NEW TO HOOF BOOTS?
Hoof boots are a wonderful way to provide your horse with protection, traction and comfort, but how do you choose the right one?
There's so much to learn! Perhaps you've heard harrowing tales of others' journeys on their way to become successful boot users, but this doesn't need to be the case! Armed with the right information, it can be easy and relatively painless to get you off and running in the right boots. So relax, take a deep breath and brush up on your booting IQ before you dive into the world of hoof boots!
What you need to know:
Fit is Everything
The saying that best describes hoof boot success is “fit, fit, fit”. We believe the biggest determining factor in hoof boot success is indeed fit. That said, how do you know if a boot will fit?
- Use the EasyCare measuring and sizing instructions to determine boot size. Do your measurements correspond to the size charts? If your measurements are similar to the size charts, your chances of a snug fit are good. If your measurements do not correspond (foot is wider than long, length and width measurements fit into different sizes), chances are you will not have a snug fit and EasyCare hoof boots are not right for your horse.
- Before a boot is tightened the boot should be snug. You should not be able to turn or twist the boot.
- After tightening, the boot should be a close fit around the hoof wall. Horse boots should not have large gaps or voids between the hoof wall and the boot.
- You know when running shoes or hiking boots fit your own feet. Use the same type of logic when selecting a hoof boot for your horse.
Riding boots do not fit well on some hoof types. EasyCare hoof boots are not recommended for some types and shapes of feet. If your horse has one of these conditions your horse is probably not a good candidate for hoof boots:
- A hoof with excessive flair.
- A hoof that is wider than long. A very round hoof that has a length that equals the width is also hard to fit. Old Mac’s Originals are the only boots in our line that fit a hoof that is wider than long.
- A hoof with long heels (high in the heels) or one who is extremely low in the heels.
- A hoof that is clubbed or irregular in shape due to injury, scarring, etc.
- If you have doubts about sizing or fit, please call us and let us help you.
What can you do if your horse does not fit well in the current
EasyCare hoof boot range?
- Have a hoof care professional trim your horses feet and follow their recommendations for care. Many feet improve and change under regular trimming performed by a good hoof care professional.
- EasyCare is looking at adding a “Wide” version of many of our popular designs. The wide version will be perfect for those round feet.
How to Measure for Boots
- After a fresh trim, measure the width of the hoof across the bottom at the widest point.
- Measure the length of the hoof from the toe to the buttress line of the heel. The buttress line is the farthest weight bearing point of the heel where the hoof wall ends. Do not include the heel bulbs in the measurement.
- Compare your measurement with the appropriate size chart. Please note that each boot style has its own unique size chart.
- Ideally, the length and width measurement will fit into the same size. If the length and width measurements indicate different sizes, select the larger size. If the width and length measurements are different by more than one size, your selected boot style is not recommended.* Be sure to check your measurements against an alternative boot in the EasyCare line—another style may accommodate your horse’s hoof shape better.
- *Note: If you are fitting an Easyboot Glue-On or Glove, width and length must fall into the same size category.
Boot Sole Shapes:
Amount of Traction:
(less to more)
(easiest to most difficult)
Recommended Riding Distances:
Easyboot*, Epic, Bare, Grip, Edge, Glue-On*, Glove*
*requires close fit
Easyboot Trail, Boa® Horse Boot, Old Mac’s Original, Old Mac’s G2
*per week or per ride
EasySoaker, Easyboot Rx*
*light turnout OK
How to Choose a Boot Style
The chart below will give you a quick overview of which boots are best for your intended use. Read the following section for more details.
People shoes come in a multitude of varieties for different uses. Hoof boots are no exception!
Generally, EasyCare boots fit into four categories:
- Therapy boots
- Short distance/trail boots
- Long distance boots
- Multi-day boots
- Some boots fit into more than one category.
- EasySoakers: Best for soaking, poulticing and keeping bandages clean and dry. Waterproof.
- Easyboot Rx: A light weight therapy boot for horses with hoof maladies, those recovering from surgery, or horses who stand on hard surfaces for long periods.
- Easyboots: Great for drying out abscesses and medicating the bottom of the foot.
Short-distance / Trail boots (less than 25 miles per day)
(The number one factor in boot success is FIT. Boas®, Old Mac’s Originals, Old Mac’s G-2s and the Easyboot line all have different sizing. Choose the boot that fits most closely to your horse’s dimensions.)
- Easyboot Glove: A slim, form-fitting boot that is easy to apply.
- Boa® Boots: Full coverage boot with an easy on and off dial system. Perfect for the casual rider. Not recommended for deep mud or sand.
- Old Mac’s Originals: Made for horses with very short, wide feet. Hook and loop system makes them easy to apply. Great long-lasting tread and excellent traction.
- Old Mac’s G-2’s: Similar to originals but made for horses with more elongated feet. Our most popular trail boot.
- Easyboot Edge: Designed as a distance boot, but easy to apply and great for short rides, too. A semi-aggressive tread and padded interior make this boot tough and comfortable.
- Note: Any long distance boot can be used for short distances as well.
Long-distance/endurance and competitive ride boots
- Easyboot Glove: A slim, form-fitting boot that is easy to apply.
- Easyboot: These are great when you want a boot that rests completely below the coronary band. Most competitive trail rides (CTR’s) do not allow any protection above the hairline, so the Easyboot is the boot of choice. A tight fit is necessary and there are tricks to keeping them on.
- Easyboot Edge: Numerous micro adjustments and a smooth interior for a close fit. Aggressive tread.
- Easyboot Epic: Our most popular long-distance boot. Versatile tread.
- Easyboot Bare: Choose this boot if you are an experienced boot user and don’t want to tinker with adjustments.
- Easyboot Glue-Ons (see below)
- Easyboot Glue-Ons: Although trickier to apply, these boots are perfect for pack trips, multi-day rides and any situation where you need a hoof boot for speed or for longer than a day.
- Easyboot with EasyFoam: When mixed and poured into an Easyboot, EasyFoam sets up as a flexible liner and keeps your boots on for days.
Hoof protection in case of a lost shoe
- Easyboot: If you purchase this boot, check the fit to make sure it is still snug if your horse’s feet have changed. Please visit our tips page. Lowest price of any of the boots.
- Easyboot Epic: Easier to get on than the Easyboot and the gaiter helps keep the boot on if they don’t fit perfect. Boot of choice for a spare. Easyboots have inside cleats, Epics do not.
Boots specifically designed for snow/mud (sold individually)
- Easyboot Grip: Very aggressive tread. Boot of choice, unless you are planning to use studs. Studs fit into all of our boots except the Soaker.
- A variety of boots have been used for this purpose. The big determining factor here will be FIT. Boas® and Old Mac’s are used for short distances, Epic and Bares for longer distances.
- Old Mac’s are used for short distances, Epics and Bares are popular for longer distances. Glue-Ons and Gloves may also be used. Check the fit.
Barrel racing, other western events
- Epics and Old Mac’s are the most popular for these events. The new Easyboot Edge and Glue-Ons are also possibilities.
Please call (800.447.8836) or email us! Our friendly customer service people are here to help you find the right boot for you.
Our website also has an abundant wealth of information on natural hoof care, barefoot horses and hoof boots. See links below and in the right hand column.