Another Pony Boot/Shoe Comparison
Updated: May 23, 2022
I was re-reading my boot comparison the other day and thought maybe I should do an updated one. Equine Fusion has come out with the Trekking boot since then and we have put many miles on our pair so I feel I can do a good comparison. Plus we got to try out the Scoot Boots! I thought maybe compiling them all in one blog would be good.
**WARNING! This is a looong post and very photo heavy. Just a warning so you can grab a cup of tea or coffee and be prepared to settle in.
Equine Fusion Trekking Shoe
I'll start with my favorite of the boots/shoes - the Equine Fusion Trekking Shoes. As I mentioned in this blog this style of shoe is very slim and trim. The tops are nice and tight to the hoof. This has been wonderful for the type of driving and hiking we do. We climb rocks, wade through sage bushes, walk through meadows of green grass and weedy grass, we hike up rocky trails and wade through creeks. We do this both, on the lead rope and with me driving Zorro. I feel we've been able to explore lots of different terrain with these!
I can honestly say, they are my favorite of the shoes we've used. After I got over all the damned VELCRO. lol. When the shoes are new, the little velcro tabs stick to everything and make putting the shoes on a bit of a challenge. But, as you use them the velcro gets less "sticky" (in the way that it doesn't grab ahold of everything but it definitely still sticks to itself!) and is easier to manage.
This style of shoe drains the water extremely well and the tops dry out very quickly compared to the Active model.
Zorro's last shoes had around 500 miles on them and everything was still functioning like new... they are well worn and dirty but still have many many more miles left!
Zorro's feet have made some HUGE changes and he has outgrown the shoes above. He now wears a size 9 regular! So he has new shoes and the shoes above are moving on to protect another pony's feet.
Sometimes, these shoes will rub a little bit at the heel bulb. Now that he has sized up a shoe I can fit a toddler sock on his hoof, inside the shoe. The sock acts as a gaiter to help with the rubbing that can occur. Because of the sleek fit of this shoe, it can be difficult to fit the sock inside. But he has a little room inside the size 9 regular so we can do this!
Oliver is also wearing this type of Equine Fusion shoe:
He grew too and now wears a 7 regular!
Equine Fusion Active Shoe
My next favorite shoe is the Equine Fusion Active model. I started with this model when I switched to the Equine Fusion shoes and always really liked them. I never had a single problem with them. Though we did toss one on a trail drive and I never did find it! That was so weird... But we have done some extreme things with this type of shoe and never had a complaint.
They drain the water very well, but the tops will stay wet for a while. This is not a problem if you have a pair of sock gaiters on (as explained above!). I usually carry an extra set of toddler sized socks on my drives so, if we are crossing water, I can switch him to a dry pair of socks when we are done with the water.
The Active shoes are really great for laminitic ponies as they have plenty of room for the extra padding they will so often need. The tops of the Active shoes are quite forgiving, size wise.
I used these last winter when Zorro's feet were just a little too big for the Trekking shoe. I don't think we will have this issue this year!
The Equine Fusion 24/7 Glue On
The next favorite is the Equine Fusion Glue On Shoe! These are pretty awesome for those that want 24/7 protection. When Zorro was younger he was having a hard time growing heel. They would crush and fold under and then his weight would push them forward. So I glued a pair of these on and walla! He was able to grow heel! I have sold this style to a few people that needed something to protect their pony's feet 24/7, for various reasons and they have all be very happy with them.
I was able to re-use them 3 times that summer. I just had to clean the glue off the leather upper and then re-glue them. The gluing process itself was a little stressful but with practice it got easier.
Easy Boot Minis
Next up would be the Easy Boot Minis. I don't have new info so I'll just copy/paste what I shared from my last comparison! I haven't bought a pair of these since I started using the Equine Fusion Shoes.
"Together, Sky, Bonnie and I have put quite a few miles on several pairs of Easyboot minis. I’ve had to purchase 4 pairs over the last two years. The bottoms don’t wear out but the tops do. The velcro gives out and sometimes rips off completely. One boot had the top part ripped off of the bottom half. That proved impossible for me to fix. I still use those boots for horses that are tender footed on the track. I just tape them shut with duct tape or athletic tape. LOTS of tape!
The Easyboot Mini’s worked very well for all of our hiking, ground driving and light driving. I found that the sole of the boots is a bit thin, so I did put pretty thick pads in them for driving. The pads helped with protection and cushioning.
When I started putting on more miles, crossing water and getting the boots really dirty they just didn’t hold up at all. Once the velcro gets wet/dirty it stops sticking, then the boots fly off. That is so annoying!
Also they don’t have any way to drain the water out when you do lots of water crossings. This caused the boots to rub both of the ponies that were wearing them. And we wrapped their hooves in vet wrap to help the boots stick better and help alleviate the rubbing. (Often the smaller bits of gravel and sand work their way into the top of the boot and rub Sky around her coronet band so I started wrapping her hooves with the vet wrap and that really helped!) Because the water can’t drain out they slosh along as they move down the road. This was a problem on our drive because we were with a large group and couldn’t stop and empty the boots for a few miles. That was frustrating and hard on the ponies.
That long drive made me come home and start looking for a better boot for long distance. That search brought me to the Equine Jogging Shoes...."
