Facing steel price increases as high as 50 percent because of growing worldwide demand for steel, companies are being forced to pass increased shoe and farrier tool manufacturing costs along to customers. With price increases coupled with temporary surcharges, the price of some steel shoes have gone up by as much as 10 percent in recent weeks.
Steel companies blame the price increases on higher energy costs, the devalued dollar, growing worldwide demand for steel and increasingly scarce steelmaking ingredients such as scrap steel (from which horseshoes are made), iron ore and coke. In recent months, Chinese buyers have pushed up scrap steel prices by $30 per ton after having doubled purchases in the last several years. The price of hot-rolled steel has jumped from $255 to $500 per ton in the past 10 months.
When using pads with a wide web shoe, Fred Cleveland says you’ll want to account for the thickness of the pad. A 1/8-inch-thick pad calls for a shoe that is 1/8-inch wider, or 1/16-inch wider on each side, says the veteran shoer from Marshall, Va. A 1/4-inch-thick pad calls for a shoe that is 1/8-inch or 1/4-inch wider on either side. With a 1/4-inch pad, Cleveland says nail holes need to be back punched to provide needed nail slope. With a pad that is more than 1/4-inch thick, your nail holes need to be repositioned for proper shoe fit.