Best Horseshoe Set – 2021 Reviews
If you’re looking for a traditional lawn game to fill up a summer afternoon, horseshoes could be an excellent choice. All you need is the best horseshoe set and a buddy to play against (for set up refer to our article about horseshoe pit dimensions) . We can’t help you with the latter but know of some sets you might like. Check them out below…
- Our “8” Top Choices for Horseshoe Sets
- 1. St. Pierre American Professional Horseshoe Set
- 2. Franklin Sports Horseshoe Sets
- 3. Mustang Professional Pitching Horseshoes
- 4. St. Pierre Royal Classic Horseshoe Set
- 5. Champion Sports Rubber Horseshoe Set
- 6. Franklin Sports Rubber Horseshoes
- 7. AmazonBasics Rubber Horseshoe Set
- 8. SPORT BEATS Rubber Horseshoe Set
- How to Choose the Best Horseshoe Set
- Type of Horseshoes
- Horseshoe Quality
- Extra Features
- Sport vs. Recreational Horseshoes
- Available Space
- How to Maintain a Horseshoe Set
- Horseshoes Material
- Set Contents
Our “8” Top Choices for Horseshoe Sets
Whether you want to pitch like a pro or enjoy a slow-paced game of horseshoes with your buddies, the St. Pierre American Professional Series is the best horseshoes game set you could come across. It’s designed by a World Champion pitcher and impresses with the unique shape of the shoes.
Delivering an excellent value for money, this set comes with four rugged horseshoes made from forged steel and two solid steel stakes covered in anti-rust powder coating that can withstand even the harshest conditions.
But the choice of materials isn’t the only great thing about these shoes. What makes them special is the design which concentrates more weight into the tips, improving both balance and control. Approved by the NHPA, the shoes also have a tapered leading edge that makes them slide easier onto the stakes.
This horseshoes set is perfect for all players regardless of their level of expertise. It comes complete with an official rulebook and black plastic tote, as well as a convenient 60-day manufacturer warranty. All you could wish from a best in the class pick.
If you don’t mind playing with cast-iron horseshoes but would rather save some cash on the game, then this horseshoes sets by Franklin Sports may be the right one for you. Ideal for the weekend warriors but sturdy enough to satisfy the pros, this set boasts regulation size and weight.
Two durable steel stakes and the horseshoes painted in blue and grey provide realistic horseshoes experience even if you won’t even leave your backyard.
Both the stakes and the shoes are powder coated for a durable finish, while the stakes come with tapered ends for easy placement into the ground.
Another great thing is the type of game choice. Whether you want to play by the rule or just enjoy a relaxed horseshoes game with your loved ones, the Franklin Sports set comes in the professional, starter, American, and family variants.
The name says it all. If you’re aiming to play professional horseshoes, the Mustang Professional Pitching Horseshoes Set is the one for you. It’s made from a unique iron alloy that delivers iron’s strength with steel’s properties.
Thanks to the composition of the materials, these horseshoes resist deforming, burring, and mushrooming, and will not crack right before you win the tournament.
Made in the USA, these horseshoes respect the NHPA regulations for league and tournament use.
You will certainly appreciate the official weight of approximately 2.5 pounds of each shoe, as well as the design that is perfect for both flip and turn pitching. It will always end cleats down no matter how you hold it and delivers superb doubles play.
Backed by a one-year warranty against breakages, offering a centered notch to the flip pitcher as well as long blades with smooth edges for the turn pitcher, these horseshoes bring the best of both worlds. Undoubtedly, they are perfect for all players who’re looking for more than a backyard type horseshoes.
NHPA-approved for official play and coming at a price that won’t break the bank, this horseshoes game set is a great alternative to our professional pick above. It’s similar to our best choice up to a point, and it consists of four durable horseshoes made of steel that come alongside two 24-inch drop-forged steel stakes.
Like most St. Pierre sets, this one’s designed by a World Champion pitcher. You’ll be surprised by the weight and balance of these horseshoes that feel like the real deal despite being constructed for the amateurs.
Designed to let you pitch like the pros, these shoes even have longer tips as well as a finger positioner.
