There are a number of options to provide hoof protection — steel, aluminum, plastic and composite shoes, boots and sneakers.

• Steel shoes provide superior support and durability, but they also add weight.

• Aluminum shoes are light, but they wear quickly and might need to be replaced during the race. Vibration can be a problem if shock-absorbing pads are not used.

• Plastic and composite shoes offer superior shock absorption and traction in certain terrains, yet they can be slippery in wet or muddy conditions.

• Hoof boots are light-weight and provide great coverage, particularly in sand. However, they can be slippery in muddy conditions.

• Sneakers provide excellent protection, support and traction in certain terrains. They can be slippery in wet or muddy conditions.

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