View Full Version : Do 'air vent" boots really work?

Jun. 29, 2010, 06:39 PM
I have yet to buy a pair of boots that vent air. They seem to me like another "NEW AND IMPROVED" idea that is the current trend. My question is do they acctually cool there legs enough to prevent injury? Or are they just a good idea but maybe overkill?

Jun. 29, 2010, 06:43 PM
I don't have the study on me, but I was provided with one when I bought a pair of Dalmars.

My anecdotal experience is that the boots are light-weight, don't retain water, don't allow dirt in, don't rub my sensitive TB's white legs, and don't cause scratches like other boots do.

As far as the air venting, his legs are noticeably less sweaty with these boots than other boots. It could be the different material and the light-weight factors that are doing this, and not the air vents... or it could be the air vents.

Jun. 29, 2010, 06:46 PM
I've used them a few times. Their legs do seem cooler when you take the boots off.

Jun. 29, 2010, 07:00 PM
What boots do you use then? Has anyone tried the N.E.W. Airflow boots?

Jun. 29, 2010, 08:44 PM
What boots do you use then? Has anyone tried the N.E.W. Airflow boots?

Those are the ones I use. I like them because they're protective without over heating the leg. They stay in place well too.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jun. 29, 2010, 09:38 PM
Ditto what Blugal said. I also use Dalmars, certainly notice non-sweaty legs when I take them off, but it's true, it *could* be that they are designed to be less tightly fitting than many other boots. Since I used to be cooler in cars with triangular front windows pointing at me, I don't see why my horses shouldn't be cooler with vented boots, though...

Jun. 30, 2010, 09:48 AM
What boots do you use then? Has anyone tried the N.E.W. Airflow boots?

I have these, my horse's legs are definitely cooler in these than in other boots. My only complaint is that when we ride through a field of tall grass, the boots get FULL of seeds. Other than that, I really like them.

Jun. 30, 2010, 07:14 PM
I'm curious about this too as my Woof boots have caused my white legged gelding scratches this summer.

Any suggestions if you are just doing dressage?

Jun. 30, 2010, 09:11 PM
I'm curious about this too as my Woof boots have caused my white legged gelding scratches this summer.

Any suggestions if you are just doing dressage?

Your horse may have an allergy to neoprene or the boots may be holding the bacteria. Have you lysoled them?

Jul. 2, 2010, 03:01 PM
I did trot sets in my new PE boots yesterday....took them off to totally dry legs that didnt feel any warmer than when I pulled him out of the field (it was pretty sunny and warm, he has black legs). Now it was a windy day so Im sure that helped, but I was really impressed. I have never taken off boots to dry legs in the summer, even after a light ride. They are usually somewhere between damp to sweaty and hot.

Probably a combination of the vents and the boots dont fit right up against the skin in most places. On the sides of the leg they gap a bit so air flows through.

Jul. 4, 2010, 10:32 PM
Okay, so... those of you with the NEW boots...do you think they are good as far as protection!?

Fleck's eskadrons slipped down when he hit the bank the other day and he sliced the hell out of his cannon bone. I'm wanting to get a new pair (and was anyways) so I'm thinking I might try the NEWs' cause they seem like they have good cannon bone protection. I'm thinking he's going to need it after this!

Any thoughts? My earlier inclination was to go with the Premiere's but... now I don't know....

Unfortunately, I don't want to rush into this, but it would be nice if I could take advantage of VTO's sale which ends at midnight tonight :(

Jul. 4, 2010, 10:42 PM
So what about sizing? I see them in medium and large...

Do they run big or small?

Jul. 5, 2010, 12:06 PM
My 16h TBx (pretty much a TB) wears the medium and the sizing seems right. Just the front ones might not be "for him" if I cant make them stay put.

Jul. 5, 2010, 02:08 PM
I have the NEW Airoflows -- yes, they are significantly cooler than my Woofs, i.e. dry normal temp legs instead of wet hot legs. They are lighter than the NEW fleece lined XC boots. The foam seems to absorb a lot of shock and they have a hard protector around the tendon that is carbon fiber. They have fit true to size for me on my 16 hand horse, so far I love them.

Jul. 5, 2010, 02:20 PM
If my PE fronts wont stop spinning, I am getting the NEW airflow ones.