You’ll not only get to improve your gameplay, but you’ll also be able to learn the horseshoe game rules if you don’t know them already, thanks to the official rule book for beginners included in the pack. On top of that, the set also includes a carrying tote for easy transport and storage.
The Champion Sports Rubber Horseshoes Set is more than an excellent budget option. It’s the best option for those attempting to train the next generation of horseshoes player.
Made from rubber, this set is family-friendly and perfect for kids. It’s also ideal for getting out of the box and playing in all seasons, either indoors or outdoors. Compared to the traditional horseshoes, these ones are lightweight and easy to handle by youngsters, seniors, or people suffering from various impairments.
Another feature that appeals to the younger players is the palette of this set. Bright, vibrant colors can easily catch the attention of the little ones.
This set is ideal for players from nine years old onwards and comes with four rubber horseshoes, two ground stakes made of plastic, and two rubber mats with plastic pegs for indoor play.
Quick and easy to set up, virtually unbreakable, and friendly for the families, this is the best horseshoe game set for players shopping on a budget or those looking to play with their kids.
If you’re looking for a reliable rubber horseshoes set capable of delivering utmost quality, the Franklin Sports Rubber Horseshoes could be the one you were looking for. This versatile set comprises all you need to play straight out of the box.
Ideal for kids and adults, as well as indoor and outdoor play, the set includes four soft rubber horseshoes, two green and two blue, two traditional pointed ground stakes for outdoor playing, as well as rubber bases with plastic pegs for indoor fun.
The two freestanding targets are also great to use on paved surfaces, such as decking or a paved backyard, especially if you don’t have sufficient space or time to build a horseshoes pit.
A choice of vibrant colors makes the set easy to see, a feature particularly useful for kids as it helps them notice when the horseshoes are thrown.
Although similar to other rubber sets, what makes Franklin Sports different is careful attention to detail. Each component presents flawless aesthetics, smooth edges and corners, and beautiful decorative elements on both rubber targets and horseshoes.
Then, an attractive price point boosts this set’s value, making it a top choice for all leisure horseshoes players.
A cheap alternative to our top and best choice picks, the Rubber Horseshoe Set by AmazonBasics includes all needed to play right out of the box, whether indoors or outdoors. Like most rubber horseshoe sets, this one is ideal for players of all ages and boasts an easy set up regardless of where you want to play.
Included in the box are two sets of horseshoes of different colors, two rubber mats, as well as rubber mat posts and two ground stakes. This feature allows you to use it either of soft ground or hard pavements.
Bright colors promote visibility and make the set perfect for the youngsters, but also for adults with mild visual impairments. Not only the set is easy to set up, but it is also really easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Made of rubber, the components are also safe to leave outdoors even when it rains. You won’t have to worry about rust damaging any pieces. The choice of materials also ensures a low weight, a great thing if you want to take the game on camping.
Like most AmazonBasics products, this rubber horseshoes set is backed up by a 1-year limited warranty.
The SPORT BEATS Rubber Horseshoe Set comes as a great compromise between quality and price. It brings real value for money and combines lightweight components with flawless aesthetics. Like all sets featured above, it comes with all needed to play straight out of the box, either indoors or outdoors.
Perhaps the best thing about this set is the choice of colors. Bright and vivid, the manufacturer associated red and blue, two of the most common colors used for recreational lawn game sets. Great to play as single players or in teams, the set is also ideal for both adults and kids.
The safe design includes quality lightweight horseshoes that are soft enough to prevent injuries even when used by toddlers. They are easy to throw and aim, while the rubber mats provide sufficient stability to the pegs when playing indoors or on a hard surface.
Two ground stakes also allow for a traditional setup of the game. You can use them to play in the backyard or at the camping site.
Thanks to the resistance of the material, you can leave the set outside even when it’s raining or under the hot sun. When the time comes to put it aside during winter, you can simply wipe the pieces with a damp cloth to remove dirt and grime.
Ideal for most players, the game is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee and boasts excellent balance between value and money.
How to Choose the Best Horseshoe Set
Getting the best horseshoe game set is essential if you want to become the envy of the neighborhood. While there are many subjective considerations to weigh in, there are also a few objective criteria to consider before buying.
