Best dog boots for hiking and outdoors

Best dog boots for hiking

Dogs are a perfect companion for an outdoor excursion be it camping, hiking, hunting or any other activity. They are energetic, obedient and just fun to be around. So, if you love to have your Fido to accompany you on a wilderness adventure, then you would need to ensure it stays safe and healthy. One essential gear that you need to consider is dog boots. Dog boots or shoes keep your doggo’s paws secure and comfortable while walking on off-road surfaces. And they also protect against the weather elements like extreme cold, heat and rain.

So, which are the best dog boots for hiking and other outdoor adventures?

In this article, we will list some of the best dog boots for hiking and other off-road excursions. Our focus would be on heavy-duty hiking dog shoes and not on soft dog booties and paw protectors. All the options that we list are designed to be comfortable and would also be useful for daily use. We will also discuss some of the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog shoes and share our top picks. Read On!

Also check out our article on the best dog backpacks for another essential gear for hiking and backpacking.

Best dog boots list

Some of the best dog boots for hiking and other outdoor adventures are listed below:
PictureProductSpecifications 

RuffWear Grip Trex Dog BootsSize 1 (1.5”) to Size 8 (3.25”)
Set of 2 or 4 boots.



My Busy Dog Water-Resistant Dog ShoesSize 1 (1.5”) to Size 8 (3.25”)
Set of 4 boots
Muttluks Mud Monsters Dog BootsXXSmall (1.5”) to Large (3.75”)
Set of 2 boots
Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog BootsXSmall (1.5”) to XLarge (3.5”)
Set of 4 boots
Ultra Paws Rugged Dog BootsSmall (2.25”) to XLarge (4.0”)
Set of 4 boots
QUMY Waterproof Dog BootsSize 5 (2.4”) to Size 8 (3.25”)
Set of 4 boots
Petacc Water Resistant Dog ShoesSize 4 (2.2”) to Size 8 (3.25”)
Set of 4 boots
Kurgo Step N Strobe Dog ShoesXXSmall (2.0”) to XLarge (3.25”)
Set of 4 boots
Bark Brite Neoprene Dog Paw ProtectorsSmall (2.75”) to XXLarge (4.5”)
Set of 4 boots

What are dog hiking boots and how they are useful?

The dog boots that we are talking about here are much more than fashion accessories. They essentially serve the same purpose as human boots – protect the pet’s paws and pads from weather elements, rough surfaces and injuries while undertaking an on-road or off-road trip. They are especially useful for pet dogs who have sensitive paws and do not spend a considerable amount of time in the outdoors.

A typical dog boot has a main body that is made of breathable nylon, neoprene, Cordura or similar fabric with a water-resistant coating to prevent moisture from seeping in. The sole of the boots is made of rubber or soft PVC with traction grooves, just like the soles of humans. However, unlike human boots which can have laces, dog boots rely on zipper or Velcro straps for fastening.

Dog boots come in a set of two or four boots. Depending upon the dog’s willingness to keep them on (most dogs hate wearing boots initially) and your requirements, you can pick a pair or all four boots. They are also available in different sizes for paw width ranging from 1.5 inches to 4.0 inches. Picking the right shoe-size is important and one of the major considerations before picking the best dog booties.

Dog boots are an important gear for canines and can help in a number of situations. Some of the major purposes these dog shoes can play are:

  • Dog boots can provide better grip and traction to the pet, especially in difficult terrains such as icy, wet and muddy surfaces. They also help in proper traction on hardwood surfaces and prevent accidental scratching.
  • Dog boots help protect the paws, pads and soft surfaces from injuries during off-road adventures. Things like thorns, sharp rocks, broken glass and stinging insects can no longer puncture the pet skin. Moreover, they can protect your pooch against natural allergens in the wilderness.
  • Dog boots provide protection against extreme temperature conditions such as snowy terrains and hot pavements. They also help in keeping the canine’s paws dry and protect against the snow salts and similar things.
  • Dog boots can help in keeping the paws clean even after a walk on sandy or wet/muddy surfaces.
  • Dog boots can help in managing the paw injuries better. If the dog has a paw injury, dog booties can prevent the pet from incessantly licking or biting the injured paw.

