Safe & sound turnout
Regular turnout is a necessity for a happy and healthy horse. Unfortunately, some horses seem prone to injury while out at play even in their paddock. Turnout boots help protect your horse from serious injury whether in paddock or pasture. There are many different brands and styles of turnout boots—which ones are best?
Turnout boots should be evaluated for ease of application, overall fit and quality, price point, durability, and ease of cleaning. Only use turnout boots if you are certain they are applied properly—ill-fitting boots (or boots put on wrong) can cause more harm than good! The six turnout boots herein come highly recommended and are worth a look.
Turnout boots mitigate injuries like cuts and scrapes while a horse is out in the pasture. When horses are playing and interacting with other horses, they can get rough and hurt their legs as a result. Turnout boots typically wrap around the lower leg.
Are turnout boots good for horses?
Turnout boots reduce the risk of injury while outside. When used, however, they need to be put on correctly to work, which can be time-consuming.
When should you use turnout boots?
If you have a horse that is a troublemaker, loves to play rough in the pasture, and injures its legs often, it is best to utilize turnout boots. This will help avoid lameness and/or extra vet bills.
When should you NOT use turnout boots?
If your horse has learned how to take off and play with their turnout boots, it is best not to use them. Additionally, if the boots are not going to be put on correctly, don’t bother—they could cause more harm than good.
Turnout Boot Shopping Tips
Choosing between the many different varieties of turnout boots can be a daunting task. Here’s how to narrow it down:
- Find a boot with an easy-off closure—this will make the boot easy to remove and keep the horse from becoming more injured if the boot gets caught on something. It can be helpful to choose a boot that fastens with Velcro.
- Choose an affordable boot—since horses are bound to lose or damage their boots at some point or another, you may want to hold off on a more expensive pair until you know they will work.
- Select a boot with durable materials—this will extend their useful life.
- Find a boot that is easy to clean—turnout boots are bound to get muddy and dirty in general. You might as well make things easier on yourself long-term!
- Make sure they are breathable—this will help your horse’s legs stay cool and dry, as well as prevent health conditions caused by moisture, such as rain rot.
Top Turnout Boot Options
|Category||Turnout Boot Name/Brand||Price Point||Key Features|
|Best Overall||Professional’s Choice VenTECH All-Purpose Boots||$$||Breathable lining for better airflow, water resistant, padded strike patch|
|Best for Arthritis||Classic Equine Flexion Front and Hind Boots||$$$$||Protection for suspensory ligaments, soft lining, UV and wear resistant|
|Best for Mud Fever||Woof Wear Mud Fever Turnout Boots||$$||Breathable, helps prevent and heal mud fever, waterproof|
|Derby House Pro Neoprene Turnout Wraps||$||Tough exterior, water resistant, hock to heel coverage|
|Best Neoprene Boot||Shires Equestrian Arma Mud Socks||$||Perforated, covers full lower leg, helps prevent mud fever, fits front or hind|
|Best Boots for Sensitive Skin||Lemieux Turnout Boots||$$||Antibacterial, vented, angled straps and skid cap|
$ 30-50 / $$ 51-70 / $$$ 71-90 / $$$$ 91+
Best Turnout Boots for Horses
Best Overall Boots
Professional’s Choice VenTECH All-Purpose Boots
These are breathable, durable boots that you can use for everything from turnout to schooling. The VenTECH fabric allows for airflow around the horse’s leg to prevent sweat buildup. They come in pairs, so you can buy a set for the front legs and a set for the hind.
Reviewers love that they support their horse’s legs and fit well. They also enjoy the flexibility and the cooling effect from the airflow of the VenTECH fabric.
These boots rank high for durability and are further noted as being a great value for the price.
Key features of this boot:
- Breathable VenTECH fabric to allow proper airflow
- Water resistant outside
- Durable PVC strike patch and recessed stitching
- Hook and loop closures for a snug fit
- Great for schooling, showing, and everything in-between.
- Breathable material that ensures horse comfort
- Lightweight and easy to put on
- A little bit on the pricey side
- Sizing can be too large for some horses
Best Turnout Boots for Arthritic Horses
The Flexion Front and Hind Boots for Classic Equine
These are the best boots for your arthritic horse because they provide support for the suspensory ligament and have a flexible design. The suspensory ligament and bones surrounding it are a common spot for arthritis.
While these are a little pricier, they can be worth it if they provide relief for your horse.
Reviewers love the material these boots are made from and believe the support they provide their horses is great. The flexible material provides just what their horses need.
Key features of this leg wrap:
- Suspensory ligament protection
- Flexible design that moves and stretches with the horse’s leg
- Secure fit with hook and loop cradle system
- Made with neoprene and soft Lycra fabric
- UV damage and wear resistance
- Soft and flexible material
- Support and protection for the suspensory ligament
- Breathable with a snug fit
- High price tag
- The fabric can take a while to break in
Best Mud Fever Boots for Horses
Woof Wear Mud Fever Turnout Boots
These are perfect boots to help prevent your horse from getting mud fever, a bacterial infection that develops when a horse is regularly exposed to wet conditions and moisture. These boots actively work to prevent and heal mud fever when it occurs.
They can be used on the front and legs interchangeably.