Type of Horseshoes
The most important thing to weigh in before buying is the type of horseshoes you need. A recreational set is perfect for the weekend warriors who look for a fun pastime. These picnic-style horseshoe sets are fairly inexpensive and usually consist of four shoes, two stakes, and a carrying case.
Professional sets come with the same components, but the quality of materials, as well as the shape, weight, and balance of the shoes, make the difference.
Both recreational and professional sets are usually designed for adults and come with heavy and potentially hazardous pieces, such as steel or cast iron stakes and shoes.
If you want to play with your kids too, rubber horseshoes set could be a more appropriate solution. Rubber horseshoes are also ideal for senior players who find it hard to handle and throw heavy shoes.
We truly recommend the professional-style horseshoes, as they offer an unrivaled game experience. They also withstand the test of time, and their quality pays off in the long run. If you want such a set, just look for one marked as NHPA-compliant.
Regardless of what type of set you need, you must also check the quality of the shoes included. Although some sets may look very similar at first glance, it takes a closer inspection to understand whether your investment is worth or not.
The quality of the horseshoes is dictated by the materials involved, as well as the employed finish touches. Modern horseshoes are typically made from:
- Drop forged steel: Perhaps the most popular and long-lasting material. These shoes are made through the traditional forging process in which metal is hammered into a horseshoe. Some of the highest quality professional sets come with drop forge shoes, but since making these shoes is expensive and time-consuming, it’s unlikely to find them in low-end and mid-range sets.
- Ductile iron: These are the most inexpensive shoes, often included in recreational sets. The biggest disadvantage of this material is its friability; these shoes are known for breaking easier than those made from steel or alloy.
- Alloy cast steel: A material stronger than ductile iron and fairly lightweight, it is commonly employed in the construction of pitching horseshoes. It can be used to make a wide range of horseshoes designs for either professional or recreational sets. Sadly though, this material is expensive.
Another popular material used in family-friendly sets is rubber. We didn’t include it on the list above since it is never used in the manufacturing of NHPA horseshoes, but it comes with a host of advantages nonetheless.
Perhaps the biggest positive trait is its durability. Rubber horseshoes are unlikely to break regardless of how you treat them.
These shoes are also lightweight and suitable to use by kids and seniors. Furthermore, you can use them for both indoor and outdoor play, not to mention they are affordable.
If you want to pitch like a pro, the weight of the horseshoes is as important as their quality. NHPA shoes must weigh approximately 2.5 pounds, the perfect heft for a balanced toss. Rubber and plastic horseshoes might weigh less, and there can also be slight differences between steel and ductile iron models.
Besides the actual weight, you must also consider how it is distributed. Scoring a perfect ring is not all about the throwing technique.
If you want to look like a pro on the green, choose horseshoes with the weight concentrated on the arms.
Standard horseshoe sets come with four horseshoes and two stakes. Extra features can take the game to the next level though.
If you want to play in teams, for instance, you could invest in a horseshoes set that comes with eight shoes instead of four.
Most rubber sets come with mats and pegs for indoor play too. Many kids’ sets also include other similar games besides the horseshoes, such as ring toss.
Lastly, getting a set that comes with a carrying case solves two issues in one. On the one hand, you’ll have the perfect storage for your game. On the other hand, you’ll be able to take your horseshoes anywhere without worrying about parts going missing.
Sport vs. Recreational Horseshoes
Undoubtedly, the first thing to decide is whether you want to play horseshoes professionally or just for leisure. It’s easy to find sets for either purpose, but the requirements are slightly different.
- Sport horseshoe sets: Also known as professional sets are designed for people who want to play by the rule. They usually consist of ground stakes and horseshoes made of steel, a material that offers sufficient heft as well as resistance. These sets are designed to be set up in an “ideal” environment. You’ll need sufficient space to build a horseshoes pit and set a throwing line as instructed by the guidebooks. While these sets are a must for players who aim for performance, they are rather expensive and often impractical to use for recreational purposes.
