Researchers tested the forelimbs of the eight horses. Hooves were given one of three treatments — barefoot, fitted with a conventional shoe, or fitted with a split-toe shoe. The conventional shoe was a standard steel shoe with a toe clip. The split-toe shoe is a new shoe designed to enable heel expansion. The shoe has a toe clip and side clips between the second and third nail hole on each side. Once in place, the shoe is sawn through at the toe so the two halves of the shoe move independently of each other.