10 Best Dog Boots to Protect Your Best Friend's Paws
We’ve looked at the 10 best dog boots to help you protect your pooch's precious paws during the sweltering summer heat.
A temperature study was performed in South Florida to determine how surface temperatures vary and how hot they actually get during the course of a day. The goal was to determine safety levels when taking Rover for a walk.
Air temperature peaked at 95°F between two and four in the afternoon while asphalt (black pavement) was recorded in excess of 140°F during this same time period.
Hours earlier, at only 11 am, the asphalt was already 120°F which exceeds most dog’s pain tolerance. Considering that many dogs walk around their neighborhoods on light grey concrete sidewalks, and that light color reflects heat, surface temperatures of 120°F surprised researchers, while red-brick surfaces were recorded 10° hotter.
Possibly the most startling revelation was that grass adjacent to the sidewalk was over 105°F! Paw pads are a special type of skin that can withstand the pressure of body weight but can burn like the skin on any other part of the body. Paws pads can turn red, blister or literally come off the paw.
Regardless, it is extremely painful and difficult to heal, since your dog needs to walk on them. Antibiotics, sometimes even oxygen therapy, is needed to get your pooch back on his feet, so we’re reviewing the 10 best dog boots to help you protect those precious paws.
Walkee Paws Waterproof Dog LeggingsCheck price »
My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog ShoesCheck price »
Ruffwear Grip Trex BootsCheck price »
Important Considerations When Choosing the Best Dog Boots for Your Dog
» Dogs do not sweat as humans do. They cool themselves through panting but can release some heat through the pads of their feet. This means that you must not leave dog boots on your dog for an extended period of time when air temperature is warm. By keeping the shoes on, your dog will not be able to release heat from his body and could suffer heat distress or even heat stroke.
- Heat Stroke in Dogs: How to Recognize, Prevent and Treat It - Heat stroke in dogs is a condition that shouldn't be treated lightly. We teach you how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it.
» Take great care in properly measuring your dog’s paws, according to directions, so that you’ll get a proper fit for your dog. Let him wear them around the house to become accustomed to them before taking a long walk, and check to see that they are not rubbing or causing irritation. I read many sizing issues online about most brands, but feel most of the time, it is human error. Every brand has its own way of determining the right size for your dog, so read and adhere to what they say.
» Be sure to trim your dog’s nails, including dewclaws, so that shoes will fit more comfortably and that nails won’t tear through the dog boots, but also realize that there is a learning curve for dogs wearing garments over their paws. Be patient, offer treats or at least an “atta boy or girl” when your pup gives it a try, and don’t laugh too hard when you catch your fella or lady doing silly walks!
» Most importantly, be patient with your dog. There is definitely a learning curve, and some dogs adapt more quickly than others. Some may not get used to shoes on their paws, so go the speed that is comfortable for you dog, and watch to make sure shoes aren’t slipping which could cause your dog to trip, twist an ankle or worse.
Our research has shown that shoes with neoprene or rubber soles provide the most protection from surface heat, but dog shoes are also beneficial to protecting paws from rough, as well as slippery surfaces, snow and ice, and chemicals.
Depending on the reason you want boots for your dog, you can determine which of these 10 best dog boots suits your needs.
- Walkee Paws Waterproof Dog Leggings
- My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes
- Ruffwear Grip TREX All Terrain Dog Boots
- Bark Brite All Weather Neoprene Paw Protector Dog Boots
- QUMY Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes for Large Dogs
- Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
- HaveGet Waterproof Dog Shoes
- PAWZ Water Proof Dog Boots
- Woodrow Wear Socks
- KOOLTail Dog Socks
10. KOOLTAIL Dog Socks
- Great indoor traction
- Waterproof, so your dog can venture outdoors without changing his footwear
- Great for recovery or injury
- Straps keep them in place
- Plastic/rubber sole could melt on hot surfaces
Looks like a boot, acts like a sock! Kooltail Dog Socks will keep your dog from losing his grip on wood, laminate, tile or other slippery floorings. It’s waterproof too, so you don’t have to change shoes when going on a potty break in the wet grass or snow.
