The best cross-country boots for horses are lightweight, fit well and offer excellent protection against impacts – whether it be from a fence or a strike from another leg. While brushing boots are also seen on the cross-country course – usually when a rider does not take their horse cross-country regularly as they offer better protection than nothing – cross-country boots offer a higher level of protection, and are often teamed with overreach boots where necessary. Some boots have a rigid strike pad, while others are more flexible but may offer less protection – this is something you’ll want to weigh up while selecting a pair.
Fit is extremely important as a boot that slips or twists while you’re on course could be a real problem – and you don’t want the boots to rub either. Secure fastenings are also essential for a good fit and to keep the boots in place. While you want the fastenings to be strong, they shouldn’t be difficult to remove in a hurry once you’ve completed the phase.
As an increase in tendon temperature in fast work can lead to fibre damage, breathability and airflow are also important features. It’s advantageous to have boots that do not absorb water, too, so as to not add unnecessary drag to your horse’s leg.
We’ve rounded up a selection of the best cross-country boots on the market, and we’ve been testing them out, too.
Best cross-country boots
Veredus E-Vento XC boots
Colours: M or L | Sizes: M or L | RRP: £131 (front), £140.50 (hind) | Review: 9/10 |
These boots are described as lightweight for greater freedom of movement and flexibility, with waterproof, all-terrain robust protection. They have a flex shell, shock-absorbing strike plate and foam pads, tendon support, and are made with micro perforated neoprene that allows moisture and heat to escape. They are secured with a wide Velcro closure.
Read H&H’s independent Veredus E-Vento XC boots review.
Equilibrium Tri-Zone Impact sports boots
Colours: Black, white, azure blue or flame red | Sizes: XS–L | RRP: £69.95 (front), £79.95 (hind) | Review: 9/10, H&H Approved |
These boots from Equilibrium are independently tested in the same laboratory as hats and body protectors for full confidence that they will protect against the typical knocks and strikes horses may get out on the cross-country course. They are flexible, breathable, and lightweight, as well as easy to wash. They also come with a one-year guarantee.
Read H&H’s independent Equilibrium Tri-Zone Impact Sports boots review.
LeMieux Carbon Air XC Boots
Colours: Black | Sizes: S, M or L | RRP: £48.50 (front), £52.50 (hind) | Review: 9/10, H&H Approved |
These fully vented boots from LeMieux allow air to strategically flow through the boot to keep tendons cool. They feature shock absorption and tendon support with a flexible polycarbonate strike guard, which offers great protection while retaining a lightweight profile. The new perforated lining is soft and non-slip, while an elasticated central locking strap keeps the boot secure.
Read H&H’s independent LeMieux Carbon Air XC boots review.
Zandona Carbon Air X-Country
Colours: Black or brown | Sizes: S, M or L | RRP: £149.90 for a pair |
These boots from Zandona offer an extremely high level of protection including a patent-pending 360° fetlock protection, carbon fibre and gel cushioning. They are lightweight and water repellent, and the lining is contoured to conform to your horse’s limb for excellent fit and protection. The unique double strap closure ensures security.
View now at amazon.co.uk
Shires Arma Cross Country Boots
Colours: Black | Sizes: Cob, full or extra-full | RRP: £48.99 (front), £45.99 (hind) |
These contoured boots from Shires have fibreglass polymer tendon shields to protect the tendons and suspensory ligaments from over extension of the hind legs, while padding at the front protects the legs from bruising. They are breathable, lightweight, quick to dry and fastened with touch-tape straps.
Hy Equestrian Armoured Guard Event Plus boots
Colours: Black | Sizes: M or L | RRP: £43.99 (front), £47.99 (hind) |
These lightweight and breathable boots from Hy are lined with a micro neoprene mesh and have durable strike pads on the outer shell. They are secured with three (front) or four (hind) faux leather touch-tape fastenings.
QHP Q-Cross Technical Event boots
Colours: Black, navy, cobalt blue, purple, fuchsia, orange or mint green | Sizes: S–XL | RRP: £29.95 | Review: 7/10 |
Made of an extremely sturdy 2520D fabric, these QHP boots have shock-absorbing, breathable mesh and strike plates to protect the tendons. The strong binding makes them particularly durable, while the elastic in the fasteners offers an easy and secure fit. They do not absorb water, are dirt repellent and machine washable. These boots are a good option if you’re looking for something bright in a range of colours.
Read H&H’s independent QHP Q-Cross Technical Event boots review.
WeatherBeeta Cross Country Boots
Colours: Black | Sizes: Cob or full | RRP: £53.99 (front), £54.99 (hind) |
These Weatherbeeta boots are shaped to the leg and mould around the fetlock area without restraining the natural action, providing comfort and protection. They have a tough strike pad that protects the tendons and feature a secure, adjustable touch-tape closure, breathable lining and durable and breathable mesh outer for maximum protection.
Mark Todd Pro XC Carbon closed boot
Colours: Black | Sizes: S, M or L | RRP: £44.99 for a pair |
These wrap-around boots from Mark Todd have a carbon design and flexi shank that provides additional protection while maintaining maximum flexibility. They also feature touch-tape fastenings and a perforated foam inner for comfort and breathability.
Eskadron Flexisoft cross-country boots
Colours: Black, white, dark brown or nightblue | Sizes: Pony (front only) or full | RRP: £63.95 (front), £78.95 (hind) |
Made from a very strong and shock-absorbing material with a soft flexible zone below the knee, these boots are lined with a cushioning layer of neoprene to evenly distribution pressure and give a comfortable fit. The boots have a double (front) or triple (hind) Velcro fastening, made extra secure with a sturdy press stud.
View now at amazon.co.uk
Premier Equine Carbon Tech Air Cooled eventing boots
Colours: Black, white, navy or brown | Sizes: S, M or L | RRP: £70 (front), £74 (hind) |
These Premier Equine boots are designed so that air passes through the front vents, circulates and exits out of the side vents to keep the tendons cool. They are made of Carbon Tech Microfibre leather, which is stronger than real leather, stretches and moulds to the leg. It is also lighter and machine washable. The front boots have a strike guard that runs down the back of the boot protecting the tendons and ligaments from knocks and over reach injuries, while on the hind boots it runs down the front to protect from impact with fences.
View now at ebay.co.uk
New Equine Wear XC Airoflow boots
Colours: Black or white | Sizes: S, M or L | RRP: £85 (front), £90 (hind) |
Designed to be flexible, protective and cooling, these N.E.W. boots allow air to circulate around the leg, while protecting the tendons and allowing them to move. The new, shatterproof DuraFlex guard cups the tendon on the front legs and the cannon bone on the hindleg, allowing movement and resisting impact. The boots feature reformed leather straps and are supplied with a free wash bag.
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