I bet if the boots were around in the 1950's, people would have been using them too.
Can't use something if it hasn't been invented yet.
I know that Professional's Choice wasn't around until 1982 when they came out with their boots, so it would make sense that no one wore them in 1952.
Yes, less injuries back then possibly but the sport of barrel racing has changed since then too. Seems to me that horses are hauled harder, started sooner, and expected to give more, than back in the 50's. Back then people loaded their horse on the back of the pickup truck, and off them went. Now you've got air ride suspension, shipping boots, reverse slant load, ramps, etc etc.
Things always change!
People didn't wear riding helmets in the 1950's either. (Granted not a whole heck of a lot more do now.) But I guess you could say I wear a riding helmet for the same reasons I put sport boots on my horses. No, it is not going to completely prevent
any injuries. No, it doesn't offer any support to my neck. But...... I'd rather have that helmet on my head (or in this case, sport boots on my horse's legs) for that chance at reducing injury