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When I got the opportunity to try the new STS TRS Sport Boots from Veredus I was soooooo excited. Spice had been wearing polos instead of boots for a few months to heal up an abrasion that his boots kept opening back up and I was ready to give boots another shot (but not the stiff, problem causing boots I had before (no matter how cute they were with their grey patent croc print and bling).
I should explain the STS abbreviation. STS stands for Save the Sheep and is a new line of “Techno Sheepskin” from Veredus that is man-made, 100% cruelty-free and 100% animal product free. So they are great for all you vegans out there (or those that care about that sort of thing). For me, that’s not the most important thing I think of when buying products for my horse, but it’s sure a nice bonus.
Now you’re saying to yourself…”Hey lady…there’s already animal free versions of fleece out there that have been around for years. What’s the deal?” Well this stuff is different my friend. SOOOO different. From my other faux sheepskin boots…it’s night and day. These don’t hold dirt, hair and sand like regular fleece. How? Magic. Some technology I don’t understand.
This stuff also happens to be fluffier and softer than other synthetic fleeces I’ve encountered (feels quite a bit like a nice sheepskin actually), doesn’t mat up and bunch together and is easy to wash. It’s pretty much the best material I can imagine for a brushing boot. Spice seems to like them too and doesn’t flick his back legs when I put them on like he does with his old boots or with polo wraps. He’s happy…I’m happy. They come in front and back models so the boots are actually made to fit the size differences in the cannon bones (which is fabulous). These fit like a glove! And a bonus…they’re pretty cute and classy too (and everyone that sees them think they really are sheepskin boots).
These boots don’t have a lot of structure (they’re pretty floppy when you pick them up), but they do protect well and are holding up exceptionally well. I’ve been using them for several months and Spice has for sure knocked himself a few times lunging (like a wild man) and there’s no damage to the boot. He’s had no issues from interfering (no swelling, heat or bruising) so clearly these boots are doing their job despite their softer than I normally expect support. These boots are great for turn outs, lunging and flat work.
These boots use Velcro attachments and this is really the only knock against them…not that there is Velcro…but that there’s no give or elastic in the boot so securing them isn’t as easy as it is with many other sport boots and brushing boots with Velcro. That being said…there’s no elastic to wear out and I highly suspect these boots will last a LOT longer than your average brushing boot/sport boot.
These boots clean up REALLY well. A quick brush off will get off sand. If they need a bit more (because of wet arena sand or mud) a quick hose down gets almost everything off (see photo on right above…that’s just with a hose down)! No mated fleece here or gross stains. The dirt just doesn’t stick to this stuff.
After a wash in the washing machine…these babies look brand spanking new…like just out of the box (see photos above). SO impressed with the way they wash up. Never had a pair clean this well before. They also dry really quickly in the sun or after washing in the washing machine (with the spin to take out excess water of course). They dry quite a bit slower if you hose them down and don’t fling the excess water out as best you can.
Normally these boots would be out of my price range, but after using them for several months now…I’m sold. These boots are exceptional. The value appears fantastic because these will hold up a lot longer than your normal dressage, brushing, or sport boot. I will update this review if they don’t hold up to my expectations…but those expectations are that I’ll be using these boots on Spice for many years to come. Love them!!!
Update: After many months of use, I had a product failure on these boots with the velcro (2 of the 4 pair). The customer service was excellent and they sent another set right away and asked me to ship back the boots to them for inspection. There was a manufacturer error on the boots I had received and the new boots look to not have that problem. Because of their excellent customer service and quick response, I am not going to lower the quality rating unless this problem happens again with the new set, as I really think it was a one-off manufacturer issue. But I wanted to share and let you all know!