Reviewers love how well these boots keep their horse’s legs clean and help prevent mud fever in the process
Key features of this leg wrap:
- A top seal that creates a barrier around the knee to prevent bacteria from getting in
- A submarine hoof capsule goes below the knee to prevent mud from going up on the leg
- The fabric is both waterproof and breathable to keep the legs moisture-free and prevent bacteria from forming
- Heel protector enhances durability
- Provide greater support for turnout
- Stays in place all day
- Reasonably priced
- Can be difficult to take off
- Some retailers upcharge for the boots; shopping around may pay off
Least Expensive Turnout Boots
Derby House Pro Neoprene Turnout Wraps
These are some of the least expensive turnout boots on the market. Despite the lower price, they are still high quality and get the job done.
Reviewers love that the boots are so protective—they cover the majority of the horse’s leg.
This may help provide peace of mind, especially if your horse is turned out in a group.
Key features of this leg wrap:
- Water-resistant and quick-drying
- Cover the leg from hock to heel
- Made from neoprene with a hard covering for durability
- Sold in pairs
- They dry quickly so you can use them again the next day if they get wet
- They are strong enough to withstand most scuffs
- They do not fit all horses
Best Neoprene Boots
Arma Mud Socks by Shires Equestrian
These boots are made of high-quality and shock absorbing Neoprene to protect the whole lower leg. As mud socks, they also help your horse avoid getting mud fever by keeping the legs cool and day.
Reviewers love that these boots stay on and in the proper place, and that they protect all the major lower leg bones.
Key features of this boot:
- Prevent mud fever by keeping out moisture and heat through the ventilated fabric
- Double as turnout and mud fever boots
- Made of soft and durable neoprene for comfort and protection
- Strap on with touch close straps
- Full coverage on the lower leg and sold in pairs
- Less expensive than other boot options
- Keeps legs clean and dry
- Easy to wash and clean
- Fit most horses
- Can be both front and hind leg boots
- Velcro and straps get damaged easily
- Does not last as long as other brands
Best Boots for Sensitive Skin
LeMieux Turnout Boots
These are made with antibacterial neoprene fabric that is ventilated to make boots more comfortable for horses with sensitive skin. They also have durable elastic straps so that the boots move with the horse but stay on correctly.
Reviewers love that they provide more protection than schooling boots and that they are easy to fit, as well as praise their durability.
Key features of this boot:
- Made with antibacterial neoprene
- Have ventilation to prevent sweat buildup
- Elastic angled Velcro straps allow proper positioning and secure fit
- Ideal for horses with sensitive skin
- Skid cap allows boots to be positioned properly
- Easy to wash and dry
- Can be used on both front and hind legs
- Effectively keep legs clean and dry
- Easy to wash and take care of
- High-quality durability for joint protection
- Velcro comes undone in muddy pastures
- Holes in the fabric can form inside the fetlock
What’s a leg wrap?
A leg wrap is a broad term for a bandage or boot that can help protect your horse’s lower leg from injury. They are usually made of cotton or another type of soft, quilted fabric.
They are the equine equivalent to a neoprene bandage or kinesthetic tape for humans.
When might you use a leg wrap?
There are many reasons to wrap your horse’s legs. Leg wraps protect from injury and prevent infection of current injury to your horse’s leg. They can also keep medication applied to wounded areas to promote faster healing.
Leg wraps help prevent tendon or ligament injuries, keep the horse’s legs safe during trail rides, reduce the likelihood of swelling if a horse is on stall rest, and provide support and protection.
How do you wrap a leg wrap properly?
The way you wrap a leg wrap affects its ability to protect your horse. If applied improperly, you can prevent blood flow, cause pain, and damage the tendons and ligaments in the leg.
The proper way to wrap legs is as follows:
- Remove dirt, debris, and any moisture from the horse’s leg to prevent skin infection.
- Make sure both the wraps and the horse’s legs are clean and dry.
- Apply padding to the leg, if necessary, in a way that allows it to lay flat on the skin
- Start wrapping inside the cannon bone just above the fetlock joint.
- Wrap the leg from front to back and outside to inside in a spiral, working up the leg and down again. Overlap the layers (counterclockwise on the left legs and clockwise on the right)
- Compress the padding if needed using smooth and uniform pressure.
- Extend the bandages to cover one-half each of the padding on the top and bottom of the leg.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does my horse need bell boots for turnout?
If your horse is prone to overreaching with their hind feet and pulling front shoes off, bell boots could be a great solution. Bell boots are used on the front legs only.
Q: How long can you leave turnout boots on a horse?
Generally, turnout boots can be left on for up to 12 hours a day.
Q: Can you use polo wraps as turnout boots?
Polo wraps do not have the durability or protective material that turnout boots do, so they are not recommended as turnout boots. Additionally they can become unraveled, which could be a safety issue in the paddock.
Q: How do you measure a horse for turnout boots?
Measure the length and width of the hoof from the buttress to the toe and over the widest part of the hoof.
Q: Are turnout boots worth it?
If you have a high-energy or accident-prone horse, turnout boots can definitely be worth the investment! This style of boot reduces your horse’s chance of sustaining a lower leg injury.
Q: Can you turn out a horse in hoof boots?
Horses can be turned out in hoof boots. They are just like turnout boots except rather than protecting the entire lower leg, they protect the hoof.
Turnout boots are a necessary investment if your horse is prone to lower leg injury and/or Mud Fever. We like the Professional’s Choice All Purpose Boots for best overall because they are versatile, breathable, and well-constructed for the price point.
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