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What are the Best Horse Hoof Boots in 2021?

Updated: January 29, 2021 by Cathy Benson

best hoof boots

For many horse owners whose horses can no longer be properly shod due to injury, hoof boots can be a real life saver. Hoof boots help to provide protection and stability for horses who can no longer wear shoes, right through to helping to rehab lame horses dealing with an injury or abcess.

As more and more horse owners make the transition from shod to barefoot, the popularity of modern hoof boots continues to increase. During the transitionary process to barefoot turnout, hoof boots will help keep your horse’s feet protected and comfortable while they adapt and become conditioned.

The boots will provide beetter weight distribution for your horse, especially on flat surfaces, and to absorb shocks on harder, concussive surfaces – all key elements that you’ll need to be aware of once your horse’s shoes are removed.

Beyond the transitionary period, barefoot horses can still experience the same type of cracking and lameness experienced by shod horses. For that reason hoof boots are a great added protection should your horse be susceptible to foot issues.

Whether you’re rehabbing, transitioning your horse to barefoot, or just want a safety net incase your horse throws a shoe – there are many ideal uses for having some hoof boots to hand – but which is best?

The 5 Top-Rated Hoof Boots For Horses

Here’s a closer look at 5 of the best horse hoof boots for turnout. Having had some hands on experience with these boots our selection covers all bases from beginner barefoot, to rehab boots and heavy duty hoof boots for more rigorous ridden work.

The Best Horse Hoof Boots

1. Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot

Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot

The Cavallo brand are pretty much the “go to” name when it comes to hoof boots as quite simply, they produced the best performing and most high quality boot on the market. But it comes at a price.

The Simple Hoof Boot from Cavallo can usually be found around the £200 mark for the pair – yes that will most likely be at the top end or way above your budget. But let’s look at how and why they could still be the best option for you and your horse.

Available in sizes 0 through 6, these all-terrain boots offer advanced hoof protection – perfect for every day wear but absolutely essential if you’re trying to rehab an injury or dealing with an abscess, founder, bruising or a myriad of other hoof related injuries and disease.

Cavallo’s Simple Hoof Boot is constructed from genuine leather which provides increased comfort and flexibility. It’s ergonomic design also features a recessed outsole – perfect for minimising pressure on the hoof wall.

Features

  • All-terrain hoof protection
  • Genuine Leather upper
  • Rehabilitation from injuries, abscesses, navicular disease, laminitis/founder, punctures, sole bruising and contracted heels

When it comes to providing comfort for hoof sensitivity, injury or chronic pain, the Cavallo Simple boot is the best choice. Perfectly suited for “rehabbing” those troublesome hoof injuries, this multi-purpose boot is an excellent addition to any tack room. Perfect for keeping around just on the off chance too – if your horse likes to throw shoes as often as mine – the Simple boot is a great spare to keep on hand.

2. PFIFF Hoof Boot

This popular horse boot from PFIFF is a close rival to the HKM boot on our list. There’s very little between the two hoof boots on paper.

In terms of pricing this hoof boot from PFIFF is usually sold individually, so please bear that in mind when you are comparing based on price alone.

With a shock absorbing and non-slip rubber sole, this anatomically shaped hoof boot will provide protection and extra comfort to the hoof wall, both on the road and off it.

For extra security and to provide a better fit the boot features a double velcro fastening and is available in 10 sizing options, suitable for both front and rear hoofs.

Features

  • Anatomically adapted design
  • Double velcro fasteners for quick fitting
  • Shock absorbing non-slip sole
  • Added protection against hoof wall damage and broken hoofs.

We’d recommend these hoof boots for horses that are barefoot and just need that added bit of protection when out on the road. In terms of rehab and injury prevention they are also worthy of consideration.

Through our tests we had no issues with slipping or movement of the boot, but making sure you get a correct fitting and the correct size boot is paramount. We tested through all paces in dry, wet and muddy conditions.

3. Woof Wear Medical Hoof Boot

The medical hoof boot from Woof Wear is a little different to some of the other hoof boots on our list. Whilst a lot of the best hoof boots for horses are dual purpose in nature – this boot from the experts at Woof Wear was provided with the sole aim of rehab and to help in the treatment of laminitis, abscesses and other hoof related disease and damage.

Designed with stable use in mind, the medical hoof boot is not particularly suitable for turnout and nor should it be used that way. It’s application is best described as a waterproof and protected shield to help keep poultice and dressings clean.

Marketed as a cost effective replacement for bandages and tape, the medical hoof boot from Woof Wear is the best hoof for treating abscesses currently available. Made from light and flexible materials, the boot will keep your horse’s hoof safe, dry and protected and save you having to fork out for excessive amounts of bandages and tape when dealing with ongoing hoof related lameness.

For anyone who’s treated abscesses in the hoof wall, you’ll know just by seeing the photos how useful this boot would be. It’s available in a choice of 10 sizes and is designed to be used with or without a shoe. The boot does have a snug fit and its unique zip design works brilliantly to prevent any bits of stable debris from getting in!

