Bell boots for horses are most commonly used to prevent overreaching, which is when the front of your horse’s back hooves accidentally hits the heels of its front feet. Another common time to use bell boots is when a horse has shoe studs, which could result in injury if a stud from one hoof hits another hoof on accident.
Luckily, bell boots are easy to use and affordable. Just slap on a pair and your horse’s overreaching issues should be ended. But not every pair of bell boots fits the same or is made equally. Some are durable while others fall apart, and each pair offers different degrees of protection. To help you weed through the many options and pick the best boots for your horse, we’ve written reviews on the eight most popular bell boots, comparing each of them in-depth to make your decision much easier.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Weaver Leather No-Turn Bell Horse Boots||
|Best Value||Centaur Ribbed PVC Bell Boots||
|Premium Choice||Professionals Choice Equine Ballistic Bell Boot||
|Horze Pro-Bell Neoprene Boots||
|Tough 1 No Turn Bell Boots||
The 8 Best Horse Bell Boots – Reviews 2020
1. Weaver Leather No-Turn Bell Horse Boots – Best Overall
One of the foremost complaints about most bell boots is that they turn and slip around on the horse’s foot far too much. Well, these no-turn boots from Weaver Leather are designed to put an end to that, and they do a great job. These boots don’t slip around, but they also don’t rub or create any pressure on the horse’s foot.
These boots are crafted from durable ballistic nylon. This means they’re soft but still rugged and able to withstand the tough life of a horse’s foot covering. They’re easy to put on and offer excellent shock absorption in case your horse oversteps. To be fair, you’re paying a bit more for these boots than many competitors, but we think the durability and secure hold make them worth the extra cost.
2. Centaur Ribbed PVC Bell Boots – Best Value
Rather than being made of soft neoprene or nylon, these bell boots from Centaur are made of PVC. They feature standard hook and loop closures that hold them securely in place with double stitching to ensure durability. The exterior is ribbed to deflect strikes from the rear hoof when a horse oversteps, providing ample protection.
One of the reasons you’ll most likely be attracted to these bell boots is the low price. These are some of the cheapest bell boots we’ve seen, yet they perform on par with much pricier products. That’s why we think they’re the best horse bell boots for the money. To be fair, they might rub on some horses, but most of the boots we’ve tested had that potential, so we’re not going to knock these too much for it.
3. Professionals Choice Equine Ballistic Bell Boot – Premium Choice
If you’re looking for a more premium option to cover your horse’s hooves, then check out the equine ballistic bell boot from Professional’s Choice. It features a shock-absorbing lining for superior protection with a reinforced strike area ensuring your horse’s foot is safe and secure. There’s a no-turn knob that prevents the boot from spinning, helping to keep this boot in place without the need for any fussing and readjusting.
These boots are made of durable rip-stop pro mesh. It won’t tear or hold water, but it’s still soft enough not to rub or cause discomfort. Granted, you’re paying quite a bit for these boots, so they needed to be crafted from premium materials. Considering the high quality, snug fit, and superior protection these boots provide, we think it’s money well spent.
4. Horze Pro-Bell Neoprene Boots
If you can’t stand the drab blacks and grays that most bell boots are available in, then you might be attracted to the Horze Pro-bell neoprene boots. These come in 10 different colors, allowing you to add a little splash of color to your horse’s feet. They also come in sizes that range from small to XX-large, so they’ll fit a wide range of horses, though getting the proper size could prove difficult.
Thankfully, these bell boots are affordably priced. They’re made from soft neoprene that’s non-abrasive and offers great cushioning against hoof strikes. That said, neoprene isn’t the most durable material, so these boots probably won’t hold up for the long haul, but they’ll definitely be comfortable for your horse while they last.
5. Tough 1 No Turn Bell Boots
Another colorful option, these no-turn bell boots from Tough 1 come in seven different colors, including a bright pink option. They’re made of soft neoprene, but the design is a bit more involved than some of the other simple neoprene boots they’re competing against. The neoprene won’t rub your horse raw, making for a comfortable fit. Unfortunately, the hook and loop closure doesn’t hold very well and tends to wear out quite quickly.
These boots come in just three sizes, so you should be able to get the right fit without too much hassle. Be aware that sizing runs small though, so you might need to order larger than you think you need. Inside, a no-turn nodule ensures the boot doesn’t slip around on your horse’s hoof. They’re decent boots overall, but with several better options available, they’re certainly not our first choice.
6. Davis Bell Boots
These bell boots from Davis Manufacturing are made of durable PVC rubber, like other cheap boots we’ve already covered on this list. The problem is, these boots are far pricier than they should be for what they are! They’re just simple PVC boots with nothing special about them, yet they’re priced much higher than you might expect.
One nice thing about PVC boots is how easy they are to clean. Because of the high-gloss exterior, you can simply wipe these clean with a rag, even if they’re exceptionally dirty. On the downside, despite conforming to the shape of your horse’s foot, there’s not much comfort to be found in a PVC boot. It’s a hard material and there’s no soft liner to prevent rubbing and keep your horse’s foot comfortable.
