Is there a certain category of product you obsess about for your horse? Like you spend late nights browsing through websites comparing brands and features trying to determine the best choice … and then end up not making a decision because you just can’t choose?
For me, it’s cross-country boots. With technology constantly changing and different materials offering a wide variety of options to protect those very precious legs, I always find myself searching for a boot that checks all the boxes — something that’s breathable and doesn’t hold water while remaining durable and providing protection.
So when Robin Moore of World Equestrian Brands told me that the Equilibrium Tri-Zone Impact Sports Boot had been totally remodeled, I jumped at the chance to try them. Tri-Zone Impact Sports Boots have been around for a long time, but this new and improved design has taken things to the next level.
The first thing I noticed when I started testing the boots last fall is how lightweight they are even though they offer four different layers of protection. The inner layer that touches the horse’s leg is made of soft pillows formed from EVA, which absorbs impact. The perforations between the pillows allow heat to escape, keeping the leg cool.
Then there’s a layer of EVA mesh, which also absorbs impact while allowing heat to escape. Next there’s a layer of TPU strips placed in strategic locations around the boots to form protective panels; those are covered by a hardy layer of Rotex, which is strong enough to withstand impact from studs. And additional TPU strike plates on the outside of the boot provide even more protection from concussion and injury.
Considering how much is going on both inside and outside the boots from a technology standpoint, I expected the boots to not only be a lot heavier than they are, but also a lot bulkier. They are surprisingly thin, which allows them to be a lot more flexible and conform nicely to the horse’s leg.
One of my biggest pet peeves about cross country boots is how stiff they can be. While the Tri-Zone Impact Sports Boots have a definite shape straight out of the box, they fit the leg really nicely from the first use and are easy to get on and take off — with two secure Velcro tabs on the fronts and three tabs on the backs.
Since I tried these all through the fall and into winter, these boots received a very thorough testing in a variety of different conditions. From mud and muck and wet conditions in the fall to snow and ice in recent months, they’ve withstood it all — and without a single rub on Mia’s leg during the entire testing period.
And what about after the ride? Here’s the part where I confess I don’t like high maintenance equipment in any form. As much as I’d like to spend an hour fussing over my tack and gear after I ride, the truth is it all gets a quick wipe down and then chucked back into my tack trunk (Look away, Pony Clubbers! Look away!).
Thankfully, the outer and inner layers of the Tri-Zone Impact Sports Boot clean up very nicely with simply using my go-to damp rag. And if I get them especially muddy while splashing around in water, they are so easy to rinse and hang to dry — which doesn’t take long at all since they don’t hold water.
At the end of the day, I like that I can rest easy knowing Mia’s legs are protected in these boots. Equilibrium uses an independent safety testing laboratory — which also tests human body protectors and armor for police units — to evaluate the protection provided by their products.
If you’ve tried the Equilibrium Tri-Zone Impact Sports Boot before, I think you’ll love the new, updated design. And if you never have, what are you waiting for? The boots are available on World Equestrian Brands’ website for $155 for the fronts and $165 for the hinds.