It is worthwhile to mention that there are some key factors to consider before deciding whether you want to go with dog boots or look at alternatives such as applying paw protection balms or hardening your canine’s paws with some outdoor training:

  • Most dogs hate wearing boots, especially initially. You would have to make a concentrated effort to train your dog to wear them for prolonged periods.
  • Because of the difference in paw sizes (front paws vs rear paws), they may not stay on and your dog may lose them, either by slipping or deliberately removing them. For dogs with less leg-hair and dew claws, it can be a bigger problem. And since most manufacturers offer them in sets, you would have to get at least two as a replacement.
  • Dog boots are not the cheapest pet gear. The best all-terrain dog shoes are at least over 20 bucks for a pair, so it would be a somewhat sizeable investment on your part.

Despite all the limitations and challenges mentioned above, dog boots are almost an essential gear to get for all-weather, all-terrain outdoor trips with your furry companion. So, if you are planning for long, enjoyable outdoor excursions with your Fido, you must definitely consider opting for a set of dog shoes.

In the next sections, we will list our picks for the best dog boots for hiking and outdoors and also list out the factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog shoes for your beloved pet.

Which are the best dog boots for hiking and outdoors?

RuffWear Grip Trex Dog Boots – Best dog boots for hiking and outdoorsRUFFWEAR - Grip Trex, Blue Spring, 2.0 in (2 Boots)

Material: 1000+ Denier Nylon mesh body with a water-resistant coating, recycled Vibram rubber sole, pullover fabric neck gaiter and hook-and-loop Velcro fastener.
Size:

  • Size 1: 1.5″ paw width.
  • Size 2: 1.8″ paw width.
  • Size 3: 2.0″ paw width.
  • Size 4: 2.25″ paw width.
  • Size 5: 2.4″ paw width.
  • Size 6: 2.65″ paw width.
  • Size 7: 3.0″ paw width.
  • Size 8: 3.25″ paw width.

Price: $$$.
Set: 2 or 4 boots per set.
Features:

  • Best-selling, high-performance dog boots for all-terrain rugged use. Made in Vietnam under US-based RuffWear quality control.
  • Feature an insulated nylon-fabric mesh upper with a polyester inner liner and closed-cell foam interior cushion for best-in-class comfort and breathability. Water-resistant, though not fully waterproof.
  • Equipped with a patented Vibram rubber outsole with all-weather lugs/treads for optimum traction.
  • Comes with a hook-and-loop fastening mechanism with Velcro closure for a secure fit during walks. Also has a pullover stretch gaiter for weather and water protection.
  • Machine washable in gentle cycle and air dry.
  • Available in three color combinations – blue, red and black and all eight dog hiking boot sizes.
  • Come in a set of two or four boots and backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
  • Insulated RuffWear Polar Trex dog boots are also available specifically for winter use. Softer and lighter Ruffwear Summit Trex dog boots are also available for everyday urban use.

Detail Review:

When it comes to hiking, backpacking and camping gear for canines, Ruffwear is one of the most popular brands. And their line of dog boots – Summit Trex, Grip Trex and Polar Trex are the best-selling dog shoes in the market and there is a good reason for that. Like most other RuffWear products, these shoes are made in Vietnam under strict manufacturer quality control restrictions.

The RuffWear Grip Trex dog boots are designed for all-season, all-terrain use and most similar to the human hiking boots in terms of build and performance. These dog boots feature a 1000+D breathable nylon mesh upper with a water-resistant polyester liner. The dog boots have an inner closed-cell foam layer to provide maximum comfort to the canine paw pads during walks. The dog boots have a reflective Vibram rubber outsole with all-weather lugs/treads for optimum traction, even on the roughest off-road terrains.

