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8 Best Horseshoe Sets 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

May 25, 2021

man playing Triumph 35-7085-2 Steel Horseshoe Set

Are you looking for a fun game to play in the backyard on a summer afternoon? A horseshoe set is a great traditional game that has been around for centuries. It is portable, simple to learn, and fun to play! This classic game is a favorite for backyard picnics and family gatherings and perfect for players of all ages.

The sport likely originated in Rome, where discus was a popular sport. When players couldn’t afford or find a discus to practice with, they turned to horseshoes. It is also widely hypothesized by historians to have evolved from a similar game called quoits that used a round metal disc with a hole in the middle, and these were used interchangeably with horseshoes, depending on what was available. Whatever the origin, the game has steadily gained in popularity ever since.

Whether you are looking for a top-of-the-line professional pitching set or just a fun set to play with family members, we’ve got you covered! We’ve narrowed down the options to the eight best horseshoe sets we could find, to help you choose the best set for your needs. Let’s get started!

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
St. Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoe Set St. Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoe Set
  • Made from forged steel
  • Two solid steel 24-inch stakes included
  • Official rulebook and carry case included
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Champion Sports IHS1 Rubber Horseshoe Set Champion Sports IHS1 Rubber Horseshoe Set
  • Safe for kids
  • Lightweight rubber mat stakes
  • For indoor and outdoor use
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Baden Champions Horseshoe Set Baden Champions Horseshoe Set
  • Approved by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association
  • Made from forged steel
  • 24-inch stakes
  • Champion Sports CG205 Horseshoe Set Champion Sports CG205 Horseshoe Set
  • Regulation-weighted horseshoes
  • Included weather-resistant nylon bag
  • Chrome-plated metal stakes
  • Triumph 35-7085-2 Steel Horseshoe Set Triumph 35-7085-2 Steel Horseshoe Set
  • Powder-coated horseshoes
  • Regulation-weighted horseshoes
  • 20-inch silver stakes
  • The 8 Best Horseshoe Set — Reviews 2021

    1. St. Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoe Set — Best Overall

    St. Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoe Set

    The American Professional Horseshoe set from St. Pierre is our top pick overall, with everything that you need to get started included in a convenient pack. The horseshoes have longer tips to grab onto the stake and a ringer breaker to rotate the shoe, as well as a finger positioner to help you grip it like the pros. The set includes four forged steel, blue and grey horseshoes and two solid steel 24-inch stakes made to last. The set also includes an official rulebook to iron out any discrepancies, a plastic tote bag for easy carrying, and a 60-day manufacturer warranty.

    There is honestly little to fault with this horseshoe set, except that the included carrying case reportedly breaks easily, which is disappointing.

    Pros
    • Long-tipped horseshoes
    • Horseshoes include a ringer breaker and finger positioner
    • Made from forged steel
    • Two solid steel 24-inch stakes included
    • Official rulebook and carry case included
    • 60-day manufacturer warranty
    Cons
    • Carry case is of poor quality

    2. Champion Sports IHS1 Rubber Horseshoe Set — Best Value

    Champion Sports IHS1 Rubber Horseshoe Set

    The best horseshoe set for the money is the IHS1 rubber horseshoe set from Champion Sports. The horseshoes are made from lightweight rubber, making them safer for kids to use and easier to throw. The stakes are mounted onto lightweight rubber mats, so you safely use them indoors or outdoors, and they will stay in place on a slippery floor. They are also made using bright, vibrant colors for enhanced visibility in low light and are quick and easy to set up. The set comes with everything you need to get started, including four horseshoes, two rubber mats, and two plastic dowels.

    Unfortunately, both the rubber-mounted stakes and the outdoor stakes cannot hold up well to the impact of the horseshoes and fall over easily. This keeps the set from the top position on this list.

    Pros
    • Safe for kids
    • For indoor and outdoor use
    • Lightweight rubber mat stakes
    • Bright, vibrant colors
    • Easy to setup
    Cons
    • Stakes fall over easily

    3. Baden Champions Horseshoe Set — Premium Choice

    Baden Champions Horseshoe Set

    If you are looking for a premium horseshoe set that is tested and approved by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA), look no further than this Champion horseshoe set from Baden. The horseshoes are made from forged steel that will last a lifetime, the stakes are 24 inches long, and the set comes in a durable nylon bag for easy transport. The set also includes a detailed set of rules and instructions. If you are looking to take the game further than your backyard, this is a great option.

    The horseshoes are of great quality and heavily weighted but are coated in thin paint and start chipping almost immediately after using them. This small issue keeps this set from the top two positions on this list.

    Pros
    • Approved by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association
    • Made from forged steel
    • 24-inch stakes
    • Included durable nylon bag
    • Includes a detailed set of rules and instructions
    Cons
    • Paint chips easily
    • Expensive

    4. Champion Sports CG205 Horseshoe Set

    Champion Sports CG205 Horseshoe Set

    The Champion Sports Horseshoe set includes professional-quality, regulation-weighted horseshoes and stakes. Included are two chrome-plated horseshoes and two brass-plated horseshoes with two durable chrome-plated metal stakes, as well as a weather-resistant nylon bag to play on the go. The shoes are made to last, and with the tough coating, they will resist rust and corrosion even after years of playing outdoors. The set also includes a full set of instructions, so you have everything that you need to get started.