Jul. 5, 2010, 06:32 PM
Thanks guys.. may just have to order the NEWs and see how it goes :)

I hope that Fleck isn't too much thicker than the typical TB's. He's almost half TB, so... hopefully he's not a fatty ;)

Jul. 5, 2010, 08:05 PM
I'm curious about this too as my Woof boots have caused my white legged gelding scratches this summer.

Any suggestions if you are just doing dressage?

I wondered the same as you after reading this thread - it looks like there are Airflow brushing boots as well that look good for dressage - on this link they are the third boot in the list:

Jul. 6, 2010, 12:05 AM
Ok, the PE's have had their last chance. Time to drop some more money into the NEWs.

Jul. 6, 2010, 11:54 AM
That sucks Bob.....

Do you still like the PE's for the hinds? I'm wondering if I should just get NEWS for fronts and hinds????

I did find them at amira equi for a decent enough price...compared to the states.

Jul. 6, 2010, 12:05 PM
I do like them for the hinds. And I like the fronts in theory, but they just dont fit my guy.

I have heard the NEW hinds spin on a lot of horses. The PE ones stay put, have excellent fetlock protection, cannon guards, and are higher on the inside. I havent gone xc in them yet, but the few times Ive schooled in them they have stayed put. They were sweaty the other day, but we are in the midst of a heat wave here and its 95* before the humidex here, NO breeze, I wasnt surprised his legs were sweaty under them. They would have been sweaty with no boots at all. Stupid humidity.

Amira Equi has the best prices, but then does it even out with shipping?

Jul. 6, 2010, 01:51 PM
I haven't figured it out. And VTO was kind enough to offer me one more day of the 21% off sale cause I emailed them late the last day and they didn't get back to me in time (since it was like 11 pm when I emailed them) but I declined....I'd really like to get my hands on some and see what would fit best.

Argh.. it's so frustrating that one store doesn't carry every brand or none of my friends have every brand :lol:

It's also a shame I don't want to wait til AEC's, because that would probably be a great time to figure it out, but I kinda want a new pair before then. GRRRRR.....

I think Fleck has normal sized and shaped legs, but.... I hate to shell out the money on something that won't fit or won't be what I want.

Maybe next time I head up to to Aiken I can find some folks with some and try them out and just shop around some more.


Thanks guys!!!

Jul. 6, 2010, 01:53 PM
Maybe I should order PE hinds and NEW fronts.....

Is that what you're going to end up doing Bob? I'm wondering if you're experiences though will be the same as mind. Perhaps Fleck will be the opposite. Maybe I should just buy your ones that didn't work ;) HA!


Too bad they don't have trial sets.....

Jul. 6, 2010, 10:43 PM
I wish they had trial sets! Every horse is so different I guess, and the fit is really important.

Thats what I will end up having, unless the NEWs dont fit either in which case I will curl into fetal position and cry, and then buy some Prolites.

My friend has some fleece lined NEWs I guess I should test drive.

Jul. 8, 2010, 07:46 PM
Bob have you tried the Ecogolds yet? I just got a full set and I love them, especially the fronts. That being said, my friend got a full set the same day and she likes the hinds best so I guess it's a matter of fit.

Jul. 8, 2010, 08:44 PM
Fit can be so finicky, cant it?

Have you ridden in your Ecogolds through water? I havent heard good things about the weight. Someone on here was kind enough to measure the weight of her Woofs vs Ecogolds, wet and dry and oz for oz the Ecogolds were heavier. Thats what I love about the PE they are like negative weight. I guess I should be begging people for boot trials!

Jul. 8, 2010, 09:41 PM
hi - Ecogold here,

Different boots have different advantages and it's up to everyone to figure out which one works best for them, but here's a video from the O'Connor Eventing Camp discussing how we developed our boots and how we weighed the different requirements (impact protection, breathability, water-retention, rubbing issues, sand ...etc) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Kx4qTWYLjs

Karen O'Connor and her groom Max participate in the discussion and there are questions at the end. Might shed some light on a few points.

Jul. 8, 2010, 10:04 PM
Food for thought - though Dover's shipping is crazy expensive, if you go to the store you can order a variety of different things and have them shipped to your house. there is no extra cost for your shipping..