The RuffWear Grip Trex dog boots are reasonably water-resistant, though not fully waterproof. They are designed to work well in most weather conditions and keep the dog paws cool even in cold conditions. For extreme cold weathers, you may want to look at the Polar Trex shoes for some more insulation and warmth.

One of the best features of the Grip Trex Shoes is their secure and comfortable fastening system. The closure system combines a hook-and-loop mechanism with a small Velcro fastener, that cinches around the narrowest part of the dog’s leg to provide a secure fit. Moreover, pullover stretch gaiters keep snow and moisture out and improve retention by protecting the hook-and-loop ankle closure from the elements. This best-in-class design means that these shoes really stay on once you have secured them in the dog’s legs.

The RuffWear Grip Trex dog boots are easy to clean and machine washable in cold water and gentle cycle. They dry-up pretty quickly in the air. A soft drawstring fabric bag is also included for easy transportation.

The Grip Trex dog boots are available in three reflective color combinations. These shoes are available in eight dog paw sizes and in sets of two or four dog boots.

Like other RuffWear products, the RuffWear Grip Trex dog boots are backed by a limited lifetime warranty on workmanship – a testament to their superior quality and durability.

For their high-quality construction, superior performance and comfort, the RuffWear Grip Trex Dog Boots is our Editor’s pick for the best dog boots for hiking and other outdoor excursions. This set of dog boots is a top-of-the-line product for pet owners who are looking for a sturdy and reliable all-terrain dog boots for their canine companion.

Pros
  • Best-selling, all-terrain dog boots with best-in-class durability and performance.
  • Breathable upper mesh and reflective Vibram rubber outsole for a comfortable walk even in snow and wet weather.
  • Pullover stretch gaiter and hook-and-loop enclosure keep the boots secure in all conditions.
  • Easy to clean – machine washable in cold water and air dry. Come with a garment bag for easy storage and wash.
  • Available in all eight dog boot sizes, three colors and set of 2 or 4 boots.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty and product support by the manufacturer.


Cons
  • Costlier than most other dog boots, but you get what you pay for.


My Busy Dog Water-Resistant Dog Shoes – Value Pick for the best dog bootsMy Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes with Two Reflective Fastening Straps and Rugged Anti-Slip Sole | Dog Boots Perfect for Small Medium Large Dogs | Size Chart in Pictures (Size 2, Green)

Material: High-quality canvas nylon fabric with reinforced stitching, recycled tire-rubber sole, two Velcro Straps as fasteners.
Size:

  • Size 1: 1.5″ paw width.
  • Size 2: 1.8″ paw width.
  • Size 3: 2.0″ paw width.
  • Size 4: 2.25″ paw width.
  • Size 5: 2.4″ paw width.
  • Size 6: 2.65″ paw width.
  • Size 7: 3.0″ paw width.
  • Size 8: 3.25″ paw width.

Price: $.
Set: 4 boots per set.
Features:

  • High-quality, value-for-money dog boots made of high-quality canvas nylon fabric with reinforced stitching. Heavy-duty, anti-slip rubber sole. Made in China.
  • Easy to take-on and take-off with a split-seam opening. Equipped with two adjustable and reflective fastening straps to ensure a tight and secure fit.
  • Water-resistant and suitable for all weathers. But not totally waterproof.
  • Easy to clean – machine washable, though hand wash is most suitable to keep the Velcro strap safe.
  • Available in eight sizes and four colors. A single replacement boot is also available directly from the manufacturer.
  • Competitively priced and backed by a 30-day money back guaranteed commitment.

Detail Review:

If you are looking for some durable dog boots and do not want to spend a fortune, then you should consider getting the My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes. These dog booties offer decent quality and performance in the field and are about 50% cheaper than most premium models. These dog boots are made in China under the quality control mechanisms enforced by the Massachusetts-based company.

