All of my horses are currently barefoot, mainly so I can maintain them myself. I used to shoe my own horses but my body just can't take it anymore. But I still like the freedom of maintaining their feet and not having to rely on someone else.
Plus, I really do think it promotes healthier feet. My friends whose horses are shod have small, contracted looking feet for the size of horses the feet are on. But, it's a personal decision.
Barefoot works for me because I am careful of the terrain and don't go galloping around willy-nilly (we have lots of rocks) and if a horse has trouble in the rocks, I use Easyboot Epics. My Mustang, who was shod for years when I bought him, can go almost anywhere completely barefoot. My Fox trotter, who is a new horse for me, needs boots on her fronts in the rocks to be comfortable.
Yes, boots can be a pain in the rear sometimes, but to me it is worth it. I feel the horses have healthier feet, I can trim and tweak them whenever I think they need it, and if we need hoof protection, we can just strap it on. So it works for me. It may not work for others and that is fine with me.
Maybe calling it barefoot isn't quite the right term. Maybe it is more like putting on hoof protection only when they need it instead of them wearing it 24/7 even if they don't need it. I dunno.
But my horses are trail horses and I can do with their feet what I wish. I can see where reiners and other performances horses would need specialized shoeing.