Are you tired of your furry friend's paws getting cold, wet, or injured during your outdoor adventures? Say goodbye to soggy socks or ouch-inducing gravel with the best dog shoes on the market. From rugged hiking boots to stylish urban wear, we've scoured the market to bring you the top picks for your four-legged companion. Don't let anything come between your pup and their paw-fect adventures - read on to discover the best dog shoes that combine functionality, style, and comfort.
Our Top Pick: Ruffwear Grip Trex
Ruffwear has been designing dog boots since 1997, and their designs have evolved over time. The Grip Trex is a lightweight boot with a mesh upper and a rubber Vibram sole. It features a hook-and-loop cinch closure and a gusseted design for easy wearability.
During our testing period, we consistently found ourselves coming back to this shoe as our top choice. Despite its low profile, it stayed securely on the paw without slipping. We appreciate the ease of putting on and securing the shoes without overtightening, as well as the reflective trim, lightweight sole for traction, and breathable mesh upper that effectively keeps dirt out. These boots are also machine washable, and the size is printed inside the closure strap. Best of all, our dog, Atle, was able to walk, trot, and run comfortably while wearing these shoes.
Ruffwear offers excellent customer service and reminds customers to check the size of their dog's front and back paws before ordering. They also sell their boots in pairs since front paws generally tend to be wider than back paws.
Third Choice: Wagwear’s Wagwellies Mojave
Although Wagwear has been around since 1998, they are a relatively new player in the dog shoe market with their twist on Wellington ("Wellie") boots. The shoe features a 100% rubber slip-on design with a hook-and-loop closure. The Mojave model is specifically designed for hot and dry weather, featuring perforated holes on top for ventilation.
Our initial expectations of these boots were low, but they grew on us due to their lightweight, simple design, ease of use, and Atle's ability to move easily while wearing them. However, we did encounter some sizing quirks. Initially, we purchased a large size, which turned out to be too small. Thankfully, the company promptly exchanged them for an XL. While their customer service was responsive, finding their contact information on their website was a bit challenging as they primarily offer a weekday online chat option.
The main drawbacks we found with these boots were that the large holes allowed in some debris, they needed to be hand washed, and the stiffer top of the shoe could potentially irritate a dog's dewclaw. Nevertheless, the shoes stayed securely on the paws, and while the upper part is stiffer, the sole remains flexible for proper movement.
Runner up: Canada Pooch’s Hot Pavement Boots
Founded in 2011, Canada Pooch has a focus on fashion but also offers some noteworthy boots worth considering.
The Hot Pavement Boots feature a mesh polyester upper and a thin rubber sole. They utilize a hook-and-loop closure, a toggle at the top for added security, and a strap at the back for assistance in putting on and pulling up the boot. Keep in mind that with a hairy dog like Atle, accessing and using the toggle could be slightly difficult. These shoes are soft, breathable, easy to put on, and very lightweight. Their softness allows for proper positioning without affecting the dog's wrist movement. The boots stayed securely in place without slipping and didn't seem to impact Atle's gait. The size of the shoe is indicated on the side tag.
One concern we had was that after some use and one washing (the company recommends turning the boot inside out for washing), we noticed small tears near the front seam of the sole. Fortunately, the company promptly responded and provided a replacement set. Additionally, after washing, the soles seemed to lose their shape. Lastly, there is a significant amount of seaming inside the toe of the boot, although this didn't cause any problems for Atle, we remain unsure if it would be an issue for other dogs.
Overall, we appreciate these boots, particularly for hot weather, although we still have some reservations regarding their long-term durability.
Kurgo Step-N-Strobe Dog Boots - Check Amazon Price
If you enjoy nighttime excursions, Kurgo's Step-N-Strobe Dog Boots should be your top choice. They feature red and green LED lights on both sides of the sole that flash with each step, along with ample reflective material to ensure your dog is visible and safe.
These boots were excellent for our walks in the dark and also performed well on trails. The tops can be secured using a velcro strap and an adjustable elastic cord, keeping the boots in place.
Favorite Feature: These boots are the tallest among the group, which makes a significant difference in securing them to Cool Whip's paws. The extra height allows for easy coverage over dewclaws!
Room for Improvement: However, these boots did not accommodate Herc's thick paws properly, even though they were the correct width.
Hurtta Outback Dog Boots - Check Amazon Price
Flexibility is critical for comfort and fit, and the Hurtta Outback Dog Boots excel in this aspect. The entire boot flexes with your dog's paws and can withstand challenging terrains.
The inside tag of the boot makes it easy to determine which boot goes on which paw while also providing a space to write your phone number in case a boot is misplaced.
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Favorite Feature: The front-opening design of these boots makes them the easiest to put on, which is particularly helpful for Herc's large paws!
Room for Improvement: However, the single strap can be challenging to wrap in a way that ensures the boot stays secure while still allowing enough exposed hook-and-loop material to stick to.
Alcott Adventure Boots - Check Amazon Price
The "thrill sniffer" tagline impressively molded into the tread of these boots perfectly captures their essence. Alcott's Adventure Boots for dogs stayed securely on Hercules as he followed his nose and tackled various obstacles along his path.
The built-in front gusset of the boot makes them easy to slide onto paws and adjust for proper placement. The pliable yet firm tread ensures your dog won't feel any sharp rocks or rough surfaces. Additionally, the straps feature reflective material for better visibility in the dark.
Favorite Feature: The double straps, combined with the flexible material on top, make these boots the easiest to secure. Each dog is unique, and Herc has relatively slim legs despite his wide front paws. With this boot, we could tighten the tops enough to ensure they stayed securely in place.
Room for Improvement: It's worth noting that Alcott's boots are only sold in sets of four, so if your dog requires different sizes for the front and back paws, you'll need to purchase two sets.
Pawz Waterproof Dog Boots - Check Amazon Price
Sometimes simplicity is best, and this rings true for Pawz dog boots. These boots are made of waterproof and durable rubber, providing protection for injured pads, hot pavement, or sensitive paws during walks.
Moreover, they are inexpensive and easy to pack, making them convenient to bring along for the day or on vacation. Unlike other boots that may require a brief adjustment period, Cool Whip seemed to adjust to these boots quickly and comfortably. They functioned as an additional layer of protective skin.
Right out of the package, Pawz boots might feel tight around your dog's legs. Stretching the tops out, similar to how you would stretch a balloon before inflating it, can help ensure a comfortable fit for your pup.
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Favorite Feature: These boots are incredibly portable, and each pack contains 12 boots, allowing you to keep extras in the car, purse, or even your pocket. They are lightweight and suitable for dogs with grass allergies. Additionally, they come in seven different sizes!
Room for Improvement: While these boots are not designed for rugged or rocky terrains, their durability may be affected if your dog's nails are not kept short.
In conclusion, finding the perfect pair of dog shoes for your furry friend is essential to ensure their paws are protected and comfortable in any terrain. After thorough research and consideration, our top pick is the Ruffwear Grip Trex, offering durability and excellent traction. However, if you're looking for a more stylish option, Wagwear's Wagwellies Mojave is a great choice. For those concerned about hot pavements, Canada Pooch's Hot Pavement Boots provide the necessary insulation. Other notable options include the Kurgo Step-N-Strobe Dog Boots, Hurtta Outback Dog Boots, Alcott Adventure Boots, and the Pawz Waterproof Dog Boots. Whatever your dog's needs, there is a perfect pair of shoes out there to keep them happy and protected on their adventures.