Scientific Study on Shock Absorption with the Jogging Shoes

In 2016 Equine Fusion undertook the first scientific study ever done into the dampening effect of hoof boots. Working with Professor Lars Roepstorff at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences they performed testing to document the differences between four different types of hoof boot.

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They used a device called the Orono Biomechanical Surface Tester (OBST) to measure five different test objects on three different surfaces.

The OBST is a well known, proven piece of equipment that is able to quantify the properties of equestrian surfaces. It was used to test the safety of the equestrian Olympic arena in London in 2012 and in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The OBST speed at impact was set to ± 3.8 m/s, which is equivalent to a 600 kg horse at a fast trot or slow canter (300-350 m/min). The surface’s response to the load is measured by accelerometers and load cells (in 12 different channels with a sample rate of 10 000 readings/second). It is assumed that the differences in measured parameters are due to the properties of the test objects, when tests are performed on the same surface. This enables direct comparision between each of the hoof boots.

Test objects:
1. Steel shoe (as reference)
2. All Terrain Jogging Shoe: rubber sole (Equine Fusion) – size 16 slim
3. Ultimate Jogging Shoe: rubber sole (Equine Fusion) – size 16 slim
4. Hoof boot 1: plastic sole (other vendor) – size equivalent
5. Hoof boot 2: plastic sole (other vendor) – size equivalent

Test surfaces:
1. Hard surface (road): firm packed gravel road
2. Arena surface: outdoor riding arena (0-2 sand sk ebb and flow construction)
3. Hard arena surface: indoor riding arena with high firmness (sk rubberground construction)

Results: Force loads

The All Terrain Jogging Shoe reduces force at impact by 43% compared to the steel shoe and 26-30% compared to both plastic hoof boots, when on a firm packed gravel road. Another way to interpret those results is that the steel shoe increases force at impact by 75% and the plastic hoof boots by 35-43% when compared to the All Terrain. The Ultimate Jogging Shoe shows relatively low maximum loads on the two hard surfaces.

An unexpected result on the soft arena surface was that the steel shoe performed better than all of the boots apart from the All Terrain.

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Results: Dampening effect

From the graphs you will see that the All Terrain Jogging Shoe provides overall significantly better dampening.

The second graph shows the same results as the first graph, only over a longer period of time. This illustrates that the All Terrain and Ultimate Jogging Shoes both dampen out the forces from the impact faster, which means they both provide better dampening properties compared to both types of plastic hoof boots and the steel shoe.

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Overall Results

The Equine Fusion Jogging Shoes with their unique, flexible rubber soles allow the hoof to sink into the sole under load. This study proves how this feature enables them to cushion the impact forces on the hoof more effectively than plastic-soled hoof boots or steel shoes.

The sole of the All Terrain Jogging Shoe is thicker than the Ultimate Jogging Shoe which is why it is even more effective at reducing the maximum loads on the hoof on all surfaces.

Notes:

  • Peak vertical force parameter is the measured vertical load on the ‘hoof’ at impact.
  • The vertical force is given in [kN]. 30 kN can easier be understood as approx. 3.2 metric tons.
  • Peak values shown at zero time [ms] simulating first impact of the early landing/touchdown phase.
  • Peak vertical acceleration parameter is the measured vertical acceleration of the ‘hoof’ at impact.
  • Acceleration describes how fast the speed changes over time.
  • The vertical acceleration is given in g [m/s²]. 1 g = 9.80665 m/s².
  • Peak values shown at zero time [ms] simulate first impact of the early landing/touchdown phase.
  • Reduced vertical acceleration at impact means better (increased) dampening.

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