That said - Dover carries the Tri-zone, Woof and now Dalmars.. (BTW- didn't know horseware Ireland made those).. idk about the Nunn Finer boots.

But at least that way you could try a bunch and see...

I love the Dalmars and as soon as my horse is sound enough to ride, i'll let you guys know if they kept the legs cooler. :)

Jul. 8, 2010, 11:04 PM
Thanks ecogold....though it's hard to hear over the birds!!

I'm tempted to wait til AEC's and talk to all the reps, but after THIS....


I'm may have to go ahead and suck it up and hope I can make the best decision on my own.... and get a pair now...

Jul. 8, 2010, 11:09 PM
New business idea: boot rentals.

Jul. 8, 2010, 11:10 PM
Oooh Bob... you are Smarts!!!

Jul. 9, 2010, 09:34 AM
Little late to the party...but.

If you're asking if I own a pair of vented boots and have noticed that they keep my horse's legs cooler than traditional boots, yes. My horse's legs are noticeably cooler (to the touch and in terms of sweating) in his Premier Equines than he was in his Nunn Finer Americans or his Woof Club Boots.

If you're asking if there's scientific research proving that the boots cool the tendons down *enough to prevent tendon damage*, I don't think there's such a thing yet. Tri-Zone did a study that proved one of their boots (assumedly the Allsport) cooled legs down much more than most other brands, but I don't think their study gave specific info about the leg temperature after boot use. Would love to find out that I'm wrong about that!

Jul. 9, 2010, 10:19 AM
I finally splurged on some Dalmar boots-so far so good, although they seem a bit "looser" then the Woof boots I'm used to. I must say, I really dislike slapping our foam shipping boots on our guys in this heat. I really don't know why they don't make some kind of vented protective shipping boot. How nice would that be!

Jul. 9, 2010, 01:07 PM
There are some thermographic pictures that show how much heat dissipation comes from vented vs. non-vented boots. I can't find them on the web but they were in the Tri-Zone sponsored lecture by David Marlin at the USEA convention.
The video is here: http://www.useventing.com/media.php?section=av
It is close to the bottom of the list: "Leg Protection for the Event Horse."

Jul. 9, 2010, 01:23 PM
Thanks ecogold....though it's hard to hear over the birds!! Sorry about the birds...will have to get a mike next time.

And here's an easy breathability test anybody can do. Put the palm of your hand on one side of the boot. Blow some air into the boot from the other side. If you can feel the air coming through, good. If you can't feel the air, it's not breathable.

Then, you get an axe and do an impact test. :D

Jul. 9, 2010, 01:48 PM
late as well. I have the Dalmars, NEW (both the fleece lined ones and the new Airflow ones) and am waiting to get PE hinds that I ordered last week.

I like Dalmars up front on my horses--especially the racing ones. I haven't had any fit issues with them. I don't care for the Dalmars behind although they do seem to fit my horses fine. I use the NEW Airflow behind on my big guy. They seem to offer good protection and stay in place. There is no elastic in them (same with the Dalmars) so that took some getting used to in order to sort out how to get them to fit well.

I liked the NEW with fleece as well...but had a few more fit issues with them.

I will let you know what I think of my PE once I get them.

All of the above I think keep their legs cooler than the Woof boots that I typically used to use. I do have the more breathable woof boots now that I use for schooling and lower level stuff. They are an improvement as well.

Haven't tried the Ecogold boots .... but I love my Ecogold xc pad.;)

Jul. 9, 2010, 02:42 PM
I was due to buy some new x-c boots anyway so I bought the PE's and they arrived really quickly and look nice. I bought M front and M hind and will try them on the tb's tonight and report back. The hinds do seem tall so I am hoping they fit.

Jul. 9, 2010, 02:50 PM
late as well. I have the Dalmars, NEW (both the fleece lined ones and the new Airflow ones) and am waiting to get PE hinds that I ordered last week.

Then it looks like youre the one who should be starting the boot renting business!

Jul. 9, 2010, 02:57 PM
Then it looks like youre the one who should be starting the boot renting business!

Seriously. When you collect horses like I tend to do....you also collect all sorts of other crap too. You would THINK I would learn to buy horses who are a similar shape...but NOOOOO. Yeah...I have blankets, sheets, coolers etc enough for a small horse to a tank.