Equine Fusion Active LIGHTS
The next shoe that I have used and liked are the Equine Fusion Active LIGHTS. These are light weight, just as the name indicates. BUT they don't have a break over in the toe. Because the sole is so soft that doesn't seem to bother either of the ponies I've used them on, Sky or Oliver. But I wouldn't drive long distances with this style. I think this style is PERFECT for therapy minis and ponies. They have the perfect tread for that. The fact that they are light weight is great for those that have to wear them all day. I did take both Sky and Oliver on long walks with this style shoe and they never showed any signs of being sore. But trotting for a long time over hard ground maybe wouldn't be so great with this style of shoe.
Next up, the Scoot Boots. I really wanted to like these. But I just didn't. They are very light weight and low profile, which I do like! However with the lighter weight boot also comes a very thin sole. I didn't feel these would offer much in the way of shock absorption. The low profile was very nice but the screw that holds on the gaiters would always rub Zorro. No matter if they were a little too big or when they were a little too tight. He always had quite a significant rub right were those screws were by his heel bulb.
Also I found these boots INCREDIBLY difficult to put on. If he tossed one when we were out driving (which he did EVERY SINGLE TIME!) then I could barely get them back on without a hoof pick. Maybe the horse sized straps and attachment screw work a little better, but the mini ones are so incredibly tight that using your fingers is nearly impossible. I really HATED to put them on. And Zorro didn't like it either. He would lift his foot whenever I was trying to get the strap on the screw which made it so much harder.
It was interesting as when I first got these boots they were a little bit too big for Zorro. So they would fly off whenever he trotted or cantered. Then his feet grew and plumped up and the boots were a little bit too small. So they would fly off when he trotted or cantered. lol. I don't know what the deal was but they would NOT stay on! I read about how people lose these boots all the time so there must be a trick to fitting them that I don't know. I will stick with the Equine Fusion shoes for what we do because I really want the shock absorption that the thicker sole offers.
CLB - Cute Little Boot by Cavallo
The last boot I will talk about is the CLB, the Cavallo hoof boot. I have written two reviews of these boots because they remade them. The first boots had plastic soles which were absolutely HORRIBLE! Here's what I wrote about them:
"The soles are made of plastic. There is no tread at all on them. They are so slippery. Every time Sky wore these and had to work in the grass she fell down. NOT a safe option for a driving horse. They are very slippery on the gravel and we drive on a lot of gravel roads. They are very slick on the pavement. Zorro wore them in the parade last month. He was a very good boy and it’s a good thing because they were very slippery. Sigh. Just not a good option!
The tops of these boots have rubbed every single mini I’ve had them on. (That’s only 4, but still!) Because the soles of the boots are so hard and plastic I always put a 6 mm pad in them. Otherwise the horses are still a bit ouchy. Oh! And we have worn holes in the soles of two pairs of these. The plastic is not holding up at all. When I contacted Cavallo about the holes they said no one else was having that problem and my horses must have hooves that don’t work in these boots. Hmmmm. I wasn’t sure what to say about that! We put about 10 miles on the boots when they developed the holes.
They do have water holes for drainage, but because they are so slippery I would never use them in water. They have several different velcros closing them and I like that as I think they would stay shut even when wet and dirty. I hope they take a look at these boots and take miniature horses a little bit more seriously. Minis are major athletes and the things we ask them to do are quite challenging. They need a good boot that can hold up to that!"
Then Cavallo sent me another pair to try, after they remade them. Here is what I had to say about THOSE:
"I felt that a re-design was necessary for these boots. I sent Cavallo an email expressing my disappointment and that was that. Then about a month and a half ago I had an email from them saying they had re-designed their boots, making them bigger and wondered if I was interested. I said I was only interested if they also changed the sole material of the boot. They said they had and sent me two pairs to try.
I was happy to see the soles were not that hard plastic any longer and have some traction. The boots are bigger so that part is great! However, after using the Equine Fusion boots I have to say the tops of the boots are not great. They don’t close very tight thereby allowing quite a few of the smaller stones from the road to work their way down inside the boot. Not something I like to have happen, especially on the longer drives!
There is something very strange about the toe area of the boot. They have this long piece that sticks forward, blocking the roll over. We work so hard to have a nice beveled toe so our ponies have a good break over, why would we want to block that with the boot? I really don’t understand what the thought process was with this design. They don’t have this on ANY of the big horse boots.
This style of boot was making Zorro trip and the break over was stopping him from rolling all the way over onto his toe, which would make his knee give out. I tried to capture it on video (video is below) but was doing this by myself so it’s hard to see. But I think you get the idea. And I’m sure many of you can see the problem just by looking at the boot!
So. I took my hoof nippers and rasp to the front of these boots to make them work better." You can head over to the blog I wrote all about these boots to see the photos!
I think you get the picture with the CLB. I don't like them at all. lol! But I do know of several people that use them and seem to do just fine. I am very picky about my boots now that I have been using the Equine Fusion shoes for so long. I simply couldn't go back at this point!
The Wrap Up
To wrap this very long blog post up: I really love the Equine Fusion shoes and think they are worth every single penny of their cost. I realize they are quite expensive but they last so long! Years in the case of my pony's shoes.
Disclaimer: I work for Chimacum Tack and we sell the Equine Fusion shoes! I don't make money on them at all. But I do stock them here at my house and ship them out when people buy them.