    One important point is that the shoes are cast steel, not forged steel, which means they can break under heavy use. Several customers have reported this happening after only one use.

    Pros
    • Regulation-weighted horseshoes
    • Chrome-plated metal stakes
    • Included weather-resistant nylon bag
    • Full set of instructions included
    Cons
    • Cast steel horseshoes can break with heavy use

    5. Triumph 35-7085-2 Steel Horseshoe Set

    Triumph 35-7085-2 Steel Horseshoe Set

    The Triumph Steel Horseshoe set is an inexpensive and simple set for backyard gatherings with family. The set comes with two silver shoes and two powder-coated gold shoes that are durable and weather resistant, as well as two 20-inch long, 16mm diameter stakes with a silver finish. The shoes are made from cast steel and weigh 2.5 pounds each.

    The paint coating on these shoes chips easily, and after only one game, customers reported that the paint was badly chipped off. Also, they are made from cast steel and can easily snap with heavy use, as many customers reported. There is also no included rulebook or carrying case.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Powder-coated horseshoes
    • 20-inch silver stakes
    • Regulation-weighted horseshoes
    Cons
    • Paint coating chips easily
    • Cast-steel construction is not that strong
    • No carrying case

    6. Franklin Sports 50020 Horseshoes Set

    Franklin Sports 50020 Horseshoes Set

    This horseshoe set from Franklin Sports includes shoes that are official sizes and weight, making them just like the pros! The set comes with two cast iron gold shoes and two cast iron silver shoes, each weighing 2.1 pounds, with 20-inch solid-steel stakes coated in a hammarite finish, with tapered ends for easy placement. There are four different versions of the set: Starter, Family, American, and Professional, and they all come with an included bag except for the starter set.

    The stake is a bit too short to hammer in correctly without sacrificing length, and the cast-iron shoes can easily snap with even light use. A large number of customers reported the shoes simply snapping in half after just a few throws.

    Pros
    • Official weight horseshoes
    • Made from cast iron
    • 20-inch solid-steel stakes with tapered ends
    • Four different sets to choose from
    Cons
    • Horseshoes may snap easily
    • The stake is a little on the short side

    7. Tailgate 360 Professional Horseshoe Set

    Tailgate 360 Professional Horseshoe Set

    The Tailgate 360 Professional Horseshoe Set includes four horseshoes — two blue and two steel — and two steel stakes, as well as a convenient carry bag. The stakes are 19 inches long and made from durable steel, and the horseshoes are coated in durable powder-coated to resist weather and last for years. The set is also inexpensive and a great choice for beginners or kids.

    The included horseshoes are not steel, but the manufacturer doesn’t state what they are made from. Whatever the case, they break easily, with some customers reporting that they broke just from hitting the sand! Also, the powder coating chips off easily and after little use.

    Pros
    • Powder-coated horseshoes
    • Durable steel stakes
    • Inexpensive
    • Included carrying case
    Cons
    • Horseshoes break easily
    • Powder coating chips easily

    8. Hathaway BG3133 Heavy Duty Horseshoe Set

    Hathaway BG3133 Heavy Duty Horseshoe Set

    This heavy-duty horseshoe set from Hathaway is great for beginners and casual backyard use. The set includes four horseshoes — two blue and two silver — reportedly crafted from steel, with a powder-coated finish that is weather resistant yet grippy. The grips are on both ends and the center of the shoe. Each shoe weighs 2.6 pounds, the official weight, and the set includes two 2-foot steel stakes, as well as a convenient nylon carrying case for easy transport and storage.

    The horseshoes are not made from steel as stated by the manufacturer because they break easily, reportedly after just one use. The included bag is also of poor quality and rips fairly easily.

    Pros
    • Powder-coated horseshoes
    • Great for beginners
    • Gripped horseshoes
    • Included nylon carrying case
    Cons
    • Horseshoes snap easily
    • Poor-quality carrying case

    Buyer’s Guide

    Even if you are an absolute beginner, quality matters, and a good-quality horseshoe set should last for years. A well-made horseshoe set will also be more consistent, which will help you improve and play the game better.

    When looking for a horseshoe set, you are faced with two options: a recreational set or a professional set. Both sets are basically the same, but a professional-grade one has high-quality parts and will last longer and make for a more accurate game. The shoes are well made, weighted, and balanced, and this will make a massive difference in the way you play. If you simply want to have fun in the backyard with family and friends, though, a recreational set is perfect.

    When buying a set of horseshoes, here are a few factors to look for.

    The horseshoes

    Traditionally, the game of horseshoes was played with the regular, traditional horseshoes that were actually used on horses! While you can still use these for a casual game, they are rather heavy, and their weight and size will not be consistent, making it difficult to improve at the game.