More than one groom/rider has learned if they need to borrow something at a show....I likely have it (or two) they can try or borrow. Sometimes I surprise myself at what I find in my trunks:lol:

Jul. 9, 2010, 04:10 PM
So.... BFNE.......
Maybe you can help me decide..... go peek at the pic I posted.....
Now... if the eskadron's defense... the boot slid after hitting the bank, and then Fleck smacked himself with the stud, so it's not like he had ANY protection at all when the stud cut him, but...
understandably, I now want mucho cannon bone protection.

So.... what would you recommend? He wears the two strap eskadron XC boots up front and the three strap eskadron XC boots on the back for sizing.

I'd love cooling boots, but honestly, would prefer protection over cooling since the jury's still out at this point!

So.... it's now YOUR decision :) HA! How do you like that!? :D You are my personal shopper :) Shop away :) Buy me some boots :) Front and hind :) Please and thank you :) :yes:

I don't mind having two different types front and back and don't really care what colors etc. Just want his legs to be safe :)

Jul. 9, 2010, 04:20 PM
LOL...tell you what. I can't look at the pictures here at work but will look at them tonight. I know the type of accident you are describing though....I've had horses do the same sort of thing...never any fun.

I'll check out my boot collection and take some pictures for you. I haven't gotten my PE boots yet (just ordered the hinds)...but I think they are supposed to arrive tonight. I will say both the Dalmars and the NEW boots have a hard cannon bone protection and are fairly solid boots.

I will add....no matter WHAT you do...horses WILL find a way to hurt themselves and to make sure you give your hair dresser more business covering your gray hairs;) At least mine always do!

Jul. 9, 2010, 04:27 PM
hee hee. NO kidding!!! I need to start ordering my bubble wrap I guess!!! It all started once I got that last qualifying ride for the T3D :)

But oooh, if you could take pics that would be AWESOME!!!

I just can't seem to find any place that carries them in person, or carries more than one brand. Although if I can get up to Dover soon, I may get to see a few brands. But yes.. pics would be awesome. I may just have to suck it up and order a set and be like Bob ;)

Thanks guys!! I really appreciate all your help!

Jul. 9, 2010, 07:00 PM
What ever you get just make sure it has strong tendon and cannon bone protectors. I have seen horses sever their flexor tendons through regular galloping boots, e.g. Eskadrons etc. when they caught themselves landing after a fence. My horse has hit a fence so hard with the back legs that folks about 100 yards away heard it (you could hear it on the video as well). Thankfully he had the Militares on and the only mark was a scratch on the leather cannon bone deflector.

I use the Dalmars now because of the carbon fiber protectors. Yes, they seem to run cooler but the backs can slip due to their clamshell design. I think a stiffer elastic on the back straps would be good.


Jul. 10, 2010, 04:34 AM
Hmm..... Okay, so Reed... since you joined in... now I get to pick your brain too!!!

I've not heard of the militares....what are those? And I'm guessing you prefer the Dalmars over them? Would you suggest the Dalmars over anything else for protection? Are you saying the backs of the dalmars can slip?

Did you peek at my picture? Poor Flecky! We got super lucky as it could have been so much worse, but.... that's exactly why I want new boots... and GOOD new boots to make sure it doesn't become worse.

So..... everyone please chime in and help me decide. :)

Jul. 10, 2010, 11:40 AM
I did see the pictures and that is why I immediately thought more of protection than heat dissipation.

These are the Militares:


The strip of leather over the green elastic is the cannon bone protector. It works very well. However, these boots are heavy and neoprene lined so heat does build up and they are expensive. In my case they held up for 7 years of hard competition.

I can not say I have any preference.

I have the Dalmars mostly because I was able to get an entire set of fronts and backs for $150 from my tack store as they closed them out (it caters mostly to h/j). I saw them years ago and fell in love with the design (vented and light weight). I got them when they were the only boot out. It has only been recently that other designs have come to market.

The hind straps are a bit more stretchy than I would like. I think they tend to allow the boot to slip. It has only happened a couple of times on Shiv but it has happened.

It looks like they cahnged the Dalmar design to address the slipping issue:


You don't see the older "clamshell" type (the front and back are 2 separate pieces on mine).


