Nothing hurts worse for pet owners than seeing our pets in pain. Whether it’s wearing boots to protect against snow and ice or rough terrain and hot pavement, a good pair of dog boots could keep your pup’s paws feeling great! We’ve tested five popular dog boots to find out which fit and work best.

Cool Whip the dog hiking a pet-friendly trail in blue dog boots
 

Either at home or on vacation, dog boots can make your dog more comfortable on walks and hikes. Perhaps rocky trails are taking a toll, or gravel roads are too much for sensitive paws. Unforgiving plants like cacti, goat heads, and sand burrs can quickly ruin your day. Seasonal allergies can mean a walk in the grass leads to days of itchiness. And the weather presents its own challenges with snow and hot pavement or sand!

As dog lovers, we all suffer when we see that tender paw lift, knowing our pups are hurting. Whether it’s related to terrain, weather, allergies, or protection from the local flora, dog boots can make your adventures together more enjoyable.

To help you decide which dog boots are best for your dog, Hercules and Cool Whip helped test five different options. We hope our research helps you find the paw-fect protection!

Two dogs posing in front of a lake surrounded by pines trees and mountains

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Getting The Right Fit

The most important part of buying dog boots it to determine the appropriate size of dog shoe. If they’re too big, they will fall off, and if they’re too small, they will be uncomfortable.

Once you’ve chosen the style of dog boots that will work best on your adventures, you’ll need to measure your dog’s paws and select the correct size according to the manufacturer’s guide.

How To Measure Your Dog’s Paws For Dog Boots

There are four steps to follow when measuring your dog’s paws:

  1. Put a piece of paper on the floor and place one of your dog’s front paws on the paper.
  2. Lift the opposite front paw so more of your dog’s weight is resting on the standing foot, and it fully expands.
  3. Trace around your dog’s paw, then remove the paper and measure the widest part of the outline.
  4. Follow the same steps with one back paw because sometimes the front and back paws are different sizes.
Image of a dog's paw print

Sizing Challenges

If you find that your dog’s front paws and back paws are different sizes, look for dog boot manufacturers that sell boots in sets of two or as many other dog boots as singles. This allows you to get your dog’s boots that fit properly without buying more boots than needed.

READ MORE ⇒ Why My Dog Wears Boots

Buster the German Shepherd Dog in his wheelchair wearing purple dog boots
 

Finding The Best Dog Boots

Finding the right dog boots means that your pup will be comfortable in them and will actually enjoy wearing them! We tested five popular dog boot brands to help you choose which dog booties will work best for your dog.

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Alcott Adventure Boots

The “thrill sniffer” tagline molded into the tread of these hiking boots is a perfect description. Alcott’s Adventure Boots for Dogs stayed on Hercules as he followed his nose, scrambling over and across anything and everything in his path!

The front gusset built into the boot makes it easy for your dog to slide on paws and adjust placement. The tread is pliable but firm, so your dog won’t feel sharp rocks or rough, slippery surfaces along the way.

Plus, they have reflective velcro straps too, so you can keep an eye on your pup in the dark!

dog wearing his alcott adventure boots with velcro strap

Favorite Feature: The double straps combined with the flexible material on top made these boots the easiest to secure. Every dog’s feet are different, and Herc has fairly skinny legs, considering how wide his front paws are. With two velcro straps on this boot, I was still able to tighten the tops enough so they stayed securely in place.

Room for Improvement: Alcott’s boots only come in four sizes, and you have to buy them in a set of four, so you’ll need to purchase two sets if your dog needs different sizes for his front and back paws.

alcott heavy duty dog boots adjustable straps
 

Hurtta Outback Dog Boots

Flexibility goes a long way for comfort and proper fit, and the Hurtta Outback Dog Boots nailed it! The entire boot flexes with your dog’s paws and stands up to any tough terrain you cross.

