I bought a pair when my horse had tendon surgery, as it was necessary to wedge his feet. Never used them--we went with wedge shoes instead. I'm pretty sure they are not meant for and would not hold up to much riding at all. They are nice and cushy and seem well made, but would be too mobile and clunky for anything but walking sedately.
Would part with them for not much if anyone needs a pair . . .
When my gelding was at the vet college last year for canker surgery on his hinds, coupled with a 10 day stay in isolation when he developed raging diarrhea, they put his fronts in Soft Rides. They aren't for riding - therapeutic or great for trailer rides. They are pricey and I am glad I got to see them first. They are heavy duty and well made. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them - just not for riding.
If memory serves me, the sizing is opposite of most boots. The smaller the number, the bigger the size.
When my horse foundered last year, I bought them so I didn't have to struggle with foam and duct tape. They would not be for riding, or even turnout beyond the tiniest pen. Too bulky and I really wasn't that thrilled with them, considering the high cost. I had a hard time with sizing -- had two different sizes sent to me to be sure (could send the "wrong" one back) and one was too big and one too small. Went with the slightly too big pair and if I wrapped the foot in a "sock" of vetwrap, they would stay on okay. But often they spun around on the foot, and the velcro holding the insert pad (cushy part) to the outer boot would not hold, so the pad would spin within the boot. My horse was in a well bedded stall then, no turnout, so he wasn't moving around that much, yet just turning in the stall is when stuff started spinning.
I also have reservations about their durability -- mine lasted okay, but I only used them a couple of weeks or so and then begged/bribed my farrier to put shoes on. The boots look kind of worn already, with some places where they fabric part is pulling apart. One of these days, I'll clean them up and put them on ebay or something, as I don't plan to use them again. I still have plenty of foam and tape should I need it again (hope not)!
As for sizing, I'd have to go back and check, but I think mine were a 5...maybe a 4? In shoes, he's a 2, so the soft-ride size doesn't correspond. I think the website has lots of info on how to measure and fit. But some will be like mine and be kind of in between sizes, plus if you have one foot bigger than the other, that can create a problem (like I said, I had to do a "sock" of vetwrap to make them snug enough).
Oh and size wise, don't measure too long as I did. The width is the thing. I got a size 3 which was too big and then got a size 4 pair. which is the right fit for a big hoofed Hessen (size 3 steel shoes).
I think Marisa had the size 6. Ask appychik
They are not for riding but last years on stall rest. And, I gave appychik my cavallos which are good for riding.
The vet put Willie (Arab with penile cancer) into Soft-rides after he foundered because of his surgeries/steroids/Cushings and related issues. They were great for him while on stall rest and for his trailer ride home. We kept him in them until he could tolerate the shoeing saga that followed. They fit him well, and allowed him some comfort while in his stall. They certainly are not meant for riding in, but they were great for him at the time. He is now barefoot and competing in schooling dressage shows.
I bought some for the pony when she came down with laminitis. You could tell they immediately made her feel better. Sizing is very important, they should fit very snuggly. The pads fit very tightly in the bottom of the boot and I never had any problems with them staying where they belong. I kept them on her until she felt good enough to start running around, about a week or so, and then I kept them off as they aren't meant for working/riding. For me they were worth every penny.
Like cloudyandcallie said, I had some Soft Boots kindly donated to Gus, along with some Cavallos. The Soft Boots were amazing and even though I should probably replace the pads, they help up well to 24/7 use for 3 weeks or so that Gus wore them. He wore them in all kinds of weather, as he's pasture boarded. I was very pleased with how they held up in the mud... weren't nearly as bad as the Cavallos.
And I did ride in the boots. Granted it was very light work, but there never was any issues. I just made sure to remove them after work to make sure all the sand and arena debris was removed. We had a lovely, HUGE canter too .
So, depending on the situation, they may or maynot work. I would not hesitate to use them again.
Tried to use them for my horse when he had laminitis. He promptly removed them every time!!! They must not have been comfortable for him. I think they are very heavy with the pads in and could not imagine riding in them or turning a horse out in them. If I ever have to use them again, I will use them without the pads and use styrofoam instead.
Duh, I forgot and am having computer problems so I should have said this last week.
You can take the inserts out of the soft rides boots and use them in other boots, supposedly in the cavallos.
You cannot buy the soft ride inserts separately as I found out when I tried to buy some for appychik. Thanks to zackandtoto, she got the boots and inserts so she can try out the inserts in Callie's old cavallos.
These boots were a life saver for my mare who foundered on both front feet. She wore them in dry lot turnout 24/7 with absolutely no issues such as rubs or coming off. I will say that they only last 4 months or so under those conditions, but her comfort was worth every penny. I keep a pair handy just in case!
I have an aged gelding (30 years) who has Cushings, IR and arthritis--you name it. He was wearing soft rides just for hard footing, but got very foot sore in the Fall--seemed like a mild laminitis episode to me--though the bet said no. He wore the soft rides 24 / 7 all winter and has done well in them; no rubs and I am meticulous about keeping his feet clean and brushed inside the boots. BUT I cannot get the fit correct even after talking with the company on many occassions. He seems to be between sizes : a 6 and a 6L. The companies most recent suggestion has been to go with the larger size and stuff the sides with lambs wool to take up the space. The boots have also not lasted as long as I had hoped given the price. The company will not "rebuild" them or send you a spare top so that you can try a local shoemaker to put on the tops, etc. Having said that, I would probably not have my old horse if not for these boots. However, with the weather and the footing getting better, I worry about his part experiences with them in a turnout situation. They tend to flop around on his feet. If he is in the smaller size, 6, he runs over the back of the boot and the toe flops around. If it is the 6L (minus the lambs wool) the whole boot turns and flops. I know they are not meant for turnout, but his guy needs a little time to move around on his own for many reasons. Even at his age, he likes to sometimes trot or take a few canter steps --probably because the boots allow him to be comfortable. I noticed that Easyboot has one in their line: the Easyboot RX. You can order one at a time if the horse has different sized feet and they seem to come up pretty high. Has anyone tried them. I would appreciate your comments. They are also a little cheaper.
I have used them for about 4 years mostly when I trailer my horses. I am a bird dog field Trialer and we usually pull 4 or 5 hours between events.
Twice a year I make a 20 hour trip and stop in the middle for a overnight horse motel stay.
Soft Ride boots have made the trip much easier on my three guys who are now 16, 12, and 11 years old.
They don't stock up and they come off the trailer without acting stiff or sore like they did before I used the Soft Ride
I see a big improvement. Kinda like Nike for horses.