9. Woodrow Wear Socks
- Provide great traction
- Machine washable
- Reasonably priced
- Not for rugged surfaces, but they are a sock after all
- A bit difficult to pull on sock fabric over furry paw
Available in 13 sizes, the Woodrow Wear socks are bound to fit every pooch. Their reinforced toe prevents nails from poking through (but remember to keep those nails trimmed), as well as holding up well for dogs who drag their feet.
These socks can protect paws from scorching surfaces, and if sprayed with Scotchguard, can keep paws dry in snow and ice. They are also awesome for covering wounds, yet still allow sufficient air flow for healing.
8. PAWZ Dog Boots
- Dogs take well to them
- Cost-effective, coming in packs of 12
- Prevents older dogs from slipping
- Not very rugged
- A bit difficult to get on due to the narrow opening
- Although stretchy, concerned about tightness around ankles (even when choosing the next larger size)
The PAWZ dog boots come in sizes and colors to make every pet parent smile. These boots, or maybe more correctly, water-proof socks, come in packs of 12 (3 full sets) and are economical. The boots are disposable, biodegradable, and look something like a balloon.
Choose the right size to prevent these boots from being too tight around your dog’s ankle. Lack of padding prevents them from being the best choice on rugged surfaces, while their thinness can allow items to penetrate or claws to tear them (but remember, trim your dog’s nails before putting on shoes).
The less thick material, however, makes dogs like Haiku not realize they are wearing anything – it feels like their paw is touching the ground – and that is a definite plus on slippery surfaces.
7. HaveGet Waterproof Dog Shoes
- Great price
- Stay on well
- Fluorescent color helps your dog be seen
- Can’t determine cleanability. Some pet parents have thrown them in the washer, but just don’t pop in the dryer or they will shrink
The HaveGet Waterproof Dog Shoes protect your pooch from all types of hazards. They go on and come back off with ease, and they’re one of the few dog shoes that are mentioned to be great for swimming in lakes where there are sharp rocks or even fish hooks!
6. Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
Price Range: HighCheck price »
- Indoor/outdoor dog boot
- Machine Washable
- Inside foam pad for comfort
- Sole not the best for rugged terrain but these boots come in a more rugged option as well
- Wear out quicker than most
- Sizes run a bit small
The Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots are an awesome option for older dogs who have lost confidence in stepping on slippery floors. As long as you keep your home cool, so that your pet won’t need to release heat out his paws, these boots are a great addition to his senior wardrobe. They also perform well on hot, wet, and cold surfaces, and can be used for swimming!
5. QUMY Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes for Large Dogs
- Rugged sole protects from all surfaces, thorns & cactus prickers
- Reasonably priced
- Difficult for some dogs to adjust to heavy soles
- Hand washable only
Although Haiku did not personally try the QUMY Dog Boots, he asked me to read reviews, and dog parents like these waterproof shoes for their pups. There are many 5-star reviews for this product claiming it protects dog paws from hot pavement and gives arthritic dogs confidence to walk on various surfaces without slipping or sliding.
4. Bark Brite All Weather Neoprene Paw Protector Dog Boots
- Snug, comfortable fit with a flexible sole
- 5 sizes
- Reflector strips
- Medium price
- Although straps were tight, foot area began to flap and dog tripped
These Bark Brite Neoprene Dog Boots slipped on easily and the Velcro straps seemed to make them fit snuggly as I put them on my little buddy’s four paws. We measured carefully for the correct size, and since they extend higher up his legs, I was convinced they would stay on well.
Unfortunately, as Haiku began to walk, he magically worked his paw up, the foot piece became a flap, and my little buddy tripped and fell down. I’m sure other dogs might fare better, and perusing reviews, many pet parents feel the Bark Brites are great.
Like with us humans, what works for one does not necessarily work for others, so know your dog and observe the fit and his movements to find what is uniquely the best dog boot for him.
3. Ruffwear Grip TREX All Terrain Dog Boots
Price Range: Very HighCheck price »
- Well made
- Exceptional traction
- Protect well from hot and rugged surfaces
- Very Expensive! Set contains only 2 boots, so 4 are double the cost of the higher-priced boots.
- Water-resistant, not water-proof
- May irritate dogs with dewclaws
- Boots run a ½-size too large
This company is certainly known for its high-quality products and the Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots are no exception. The tightly woven breathable mesh allows your dog’s paws to breathe and their reflective trim lights up even in low light so that your dog can attract the attention of on comers.