The My Busy Dog Water-Resistant Dog Shoes feature a high-quality canvas nylon fabric body with a recycled tire-rubber insole and outsole. The rubber sole is not a thin layer, but rather a thick, treaded sole for durability and traction. The fabric is stitched together and not glued like most cheap dog boots, thereby providing it with more durability.

The My Busy Dog shoes have a waterproof sole and a thick inner liner that makes the shoes reasonably water-resistant, though not fully waterproof. Since the body is not meshed-fabric, the shoes are not as breathable as RuffWear or Muttluks and you would have to take some breaks to take them off during an 8-10-hour day hike. Not a major drawback though and you can address it by applying Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax before putting them on!

The design of the split seam and the Velcro fasteners means that these dog boots are extremely easy to slip-on and take-off. Once you have put on the shoes, you can tighten the Velcro straps to provide a snug fit to the dog. The straps are reflective and easily visible even in low light. Just remember to check that the shoes have been properly secured before embarking on your excursion.

The My Busy Dog Shoes are easy to clean and machine washable in delicate cycle. We recommend you wash them with soap and water to prolong the life of the Velcro fasteners.

My Busy Dog Water-Resistant Dog Shoes are available in all the standard eight sizes for dog shoes and in a set of four shoes – all with the same size. These shoes are available in four colors – Red, Black, Purple and Green. The manufacturer provides a 30-day hassle-free money back guarantee commitment. A single replacement boot is also available directly from the manufacturer.

For all the reasons mentioned above, the My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes are our value pick for the best dog shoes for hiking and other all-weather outdoor adventures They may not be the cheapest dog boots, but their performance offers the best value-for-money for anyone looking for a durable and reliable 4-season, all-terrain dog boots.

Pros
  • Value-for-money dog boots made of high-quality canvas nylon with reinforced stitching for durability. Made in China.
  • Provide a comfortable fit with a split-seam opening and equipped with two adjustable and reflective Velcro straps.
  • Water-resistant body with a waterproof sole for weather protection.
  • Easy to clean and machine washable.
  • Competitively priced at about half the cost of premium hiking dog shoes.
  • Available in all the 8 sizes for dog shoes and four color combinations. Backed by a 30-day money back guaranteed commitment.


Cons
  • Not as durable as RuffWear or Muttluks dog boots and not fully waterproof.
  • Not as breathable as RuffWear and other meshed-body dog boots and may cause irritation to paw pads after prolong use.


Muttluks Mud Monsters Dog BootsMuttluks Mud Monsters (2 Pack), Orange, Small/Medium

Material: 1000 Denier Nylon mesh body, microfiber inner liners, recycled tire-rubber sole, two hook and loop Velcro fasteners.
Size:

  • XX-Small/X-Small: 1.5″ paw width.
  • X-Small/Small: 25″ paw width.
  • X-Small: 2.5″ paw width
  • Small: 2.75″ paw width.
  • Small/Medium: 3.0″ paw width.
  • Medium: 3.25″ paw width.
  • Medium/Large: 3.5″ paw width.
  • Large: 3.75″ paw width.

Price: $$$.
Set: 2 boots per set.
Features:

  • High-quality rugged dog boots with 1000D nylon mesh uppers, microfiber inner liners and heavy-duty recycled rubber soles. Made in Canada.
  • Extra-large opening for easy wearing, with elasticized hook and loop fasteners for a secure fit.
  • Best suited for three-seasons. Winter shoes are sold separately. Water-resistant and durable.
  • Easy to clean – machine washable and can be placed in the dryer on low settings.
  • Available in eight sizes and three vibrant color combinations. Replacement single boots are also available directly through manufacturer website.
  • Softer, lighter and warmer, Original All-Weather Muttluks Shoes are also available from the same manufacturer.

Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog BootsCanine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots, Medium, Black

Material: 1000 Denier Nylon body with a water-resistant coating, PVC toes, recycled tire-rubber sole, two Velcro Straps as fasteners.
Size:

  • X-Small: 1.75″ front paw; 1.5″ back paw.
  • Small: 2.0″ front paw; 1.75″ back paw.
  • Medium: 2.5″ front paw; 2.25″ back paw.
  • Large: 3.0″ front paw; 2.5″ back paw.
  • X-Large: 3.5″ front paw; 3.0″ back paw.

Price: $$$.
Set: 4 boots per set.
Features:

  • All-terrain and all-weather dog boots with a high-quality nylon body and wrap-around treaded rubber soles. Recycled sole material. Made in Canada.
  • Unique sizing with front and back boots sized differently for best fit.
  • One-sided brushed fleece liner provides added softness and warmth.
  • Equipped with Velcro cinch closure having two layers of hook and loop fasteners provides a secure fit.
  • Easy to clean – machine washable in delicate cycle and air dry. A garment bag is also included for washing/carrying.
  • Available in four sizes and black color. Backed by a lifetime warranty by the manufacturer (RC Pets).
  • Replacement single boots are also available directly through manufacturer website.

Ultra Paws Rugged Dog BootsUltra Paws Rugged Dog Boot, Orange, X-Large

Material: 500+ Denier Nylon body with a water-resistant coating, PVC toes, recycled tire-rubber sole, two Velcro Straps as fasteners.
Size:

  • Small: 2.25″ paw width.
  • Medium: 2.75″ paw width.
  • Large: 3.25″ paw width.
  • X-Large: 4.0″ paw width.

Price: $$.
Set: 4 boots per set.
Features:

  • Rugged dog boots featuring 500+D breathable nylon body, PVC toe and skid-resistant rubber sole. The sole is made of Reprotek – recycled tire. Made in China.
  • Patented design with twin Velcro strap fasteners. Easy to put on and difficult to slip off.
  • Suitable for urban and wilderness use. Water-resistant and snow-safe, but not fully waterproof.
  • Easy to clean – machine washable in delicate cycle and air dry.
  • Available in two colors and four sizes.
  • Softer Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots are also available from the same manufacturer.

QUMY Waterproof Dog BootsQUMY Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes for Large Dogs with Reflective Velcro Rugged Anti-Slip Sole Black 4PCS (Size 6: 2.9x2.5 Inch)

Material: Soft nylon body with treaded rubber sole. Double Reflective Self-adhesive Velcro straps.
Size:

  • Size 5: 2.7″ x 2.2″.
  • Size 6: 2.9″ x 2.5″.
  • Size 7: 3.1″ x 2.7″.
  • Size 8: 3.3″ x 2.9″.

Price: $.
Set: 4 boots per set.
Features:

  • Heavy-duty dog boots with a high-quality nylon fabric upper and molded rubber insole and outsole. Made in China.
  • Waterproof sole and water-resistant body with anti-slip treading for superior traction. Not fully waterproof.
  • Expanding design with a split-seam opening and two reflective Velcro straps for easy and secure fastening.
  • Hand washable and air dry only.
  • Available in two colors and four sizes.

Petacc Water Resistant Dog ShoesWaterproof Pet Boots for Medium to Large Dogs Labrador Husky Shoes 4 Pcs (Red, Size 8)

Material: Soft nylon body with treaded rubber sole. Double Reflective Self-adhesive Velcro straps.
Size:

  • Size 4: 2.5″ x 1.9″.
  • Size 5: 2.7″ x 2.2″.
  • Size 6: 2.9″ x 2.5″.
  • Size 7: 3.1″ x 2.7″.
  • Size 8: 3.3″ x 2.9″.

Price: $.
Set: 4 boots per set.
Features:

  • Cheap, flexible and lightweight dog shoes with a water-resistant nylon body and treaded rubber sole. Made in China.
  • Easy to put on with wide split seam top opening. Feature two self-adhesive adjustable Velcro straps for securing the shoe in dog’s legs.
  • Fleece liner provides some warmth during winters. Water-resistant but not fully waterproof.
  • Easy to clean and machine washable and air dry.
  • Available in five sizes and two colors – red and black. Backed by a 30-day money back commitment.

