Report on Flex boots WAS Re: Glue-on boots with pads

Maxine McArthur

Hi Kirsten and all
Only two rides so far in our new Flex boots; no complaints yet. The first day I just tried them on and made some adjustments to where the gaiter sits and which slots the side straps go through, then rode in them the next day. I have their kevlar pads in the boots. We did a 11km ride on dirt and gravel fire trails, some rocky sections. Several good-sized hills. Walk, trot, a couple of canters. The boots didn't twist or rub at all. The only difference in gait was when she picked her way a bit more slowly than usual down a slippery gravel hill (I was leading)--possibly the Flex have less traction than a hard boot with more aggressive tread like Gloves or Renegades (our usual boots). Or maybe it just felt different in a more flexible boot. 
When the boots were removed, there was a smidge of pebbly sand in the back of the gaiter. 
This morning I tried them again, in a wet sand arena (hard sand, not deep) on the lunge. Nice forward movement from the horse, no twisting of the boots, and no sand at all in the back of the boot. 
They are easy to put on, do up, and take off. Probably about the same ease as Renegades, without the skin-shredding velcro. 
The only downside I have found so far is that the neoprene does get grass seeds stuck in the outside. I wouldn't use them for turnout in summer for that reason. 
I don't think the kevlar pads are magic, but they do look like they will last longer than the black EVA easycare pads. I'm hoping for mileage similar to the red easycare pads. 

I'm not sold on the breakover, but Indy seems to land well in them (not toe-first), so maybe it works okay. The hoof certainly seated itself better in the boot as our ride continued. Next time I lunge I'll take a slo-mo video to check landings. Like Shaku, Indy is probably closer to a 115 sizing straight after a trim, but by about week 2.5 of our 3-4 week trim cycle, she will be closer to the 120.

I did cut about 2mm off the top of the front of the boot--Indy has a short hoof capsule, and I wanted to be sure there was no chance of the top of the boot rubbing on her coronet band. Tres easy to do with kitchen scissors. 

Hope this helps anybody interested in trying these. 

On Sat, Dec 12, 2020 at 02:18 AM, Kirsten Rasmussen wrote:
Maxine, I've been using Flexboots on Shaku's fronts now for several weeks, so I should update you on them.

Shaku is between sizes.  I could cram his hoof into a 110 but there was no way pads would fit in there with his hoof, and he really needs pads for his very thin soles.  Plus the dorsal angle on the 110 boot seemed shallower than on the 120 boot, which meant his hoof didn't go in all the way to the toe of the boot.  And because his pasterns are big, II would have had to use the straps and gator from the 120's to close up the boot.  The 120s are technically too big but even in them Shaku's toe doesn't quite touch the toe of the boot, but the breakover is back far enough on the boot that I am satisfied (I like the 360 degree breakover on the boots!).   Despite being on the big side, I am using the 120s with 12mm black Easy Care pads (the Flexboot pads aren't as thick or conformable) that seems to keep them on snug enough that they don't twist.  I also am using an athletic sock over his hoof with foot powder to minimize moisture buildup between the hoof and pad because he has them on for turn-out 22/7.  Also, the way the pad conforms to the hoof and the grooves in the bottom of the boot seems to prevent the pad or boot from twisting.  Because of Shaku's recent laminitis I haven't been able to really test the boots riding or trotting in tight circles, but they have done well for turnout and he seems comfortable in them.  Except one morning I came out after we had a big overnight storm and I found the boots off his hooves, but still dangling around his pasterns from the upper straps.  Somehow he must have spooked and managed to literally jump out of his boots (and socks, which were laying side by side as if someone had carefully taken them off) idea how it could have happened!   No damage to the boots though, and just a confused look on Shaku's face in the morning.

I love how easy they are to put on, the straps are much easier on my fingers than his Scoots, and I love that I can change the gator daily when it gets damp from rain.  Plus with the padding, the rubber of the boot is well below the coronet and the only thing that touches his skin anywhere is the soft neoprene gator.  A little debris does get in the drainage holes, but the pads help to block that.   Mostly it's just a little sand, but I have found imprints in the hoof pads showing that the odd small pebble got in.

Overall I am very happy with them.  I just wish they had a 115 size to try as that might be a better fit, but I think the 120s with pads will be fine for the kind of trail riding I do.  I'd love to hear how they work out for you!

Kirsten Rasmussen
Kitimat, BC, Canada

Maxine and Indy (PPID) and Dangles (PPID)

Canberra, Australia 2010

Mary M.

I love my Flex boots. Have been using them since July even in our arena as it is quite firm on the track. The Kevlar pads work well, the heel wears down after a while, but that does not seem to affect performance. Glad you like them. 

Mary Marzec, Chelsea MI, 2012
Mary/Katie Case HIstory

Kirsten Rasmussen

Hi Maxine, I'm glad they are working well for you and thanks for sharing those detsils! 

I'm looking forward to jogging with--and riding--Shaku in them this spring.  The dealer I bought from mentioned they are less grippy in snow than the Equine Fusion boots she sells so I can see they might be less grippy on other surfaces.  

I really like how easy on and off they are, that they stay on, and there is no rubbing or big debris getting in to the boot.  Also love that I can change out the gators daily or whenever they are wet, do a quick rinse and wipe of the rubber, we have a clean dry boot to pop back on!  For turnout in a wet climate, this is really great!

Kirsten Rasmussen
Kitimat, BC, Canada