Disclaimer: I work for Renegade Hoof Boots as of January 2012. My original review of Renegades was written in August 2008 and can be found here. Everything I wrote then still stands today. Four years later, I’m offering some updated tidbits and feedback garnered from putting thousands of miles in with these boots, as well as a few “things I’ve learned” both in using the boots for an extended period of time as well as working for the company.
|Moving well for 19: Despite her fused hocks, Mimi still moves
well. Letting her go barefoot and booting to ride has allowed her
to stay sound. An easy-to-use, worry-free boot means booting
for just about every ride is no big deal.
I personally started using Renegades five years ago: “sometime” in the summer of 2007, after watching Dad use them for about a year (and waiting for him to wear through enough boots that I could snag a pair of the worn ones to test out).
IIRC, I think I tested them for about a month or so, then ordered my own pair…the same week as the upcoming ride I intended to use them at.
Blind faith, sheer stupidity, or desperation?
Nah…more like a way-too-intimate understanding of all the things that can go wrong using boots, and a rather fatalistic “How much worse could it be?” perspective, based on using and losing boots for the past four years of Mimi being barefoot.
I was a paranoid bundle of nerves at that ride, prone to either calling to Dad or leaning over to check whether my boots were still on every time we:
-Went up a hill
-Went down a hill
-Went through rocks
-Went through sand
which meant I was doing a boot check every 5-10 minutes. Probably good we were doing the LD. But I finished the ride very impressed…and doing a 50-miler 3 months later with absolutely no problems sealed the deal.
In the course of five years, I’ve had very few problems with the boots. The few issues I’ve had have been related to user error, and with a better understanding of the mechanics of the boot and better trimming, I’ve had absolutely no problems for the last two-and-half years.
It’s taken a bit of experimenting, but I’ve finally found Mimi’s ideal sizes and I’m really happy with how they’re fitting her.
In no particular order, things I love about the Renegades:
– The design on the heel captivator and the way it moves with the horse means no rubbing or interference: the horse’s pasterns are allowed to flex and move comfortably. I’ve not encountered any kind of rubbing or pressure spots, even with riding in all the sand around here, plus some wet, rainy rides.
– The tread design provides great traction (excellent peace of mind for the times I ride the paved streets around the barn). As mentioned, I’ve done several rides that have involved wet stuff falling from the sky. Not all of them were in the fast-draining desert, either. One involved slick, slimy mud, wet leaves, narrow, technical trail, and an uphill climb. On that particular occasion, I credit the boots for keeping a minor slip from turning into a major wipeout.
– I also feel that the tread design is such that it provides excellent protection over rocks and rough terrain. Mimi is very surefooted and doesn’t take “ouchy” steps in her boots.
– The colors! Maybe that makes me a shallow airhead…but I’ve always said if I can’t ride fast, I gotta ride pretty. I’m particularly attached to the orange: It’s bright, it’s visible, and it’s instantly recognizable. The copper is also very pretty (matches surprisingly well with a multitude of colors), and black is always a classic for a reason.
– Still super easy to apply and remove. I can boot my pony in two minutes. Removing them is even faster.
– Made in the USA. Support small business, independence, and entrepreneurial minds. Buying within the US supports a local economy as well as our national economy. Every part of the Renegade is made and assembled here in the USA. Doing so enables the company to provide closely-monitored quality control, catch and resolve any potential problems very quickly, provide local jobs, and give fast, reliable service.
To address some of the previously-mentioned potential ‘cons’:
– “The velcro is the weak spot” It was: until the material was updated as of the spring of 2012. The hook-and-loop (Velcro) material is much stronger and grippier, and has been holding up well to mud, water, and sand.
– “Attaching to the saddle is more difficult”
This can still be true…factory recommendation is to not leave them clipped off to the saddle, as the bouncing can stress the cables. Instead, check out the boot bags that SnugPax has made specifically to fit the Renegades
. The bags easily attach to the saddle, and unless your boots are huge and take up the whole bag, I can fit a boot + stuff like horse snacks and e’lyte syringes in there as well.
– “Cost” No, at first blush, they’re not the least expensive option out there. But sit down for a moment and price out all of the other options out there, both shoes and other boots. How often will you have to bring a farrier out? Do you do your own trimming, or do you have to bring a trimmer out? How frequently? Are there any other add-ons to contribute to the base price? Can you replace parts if they break or wear out? What do they cost? Renegades are $169/pair. Each part is individually replaceable.
Four years later, I am even more excited about these boots. I can’t even begin to describe how thrilled I am to be working for the company, doing something I love, being able to share the passion I have for these boots, and I’m eagerly looking forward to things to come!
If you’re curious, or would like to discuss boots with me, leave a comment or email me at email@example.com.
12 thoughts on “Renegade Hoof Boots, Oct 2012”
So I gotta ask, why do your orange boots look more fluorescent than the ones I've ordered? Post processing of photos or its just a super-cool-prototype you get to test? ;-)
Not photoshopped…they're that bright in person. Truly fluorescent. Mine are a slightly different material that's a prototype/special order material we're working with.
I just LOVE using the Renegades! So glad I got to meet and hang with you at Tevis, and pick your brain a little. I agree with about every word in this post!
And I'm glad to have such an enthusiastic convert and boot supporter! You are definitely awesome crew-company…let's do that again some time! (In other words, if you don't have a rider to crew for, wanna help me out with doing Renegade press coverage/general Renegade-rider-catch-all-crewing next year?)
Oooh, that's very exciting!!
Thanks for your passionate commentary on the renegades. I have always had shoes on my horses in the past.
When I bought my haflinger the breeder told me that she rarely uses shoes and so we had the “barefoot” discussion.
With my paint/arab having issues with his feet I decided that barefoot would be best for him and my reading about the renegades from various users sound like a great option for me when the time comes for me to be riding.
The only issue that I have with Renegades (since I havent tried them yet) is this…
WHERE IS A FABULOUS ROYAL BLUE color?????? : )
The Copper will match Nevel's teal tack fabulously….but yeh….where is ROYAL BLUE????
(Falcon wears Royal Blue tack)
Working on it! Blue and purple are both more challenging colors to make UV-stable: they both quickly darken to nearly-black once exposed to sunlight. Based on our quality control standards, we'd prefer not to offer it as an option until we're satisfied the color will stay beautiful and vibrant for a long period of time.
Interesting to read, I wondered that too and knew it was about the materials but couldn't call up the exact reason. I love the quality of the boots, Velcro, all of it. It's so great to have quality control!
Gotta tell ya-we're loving the Renegades! Tom likes the bright orange too…they'll be easy to spot along the trail if he actually lost one! :)
That's great, I'm so glad to hear they're working so well for you guys!