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Hoof Boots for Trail Riding

Hoof Boots for Trail Riding

Believe it or not, over 60% of trail riding injuries can be traced back to poor hoof protection. After testing 6 products, I’ve concluded that the Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot stands out as the premier choice for trail riding.

As an avid equestrian, I’ve experienced firsthand the challenges and demands placed on horse hooves. My years of riding and meticulous attention to equine foot care have honed my ability to discern what truly works in the field.

The Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot impresses with its durability, ease of use, and unparalleled protection. It’s designed to tackle the roughest terrains, providing peace of mind with every stride. 

However, understanding that one size does not fit all, I’ve explored other boots that excel in specific conditions.

Keep reading for an enlightening journey to find out the best hoof boots for trail riding.

What is a Hoof Boot?

A hoof boot is a modern and innovative type of footwear designed for horses. Unlike traditional metal horseshoes that are nailed to the horse’s hooves, hoof boots are removable.

They are made from various durable materials such as rubber, plastic, or a combination of these with fabric. These boots serve multiple purposes. These include protecting the horse’s hooves from wear and damage, providing additional traction, and supporting healing from hoof injuries.

Hoof boots are particularly favored for horses that are kept barefoot. They offer a versatile alternative to permanent shoeing. 

They can be used for a wide range of activities, from trail riding and endurance racing to therapeutic purposes. The design of hoof boots includes features like shock absorption and water resistance. 

They are fitted to the hooves with closures such as Velcro straps, buckles, or dials, ensuring a secure and adjustable fit.

Advantages of Hoof Boots for Trail Riding

Hoof boots offer numerous advantages for trail riding. Their benefits cater to both the horse’s welfare and the rider’s peace of mind.

Here are some of the key advantages:

Protection. Hoof boots offer superior protection against the diverse terrains encountered during trail riding. They shield the horse’s hooves from rocks, pebbles, and uneven surfaces that can cause bruising, cuts, or more severe injuries.

Versatility. Unlike horseshoes, which are fitted for long-term wear, hoof boots can be easily put on just before a ride and removed afterward. This allows the horse to maintain its natural barefoot state when not on trails, promoting better hoof health and flexibility.

Comfort. Many hoof boots are designed with shock-absorbing materials that reduce the impact on the horse’s hooves and legs. This can lead to increased comfort for the horse.

Improved traction. Hoof boots often have tread patterns that offer superior grip on slippery or steep trails. This can prevent slips and falls, ensuring a safer ride for both horse and rider.

Cost-effectiveness. While the initial investment in hoof boots may seem high, they can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to traditional shoeing. Hoof boots are reusable and, with proper care, can last for several years. They also eliminate the need for frequent farrier visits for shoeing and reshoeing.

Adaptability to hoof growth. Horses’ hooves continue to grow and change shape. This can sometimes render traditional shoes quickly ill-fitting. Hoof boots can often accommodate these changes more easily, ensuring a consistently correct fit over time.

Healing and rehabilitation. For horses with hoof injuries or conditions such as laminitis, hoof boots can provide healing support. They can be used in conjunction with therapeutic pads for additional support and comfort. 

6 Best Hoof Boots for Trail Riding

Best overall hoof bootsCavallo Simple Hoof Boot 

The Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot stands as a beacon of innovation and reliability. Its unparalleled all-terrain protection makes it the best overall hoof boot. 

What sets it apart is its unique blend of simplicity and efficiency. The boots are easy to size and fit, ensuring a snug and comfortable hold without the constant adjustments. 

During my personal experiences on rugged trails, these boots stayed on without fail. The genuine leather upper is another highlight. It offers a flexible yet durable exterior that conforms to the hoof, providing noticeable comfort. 

My horse, usually finicky with footwear, took to these boots with ease. It had no signs of discomfort or restriction in movement across various terrains.

The high-performance TPU outsoles have faced everything. From rocky paths to wet conditions, they have shown minimal wear. 

The center of the outsole is thoughtfully recessed, minimizing pressure and providing relief.


  • Exceptional all-terrain protection.
  • Simple sizing and application process.
  • Durable genuine leather upper.
  • Recessed outsole for reduced pressure.
  • Versatile for rehabilitation purposes.


  • Pricier than some alternatives.
  • Leather may require more care than synthetic materials.

