Hoof Boot Friday

You may not know this but today is Hoof Boot Friday. Because I say it is. In honor of this day I’m doing routine maintenance on my hoof boots. The mules have traveled 1,200 miles in them. They need a bit of love.

My hoof boot collection. Brick wears the 4 boots on the left. Cracker’s are the 4 boots in the middle. The 2 on the right are spares. The orange pieces on the far right are replacement soles.
Where I’m celebrating Hoof Boot Friday (Central City, NE).

Brick and Cracker don’t have steel shoes on their hoofs. Instead, they rely on hoof boots to protect their feet from abrasion and sharp objects they encounter walking up the road. The mules have walked through 8 states in the last 3 1/2 months. Their boots have taken a walloping. The good news is there’s nothing major to repair – just standard ongoing maintenance like replacing a few worn out soles and broken cables.

One of my hoof boots that needs repair. The top looks fine but….
…the toe has a hole in it. It’s important to remember that this boot has gone over 500 miles on a mix of asphalt, gravel and grassy road shoulder. The good thing is that you can resole these boots.
The resoled boot. It takes me about 10 minutes to put a new sole on one of these boots. It’s nice to re-use all the other still perfectly good boot parts and just replace the sole, not the whole boot.
My “repair facility”. Cracker and Brick are supervising.

I’ve used a variety of boots in my travels, mostly Easy Boots and Renegades but also Cavallos and Scoot Boots. I’m currently using Renegades because I find them best suited for the long voyage I’m on. They’re tough, not too bulky and pretty straightforward to maintain. No, I don’t get my boots free from Renegade. I have to buy them like everyone else.

Happy Hoof Boot Friday.

Oh, and if you’d like to learn more about hoof boots, check out this extensive field report my wife Julia and I did on 3 major brands of boots and how they performed in some pretty grueling conditions.

Boot Links:

6 Responses to Hoof Boot Friday

  • This comment is not about hoofboots as it should be but instead I am blown away by Cracker in the last picture…He’s the fattest I’ve ever seen him. He even, dare I say it, looks somewhat “fat”. I am so happy about this, as we had imagined him being a skinny dude by nature, that he would look rail thin on this voyage. It was one of our top concerns when you set off. So great job keeping him porked up.

    • I love the term – “porked up”. I’m thinking the land of Meat and Potatoes is agreeing with Cracker. He’s got the most weight on him he’s ever had which is amazing given how hard he’s working. Or maybe it’s those Charles Atlas books I’ve been reading him before bed time…..

  • Thank you for the post. I have been contemplating boots for my mule Jasper. After much research, I have decided to go with the renegades. Jasper has tender feet and steel shoes can’t keep the sharp rocks away and he is always flinching when he steps on them. The farrier had ideas,to toughen his soles but they don’t help much. He still has problems with the sharp ones and I feel bad riding him…So, boots it will be.

    • Christine, Your choice to go with hoof boots is solid. My wife Julia’s Haflinger got really tender feet at one point. We fitted him with Renegade hoof boots and that solved the tenderness issue. Gradually, over time, she’s ridden him increasingly barefoot and that’s really helped toughen up his soles. There’s just no short cut for making a hoof tougher. Hoof boots really help. All the best to you and Jasper! PS: you may have to ease out the cables on your hoof boots to compensate for an often taller and wider heel on mules (as opposed to horses). Just contact Renegade on how to do this. I’ve done it on every pair of boots I run on my mules.

    • We have been happy Renegade users for many years. Since we are not riding great distances, we only boot front feet. Rear feet toughen up naturally, and of course carry less weight. Did not know about replacement soles. Very cool! Thanks Bernie

      • Howdy Todd, Yeah, being able to replace the soles is a very cool feature! The rest of the parts (aside from the cables which I break more often that I should) seem to last for darn near ever. Back home we, too, usually only boot on the front feet. Out here, pouring on the miles, the back feet need protection too. Have a great weekend. Bernie

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