That depends on several things. The horses job, the horses genetics and the horses environment. For example, if a horse is retired and living in a beautiful turn out with great feet-yes! I do have horses that are in full-time work that don’t require any form of hoof protection. However, I consider them rare gems.
There are purists adamantly opposed to steel shoes. And they used to say “that every nail in a horses’ foot, is a nail in the horses’ coffin”. However, many of them have had to concede that the majority of horses need some form of foot protection to do their job.
Technology keeps changing things at a rapid pace. So at one-point metal shoes might be a thing of the past. And with the many choices we have today. Metal shoes are still the most practical and popular choice for many horse owners. Because metal shoes allow for customization in shoeing, that boots cannot.
To determine what’s best for your situation, you should consult with a hoof care professional. For more information read this article on: Should my horse go barefoot?