Jul. 10, 2010, 04:22 PM
Bob I soaked my boots last night, literally just hosed them down and yes they are heavier than when they are dry but to my mind they are a perfectly reasonable weight. I also don't think that they're going to get nearly as wet by going through a water jump as they did from my soaking them on all sides.

You should try them. Ecogold will take them back if you don't like them so they're totally worth a try I think.

Jul. 10, 2010, 05:28 PM
I may have to buy a front pair. Le sigh. This is harder than I thought.

Jul. 10, 2010, 09:44 PM
Ok...I got my PE hind boots last night...and used them today at my event. I like them a lot.

So in choosing between the NEW, Dalmars, PE boots and Woof boots.....My current prefered set up are the Dalmars up front (especially the racing ones) and the PE on hinds.

I do have the NEW Airflow behind on my big horse...and they are fine. I haven't had them slip around at all....but I think I like how these fit...might have to invest in a pair for him if these don't fit him.... If anyone wants pictures of those...I can get the big guy out for some modeling:)

Pictures are of these boots on my little TB (sorry for the quality...they were taken with my phone). This guy is only around 16-16.1 hands. I got mediums in the PE and they do fit. Dalmars do take some getting use to in how to put them on since there is just one strap...makes if very easy to get them off!


Jul. 10, 2010, 10:09 PM
Yes I spent the better part of an afternoon at a clinic walking up rivers and jumping all sorts of fun stuff, and I approve of my PE hinds, didnt budge. Plus they were dry in a matter of seconds and weightless still when wet. Such a shame my fronts arent for him.

Jul. 11, 2010, 01:49 AM
Wow... What a CUTE pony!!!!! I hope the event went well. And super thanks for spending the time to take pictures when you were also showing. :) :) You're awesome!!!!

That was super helpful too! So.... any other posters willing to take some pics too? I'm sorta thinking now that I have a better idea of what I may try to buy. Although I have a sinking feeling I may end up like you Bob... buying and buying again. Sigh...

On a happy note... My pony was sound at the walk and trot today!!!! We only trotted for about an arena's length as to not push it but YAY!!! The down side is.. just before my ride... I managed to step on a baseboard nail wearing only my crocs, so now I"m super lame :( :(. Gonna have to go get my tetanus booster in the am. So.... maybe I need boots too!

Jul. 11, 2010, 11:54 AM
bornfree's pics are much more helpful than the catalog pics of the PEs-- I want a pair of the hinds for Taco (he does have that fragile scar tissue on his LH cannon, in case anyone needs reminding).

Jul. 11, 2010, 12:16 PM
I could post pics but they would look exactly like BFNE's on my little bay horse. But they really did not budge at all despite the rough ride they got, so I was very happy with that.

Jul. 11, 2010, 12:34 PM
...boots of choice for front legs or is this just for lovely Loveton? :cool:

Jul. 11, 2010, 04:59 PM
...boots of choice for front legs or is this just for lovely Loveton? :cool:

I actually originally bought them for my big red horse (Prince) but they are a little small so Loveton got them. But I do use Dalmars up front on Prince as well...but he has the "eventer" style....they were on sale!

The "eventer" style generally runs larger than the race style. Prince is a TALL wb/TB cross wears the normal horse size...whereas Loveton is wearning the normal horse size in the racing style. I've seen the "large" fronts for Dalmar in Dover and they are REALLY large....they would be too big for Prince.

The "eventer" style Dalmars are made out of a bit tougher material than the racing ones. But the biggest difference is that they have a front canon bone guard as well as tendon guard. The "racing" style are lighter but only have the tendon guard. So if you want to protect the front of your horse's front legs...I would go with the Dalmar "eventer" style for the front boots.

I swear booting horses is similar to picking out studs for them....you have to factor in your own personal tastes but also the individual horses. This is just what is currently working for me and my two boys. Although the BEST thing that works for them is to not hit the fences :D

ETA: Thanks for the compliments on Loveton....he is a cutie and is really a wonderful ammy horse even though he is still green. I'm having a ton of fun with him. So much for being a sales project...he's a keeper :)

Jul. 11, 2010, 05:04 PM
On a happy note... My pony was sound at the walk and trot today!!!! We only trotted for about an arena's length as to not push it but YAY!!! The down side is.. just before my ride... I managed to step on a baseboard nail wearing only my crocs, so now I"m super lame :( :(. Gonna have to go get my tetanus booster in the am. So.... maybe I need boots too!