Kurgo Step N Strobe Dog ShoesKurgo Step N Strobe Dog Shoes, Water Resistant Dog Shoes, Dog Boots For All Seasons, Dog Snow Boots, Anti Slip Dog Boots, Medium

Material: Nylon mesh body with rubberized synthetic leather insole and outsole.
Size:

  • XX-Small: 2.0″ paw width.
  • X-Small: 2.25″ paw width.
  • Small: 2.5″ paw width.
  • Medium: 2.75″ paw width.
  • Large: 3.0″ paw width.
  • X-Large: 3.25″ paw width.

Price: $$$.
Set: 4 boots per set.
Features:

  • Rugged yet lightweight dog boots with breathable nylon mesh and rubberized synthetic leather insole and outsole. Treaded for superior traction and water-resistant.
  • Unique fasteners with an adjustable ankle cord lock and single Velcro strap for comfortable fit.
  • Equipped with LED-light up strobes in the sole which generate a red and green light. However, the battery is not replaceable and strobes cannot be turned off.
  • Because of strobe lights, hand-wash only with soap and water.
  • Available in six sizes and standard yellow-and-black color combination.
  • Backed by a Kurgo lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.

Bark Brite Neoprene Dog Paw ProtectorsAll Weather Neoprene Paw Protector Dog Boots with Reflective Straps in 5 Sizes! (Lg (3.5 in.)) Travel Zipper Case Included!

Material: Soft Neoprene body with treaded rubber sole. Two Velcro Straps as fasteners.
Size:

  • Small: 2.75″ paw width.
  • Medium: 3.0″ paw width.
  • Large: 3.5″ paw width.
  • X-Large: 4.5″ paw width.

Price: $.
Set: 4 boots per set.
Features:

  • Soft, breathable dog booties with Neoprene body and treaded rubber sole. A liner on the interior provides weather protection and temperature control. Made in China.
  • Equipped with two reflective Velcro straps for fastening with longer shoe-neck to prevent accidental slip-offs.
  • Flexible, yet water and puncture resistant, though not as durable and rugged dog boots.
  • Comes with a travel zipper pack for easy transportation.
  • Machine washable in delicate cycle and air dry.
  • Available in standard black color and four/five sizes.

How to pick the best dog boots for hiking and other outdoor activities?

The market is flooded with different types and models of dog boots, shoes and paw protectors, with a wide variation in prices – from 5-dollars per shoe to as high as 20-dollars per shoe. But not every option is durable, reliable and comfortable to the dogs and you should avoid picking a cheap, low-quality dog hiking boot model for your pooch.

Once you have decided on the broad budget that you have, you need to look at a few important factors to separate the wheat from the chaff and pick the best dog boots for hiking or other outdoor adventures. These major considerations are summarized below:

  • Building Material of the dog boots
  • Design of the boots
  • Size of the boots
  • Color and style
  • Additional factors and considerations

Building material of the boots

The manufacturing material of the boot body and the sole is an important factor as it governs the durability, comfort and water protection provided by the boots. Why else do you think there is so much variation in the price of these dog boots?

The best dog boots have a meshed or solid nylon fabric body with stitched uppers (not glued). A water-resistant coating and some thin liner (or fleece) on the inside to provide additional weather and water-protection. A meshed upper makes the boot more breathable, but it also means slightly lesser protection from the weather elements. Dog shoes have elasticized split seams to make it easy to put-off and remove the shoes. Some dog boots such as the RuffWear Grip Trex Dog Boots even offer additional comfort by providing a closed-cell foam insole.

It is important to distinguish between water-resistant surface and waterproof surface/body of the dog shoes. A water-resistant shoe surface can repel water and survive splashes. For submersion protection such as swimming, you need something that is totally waterproof. Since most dogs do not mind water in their boots, a quick-drying, water-resistant boot should suffice for some rain or pool/pond play as well.