- Recreational horseshoe sets: Can also be made of steel, although rubber horseshoes sets are a much more popular option. Most rubber sets on the market are designed for flexible indoor and outdoor playing. They have both ground stakes and rubber mats with pegs that allow for easy setup in any location. Because rubber is lightweight and non-hazardous, these sets are also ideal for players of all ages.
Perhaps you already decided whether you want a professional or recreational set, but a thing to consider nonetheless is the space you have.
Steel sets are ideal for those with a medium to large backyard and who’s not planning to play indoors. You will need room for building the pit, as well as for leaving enough space between the pit and the toss line.
Rubber sets are much more suitable for homeowners who’re short on space. Due to their flexible setup options, you can mount the stakes/pegs either in soft ground or on a hard surface, including paved walkways, patios, and decks.
If you don’t have a backyard at all but still want to enjoy horseshoes fun, a rubber set will give you the possibility to play inside (and if you have enough space, make sure to check our recent articles about best giant jenga games and life size connect four games!)
How to Maintain a Horseshoe Set
Even the best horseshoe game set needs some maintenance if you want to enjoy it for a long time. Here are a few useful tips to follow:
- Never leave your horseshoes or stakes outside overnight. Exposing them to elements such as rain and excessive sun can have a negative impact on the materials, causing them to rust or become brittle.
- When playing on a hard surface, it is recommended to anchor your stakes in wood rather than concrete. This decreases the impact of the horseshoe hitting the stake, prolonging the component’s lifespan.
- Don’t be afraid to apply a new coat of paint or weather-resistant coating if the original paint on the horseshoes has chipped. Besides protecting the material, the paint can also absorb some of the shocks when the shoe hits the stake.
- For recreational playing, it is recommended to buy multiple sets of a variety of weights. This will give pitchers the possibility to choose the horseshoes that best suits them, reducing the likelihood of wayward toss. Having a spare set can also come in handy if one of the shoes happens to break while you play.
Although most sets feature horseshoes made of steel or rubber, these are not your only options. Here are the most common materials you can find, as well as their pros and cons.
- Steel: Is undoubtedly the “crème de la crème” when it comes to horseshoes. All professional horseshoes are made of steel, due to the durability of the material. Steel also has character, it resists rust, and presents an overall flawless aesthetics. Obviously, all these pros come at a hefty price.
- Cast iron: Is cheaper than steel and still durable. Cast iron horseshoes offer more or less the same experience as the steel ones, although they don’t hold up quite as well as their fancier counterpart. Although inexpensive compared to steel, cast iron horseshoes are known for splitting at the most inopportune moments.
- Rubber: Perhaps the most popular option for recreational horseshoes. Rubber is virtually an indestructible material, and although not as noble as steel, it’s family friendly. It also has an impressive performance, allowing players from all walks of life to enjoy a good horseshoes game at a fraction of the steel’s price.
- Plastic: The lowest-end horseshoes are those made of plastic. This choice is ideal if you only want to enjoy a quick game while camping and are really on a tight budget, but don’t expect any durability, nor the feel offered by all other materials. Nevertheless, plastic is also a family-friendly material, and it’s also suitable to use indoors. If you have small kids who’re prone to destroy things, perhaps a plastic set is the best to start with.
While all professional sets include the standard four horseshoes and two stakes, you’d be surprised how much the content of a recreational set can vary. To make sure you’re getting everything you need to play straight out of the box, make sure to invest in a set comprising:
- Four horseshoes, two of each color;
- Two ground stakes;
- Two rubber mats with pegs.
Besides these basic components, consider if a carry bag is important to you and choose accordingly.
All rubber horseshoes sets that have made it to our list comprise all needed to play straight out of the box.
Whether you’re looking for an adult’s horseshoes set or for one suitable for the youngsters, there are dozens of options to choose from. Some of the sets include just the horseshoes and stakes. Others come with carrying totes, rule booklets, and maybe even other accessories.
Regardless of what set you need, you now know which are some of your best options and what to consider before buying. All you have to do is pick the one that best suits your needs and get ready to have some fun this summer. Please also check our recent blog posts about kubb sets and ladder ball games to add some variety to your backyard fun!