Gear Riding

Legacy Boots vs. Sports Medicine Boots – What’s Best?

Professional Choice Sport Boots
Written by Laura V

Comparing Classic Equine and Professional’s Choice

Many riders prefer to add protection for their horses’ legs during exercise, on a trail ride, or in the show ring. There are many options to pick from, including polo wraps, sport boots, and open-front boots. 

Sports medicine boots, in particular, absorb the impact from the horses’ hooves when hitting the ground. They minimize the risk of injury and support the leg. They provide more protection than a polo wrap and are commonly used for higher impact activities.

Two of the most common sport boots are the Classic Equine Legacy boot and the Professional’s Choice SMB. Both are popular in the horse world, and for good reason! With two great options, how do you select the right choice for you and your horse?

Leg Wrap Basics

Why wrap a leg?

Wrapping your horses’ leg is done to support the tendons and ligaments and prevent possible injuries. Legs wraps (think of a polo or standing wrap) are great to use in a variety of situations. They can be used for light flatwork, jumping, and when lunging.

When used, they help to support tendons and ligaments and protect against abrasions and interference injuries.

Wraps are a great option if your horse has sensitive skin and is prone to rubbing from boots. Outside of riding, they work to cover wounds or to keep flies off your horses’ legs.

What is a sports medicine boot for horses?

Sport medicine boots protect the horses’ legs against impact from their other legs or hard objects like jumps. These boots work to absorb the impact from the horses’ hoof hitting the ground and minimize the risk of injury to the tendon and ligament.

Sport boots provide more protection than a polo wrap but less impact protection than a splint boot or open-front boot.

Veterinarians are starting to recommend sports medicine boots more for horses that have experienced a bowed tendon or ligament injury. Riders love them because they are easy to get on and off.

The Two Major Brands:

Classic Equine

Classic Equine has provided high-quality products for the modern performance horse for over 20 years. They carry a full range of products, including boots, saddle pads, cinches, and even a travel line.

Taking the best materials and designs, they make the most functional, protective, and comfortable products for your horse.

Professional’s Choice

Started in 1976 by founder and president Dal Scott, Professional’s Choice manufactures therapeutic equine products.

Their revolutionary technology and products include saddle pads, boots, bits, and anything else you need to care for your horse.

Boot Recommendations

With so many options for horse boots and wraps on the market, it can be hard to decide which is best for you and your horse. There are many options ranging from light pressure and protection to heavy protection helping to absorb shock.

If you’ve narrowed your selection down to a Sports Medicine Boot and need help deciding from there, read on.

Classic Equine Legacy 2

A series of fitting darts provides a clean, close fit. These boots are made with an extended layer of tough, bulletproof material on the cup area to ensure durability.

sports medicine boots

Click to see them at Amazon

Featuring a patented Cradle Fetlock System, these boots provide maximum support and protection to the horses’ lower limb with a double layer of shock absorbing neoprene. The virgin perforated neoprene allows the legs to breathe and for heat to escape, keeping your horse’s legs cooler for longer. The bound edges help keep dirt and debris out while protecting the legs.

Customers love this product! They comment on the versatility (on the trail or in the show pen) and comfort from knowing their horse has some added protection.

These boots are sold in pairs (specific to either the front or the hind legs) and range in price from $70-$110.


  • Quick and easy to put on and off
  • Refined splint pad protects soft tissue, splint bones, and tendons


  • Take a bit of time to break in
  • May stretch out after heavy use

See them at Amazon

Professional’s Choice SMB Value Pack

These boots are made from limestone-based neoprene and can be used with bell boots for added protection. The longer suspensory strap allows for full ankle movement while eliminating hyperextension of the fetlock.

professionals choice smb

Click to see them at Amazon

The Professional’s Choice SMB Value Pack is an excellent option if you’re looking for a soft boot that will provide great protection.

It features an UltraShock lining which protects the cannon bone, tendons, and soft tissue.

Customers comment on the versatility of these boots, using them on a range of horses and situations. These boots are also known for their longevity—several customers mentioned using the same boots for multiple years and they still look like new.


  • Very durable
  • Easy to put on and secure to the leg
  • Stay secure and don’t move or slip down on the leg


  • May not disperse heat evenly around the horse’s legs
  • Heavy/Bulky design
  • Not waterproof

See them at Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are sport boots measured?

Exact sizing and measurements are going to depend on the brand of boot you are purchasing. To fit most boots, you’ll measure the diameter of the front leg at the cannon bone and the height of the leg.

From there, you’ll pick the corresponding size from the manufacturer’s size chart.

Q: Where are Professional’s Choice boots made?

Professional’s Choice boots, and all products, are made in Southern California.

Q: Where are Classic Equine boots made?

Classic Equine boots are made in Granbury, Texas.

Parting Thoughts

There are many great options to pick from to make sure your horses’ legs are always safe and protected while riding! It’s important to make the decision based on the level of activity you’ll be doing and your horses’ specific needs. Sports medicine boots are a great all-around boot for trail riding, jumping, and barrel racing.

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with Classic Equine or Professional’s Choice—both are reputable brands featuring great reviews. Regardless of whatever you choose, remember to get accurate measurements to ensure a proper and secure fit. Happy Riding!

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About the author


Laura V

Laura has showed competitively on the A/AA circuit in hunters, jumpers, and equitation, including in major equitation finals like WIHS, ASPCA Maclay Finals, and USEF Hunt Seat Medal Finals. She was also recruited to ride on the Division 1 Equestrian team at the University of South Carolina. While she does not ride anymore, horses are still a big part of her life. She is involved with the NCEA and college riding, and she has worked professionally as a marketer for an online horse care retailer.