    The horseshoes used in the modern game of horseshoe have been specially made and designed for improved and consistent performance, making them ideal for improving your skills. These modern shoes are bigger, almost twice the size of traditional shoes, and have hooked tips to improve your chances of hooking onto the stake. Also, modern shoes are made from a variety of different materials:

    • Cast Iron. Most mass-produced horseshoes are made from cast iron because it is easy to work with and inexpensive. Iron is lighter than steel, so cast-iron horseshoes are often a bit bulkier to make up the weight. Unfortunately, with the cheaper price comes a downside: These shoes are weaker than shoes made with other materials and are far more likely to break.
    • Cast Steel. Cast steel is one of the most widely used methods of making modern horseshoes. It is a steel alloy that is stronger and far more durable than iron. Because it is cast, there is also a large range of shapes that it can be made in, and mass production is easy and lowers the price. These shoes are expensive but far more durable than cast-iron varieties.
    • Forged Steel. Made in the traditional way by forging steel and hammering it into the horseshoe shape, forged-steel horseshoes are the strongest type available. Steel is much stronger than cast iron, and the hammering further strengthens the steel. Of course, this method makes production slower, and these shoes are far more expensive.
    • Horseshoes are heavy and potentially dangerous, and if you are playing the game with small children, a set of rubber horseshoes may be the best bet. They can also be used indoors and are highly durable — they are unlikely to break easily.

    No matter the material your horseshoes are made from, they should have weather-proof coating or finish to make them last longer, as the shoes are constantly in contact with sand, grass, and moisture. The finish should also be durable enough that it doesn’t crack and chip when thrown, although this will inevitably happen with time and use. A colored finish is also ideal for added visibility, as well as to assign a shoe to each team. Typically, there are four horseshoes in a set, with two different colors.

    If you want to play by the NHPA standards, your horseshoe should be around 2.5 pounds in weight, as this is what the professionals use. The shoe should also be properly balanced, with an even weight distribution across the shoe for a well-balanced pitch.

    couple playing Champion Sports IHS1 Rubber Horseshoe Set

    Stakes

    Technically, you could use whatever you wanted as a stake as long as it is strong enough, but a purpose-built stake is best. When purchasing a horseshoe set with a stake, here are a few things to look for:

    • According to regulations, the horseshoe stake should be 14-15 inches above the ground. It also needs extra length to anchor into the ground firmly without moving or falling over when being impacted by the metal horseshoe. Ideally, you want a stake that is around 25-30 inches long so you can pound it deep into the ground. If you play frequently, it’s a good idea to cement the stake into the ground for optimum stability.
    • Metal stakes are sturdy, durable, smooth, and long-lasting, and most horseshoe sets come with metal stakes included. However, metal stakes can damage your horseshoes over time, especially if the shoes are of poor quality. Wood stakes may not be as durable as metal varieties but are easier on your shoes. Most professionals opt for wooden stakes.
    • Just like horseshoes, a brightly colored stake makes it far easier to aim and makes your game more accurate. That said, steel stakes are usually visible enough, more so than wood. You may want to consider simply adding colored tape to your stakes to help with visibility.

    Carry Case

    While not essential, a carry case is a handy accessory. You can take your horseshoe set on trips and use the case to easily stow the set away, and it prevents pieces from accidentally getting lost or damaged. Most sets come with an included carry case, with varying levels of quality.

    playing Champion Sports CG205 Horseshoe Set

    Horseshoe set maintenance

    It is not only the materials that your horseshoes are made from that dictate their longevity but also how well they are looked after. Even the highest-quality horseshoes need proper maintenance in order to get years of use from them, and you can drastically increase their lifespan by following these tips:

    • Never leave the horseshoes outside. Rain, heat, and excessive sunlight can quickly cause rust and corrosion, causing them to become brittle. It’s good practice to pack everything away after use.
    • Never play on hard concrete. Playing the game on concrete will chip and crack your horseshoes quickly, no matter what material they are made from. Always play on soft grass lawn or sand or even wood.
    • Keep your horseshoes’ coating maintained. The paint on your shoes will inevitably crack and chip after extended use, and there is nothing wrong with giving them a fresh coat of paint occasionally. Paint protects your horseshoe from breaking and absorbs some of the shock when hitting the stake and will prolong their life dramatically.

    divider-horse

    Conclusion

    Our top pick overall is the American Professional Horseshoe set from St. Pierre. The set includes horseshoes that have long tips for improved grip and a ringer breaker to rotate the shoe, a finger positioner to help you grip them properly, two solid-steel 24-inch stakes, an official rulebook, and a plastic tote bag for easy carrying, all with a 60-day manufacturer warranty.

    The best horseshoe set for the money is the IHS1 rubber set from Champion Sports. The horseshoes are made from lightweight rubber, making them ideal for kids; the stakes are mounted onto lightweight rubber mats, so you can safely use them indoors or outdoors; and they are made using bright, vibrant colors for enhanced visibility. This is the perfect set for families and recreational games.

    Horseshoeing is a fun, relaxing, and exciting game to play with family and friends, and whether you just want to play on weekends or want to take it slightly more seriously, there is a set here for you. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you narrow down the options to find the perfect horseshoe set for your needs.

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.