Home » Outdoor Games » The Best Horseshoe Sets: Top Picks for Backyard Fun

The Best Horseshoe Sets: Top Picks for Backyard Fun

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you click through and purchase, at no additional cost to you. Learn more

Horseshoes is an ancient game with enduring popularity. It offers a great balance of skill and strategy with fun and social play.

Because it’s so easy to learn, it’s a great game for family members of all ages, and a fun way to spend time outdoors in the yard, at a barbecue or tailgate, or at a picnic or beach.

However, it’s also a game for more serious players who can join leagues and play in tournaments, and test their skills in competition.

Whether you are new to the game and looking for a fun group activity, or are looking for a game set to sharpen your competitive edge, here are some of the best horseshoe sets available today.

New to the game? Learn how to play horseshoes here.

Our Picks for The Best Horseshoe Sets

Gordon Professional Pitching Horseshoes

Gordon Professional Pitching Horseshoes - Red Finish - NHPA Sanctioned for Tournament Play - Drop Forged Construction - One Pair (2 Shoes) - Medium Weight

This pair of professional pitching horseshoes from Gordon Horseshoes are exceptionally high quality, designed for years of tournament play. This medium weight 2.5 pound horseshoes are officially sanctioned by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA) for tournament and league play, and are an excellent choice for players who are ready to take their horseshoe game to the next level.

The Gordon Professional Pitching Horseshoes are made of heavy duty AISI C1035 carbon steel for exceptional strength. Drop forging provides a continuous grain for durability, without the air pockets and internal voids of cast horseshoes. The hooks are hardened, and the pair is matched to within 5 grams of weight.

The Gordon Professional Pitching Horseshoes come with a vibrant red finish, and are backed by a one-year warranty against breakage.

Pros:

  • Premium quality steel
  • Drop forged for durability
  • Sanctioned for official league and tournament play by the NHPA
  • Matched to within 5 grams for consistent play
  • Medium weight, all around horseshoes
  • One year warranty

Cons:

  • Only a pair of horseshoes, not a complete game set

St. Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoes Complete Set

St. Pierre Horseshoe Set with Unique Forged Tip Trademark Design

This American Professional horseshoes game set from St. Pierre was designed by a world champion horseshoe pitcher, with a unique shape and a professional finger positioner so you can play horseshoes like a champion yourself.

The St. Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoes Complete Set has NHPA-approved horseshoes with a unique design. They have heavier tips for improved balance, and longer tips to grab the stake.

A tapered leading edge allows them to slide onto the stake more easily, and a ringer breaker rotates the shoe. They have a finger positioner so you can practice your form, and the shoes work well for both flips and turns. They are made of forged steel for exceptional strength and durability. The included stakes are also made of solid steel that can stand up to harsh weather.

The St. Pierre American Professional Series Horseshoes Complete Set comes with either blue and grey or blue and red horseshoes. Either set also comes with two 24-inch solid steel stakes, a rule book, and a hard plastic carrying case for portability.

This set is made in the USA, and comes with a 60 day warranty.

Pros:

  • Complete, professional quality horseshoe game set
  • Unique horseshoe design provides improved balance and rotation for more ringers
  • Forged horseshoes and steel stake for strength and durability
  • NHPA approved horseshoes
  • Comes with rugged carrying case for portability
  • Choice of horseshoe colors
  • Backed by a 60 day warranty

Cons:

  • The stakes are too short to stay upright during a game in loose or dry soil, and may need to be replaced or anchored
Ready to get set up? Read our guide on how to build your own horseshoe pit.

Viva Sol Premium Horseshoes Outdoor Game Set

Viva Sol Premium Horseshoes Outdoor Game Set with 4 Horseshoes, 2 Stakes, and Wooden Case

This portable outdoor horseshoe game set from Viva Sol has a nautical, beachy style that is perfect for a vacation, summer cabin, or outdoor picnic. Despite the fun, retro look, this is a serious, high quality horseshoe game set that will please amateurs and experienced players.

The Viva Sol Premium Horseshoes Outdoor Game Set has four premium horseshoes, and each one weighs 2.5 pounds, is made of premium forged steel, and powder coated in attractive, pastel blue and green for durability and weather resistance.

The unique carrying case of this horseshoe game set is made of hand finished two-toned wood finished with poplar veneer and walnut. The inside of the case has a molded foam lining to securely hold and protect the horseshoe set, and it has heavy duty hemp rope handles. The rich case with oil-rubbed bronze latches is both convenient and attractive.

The Viva Sol Premium Horseshoes Outdoor Game Set includes two blue and two green horseshoes. The set comes with two 23.5 rust proof tapered end stakes, packed into the beautiful wood carrying box.

Pros:

  • Stylish set with retro, nautical appeal
  • High quality forged steel horseshoes
  • Rust proof metal stakes
  • Hand finished high quality wood carrying case with rope handles and foam padding
  • Weather resistant finishes
  • High quality construction

Cons:

  • Stakes are too short and slender for prolonged play in loose and dry soil without anchoring

Champion Sports Rubber Horseshoe Set

Champion Sports IHS1 Rubber Horseshoe Set

This rubber horseshoe game set from Champion Sports is lightweight, fun, and safe for the whole family to play indoors or outdoors. Made of lightweight rubber and with rubber playing mats, this set won’t damage indoor or outdoor décor, and is light enough for small children to enjoy.