7. Cashel Company Rubber Horse Bell Boots
They’re definitely not pretty, but these rubber horse bell boots from the Cashel Company offer some utility. They feature dual hook and loop closures to ensure they stay on. However, a no-turn knob is conspicuously absent, and because of it, these boots tend to slip around quite a bit, no matter how tight you secure them.
Rather than neoprene, these boots are constructed from stiff rubber. While rubber is certainly durable, it’s not the most comfortable material. The hard rubber will rub on some horses and can cause hair loss and sores, so be careful. On the other hand, they do provide ample protection against hoof strikes. Plus, the standard small, medium, large sizing makes it easy to find a good fit. We just wish they stayed put and didn’t rub!
8. Shires ARMA Neoprene Overreach Boots
The Shires ARMA Neoprene overreach boots are simple bell boots crafted from neoprene. They offer minimal protection compared to other boots, though they’re at least soft enough to prevent rubbing. The neoprene does absorb some shock but offers dismal durability. These boots won’t last long because of it.
Available in three sizes, these boots run large, so order down a size. We had a hard time finding the right fit. Compared to similar boots, these are overpriced, and there are more affordable options on the market that offer superior protection and fit, which is why we don’t recommend these.
Bell boots for your horse aren’t about making a fashion statement. Rather, these boots are all about protection. They’re intended to offer your horse some protection against overreaching, which is when the horse’s rear footsteps too far and hits the back of their front foot. This can cause injury and damage; hence, the need for bell boots.
But you can’t just purchase any bell boots and expect a great fit and sufficient protection. Some boots fit well; others slip all over. There are also major differences in durability and the level of protection offered by each model. Don’t let it overwhelm you though. In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to discuss the most important traits you should be looking for in a bell boot and how to compare them between models to find the perfect boots for your horses.
One of the biggest differences between boots is what they’re made of. Bell boots can be crafted from several materials, and the most common options are neoprene, nylon, or PVC rubber. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks.
For instance, PVC tends to be very durable and offers great protection, but it also lacks comfort and can rub your horse raw. Nylon offers the best of both worlds, providing sufficient protection in a comfortable boot, but nylon boots are usually the most expensive. Neoprene boots are affordable, but they don’t offer as much protection as PVC or nylon, though neoprene tends to be one of the most comfortable, softest materials.
While material plays a big role in the level of protection a boot offers, it’s not the only factor. Each boot features its own design and covers the foot slightly differently than other boots. This means that some boots protect the foot better than others. You’ll want to consider the design and material to determine how much protection any given boot truly offers for your horse.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much protection any particular design offers or what material it’s made out of if it doesn’t properly fit your horse. Even the best boot will only provide sub-par protection when it fits poorly.
Some boots come in standard small, medium, and large sizing, though others might also offer additional sizes. The availability of additional sizes can often make it difficult to find the right fit for your horse, and sizes run differently between brands.
Even if you get the right size, there’s no guarantee that it will be a great fit for your horse. Sometimes, even the right size boot will rub, though it might not rub on another horse. Differences between horses can mean that one type of boot fits a certain horse poorly but another horse perfectly.
Hopefully, bell boots are something you only have to purchase for your horse one time. If you buy the right pair, then they should hold up and not need to be replaced any time soon. Disappointingly, many boots don’t offer the level of durability you’d hope for.
Sometimes, this is due to the materials used in crafting the boot. Neoprene boots will almost always wear out faster than boots constructed of other materials. PVC boots will usually last a long time, though the hook and loop closures that hold them together might not last as long as the rest of the boot. Nylon boots often last as long as PVC, though they have a similar issue with the longevity of their hook and loop closures.
Materials aren’t the only factor to consider regarding durability. Sometimes, build quality is lacking, even if the materials are fine. Perhaps the stitching doesn’t last or the seams just wear out. This can happen with any boot, though it’s most prevalent with cheap boots sporting a poor build quality.
While none of these boots can really be classified as expensive, there are still some pretty noticeable price differences between models and brands. Some boots cost several times what others go for, leading you to wonder what the difference is. In truth, you should be able to protect your horse with a very affordable boot; there’s no need to break the bank.
That said, some of the more expensive boots do offer superior build quality or better durability. You might find a better fit in a higher-end boot that’s made of a premium material, but you also might not. You don’t always get what you pay for, which is why it’s so important to read about each pair of boots individually.
Bell boots seem like a pretty simple idea, but if you try a few out, you’ll notice pretty quickly that they’re not all equal when it comes to protection and fit. Many slide around or offer inferior protection, but our three favorites, which you read about in our reviews, offer a secure fit and superior protection for your horse.
Our top choice is the no-turn bell horse boots from Weaver Leather. These boots are made from ballistic nylon for the utmost in durable comfort. They offer incredible protection with shock-absorbing neoprene lining. They’re easy to put on and don’t slip around thanks to the positioning bulb.
Priced more affordably than most bell boots, the Centaur PVC boots are our pick for best value. They’re made from durable PVC that offers ample protection with a ribbed exterior to deflect hoof strikes and double stitching for improved durability.
Though they’re a bit pricier, the high quality of the Professional’s Choice ballistic boot earns our premium choice recommendation. They feature a no-turn knob to prevent spinning, shock-absorbing lining, and a reinforced strike area for superior protection with a comfortable yet stable fit.