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Renegade Hoof Boots Review – Renegade Classics and Renegade Viper Hoof Boots

Renegade Hoof Boot Review: PSSM friendly tack

Originally posted 3/10/16

Renegade Hoof Boots Review: Renegade hoof boots are amazing for my barefoot PSSM horse, Jax, who’s been barefoot for years. Not because I don’t like metal shoes, but because he can’t wear metal shoes. His feet hold metal shoes really well, but he forges when playing out in the pasture, and every time metal shoes are on his feet he gets a splint. Every. Time.

He’s had a total of six splints since I’ve had him, one was on a back leg from getting kicked, but all the others were from forging. Three of the six came in a six month period, right after I bought him, while wearing metal shoes. The other two were also from forging, but it’s only happened twice without shoes in a 3.5 year period.

(EDIT TO ADD: PSSM horses tightrope walk and overstep with their hinds, making them more likely to kick and step on themselves.  I didn’t know this was the likely reason for our issues, and why putting metal shoes on basically meant he’d have never-ending splints and cut-up heel bulbs.)

Renegade Hoof Boots Review: Trialing Renegade Classics

So, after finally figuring out where these splints were coming from, I starting looking into metal shoe alternatives. After a lot of research, I found that hoof boots, more specifically Renegade Hoof Boots, looked to be my perfect solution. I’ve been using them on Jax for about three years now, and he is doing great with them.

His feet are even tougher than they were, and many trail rides he can do without his boots now. Of course when riding on gravel roads he needs the boots, but many trail rides which consist mostly of woods, grass, and some rocky creek beds, are no problem for Jax completely barefoot.

Renegade Hoof Boot Review: Jax ready for a road ride in his Renegade hoof boots.

I want to lay out some of the pros and cons of hoof boots in general, then more specifically about Renegade hoof boots. I have A LOT of people ask me about the boots, mostly because I live in an area where very few people have even heard of hoof boots, let alone seen them.

Renegade Hoof Boots Review: General Hoof Boot Pros

  • 1st on my list, of course, fewer splints
  • His feet are beautiful! They seem far healthier now that he doesn’t have nail holes in his hooves
  • He is comfortable at any gait on any surface, galloping on gravel is no problem (he is booted on all 4 hooves)
  • Pavement is no longer slippery, in fact he has great traction on every surface
  • Horses at our boarding facility can’t have back shoes, so now he is protected on all 4 feet during rides
  • He used to get quarter cracks in his back feet, now he has no cracks anywhere
  • I usually get about 8-10 months out of each front set of boots, a little longer from the back set (I get more time out of them now that he goes barefoot more, and we ride on very rough surfaces) (EDIT TO ADD: Since riding more on trails I’ve gotten 3 years out of my Renegade Vipers, and the tread is still really good!  I need to run new wires through and put a new heel captivator on one boot, and have put new velcro on several times.  I also turn out in these boots overnight when low grade laminitis attacks and they’ve worked beautifully)
  • If you don’t ride very often, these boots can last for years, allowing you to save money on shoeing for just a couple of rides per farrier visit.

Renegade Hoof Boots Review: General Hoof Boot Cons

  • If they don’t fit just right, they will come off in certain situations such as deep mud or faster gaits. This is less of an issue with Renegade hoof boots than with others I’ve seen or tried
  • Some boot styles require hooves to be trimmed about every 3 weeks (not Renegade hoof boots)
  • It’s not saddle up and go, hoof boots take time, especially if your horse’s feet are muddy (winter time is the worst)
  • If you ride a lot on tough surfaces (such as gravel), you may be spending more money replacing the boots than you would on shoes [as of 2023, I’m not sure this is true anymore – shoes are expensive!]
  • Not all styles fit all hoof shapes, you need to shop around
Renegade Hoof Boot Review: backs of the Classic Renegades.

Renegade Hoof Boots Review: Boot Brands I’ve Had Experience With and Individual Reviews

So far I’ve tried (or seen in action) three styles of boots:

  • Cavallo Hoof Boots (Simple) – too clunky for the type of work I do with my horse. I didn’t try these, but tried them on a horse for a client. The size was off, but even so, I didn’t care for them.
  • EasyCare Easyboot Gloves – tried these on, and tried a couple trail rides in them. The toes stuck out really far and tripped him up. Lost them several times in muddy areas. I think I just bought them a little too big, but like the Cavallos, I didn’t care for them enough to try a different size, and I didn’t like the idea of trimming my horse every three weeks. Jax’s hooves were still long toe/low heel which I’m sure affected fit – but with our specific issues I need boots that fit multiple situations, and these were not the boots for us.
  • Renegades Hoof Boots – I chose Renegades hoof boots because 1) they were the correct shape, Jax has round feet; 2) they looked easy; 3) he did not need to be trimmed every three weeks; 4) they are extremely adjustable and parts can be replaced! So far I’ve only tried the classic style, the next set I get will be Vipers. I LOVE these boots. I’ve helped others to purchase some because, after seeing them in action, people are usually impressed. Jax’s feet grew a little and he went a size up in his front boots (from 2W to 2WW), so I tried using his old front boots on his hindlegs (usually wears a 2, tried 2W). The boots were just slightly too big and I ended up losing one, so be aware that they won’t work correctly if you don’t have the right size. That said, I can go a normal 6-8 week trim schedule and the right fitting boots will fit the entire time, getting slightly tight towards the end of the trim cycle.  I’ve had these boots come off a total of three times since owning them: 1) During a pretty bad wreck (see Cheap eBay Saddle Review for more); 2) Some time during the ACTHA trail ride we completely lost the bottom half of a hind boot (see SI Injury for more); and 3) During a trail ride, we sunk into mud up to Jax’s belly, and in his struggle to get out the boot came off his hind hoof but stayed attached to his fetlock so we didn’t lose it.  In all three cases, the front boots (that fit) stayed on and 1 of the hind boots (2W, so too big) came off.  When we used the size 2 on hinds he never lost a boot.

Renegade Hoof Boots Review: More Notes on Renegades Hoof Boots

Jax took to his Renegade hoof boots fairly quickly, just a few OMG high-legged steps the first time he had them on. I had rode him a lot on gravel roads in just front shoes, and you could see (and feel) the difference in his expression and his movement the first time he realized his back feet were now protected from the gravel. While I have no disdain towards metal shoes, Jax will always be barefoot, just because I know he is comfortable in his boots (and fewer splints).

Renegade Hoof Boot Review: PSSM friendly tack

Renegade Viper Hoof Boots Reviews: Even Better Than Classics for a Round Hoof!

I did switch to Renegade Viper hoof boots and I LOVE them. The treads last longer and I actually broke the boots from massive amounts of use before wearing out the tread (had my first pair for over 3 years in all terrains)! As of 2021 though, he no longer needs boots for gravel roads! His hooves have held shape well and he’s self trimming since putting him on a calcium supplement – his muscles are amazing as well, and his overall management is simple since adding chelated calcium.

Renegade Hoof Boots Review: PSSM Specific Notes

When Jax went full-on symptomatic for PSSM, his feet fell apart.  I still don’t know if bad farriery triggered his muscles or if when his system began crashing his feet fell apart as well.  Either way, if you’re fighting constant hoof issues like low-grade laminitis, long toe/low heel, and hooves that just won’t hold shape (overly malleable in wet conditions), then you’re fighting the same issues I’ve been fighting since 2015.  Chelated calcium is the only thing that’s helped all of these issues! See our current PSSM diet here.

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