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Best Horse Protective Boots

Updated June 2022
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Best of the Best
Professional's Choice Equine Leg Boot
Professional's Choice
Equine Leg Boot
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The original, best-selling boots from a brand name.


Breathable boots suitable for all equestrian sports. Offer impact protection and support to help prevent hyperextension injuries. Easy to put on and off. Well-made and look good even after repeated use.


Can make the horses’ legs warm.

Best Bang for the Buck
Tough 1 Extreme Vented
Tough 1
Extreme Vented
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This option is colorful and safe for new users.


Vented neoprene sports boot helps keep legs cool. Close-fitting without causing rubbing or pinching. Boots stay put without slipping and come with three tough Velcro closures. Easy to clean. Wide range of bright colors look good.


Velcro is stiff and a bit too extreme, making it very tough to undo.

Woof Wear Sports Brushing Boots
Woof Wear
Sports Brushing Boots
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Another top build that’s tried and trusted.


Suitable for front or rear legs, the foam panel and ergonomic design provides a great fit. Offers high levels of support and protection. Super easy to use without double-lock Velcro, yet can still go through water and mud without slipping.


Reports of some fraying after consistent use.

Professional's Choice VenTECH Elite
Professional's Choice
VenTECH Elite
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A four-boot pack that offers extra support and is especially useful for horses coming off of injury.


Much appreciated by trainers, these are lightweight neoprene boots. Extra shock absorbing lining protects the cannon bone, tendons, and soft tissue. An angled suspensory ligament strap helps protect the fetlock and makes sure the boots are positioned properly. Easy to put on. Very flexible and supportive.


These boots are a little more stretchy than others, so they need more adjustment to make sure they are snug.

Classic Equine Legacy
Classic Equine
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A western horse world favorite, as used by 24-time AQHA world champion JD Yates.


Perforated neoprene allows the leg to breath. Has a shock-absorbing splint pad and a tough ballistic skid cup topped with leather. Useful for reining and barrel racing. Doesn’t twist or turn or cause any rubbing.


Can be a little tricky to fit at first, particularly the rear boots.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best horse protective boots

A horse’s legs are delicate, and equestrian competition and pleasure riding put added strain on them. Aside from carrying the extra weight of the rider, there’s also the added concussion from jumping and galloping, as well as the possibility of injury even while doing something as innocuous as grazing. Protective boots that fit on a horse’s front and rear legs are a convenient way to help prevent injuries.

For a long time, bandages were used to help safeguard horses’ legs, and while some people still use them, especially in sports like polo, they’re time-consuming to put on and have limitations in wet weather. To make life easier, there are now several different protective boots that are easy to use and add a level of protection and peace of mind for the rider. There are also boots designed for traveling and boots designed for therapeutic use if a horse has been injured. Most well-equipped stables have a big tack box with an array of boots.

If you’re in the market for some horse protective boots, we can help. Our buying guide is full of useful information, and we’ve selected a few of our favorites to make your shopping even easier.

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Travel boots aren’t just to protect against bumps or scrapes. When a horse doesn’t move for long periods, such as in transit, it can get swelling (edema) in the legs. The pressure from the boots acts in the same way as compression socks worn by people to help prevent swelling.

Key considerations


It’s essential that your horse wear only well-fitting boots. Boots that are too tight can do more harm than good, constricting blood flow and causing pain. Boots that rub can cause sores and even permanent hair loss at the chafing site. Boots that slip can cause the horse to trip, potentially causing an accident.


Most protective boots come in three sizes: pony (small), cob (medium), and horse (large), though there are also specialty sizes like mini (extra small) or warmblood (extra large). However, each manufacturer is different, so check the dimensions before ordering. You can often glean good advice about the fit from online user reviews, too.


Make sure the protective boot you buy is designed for the right task. You’re going to need a tougher boot for sports like eventing or rodeo than you are for exercising in an arena. Many riders use a pair of lightweight boots for this kind of riding and save the tougher boots for competing.


Leather: It used to be that sheepskin-lined leather was the go-to for protective boots, and these are the best-looking boots you can get. However, because they’re expensive and difficult to clean, they’re often saved for competition use.

Neoprene: Most protective boots now are made of lightweight, hard-wearing neoprene, which absorbs sweat and is unlikely to chafe.

Other: Another top pick is heavy-duty vinyl, and there are also gel-type plastic boots. Some fabrics are perforated to aid circulation. Bell boots, which fit over the hooves, are made of rubber or ballistic vinyl.


Buckles are most often found on leather boots and are the most secure, but hook-and-loop fasteners are popular and provide an easy way to secure most boots. Some boots incorporate elastic fasteners, and there are also stud closures and hook-and-eye fasteners.