Best Bang for the BuckCavallo Horse & Rider Trek Regular Sole Hoof Boot

The Cavallo Trek Regular Sole Hoof Boot stands out as the most affordable equine boot. It offers hoof protection, balancing affordability with exceptional durability and performance. 

It’s simple to use, offers a simple and enhances riding experiences by eliminating frequent adjustments. 

Designed for both horses and riders, these boots reduce shock and fatigue on varied terrains.  Thanks to their superior shock absorption and built-in drainage that keeps hooves dry. 

They are also versatile for any hoof and are sold individually. The replaceable RES Velcro closure and the outsole’s recessed center prioritize longevity and comfort.


  • Easy to put on and secure, reducing preparation time.
  • Exceptional shock absorption for enhanced comfort.
  • Cost-effective with replaceable Velcro closures.


  • May need regular cleaning to maintain drainage effectiveness.
  • Velcro lifespan may vary depending on usage conditions.

Most durable hoof bootsCavallo Sport Slim Sole Hoof Boots

The Cavallo Sport Slim Sole Hoof Boots are super durable and designed for barefoot horses. These boots protect against tough terrains and improve a horse’s natural walk. 

Their special heel brake is great for safety on slippery surfaces, something I’ve found super helpful during rainy rides.

They’re easy to put on and stay on well, which means no worries about them falling off or needing constant adjustments. This lets me and my horse enjoy our rides without any hassle.

These boots are also reflective, making them safe to use when it’s dark. Although they’re a bit narrower, they fit well on slim hooves and don’t compromise on comfort.


  • Unmatched durability for all-terrain protection.
  • Innovative sole design with a natural heel brake.
  • Simple sizing and secure fit.
  • Ideal for horses with slimmer hooves.


  • A narrower fit may not suit all hoof types.
  • Premium durability comes with a higher price point.

Easy to wash hoof bootsEasyboot Glove Soft

From the first use, the Easyboot Glove Soft impresses with its snug fit and sleek design. However, its most commendable feature lies in its ease of cleaning. 

Unlike many hoof boots that need meticulous care to keep them in optimal condition, the Easyboot Glove Soft is simple to wash. This is a great feature if you value both your time and your horse’s well-being.

The Easyboot Glove Soft is made to facilitate quick and thorough cleaning. Therefore, mud, dirt, and debris to be easily washed away with minimal effort. 

This ease of maintenance ensures that the boots can be kept in excellent condition. Moreover, the convenience of washing does not compromise the boot’s durability or protective qualities. 

It stands up to rigorous use, providing consistent, dependable protection across various environments. 


  • Exceptional ease of washing, saving time and effort.
  • Snug fit and sleek design for optimal protection.
  • Durable construction withstands rigorous use.


  • The snug fit requires precise sizing for optimal performance.

Easiest to install hoof bootsHarry’s Horse Easyboot Cloud 

The Harry’s Horse Easyboot Cloud is the easiest hoof to install. Its standout feature is the rear section that folds down, simplifying the application and removal process.  

This design innovation not only saves time but also reduces the stress associated with hoof care routines. Beyond its convenience, the Easyboot Cloud offers relief for conditions like chronic lameness and lower limb issues.

With added air vents for improved circulation and a secure fit suitable for light turnout, this boot ensures that horses can move freely and comfortably. This in turn promotes a healthier hoof environment and enhances overall well-being.


  • Exceptionally easy to install and remove, thanks to the folding back design.
  • Provides significant relief and support for various hoof ailments.
  • Air vents enhance circulation, promoting a healthy hoof environment.
  • Secure fit suitable for light turnout, ensuring freedom of movement.


  • May require monitoring to ensure the fit remains optimal during prolonged use.

Most Comfortable Hoof BootsCavallo ELB Regular Sole Hoof Boot

The Cavallo ELB Regular Sole Hoof Boot emerges as the pinnacle of comfort. Crafted from 1680 count Denier industrial-grade nylon, this boot is durable and gentle on your horse’s hooves. 

Its design ensures it’s easy to put on and stays securely in place. The replaceable Velcro closure is a thoughtful addition. It extends the life of the boot and offers a customizable fit for either the right or left hoof. 

The reflective logo enhances safety during low-light conditions. It ensures visibility and peace of mind on evening or early morning rides. 

Available for purchase individually, it provides flexibility and convenience for owners. 

Read also: How long can a horse gallop?

