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Which Dog Boots Are Best For Your Dog?


Nothing hurts worse than seeing our pets in pain. Whether its 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. 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 the 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 paw 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 singles. This allows you to get 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 will work best for your dog.

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Alcott Adventure Boots

The “thrill sniffer” tagline molded into the tread of these 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 them easy to slide on paws and adjust placement. And the tread is pliable but firm so your dog won’t feel any of the sharp rocks or rough surfaces along the way.

Plus, there is reflective material on the straps so you can keep an eye on your pup in the dark!

Favorite Feature: The double straps combined with the flexible material on top made these boots the easiest to secure. Every dog is different, and Herc has fairly skinny legs considering how wide his front paws are. With 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.


Hurtta Outback Dog Boots

Flexibility goes a long way for comfort and 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.

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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 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 to stick to.


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 sole flash with each step. Plus there is plenty of reflective material to keep 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.

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 width according to the sizing chart.


Pawz Waterproof Dog Boots

Sometimes simplicity is best. And in that case, Pawz dog boots have you covered. The rubber material for these boots is waterproof and durable, so you can trust it to cover an injured pad, cross 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.

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

Room for Improvement: Pawz dog boots are not 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 get a little slippery. But he never missed 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 depending where they land with your dog’s dewclaws, but Ruffwear also sells dog boot liners to add padding or insulation for cold weather.

Favorite Feature: The Ruffwear treads 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 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 you’d recommend.

Happy adventuring!

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