Horse protective boot features

There are a lot of specialty boots in the equestrian world. Here are the main categories:

Shipping or travel boots

Horses travel the world for competition, and there are many products designed to keep them free from knocks and bumps whether jetting overseas or trailering down the road. Travel boots are quick and easy to use and have largely replaced the large, fluffy bandages previously used for trailering. They are usually made of a tough, ballistic nylon lined with padding and secured with Velcro. The front boots cover the knee down over the pastern, while the boots on the hind legs usually go over the hock to the pastern. This makes them a bit cumbersome for the horse to walk in, especially at first, and the boots may take some getting used to.

Brushing boots

These are also called splint boots, sport boots, or tendon boots, since they aim to protect the tendons from strain and help avoid splints (swelling on the bone) due to concussion from the ground or injury. A common cause of these injuries is from the horse striking itself, such as the back hoof hitting the front leg when galloping or quickly changing direction. This interference can also happen at any pace when a horse is still in the training stages and still unbalanced or getting used to carrying a rider. As such, these are the most common boots you’ll find, but they cover a wide range of styles from plain, lightweight neoprene boots to hard-shell, rigid boots.

Support boots

These are similar to brushing boots except they run longer on the leg to secure and support the suspensory ligament. These boots are usually made of a stretchy material to allow for ease of movement.

Overreach or bell boots

These rubber or tough ballistic vinyl boots pull on over the horse’s front hooves or are fastened around the pastern to protect the coronary band and the heel bulb. This is the area struck most by the rear hooves, so these boots are often used in conjunction with brushing boots. They’re only used on the front hooves except in extreme situations like team jumping or foxhunting, where injury could be caused by another horse. Some vinyl boots are padded, and you can find some to match your brushing boots for a streamlined look.

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Using one boot instead of a pair can cause lameness because it can affect the horse’s gait and make it uneven. The exception to this is using a hoof boot as a replacement for a lost shoe.

Skid boots

These boots are designed to protect the fetlock when a horse comes to a sliding stop, such as in barrel racing, rodeo, or cutting. These boots are made of a tough vinyl or leather piece that covers the fetlock and is fastened at the front with buckles or Velcro.

Open-front boots

These boots go on the front legs and are mostly used by show jumpers to protect the sides and back of the cannon bones. As the name suggests, they are open in front so that the horse doesn’t become desensitized to the feel of the rails in the jumps.

Hoof boots

Horses that are particularly prone to irritation from bug bites can benefit from wearing fly boots during turnout. These boots are made of mesh or other lightweight, breathable fabric to keep the bugs away and the horse cool.

Fly boots

Horses that are particularly prone to irritation from bug bites can benefit from wearing fly boots during turnout. These boots are made of mesh or other lightweight, breathable fabric to keep the bugs away and the horse cool.

Medicinal/therapeutic boots

In much the same way that boots replace bandages for riding, they are now often used to help keep poultices or other medications on the horse’s legs. These boots come in a variety of shapes for knees, hocks, hooves, and more. There are also a number of boots on the market that are designed to add an extra layer of drug-free therapy to help horses overcome injuries. Some use magnets, others have liquid titanium, and some have cooling packs. It’s best to consult with your vet before deciding on boots to make sure they fit into the recommended protocol.

Horse protective boot prices

Brushing boots: You can get low-cost brushing boots for about $20 per pair, but the high-end versions will run more like $70 per pair.

Travel boots: These are usually sold as a set of four and run from $40 to $160 per set.

Therapeutic boots: These can cost up to $350 per pair.


  • Be careful when using travel boots for the first time. Some horses may look like they’re walking on the moon the first time they wear them and even kick out. Some will not tolerate the back boots covering the hocks, so you might want to choose shorter boots for the hind legs. And some horses just hate boots, in which case you’ll have to go old school and use bandages.
  • Wash the boots carefully. If you want to clean your horse boots in the washing machine, put them in an old pillowcase first. That way, you won’t end up with a machine full of horse hair. It’s also helpful to hose them off first, too.
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Boots should fit snugly and not move at all, but they shouldn’t be so tight that they impede blood flow. Overreach boots should move side to side but not up and down. You should be able to fit a fingertip between the boot and the horse.


Q. Can I use my brushing boots in competition?
Equine sports allow boots in competition, although in order to look the part you might want to stick to black, brown, or white boots rather than loud colors. Some competitions may have rules about hoof boots, although this is changing as more people are turning to them in lieu of shoes. Dressage does not allow any kind of boot. This is because the dressage test is aimed at showing how sound, well trained, and balanced your horse is (thus, not needing boots). It also makes it easier for the judges to assess the horse’s movement.

Q. How do I know which boot goes where?
The longer boots are for the rear legs, and the fasteners should always be on the outside. It should be obvious which is the top of the boot, but there is usually a manufacturer’s logo that you can use to confirm which is the right way up.

Q. Won’t my horse’s legs get too hot wearing boots?
It’s certainly important that the horse’s legs don’t overheat, so it’s worth buying boots that are made of breathable fabrics or are designed to allow airflow. Also, make sure you hose off your horse’s legs after exercising to cool and clean them. Keep the boots clean and free of dried gunk and debris to stop skin infections from sweat.