For fasteners, most dog boots use one or more reflective Velcro straps. The reflective flaps on straps make it easier to spot the dog boots even in low lights.

The outer sole and toe-lip of dog boots are generally made of recycled tire-rubber or PVC. Rubberized soles are better because of their flexibility. The soles have treads or lugs to provide better grip and traction. The thicker the sole, the better durability the shoe would have, especially for off-road trips.

Check out the building material of the shoe surface, sole and other supporting parts before picking the best dog shoes for your pooch. If in doubt, pick one of our top choices, as we have listed only the most well-built and durable dog boots in the market.

Design of the boots

Closely related with the manufacturing material of the dog boots is the design of the boots – the treads on the sole, the neck height of the boots and closure/fastener design. After all, you are looking for a dog boot that stays on even in the toughest terrains and situations.

The neck height and the fastening mechanism plays an important role in keeping the dog shoes secure on the dog’s paws. Most of the options we listed have either two Velcro strap fasteners or unique hook-and-loop fastener. If the shoes have two fasteners, you would have to tighten the top strap completely to secure the boot in the dog’s paws. You can choose to keep the keep the second strap a little lose for comfort.

The boot toe and the sole design is another important design consideration. It differentiates the hiking dog boots from everyday dog shoes and booties. Hiking dog boots have bigger toe-lips and deep treads in the sole for better traction.

Check out the aforementioned design features before picking the most suitable boots for your dog. In terms of design, RuffWear Grip Trex and Muttluks Dog Boots have probably the best design features and hence our favorites.

Size of the boots

Once you have finalized the dog boot model, you would need to pick the dog boot of the right size. An inappropriately sized dog shoe can be comfortable to the canine and do not stay on for long.

Thankfully, most manufacturers offer dog shoe size charts and advice on how to size your dog’s paws. Just make sure you follow the instructions to the fullest and cut your pet’s nails before sizing up the paw. Furthermore, since there can often be a considerable difference between the size of front and rear paws, you are better-off by sizing each set of paws separately, as you may have to opt for different size shoes for rear paws. Of all the dog hiking boots that we listed, only Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots offer a set with differently-sized front and rear paws.

The following size-chart, courtesy of My Busy Dog boots depicts the typical paw width for Size 1 to Size 8 dog shoes.

My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes with Two Reflective Fastening Straps and Rugged Anti-Slip Sole | Dog Boots Perfect for Small Medium Large Dogs | Size Chart in Pictures (Size 5, Red)
Typical dog boot sizing chart (Source My Busy Dog, Amazon.com)

The following list illustrates the sample dog boot sizes based on the average weight of specific dog breeds:

  • Size 1: Chihuahua, Boston Terrier (Dogs under 10 lbs. have difficulty with the weight of dog boots).
  • Size 2: Shiba Inu, Pug.
  • Size 3: Beagle, Corgi,
  • Size 4: Bulldog, Australian Shepherd.
  • Size 5: Siberian Husky, Standard Poodles, Boxer.
  • Size 6: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retriever, Goldendoodle, Pitbull, German Shepherd.
  • Size 7: Rottweiler, Dobermann.
  • Size 8: Great Dane, Bernese Mountain Dog.

It is important to reiterate that different dog boot manufacturers have slight variations in their shoe sizes, so you should check the manufacturer specific sizing instructions before placing an order.

Check the size (width and length) of your dog’s paws before picking the best dog shoes for your pet. If you end up with an in-between size, size-up (in case of Grip Trex Dog Boots, size-down) and use doggie socks or boot liners.

Color and Style

While it may not be a major factor with respect to the comfort and walking performance, the color and style of the dog shoes is also something to look out for before picking the best dog boots for your pet.

Bright reflective colors are often easy to spot even in low lights, so most dog boots have reflective Velcro straps. But when it comes to the body of the boots, some models are only available in a single color combination. Our top picks – RuffWear Grip Trex Dog Boots and My Busy Dog Water-Resistant Dog Shoes offer the most options and you can pick one that suits you and your pet’s personality and style.