Features

  • Light and flexible materials for easy fitting
  • Robust alternative to adhesive bandage and tape
  • Designed to help clean dressings and poultice clean

When it comes to treating abscesses and applying poultice with any type of regularity, then this hoof boot could be a real life saver. From personal experience I found it is best to have two of the boots in rotation. Especially if you’re using them out in the field, you’ll always have a clean one in reserve ready to go. These boots are sold individually.

4. HKM Hoof Boot

HKM Hoof Boot

These hoof boots from HKM are available in sizes 0 to 10 and are a great option if you’re trying to make the transition to barefoot. With a plastic sole and tear-resistant nylon upper, these hoof boots provide good shock absorption paired with durability and comfort thanks to their soft padding around the crown edge of the boot.

Features

  • Double velcro fasteners
  • Durable and shock absorbent design
  • Sold individually
  • Manufactured from tear-resitant nylon and features soft padding on the crown edge

Having used these boots myself I found them very easy to put on and take off and they performed very well for road work. It is worth mentioning that these boots are usually sold individually, so whilst the price might grab your attention you will in some cases need to buy two quantity for the pair.

Compared to the Cavallo all-round hoof boots, the HKM hoof boot is a much cheaper option, but there’s a reason for that. If you want a boot that will last the long term and is a solid all-rounder for work and rehab we wouldn’t necessarily recommend the HKM hoof boot.

But, if you’re looking for the best hoof boot for turnout and to help make the transition away from shoeing and don’t necessarily need it for rehab purposes then the HKM boot is a great and affordable choice. Just remember to order two!

5. Cavallo Entry Level Hoof Boot

The Cavallo Entry Level boot is our to pick for making the transition to barefoot with your horse. Designed purposefully for those nervous riders looking to become barefoot and booted, this Entry Level hoof boot from Cavallo is the perfect solution.

With everyday use in mind, the boot is also design for therapeutic and rehab purposes, and is a must have spare for any rider to have on hand. The easy fasten strap can be done effortlessly by hand, and the replaceable velcro closure extends the working life of the boot should the velcro fatigue over time.

Available in regular and slim sole styles, both variations feature unique side drainage slots which quickly helps to drain mud, water and other debris easily away from the boot preventing any build up or clogging when in use.

Features

  • Perfect barefoot beginner boot
  • Regular or slim version available
  • ‘Tried and tested’ in all terrains
  • 180 day ‘repair or replace Cavalla’ warranty

If you’re looking for a little extra protection for your shod horse, or are currently dealing with an abscess and need to de-shoe a foot, then this Cavallo hoof boot should be top of your consideration. We found the boot to be an excellent lightweight, sturdy and high quality hoof boot.


What are Hoof Boots?

Similar in design to a human shoe, a hoof boot provides complete protection for your horse’s hoof without the need for a steel shoe. There are many different types of horse hoof boot.

Some are designed around treating lameness and injury, some designed to aid the transition from shod to barefoot hooves, and some are designed for more rigorous ridden work.

Hoof boots help to provide a complete protection for your horse’s feet, helping to guard against both consussive and physical injury during turnout or when hacking.

They also come in really handy as a “spare tire” should your horse throw a shoe and need a quick fix!

Which Hoof Boots are best?

As you can see from our reviews we favour the hoof boots from Cavallo. To cut a long story short they are simply the best hoof boots on the market in terms of design, fit and product quality.

But, it all depends on your budget. No question, the Cavallo hoof boots are at the top end of the market and if you’re just testing the water with barefoot then it might be prudent to try a cheaper alternative to start with – and upgrade as and when.

The hoof boot from HKM is a great beginner boot that won’t break the bank and will give you and your horse a taste of the barefoot lifestyle. We would still recommend Cavallo if your budget allows.

Can all Horses go Barefoot?

Barefoot management requires that hooves are kept in prime condition, and some horses will be harder to maintain in a barefoot regime than others, depending on their background.

Transitioning horses with less than ideal hooves may be a job that requires time, patience and a little investment, at least in the beginning. and in all cases, the management of a barefoot horse may not suit the owner’s requirements for practices that are predominantly chosen for convenience – for example, stabling him.

Some professionals cite that some horses are unable to go barefoot due to genetics, structural or conformational problems and that it is fairer to the horse to remain shod. The vast majority of hoof care professionals will say that there are very few horses who do not have the potential to lead sound working lives without metal shoes on, but that some will be harder to and take longer than others to transition.

There may be some who will always need another form of hoof protection when working – for example, hoof boots – in order for them to remain comfortable.


Barefoot Vs Shoeing – Considering the options

When considering whether or not your horse could become barefoot, it is best to get the opinion of at least one professional. There is no harm in asking hoof care professionals from different affiliations either, as every horse in as individual, and both horse and owner need to be comfortable with whatever path is chosen to maintain the horse’s hooves.

Looking after a barefoot horse is no more difficult than a shod horse for most owners once they have a new routine established, but owners should consider their situation before deciding if barefoot is the best option for them.

Many barefoot horses are kept in less than optimum conditions, yet still display the soundness and vigour of horses who are kept closer to the ‘ideal. One thing to consider if you can’t decide if your horse should be barefoot, is to remember that the option of shoeing will always be there!

You will find, however, that the vast majority of people who go down the barefoot route with their horses are heard to say that they would never shoe again and wish they had done it years ago!

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Last update on 2021-02-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API