Glad he is sound....but NOT good about your nail and crocs! I had a nail once go through my paddock boots...I was lame for a while too. Make sure you soak your foot....and have a good beer every night. It helps with the healing process...I swear;)

Jul. 11, 2010, 09:29 PM
Really good article on boots in this week's print Chronicle. It's a must read. Made me think that what is really needed is something like Porter protectors with holes and a Kevlar mesh bandage to hold them on. The British researcher who has been working with boot evaluation says that heat is horribly damaging to tendons. The article quotes one study from Japan that showed 80% of tendon cells in a Petri dish died after only ten minutes at 48 degrees Celsius.

Article also points out that extra weight has the effect of changing a horse's
gait. As boots take on water, they get heavier; and that means extra work for the horse.

There are some BNRs who talk about the boots that they use. But since eventing is so very much longer and different from the stresses in the other disciplines, eventers have much more to worry about. The eventer they quote is Ryan Wood, who uses N.E.W. boots on cross country and open fronts in front and ankle boots behind in stadium. No fleece lining, he says, and as much water repellency as possible.

So, the article suggests that we 1) think first about heat retention; second about water absorbency; and (this is my thought) think of boots as safety helmets for horse legs. They won't prevent soft tissue pulls, but they will help with impacts.

Jul. 11, 2010, 10:31 PM
The COTH article covers very similar material to that in the video presentation I linked to in post 33 above-- both feature David Marlin.

Jul. 11, 2010, 11:12 PM
Really good article on boots in this week's print Chronicle.

It sounds similar to the one that ran in Horse Sport recently. About the pros and cons of booting. Very interesting for sure. Definitely heat, weight, and flexibility are key subjects, but of course they also have to protect against some nasty knocks and rogue hooves with big studs. Not easy.

Jul. 11, 2010, 11:14 PM
This information is not new, only the fact the public is beginning to understand it is. It has been well documented for decades about how exercise heat build-up degrades tendon and ligament function. Deeda Randall who has been part of USEA and USEF for a very long time did her M.S. thesis on protein denaturation in tendons and ligaments during exercise almost 15 years ago! Only now are the marketers and equipment makers finally getting in the game. Thus, the public finally gets the bullet point ideas.


Jul. 12, 2010, 02:51 AM
Rogue hooves with big studs! Hee hee.. That was definitely us the other day!!!

Yeah....so okay, that brings up a good point!!! What about porter boots?! I sorta thought about those, but... do they offer enough protection?

ARGH!?!? It's almost TOO many choices you know?!?!

Just when I think I have it just about decided... someone throws in another point....

Jul. 12, 2010, 11:22 AM
In this day and age with all the new boots there are, I wouldnt use porters unless no other boot fit my horse. They dont have a tendon guard/cannon guard so I cant see how they would provide anymore protection than a neoprene brushing boot.

My friend runs in porters behind, and PEs up front, and just ordered PE hinds because after xc her horse's front legs looked and felt so much cooler and tighter than her hinds.

Plus I would worry about them shifting. Even if you wrap it perfectly, if the horse has a hard rub on a fence, it could potentially shift the tension in the wrap, no?

Jul. 12, 2010, 12:05 PM
Good point... :)

This is so very helpful :)

Okay... now to just make sure the pony heals!!! I'm worried he's getting a sequestrum... or has one... whatever! He's got an area that is still oozy. Hopefully it's just a grumpy piece of skin that is misbehaving and now that I've picked at it and set it free, the rest of the leg will behave. :yes: Please!!! He was sound yesterday for a short trot set, so.... fingers crossed.

And as an aside... I love him so... He was such a good boy for my poking and prodding and squirting of betadine into his wounds today. He soooo wanted to kick me and told me quite plainly to please leave him alone, but... tolerated it quite patiently. Then ate his cookies and gave me kisses. Ahhh... I love him so! Hopefully this is just skin funk and not bone funk!!!

Jul. 12, 2010, 12:39 PM
Just tossing in another question: my mare has to wear boots when turned out. She's not in work because she's recovering from suspensory surgery (her turnout is very small.) What would be a good choice of boots for her, something that won't heat up too much?