How to be Successful When Using Hoof Boots

Knowledge of alternative footgear options will expand a hoof-care professional’s toolbox

Farriers and veterinarians agree that one of the most common mistakes that is made when purchasing hoof boots is sizing.

Hoof boot manufacturers like Texas-based Soft-Ride, offer tools and advice to help take the guesswork out of choosing the correct size for hoof care applications.

Soft-Ride boots, which were developed by Monty Ruetenik, offer a therapeutic design with a thick gel orthotic inside that enables the horse to find its own most comfortable position while providing sole support. The hoof sinks into the gel and the horse is able to shift its weight, thereby allowing the sole of the hoof to unload. The Soft Ride Boot is also commonly used when hauling horses in metal shoes to provide additional protection and support.


Video instruction for sizing and tips for proper use and application of Soft-Ride Hoof Boots can be found at

Soft-Ride Comfort Boots are available in 22 different sizes, and gel orthotics come in 22 different sizes and six different densities.

Regardless of the hoof boot style and manufacturer, getting accurate measurements is critical to achieving a desired outcome. Correctly measuring the hoof will not only ensure a comfortable fit, but help prevent premature wear of the boot. Soft-Ride offers tips below to take an accurate shoe measurement for its products. Other manufacturers may have a different approach.


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1. Place a heavy piece of paper or cardboard beneath the horse’s hoof.

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2. Trace an outline of the hoof using a pencil. Take care to keep

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Kristen Kubisiak

Kristen Kubisiak has been a writer and photographer with newspapers and magazines for 15 years. A native of Wisconsin, she served as the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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