These boots come in sets of two so that you can purchase separate sizes for front and back paws. What this means, however, is that they are very expensive. If that is not a concern, pet parents say these dog shoes provide exceptional traction on a variety of surfaces, so your adventurous dog can be on-the-go with you.
2. My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes
Price Range: HighCheck price »
- Flexible fit with protective soles
- Reflective strips for nighttime walks
- 8 sizes, 4 colors
- Tend to wear out quicker than others
- Some purchasers report irritation to the paws & that they fall off easily
At 14-years young, my son-shine, Haiku, still finds great enjoyment walking around his ‘hood. Mornings do mean cooler temperatures, however, he must also answer nature’s call during hotter parts of the day.
After slipping on (which was quite easy due to the wide split seam opening) and getting accustomed to a pair of size 5 My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes, Haiku walked without difficulty, although it wasn’t his normal stride. The shoes provided excellent traction in the wet grass and on our slippery wood floor, but also protected from the many pinecones and thorns he encounters on his walks.
I’m sure the My Busy Dog Shoes will be a plus when snow falls later in the year. These dog boots are extremely well made, and sport two reflector straps that allow visibility during our nighttime adventures, but at times, they had a little difficulty staying on his paws.
1. Walkee Paws Waterproof Dog Leggings
- Stay on perfectly, comfortable fit, especially around ankles
- Protect from hot and cold surfaces, water, and chemicals
- Machine washable
- Dog doesn’t mind them at all!
- Soles not substantial enough for hiking on rough terrain
These dog shoes & leggings were a breeze to put on. It seemed as though Haiku didn’t notice having them on at all! I really liked that these best dog boots did not squeeze his ankles. Since dogs don’t tell us, I worry about anything restrictive that might cut off circulation.
When we go on morning walks, or anytime when it rains or snows, Haiku’s long leg fur gets soaked from him boring into bushes for a good sniff, or just from walking on the wet grass. Once it gets wet, his fur mats down!
With the Walkee Paws Waterproof Dog Leggings, Haiku’s fuzziness remained dry, and his paws didn’t get muddy either. The over-the back leggings slipped on easily and stayed on nicely. Nothing bound or cut into his bod.
The leggings also protect my best pal from chemicals – fertilizers & insecticides — that may be on lawns or wash into the street. Haiku walked gracefully in the Walkee Paws, and they protected his precious paws from hot surfaces. If I say so myself, he looks PAWSitively adorable wearing them!
If hot surfaces are your biggest reason for protecting your dog’s paws, hopefully, this review of 10 best dog boots will help narrow down your search of finding a brand that works for your pooch. Keep in mind that “too hot” may be cooler than you think, since air temperature is often 20-45° cooler than the ground your dog walks on.
An egg can fry on 130°F pavement while a lovely breeze may make you feel like you’re experiencing only mid-80s temperatures. Protect those paws, you must, but don’t forget dogs release heat through the pads of their feet, so shoes can cause your dog to overheat if left on for extended periods of time.
If keeping paws clean and dry is high on your list, most all brands mentioned in this review of dog boots, shoes, and socks will make you smile, but read packaging if waterproof vs. water-resistant is a consideration.
And finally, if your older dog’s paw pads show wear from a life on four paws, or if his muscle and joints are not as strong as they once were, this review also contains indoor socks and dog boots that might provide the grip your senior dog needs.
Whichever brand you choose, and you may have to try a few for the best fit, read directions carefully as each brand uses a different method to determine the proper shoe size. Take your time getting your dog used to wearing them, and then start off having your pooch wear them for short periods of time indoors, checking to make sure the boots are not rubbing or creating sores.
We’ve all had a pair of shoes that have left us with a blister or worse, so don’t let that happen to your best pal! Find a shoe that breathes, flexes with your dog’s unique paw, and provides the protection you are looking for.
DENISE FLECK is an award-winning author, animal care instructor and radio show host. She was named one of Pet Age Magazine’s “Women of Influence” for 2018, a “Most Inspiring Story” in 2017 by Voyage Atlanta Magazine and has been nominated for 6 Dog Writers Awards to be announced in early 2019.Read more »