Additional factors and miscellaneous considerations

In addition to the major factors discussed above, there are some other miscellaneous considerations that can make a dog hiking boot a preferable option over other dog shoes.

One such consideration is the number of dog boots in a set and the availability of replacement boots. Some dog boots are available in a set of 4 boots, while others are available in a set of 2 boots only. A 4-shoe set makes the dog boots more affordable, but if the boots are available in a set of 2 boots, you can pick a different size for the rear paws.

Finally, the most important additional consideration is the warranty and after-sales support provided by the manufacturer.  The general rule of thumb is that longer the warranty period, the more reliable and durable the dog boots would be. Top manufacturers such as RuffWear, RC Pets and Kurgo score big in this category as they offer excellent lifetime warranties on their products. Some other brands offer short-term 30 or 60-day warranties, so you would have to check the size and fit immediately after getting the dog shoes.

You can look at all these features to determine if they make specific dog hiking boots a better choice over others.

Boot liners and socks for use with dog hiking boots

Ruffwear - Bark'n Boot Liners (Comfortable, Quick-Drying, Reinforced Stitching), Twilight Gray , 2.00

If you are looking for socks and boot liners to go with the dog hiking boots to provide additional protection or just because of intermediate sizing, then you can check out the following options. These socks can also be worn without the shoes for indoor protection and better grip on hardwood floors:

  • RuffWear Bark’n Boot Liners: Best-quality dog boot liners. Thin, quick-drying and comfortable for the pet to wear on paws. Available in standard gray color and a set of four socks.
  • EXPOWLOLER Anti-Slip Dog Socks: Budget non-skid dog socks with silicone gel sole and elastic band. Available in five sizes and multiple color combinations, suitable for almost all dog breeds.
  • PUPTECK Anti-Slip Dog Socks: Cheapest anti-slip dog socks that come with a Velcro band for secure fastening. Available in four sizes and a single color.

Alternatives to dog hiking boots

Musher's Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax, 60-Gram

If your dog just hates the dog boots and cannot keep it on, then you have a couple of alternatives that you can try out.

One alternative is to go with the Pawz waterproof disposable dog booties. These made in the US, dog paw protectors are made of natural rubber (they look very much like thick balloons) and fit snuggly to the pet’s paws. Pawz dog booties are waterproof and though they may not last as long as dog boots, they are reusable, 100% biodegradable and considerably cheaper than standard dog shoes. And the best part is that these booties are also available in multiple sizes and pack of 1 or 2 booties.

Another option is to apply TUF-FOOT Liquid Foot Protection spray regularly. It is guaranteed to toughen soft, cracked, sore and tender feet. It is recommended to apply daily until feet are in good condition, then twice a week.

Finally, the last option is to apply some paw protection balm on your dog’s paws. A layer of wax-based cream protects the paws from hot pavements, ice and salt. Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax is the best-selling, 100% natural, non-toxic and non-staining wax-based balm for your pooch. Bodhi Dog Organic Paw Balm is another excellent organic paw protection cream for dogs and cats.

Final thoughts on the best dog boots for hiking and outdoors

Before embarking on any wilderness adventure with your canine companion, it is important to provide proper protection to your dog’s paws to handle the weather elements and off-road surfaces. What you need is a set of reliable, durable and comfortable dog boots for your Fido.

In this article, we looked at some of the best dog boots available in the market for hiking and outdoors. The dog shoes that we listed are much more than fashion accessories – they provide protection against snow, salt, pointed rocks and hot surfaces and keep your pet’s paws safe and injury-free. We also discussed the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog shoes and shared our top picks.

We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best dog shoes for your pooch’s next outdoor adventure. Do let us know your feedback by commenting below. Until next time, happy outdoor exploration with your canine companion!

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Image credits:Amazon.com

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