Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2012 Member
No doubt about it, Easyboots of one form or another are a favorite item of necessity for many trail and distance riders around the world. Most of us have a favorite style and mine is the Easyboot Glove.
I love the Glove.
But Glue-Ons do run a close second. I have ridden close to 1,000 AERC miles this year with both kinds of boots and the recent rain gave me time to ponder the pro's and cons of Glue vs Glove. And I have to admit it's a lot easier to come up with favorable reasons, but I did try to balance it out.
Thunder at the finish of 5 days with boots glued on - photo by Karen Bumgarner.
Pro's for Gluing boots:
- The horse moves naturally as the shell just becomes part of the hoof.
- You dont have to worry about debris getting into the boot.
- I know people lose them occasionally but I feel pretty confident they are staying put - just try to take one of those glued boots off!
- The Sikaflex glue gives an excellent cushion to prevent bruising and relieve concussion even more than the Glove.
- Unaffected by hot temperatures and water.
I shot this of TE member Amanda Washington on Belesema Replika and her glued on boots at the 2010 Canyonlands
Cons for Gluing:
- For some of us - gluing is really messy.
- It takes a good 30 minutes just to prep the hooves for gluing, roughing up the walls, getting the hooves super clean, etc and I can have a horse in four Gloves and be saddled by then.
- It does require special equipment (gun, tips) for the Adhere but the Sikaflex will work with a good quality caulking gun.
- The added expense of adhesives, guns and tips that Gloves don't require.
- Glue-On shells are reusable but cleaning the adhesives out of the boot is difficult and time consuming for the average person, but playing with power tools is fun!
Merri Melde took this of Thunder in the sand with his glued boots.
The Pro's of using Gloves:
- They are so extremely simple, just clean the hoof and push them on with an easy whack from a rubber mallet. Hook the gaitor and go: even small children and old ladies like me can put them on.
- Great hoof protectection and some people will add sikaflex to the sole area for extra cushioning.
- Easy removal after a ride.
- Just drop them in a bucket of water for easy clean up.
- Use them again and again.
Thunder and Blue, both outfitted with Gloves - perhaps Drin Becker took this.
The Cons of Gloves:
- They will come off easier than a Glue-On boot, hot temperatures may allow them to stretch and one may slide off in numerous creek crossings - but I had great luck at five days of Canyonlands with no losses.
- It is possible to get debris in a boot but if the fit is correct it takes miles of deep ugly loose footing for that to happen.
- The pastern area or heels can get rubbed although not a common problem and previous blogs have been written about various means of preventing rubs.
- Heavy mud can work itself into the velcro portion of the gaitor causing it to come undone but a wrap of duct tape around the gaitor puts an end to that in a jiffy.
Blue (in Gloves) and I trotting Fandango in the rain and mud. Photo by Steve Bradley
I'm pretty sure that you can come up with some other reasons that I didn't. But my personal conclusion is that gluing is great for a multi-day or maybe even a 100 miler depending on the conditions. I think for most rides though I will continue to use my tried and true Gloves. However, no matter what type of boot I decide to use, there is absolutely no way I am going back to shoes when booting is so simple, efficient and cost effective.