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Why Sizing For Hoof Boots Isn’t Always Just About The Width And Length Measurements

Why sizing for hoof boots isn’t always just about the width and length measurements

Urban Horse has been providing free fitting advice to our customers for more than 10 years, and during this time we’ve built up a great deal of knowledge about hoof sizing and how to find the right hoof boot for each and every hoof. We always ask for clear photos or videos of each hoof and this, along with the width and length measurements, almost always gives us everything we need to recommend hoof boots which will fit correctly and stay put. Horses with the right size hoof boots are more cushioned and comfortable when striding out, and a happy horse means a happy owner!

We use the hoof photos or videos our customers send us to look for additional factors which may affect the fit. For example, we’re looking at:

  • The angle of the hoof wall;
  • Indications of the horse’s action or gait (a severe screw and twist action is always one of the hardest actions to accommodate);
  • Any flare or distortion of the hoof;
  • Uneven, high, or underrun heels;
  • The length of toe of the hind hooves (over reaching from behind);
  • The thickness and angle of the coronet area (mainly for hoof boots that come above the coronet band); and
  • Hoof boot size charts not being true to the actual hoof boot sizes.

Hoof photos or videos give us so much more information to help with fitting, and this is why we encourage our customers to provide them whenever they can, as well as providing basic width and length measurements.

We recently fitted hoof boots for one of our customers, Nicci, and her gorgeous horse, Odd. Odd is very close behind on his hind legs and has a very pronounced screw and twist action as he moves forwards. This, as mentioned above, can make fitting hoof boots really difficult because it causes the boot to twist and spin. (A screw and twist action is more common on hind legs, but can also happen on front legs where a horse is pigeon toed.)

Our go-to hoof boots for this type of action are normally Scoot Boots. The back t-bar on Scoot Boots tends to accommodate the screw and twist action well, and because they are lightweight with little bulk, Odd would be less likely to catch or tread on the inside of each boot (the closeness of his hind movement tends to cause this). Odd had been fitted for Scoots 1.5 years ago when he first transitioned out of shoes and, while they did stay put, they also rubbed his pastern area so they weren’t the right boots for him at the time. Scoot hoof boots rarely rub but like all hoof boots they can do if the fit isn’t correct. Odd has also recently suffered some lameness and been diagnosed with EMS, so we felt he would benefit from a hoof boot with a deeper sole / tread to really cushion his hooves out a lot more.

We had recently fitted Odd with a pair of Equine Fusion Ultras on his front hooves, and after comparing the photos Nicci sent over to us - as the size and shape of the hind hooves were pretty similar to the front hooves - we suggested trying them on his hinds. Nicci gave this a try, but Odd put them into a kick and spin frenzy when walking – after looking at the video Nicci sent us we thought the Equine Fusion Ultra hoof boots were catching as he moved his legs.

So we went back to the drawing board and looked for another boot which would suit Odd better. We were running out of options but the only potential match were The Cavallo Trek Slims, but Odd’s measurements meant that he was between two sizes (the hoof width falling within one size band, but the hoof length falling in the next size up). We also wouldn’t know if the boots would catch until they were actually tried. We’re always truthful and thorough when fitting, so we talked everything through with Nicci and sent out the Cavallo Trek Slims along with some handy tips of what to look for when trying them on. We wanted to get a super snug fit, and we did our best - we just had to wait for Nicci to simply try them and get back to us.

Just the other day we received a fantastic email from Nicci:

“Odd had his Cavallo boots on in the stable last night to start breaking them in before I put some posh leather care stuff on the insides (I read the info sheet). Today we went for a ride in them, was out accidentally for a good 1.5 - 2 hours, but he seemed very happy stomping along making sure he was just ahead of our friends!! Wow, they didn’t budge a bit, and other than mud smudges no scuffs. Odd can also canter downhill on tarmac in his trainers without slipping. The things he'll do to escape the horse eating bin lorry!!”

We were really chuffed for Nicci and Odd when we read this! Since then, they’ve had many enjoyable hacks and also a pleasure ride along the beach. There will be no stopping Nicci and Odd now!

We really want to thank Nicci for letting us use Odd’s story, and for all the photos kindly taken by Keith Pollard. You can also see below a video showing Odd walking with the Equine Fusion Ultra hoof boots on his hinds (which twisted with use) – you can clearly see how close Odd moves behind, and how easy it is for hoof boots to be scuffed, kicked, or spun around as he moves.

There is always a hoof boot for every horse but occasionally, despite all of our hoof boot fitting experience, there’s no substitute for trying out a couple of different models to find the perfect fit. We always advise customers to use our fitting advice - we start with the very basics, the width and the length, but customers who can provide hoof photos or videos give us so much more to work with, and we can really narrow down the options and help get the best fit. Best of all, we don’t charge for advice – it’s free!

You can find more hoof boot fitting advice on our website: How to measure for hoof boots or simply call us on 01434 422700 or email 


Author Carolyn Hymers - Urban Horse - April 2020


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