A customer called to purchase more of The Black Pads and, in our conversation, mentioned something to the effect of “the thing I like about your pads versus the other flip-flops is” – whoa! Since he wasn’t the first person to make this comparison, I thought it’s about time I try to clarify the difference between The Black Pad and a Flip Flop because they’re about as similar as a conventional horseshoe and a mushroom shoe.
One reason that I think people tend to confuse the two pads is that they both utilize a conventional horseshoe clip in the toe and, while they do share that one trait, that is where any similarity ends. Period, end of story.
A Flip Flop is designed to load (the landing of the hoof) in the center of the pad, over the frog. It’s possible that there will be some instances where a center-load is necessary and there are several center-load pads on the market – The Black Pad is not one of them.
What The Black Pad does is replace the last inch and a half of the shoe – any shoe of your choice, whichever shoe you think suits your horse best. It is a cushioned insole that, like the shoe it’s attached to, loads on the perimeter with passive engagement over the frog.
The following pictures probably illustrate the differences best: