfectly acceptable to boot just a pair of feet (but never one hoof of a pair, or one front and one back) as the fronts and hinds serve different purposes to the horse. With driving horses it is often the hinds that need booting as they do so much pushing they need more protection than the fronts! As a rule if your horse is feeling his feet boot them, if not don’t. Some people choose to boot their horse all round for more testing riding conditions as it ensures that the horse is as comfortable as possible in front and behind, and therefore moving correctly at all times.
Do I have to use the same make of hoof boots on all 4 feet?
No, you boot the horses’ feet as pairs, and as the front feet are usually a different shape from the hinds, you will find one style and size of boot will fit the front feet and often a different style and size will suit the hinds.
Should I always use a pad in the hoof boots?
If your horse is sore, is susceptible to concussion or has feet that need to improve internally/ externally you should use a 12mm comfort pad of a style to fit the boot you are using. The 6mm pads are a good ‘insurance policy’ and offer shock absorbance and continued hoof improvement for already healthy hooves.
How long do hoof boots last?
Hoof boots are very durable, and on average will outlast steel shoes 3:1. Add to that the fact that most horses will not be wearing them 24hrs a day and they really can be a significantly cheaper option than shoeing in the long term! Some horses are very hard on their boots (as they are with shoes) and action, conformation and terrain all play a part but the average seems to be 6 months-1 year for a pair, the most extreme cases I have heard of were 2 weeks (the horse dragged its toes and brushed due to a very poor action) and over 4 years for a horse hacking lightly across the moors a couple of times a week.
How do I know when to replace the hoof boots with new ones?
As long as the hoof boots fit well, do not rub and give sufficient grip there is no reason to buy a new pair. Many of the boots we supply have replaceable parts and you can prolong the life of the hoof boots by replacing these parts if they show signs of wear, or break.
If I want to purchase a single hoof boot to use as hoof protection in case of a lost shoe, which hoof boot is best?
Ideally, you should measure your horses’ hooves with his shoes off (say, when he’s being shod, after your farrier has prepared each hoof for the new shoe). Then you will want to choose a hoof boot that is an appropriate size. The Easyboot Trail, Easyboot Glove Back Country, Easyboot Original and Easyboot Epic are all relatively easy boots to use and will work well as a spare tyre, and they are available to buy individually.
Can I use hoof boots over shoes for a shod horse?
Hoof boots were not really designed to be used over shoes as this can cause excessive wear in the boots, but some people have had to use them like this for very old or injured horses. The Old Mac G2 normally fares best if they are to be used for long periods and turnout, but in all cases using boots over shod hooves will more than likely invalidate any warranty that may be offered by the hoof boot manufacturer.
Second Hand Hoof Boots
Do you sell second-hand hoof boots and, if so, which makes do you stock?
Yes, we do have a limited supply of second-hand hoof boots, and we plan to increase our stock over time. Please check out the second-hand tab in our hoof boot section. If we don’t have the particular boots you wanted in stock, please let us know and we will try to source a pair for you. Please note that a special returns policy applies to any second-hand hoof boots purchased from Hoof Bootique, and we are unable to offer a refund for any second-hand hoof boots if they are simply the wrong size or unsuitable.
Can I return the boots if I buy them and they do not fit or I don’t like them for any reason?
Any new hoof boots purchased from Hoof Bootique can be returned for a refund (less the actual cost of postage to you, if you opted for free delivery) as long as they are returned to us in an as-new condition (clean, unused and in their original packaging). If any hoof boots are returned to us and it is apparent they have been used, or if they are dirty or damaged, we will be unable to refund the full purchase price. We are unable to accept returns of used hoof boots purchased from us. Please look at our Returns Policy for further information.
Do your hoof boots come with a warranty or guarantee?
Easycare Inc. and Renegade (Lander Inc.) each offer a 90-day guarantee against genuine faults in the materials or workmanship. These guarantees are given in addition to your statutory rights, Please see their websites for terms of the warranties and full details. If a boot fails (this does not include damage caused to the boot) during warranty, it is usually a minor hardware issue. Please bear in mind that most components of EasyCare hoof boots and the Renegade hoof boots are either replaceable or repairable and most repairs can be easily accomplished with simple household tools. In most cases you will be asked to first email a picture of the problem through to enable a quick resolution, but we may also ask that you return the boots to us for evaluation.