Considerations When Choosing Hoof Boots

Selecting the right hoof boots for your horse involves more than just picking a size. It requires consideration of various factors to ensure comfort, protection, and performance. 

Here are essential considerations when choosing hoof boots:

1. Fit and size. Measure your horse’s hooves after a fresh trim to ensure accurate sizing. Hooves can be round, oval, or have other shapes, and some boot models cater specifically to these variations.

2. Type of riding. Different boots are designed for different activities (e.g., trail riding, endurance, arena work). Choose a boot that matches your primary riding discipline.

3. Hoof condition. If your horse has specific conditions like laminitis, or navicular disease, or needs rehabilitation, look for boots that offer therapeutic support or can accommodate padding.

4. Terrain. Consider the typical terrain you’ll encounter. Boots vary in tread design and durability; some are better suited for rocky trails, while others are ideal for softer, muddier grounds.

5. Ease of use. How easy it is to put on and take off the boot matters, especially if you’re going to be doing it frequently. Look for boots with user-friendly closures.

6. Durability and material. The materials used can affect the boot’s durability, flexibility, and how well it protects against elements. Look for high-quality materials that can withstand the conditions you’ll face.

7. Weight. Heavier boots might offer more protection but can tire your horse over long distances. Balance the need for protection with the importance of not overburdening your horse’s legs.

8. Breathability and water resistance. Good air circulation helps keep the hoof healthy, while water resistance is crucial for wet environments. However, some boots offer better breathability or water resistance than others.

9. Closure system. The reliability of the closure system affects both the ease of use and how securely the boot fits during various activities.

10. Cost and availability. Consider your budget and the availability of the boots. It’s also wise to think about long-term costs, such as replacement parts and durability over time.

11. Reviews and recommendations. Look for reviews from other horse owners with similar riding habits and conditions. Recommendations from your farrier or vet can also be invaluable.

12. Trial period and return policy. If possible, choose a retailer or manufacturer that offers a trial period or a good return policy. This can save you from being stuck with boots that don’t fit properly.

How to Fit Hoof Boots

Fitting hoof boots correctly involves measuring the horse’s hoof for width and length. Ensure you do this after a trim for accuracy.

To select a boot that accommodates the hoof’s shape, try the boot on a clean and dry hoof. Conduct a walk test on different surfaces to observe any discomfort or shifting. 

Check for signs of rubbing or pinching after the test, and re-measuring the hooves.

If unsure, consult with professionals like farriers. Use the adjustable features for a better fit.   

Always approach the fitting process with patience, as finding the right fit might require some trial and error. 

Tips for Extending the Life of Hoof Boots

Hoof boots represent a significant investment in your horse’s well-being and your peace of mind during rides. To ensure you get the most out of this investment, here are some tips for extending the life of your hoof boots:

  • Regular cleaning
  • Dry properly
  • Check for wear
  • Store correctly
  • Use as intended
  • Rotate boots
  • Repair promptly
  • Proper fitting
  • Condition leather parts
  • Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions


Do horse shoes hurt horses?

No, horse shoes do not hurt horses when applied correctly. The outer part of a horse’s hoof, where the shoes are attached, lacks nerve endings, similar to human fingernails. However, improper shoeing can cause pain and discomfort. For more information, check out our article “Do horseshoes hurt horses?”


In the quest for the perfect hoof protection during trail rides, the Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot has emerged as a clear frontrunner. While this boot suits a wide range of needs, there’s importance in choosing the right boot for specific conditions and horse hoof shapes. 

From wet weather champions to boots designed for rocky terrains, each product has its unique strengths. As riders, our commitment to our horse’s health and safety is paramount. Therefore, selecting the right hoof boot is a critical component of that commitment. 

Remember, the best hoof boot is one that fits well, protects adequately, and suits the terrain you’re tackling. Now, check out our guide on the best horses for trail riding to find the perfect companion for your adventures.

Picture of Dr. Noman Tariq

Dr. Noman Tariq

Dr. Noman Tariq, a seasoned veterinarian with a DVM from ARID University and an MPhil in Animal Nutrition from UVAS, specializes in equine health. His deep passion for horse nutrition and well-being drives his work, offering invaluable advice for horse owners. Dr. Tariq's expertise ensures horses lead vibrant, healthy lives.
You can read my full bio here

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Hoof Boots for Trail Riding