The Champion Sports Rubber Horseshoe Set has bright, vibrant colors that are easy to see. The rubber horseshoes are easy to aim and throw for children of all ages, and won’t cause damage when used indoors. The indoor stakes have durable rubber mat bases for stability and fun indoor play, and the set also comes with red plastic stakes for use outdoors. It is fast and easy to set up a game of anywhere.

The Champion Sports Rubber Horseshoe Set is a complete set for singles or doubles, with four horseshoes, two indoor stakes, and two outdoor stakes.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to set up and use
  • Rubber horseshoes and plastic stakes won’t damage décor or furnishings
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Bright, high visibility colors
  • Sturdy and durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case

GoSports Giant Horseshoes Yard Game Set

GoSports Giant Horseshoes Yard Game Set | Made from Durable Plastic with Wooden Stakes - Outdoor Horseshoes for Kids & Adults

This oversize horseshoe game set from GoSports is sheer fun, perfect for outdoor parties and almost any occasion. The large size and light weight makes the game easier to play and enjoyable for the whole family.

The GoSports Giant Horseshoes Yard Game Set has four horseshoes in vivid blue and red colors. The horseshoes are more than twice the size of conventional horseshoes, and made of lightweight, durable, weather-proof plastic.

The set comes with a convenient carrying strap that keeps the shoes and stakes compact and easy to carry, and the whole set weighs just 8.5 pounds. It’s sturdy, light, weatherproof, and easy to use by anyone, anywhere.

The GoSports Giant Horseshoes Yard Game Set comes with four oversized horseshoes, two long wooden stakes, and a convenient carrying strap. GoSports is based in the USA and backs this set with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Pros:

  • Oversized set is fun and simple to play
  • Convenient carrying strap keeps set together and portable
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Durable materials resist wear and weather
  • Vivid colors
  • Has a 100% satisfaction guarantee

Cons:

  • Designed for fun and social game play, not serious tournament play

What to Look for in a Horseshoe Game Set

Even for beginners, quality matters in a horseshoe set. Choosing a good set with well-made parts makes the game more consistent, so that you can develop your skills, get better scores, and enjoy the game more. Here are some of the key features to look for:

Horseshoes

While a casual game can be played with ordinary, traditional horseshoes, today’s game-ready horseshoes have been customized for improved performance. Game-standard horseshoes are now nearly twice the size of shoes used on horses, and the tips are shaped into hooks to increase the chances of getting a ringer.

Horseshoes are typically made with the following methods and materials:

  • Cast iron. Cast iron horseshoes are easy to make and inexpensive. Because iron is lighter in weight than steel, these horseshoes are often made thicker and bulkier to add weight. They are weaker and more likely to break than other materials.
  • Drop forge steel. These horseshoes are made the traditional way, by forging steel and hammering it into the desired shape. These shoes are more durable, because steel is stronger than iron, and because forging and hammering strengthens the material. This method is more expensive, because production is slower, and it naturally limits some design possibilities.
  • Cast steel. Cast steel is the most popular method for making professional horseshoes today. It uses steel alloys that are much stronger and more durable than iron, but with the advantage of casting, which is faster and has a wider range of design possibilities. It is an expensive method, but creates the high durability, high strength, high performance horseshoes that competitors are looking for.

No matter what your horseshoes are made of, look for a high-quality, weather resistant finish. When played frequently, horseshoes are experiencing constant impacts and contact with grass, earth, sand, moisture, and other materials.

They should have a finish that resists impacts and moisture, and is easy to clean.

Stakes

While horseshoes can be played with almost anything acting as a stake, here are a few things to look for:

  • Length. For a regulation game, the stake needs to be 14-15 inches above the ground. The stake needs to be long enough to anchor securely in the ground, since it will be withstanding horseshoe impact that is likely to tip it over if it isn’t secure enough. In most outdoor conditions, it is ideal to have a stake that is 30 inches or longer, so it can be pounded deep enough in the ground to withstand game play. For people who want to set up a permanent outdoor horseshoe game, stakes can be cemented into the ground for excellent stability.
  • Material. While stakes are often made of metal for durability and weather resistance, professionals play with stakes made of wood. Wood stakes do less cumulative damage to the horseshoes, by reducing the sharpness of repeated impacts over time
  • Colors. Colors on stakes are optional, but visibility is important for accuracy and enjoyment of the game. If your stakes aren’t very visible, consider adding tape or paint to the tip to create more contrast and make the stake easier to see.

Case

If you want to take your game on the road, having an included carrying case is a great accessory. Horseshoes can be heavy, and they can clank or bang against each other in transit, increasing the chances of chipping or damage.

Look for a case that not only carries your horseshoe game set, but secures all the pieces in place, without knocking against each other, to preserve finishes and prolong the life of the set.

Final Thoughts

Horseshoes is a fun and engaging game for family members of all ages. Kids will have fun learning the simple rules and tossing the horseshoes. Seniors will remember it as a game they played as a child with their families in the past. And people of all ages will enjoy the fun game, relaxed pace, and easy pleasure of an outdoor game played with loved ones.

If your set is portable, it’s a great activity for a picnic, beach day, or other outdoor fun, and it’s safe for kids. If you are a seasoned pro, it’s still fun to polish your skills, practice your pitches, and get ringer after ringer with a high quality horseshoe game set.

About Bar Games 101

Bar Games 101 is a website devoted to helping you learn about the best games to play with your friends. We review the games, research the rules, and uncover helpful tips and strategies.

Get our free guide to the 50 Best Bar Games.