For softer shoes and I guess stuff like hose, how about a soft bit of fabric or thin leather in a U shape that can be tied or (temporarily) glued to cover the sharp edge of the hooves, so then thinner stuff can go over it? I figure a big part of horse shoes being nailed on is that horses can't manage tying laces and probably don't like people doing it for them, and it's pretty dangerous to have to do that on a regular basis. Draenei can tie their own laces without kicking the crap out of people.
My end goal is to design a sort of ‘horseshoe’ for draenei that is both practical and comfortable, and especially as less of a hassle as possible. What I mean by that last one is that I want to see if there’s a design that’s applicable in a way that the draenei could put on the shoes and have them hold on place on the hoof with either pressure holds or soft latches on the hoof wall that allow it to stay in place but are easy to put on and remove as well, better so if the draenei doesn’t have to kneel down to put them on/take off either than to adjust.
I was thinking as well of other materials on the interior of the ‘shoe’ such as a sort of rubber that would allow a good grip with added pressure (the hoof inside) so that the metal or alloy wouldn’t be directly touching or rubbing against the hoof or bulb. The holds would be elastic, in a sense, whereas they would be flexible and allow a wide range of movement without constriction or discomfort. Draenei have knowledge and access to a lot of materials that we don’t know of and could certainly have something that could be as sturdy as metal but as flexible as rubber and work perfectly fine.
But we also have to keep in mind that in the Warcraft universe “LOL IT’S MAGIC” is a perfectly legitimate explanation for a lot of things and it wouldn’t surprise me if hoofshoes like these would have some sort crystal infused magic in them that would, allow me the word, “wirelessly” attach and hold on to the hoof perfectly, especially in paladin armor. Though I tend to try and stay away from magical sources and go more for a sensible, everyday sort of functionality.
In short, I want to go for a design that’s simple, easy to use, and practical.
Also keep in mind that these draenei shoes are mostly for occupational functionality. They are usually as part of an armor set, or for certain terrains or uses, or a temporary use, that’s why they’re removeable and not permanent like a shod, nailed on shoe. I’m fiddling around with various designs and see what would work best.
That’s why I was inspired by the ski boots. I liked the idea that you could hook the boots to the ski with just stepping down hard on the latches and it’ll hold the boot, and then you can take them off by stepping on the release latch behind them. I wanted something similar for draenei, a shoe they could “step on” and it would hold on to the hoof, and be able to take them off with similar ease but doesn’t compromise the strength of hold of the shoe while it’s on. I also liked that to put the ski boots on the ski you didn’t really need to kneel down and tie them up like a regular shoe, which I would figure for draenei, especially large and hefty individuals, would find it uncomfortable to have to kneel down. Not to mention that the physiology of the draenei legs themselves make it so that they cannot easily stretch out that raised, bent leg that much out without adding stress to their tendons and in the end the hoof being so far ahead that it’s practically beyond their reach. Again, not comfortable nor practical.
Though, at the same time, I realize that horse hoof ‘shoes’ DO exist. And certainly there could be draenei variations of these.
They’re rubber for the most part and can be used in both easy trail rides and for performance. while I was intrigued by the idea of actual metal shoes for draenei that were temporary and removeable, variations of these shoes for draenei are just as good and practical!
I can definitely see these ones used for draenei children or the elderly, to protect their hooves, or for training that require heavy performance but not the pressure of a hard, metal shoe. Or for health reasons, such as a cracked hoof or other injury.
Or for Rangari (for those that say Draenei cannot be rogues because of their hooves, LOOK AT THAT) when need a more solid grip on rough terrain.