The Open Toe and More - by Jo Harder

The Open Toe and More

If you’re new to hoof boots, Scoot Boots may initially appear to be similar to other brands.  However, once you start researching a bit more, you’ll find that Scoot Boots have several key advantages, including:

  • Open toe
  • Full sole protection
  • No cables or Velcro

My favorite is the open toe, so let’s talk about that one first.

Open Toe

Scoot Boots have a unique open toe.  At first, you might not think that this is important, but if you’ve used any other type of enclosed boot, you’ll quickly appreciate how much mud and water gets into the boot.  The mud and water can have some undesired impact on how your horse moves:

  • Extra weight
  • Bulkiness, causing the hoof to be seated incorrectly
  • Moisture buildup and maybe small stones

When I previously used other boots, the worst for my horses was the moisture buildup, especially here in the land of heat and humidity.  After going through mud and water, the toe would stay wet. Whether it was a few hours or a few days (glue-ons), that moisture caused seedy toe and white line—two results that no horse owner wants to deal with unnecessarily.  Treating the seedy toe and white line typically means additional expense plus a couple of weeks of time and energy to treat those nasties.

Scoot Boots have an open toe that allows water and mud to drain through.  In fact, while the boot is on, you can squirt it with a hose through the front or back of the boot if for any reason you think that there may be some dirt or stones lodged in the boot.  For all the times my horses have worn Scoot Boots or Scoot Skins, I’ve only found a little dirt on the sole. No resulting seedy toe and no white line from having boots on too long.

A great test for whether your horse boots are holding water is to walk through a wet area.  Do you hear that squish, squish, squish sound afterwards? If so, that means that there’s water in the boots.  There’s some lovely silence with Scoot Boots.

Another huge benefit of the open toe is toe pressure relief. This is immensely important for a large percentage of horses who suffer from hoof traumas such as laminitis and pedal bone issues.

One last note about the open toe: it’s a bit flat on the front, meaning that it adds just a millimeter or maybe two to the front of the hoof.  Because it’s not rounded and doesn’t add more mass than absolutely necessary, your horse will move better in Scoot Boots.

Sole Protection

Unlike horseshoes, boots, and glue-ons that just protect the perimeter of the hoof, Scoot Boots protect the sole and allow it natural flexibility.  Just like you feel a huge rock if you walk over it with your own shoes, your horse will feel that with Scoot Boots, but small stuff is tackled with the somewhat aggressive tread on the bottom.

You might end up with some small stones wedged in the bottom tread, but much better to have to take those out with a hoof pick than having them lodged in the sole!

No Cables or Velcro

Some hoof boots use small cables to keep them closed, and those cables eventually fray or break.  Likewise, Velcro eventually loses its stickiness and can cause a lost boot. Either type of failure is not a great experience when you are far out on the trail.  

In all the boots I’ve sold, only one customer has had one of the front straps come undone.  In her case, the other strap held the boot on just fine.

An additional impact of cables and Velcro is how the pastern is squished into the boot.  That can increase the potential for rubs as the hoof naturally moves.

Not having cables or Velcro holding the boot on means that you have fewer points of failure.  While you should regularly check the screws on Scoot Boots to be sure that none are loose (if so, just apply a dab of Loctite), the front straps are quite durable and hearty.


Dave MacDonald has created an ingenious, unique hoof boot design that includes an open toe, sole protection, and without cables or Velcro that are prone to failure.  No horse boot is perfect, but Scoot Boots are pretty darn close.

Jo Harder is an endurance rider in the Ocala, Florida, area and trims her own
Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds. She focuses on completing endurance rides with a happy, healthy horse and having fun

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