I run alot of roads and gravel so I need all 4 shoes for wear. Come November through April we have lots and lots of ice. Even the pastures around the feeders become slick with ice so I need traction devices on the feet so the horses get borim or Drill tec. I don't like studs because of the tendency to cork themselves.
Also putting the horses out and taking them in they have to travel about 100 feet down a ice slick driveway and again a barefoot horse doesn't have the traction for this.
So between wear and traction I require 4 shoes on my horse
Ricci gets shod all around. She's quite the tenderfoot. We also wear those shoes down like there's no tomorrow, so even if she didn't need shoes, I just shudder to think of the wear and tear her hooves would get. Of course, if her feet were harder, they wouldn't wear as much, lol.
My yearling is obviously barefoot, and I think she'll stay that way. She seems to handle the gravel and concrete really well, so that's good. =]
My TWH gelding is barefoot and he hasn't yet displayed any problems with traction so far, though I haven't yet had him over winter here. Winter in Georgia is usually pretty mild. Still, he goes on gravel, roads, and rocky trails with no tenderness and is very sure footed. As we are on the fringe of the mountains and ride up in the mountains, rocks and gravel are mostly what he's on day in and day out.
I'd note though that Chief is young and grows a lot of hoof quickly so even with the high wear and tear I still have to trim a little off every week or two. If he was an older horse who had worn shoes most of his life, or was stall kept, or had different breeding with softer feet, kept on damp ground, etc barefoot might not be wise. But for him and for his situation, so far it's perfect. Even his pasture is hilly and moderately rocky, not damp river bottom nor stalled.
Plain steel, all around, one has pads on his front but he came in barefoot and I was the one who said he was to lame to ride without shoes. He is totally sound with his front pads. I would shoe in aluminium if I had a competition horse that depended on movement, but it's to expensive for the average horse.
Barefoot all around on all 6, one of our POA/Arab crosses is pretty tenderfooted but we don't work her much (retired to keep her sister who is blind company) so she does well with barefeet. We may put shoes on her if/when we start working her more. She hasn't always been tenderfooted, it has come about as she has gotten older.
No shoes here, on any of mine. Two don't need them (hard, strong feet) and the other is only ridden on pasture or sand, so no need for protection from rocks. When we do trail ride her, I put boots on her and she does fine.