The inside tag makes it easy to tell which boot goes on which paw and also provides a place to write your phone number in case a boot gets lost.

hercules wearing blue dog boots

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Favorite Feature: The way these boots open down the front makes them the easiest to put on—which was so helpful with Herc’s big, meaty paws! They come in five sizes, and you can buy them in sets of two, so you’ll get a good fit for both the front and back of your pet’s paws.

Room for Improvement: The single strap can be tricky to wrap in a way that keeps the boot secure while leaving enough hook-and-loop material uncovered for it to stick.

bottom soles of the Hurtta dog boots
 

Kurgo Step-N-Strobe Dog Boots

If you like after-dark excursions, Kurgo’s Step-N-Strobe Dog Boots should be your top pick. Red and green LED lights along both sides of the rubber sole flash with each step and plenty of reflective material keeps your dog visible.

These were great for our walks in the dark and also performed well on the trail. The tops cinch up with a velcro strap and an adjustable elastic cord, keeping the boots in place.

Cool Whip testing out the Kurgo step n go dog boots over rough surfaces.

Favorite Feature: These were the tallest boots in the group, and that feature made a world of difference in securing them to Cool Whip’s paws with plenty of height to get up and over those pesky dewclaws! They come in six sizes and can be ordered individually or in a set of four.

Room for Improvement: Herc has thick paws, and these boots didn’t accommodate him, even though they were the correct paw width, according to the sizing chart.

bottom of the Kurgo dog boots
 

Pawz Waterproof Dog Boots

Sometimes, simplicity is best. In that case, Pawz Dog Boots has you covered. The rubber material is waterproof and durable, so you can trust it to cover an injured paw pad, cross the hot pavement, or protect sensitive paws during a walk.

They’re also inexpensive and easy to pack, so you can toss them in a bag as you head out to the beach or park. Cool Whip normally does some “high stepping” with other dog boots for the first minute or two, no matter how often she’s worn them – but she barely seemed to notice these once they were on. They’re like an extra layer of protective skin.

Right out of the package, Pawz boots can be tight around your dog’s legs. Stretching the tops out (like you would a balloon before you blow it up) helps make sure they’re comfortable for your pup.

Cool whip trying out Pawz, that are good for hot surfaces, or protect paw pads.

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Favorite Feature: They’re inexpensive and easy to bring everywhere. Each pack comes with 12 boots, so you can leave an extra set in the car, in your dog’s travel bag, or in your pet’s first aid kit. These lightweight dog boots are great for pups with allergies to grass and come in seven sizes!

Room for Improvement: Pawz dog boots are not really durable boots substantial enough for rough or rocky terrain. And you need to keep your dog’s nails short, or they will poke through the rubber.

 

Ruffwear Grip TREX

Serious adventure ahead? Ruffwear’s Grip TREX dog boots can take it on! They’re solid and grippy for any surface your dog needs to cross.

Some of the rocks Herc chooses to scramble up are smooth and a little slippery, but he never misses a beat in these boots! He’s like a little mountain goat but with tiny ear nubs instead of horns.

The boot tops are low, which could be a plus or minus for dog shoes, depending on where they land with your dog’s dewclaws, but Ruffwear also sells dog boot liners to add padding or insulation for cold weather.

Hercules testing out Ruffwear grip trex dog boots

Favorite Feature: The treads on the Ruffwear Grip Trex dog boots deserve the accolades here—they’re the best in the group. These boots also have the best variety, coming in three colors and eight sizes. Plus, you can purchase them in sets of two or four.

Room for Improvement: The top is a bit bulky for the single strap to form a 100% secure and snug fit.

 

No matter which type of paw protection your dog needs, there’s a dog boot out there to do the job! Leave us a comment if your dog has tried any of these boots or if there is a different style yyou’drecommend.

Happy adventuring!

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  • Neopaws – my dog is tall and these are robust, well made and long enough to wrap around his ankle and secure them in place. He took to them immediately. All others we tried were too short for the wraps to grip and hold them in place. On to his 3rd pair of boots and we have purchased their indoor and summer boots. Expensive for us to buy in the UK – they’re shipped from Canada – but well worth it.