dog hiking in stream

Top five: best dog boots for hiking

If you are hiking with your dog often you may worry about protecting his or her delicate paws on the trail. Balms and salves can help, but selecting the best dog boots for hiking with your dog can make a big difference. Dogs who are very active may need booties or shoes to protect their paw pads. If your dog jogs with you, the paw pads may be delicate and this can cause pain in your dog’s feet and joints.

Why buy dog hiking boots?

Like us, some dogs have allergies to grasses and pollen. According to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, excessive licking of the paws is a sign of an allergy. If you notice your dog is always licking or chewing their feet, using dog boots can help. This will prevent exposing the paws to an irritant. Foxtails can be especially irritating, and this is a common concern for hunting dogs.

Depending on the terrain, hiking can be tough on your pooch. If you are a mountaineer who brings your pooch, they might get scrapes and scratches from sharp rocks. Dog boots for hiking can help to prevent this type of injury. If you are hike in winter or high altitudes where the temperature dips, take extra care. Always ensure your dog’s feet are warm and protected. Dogs can get frostbite too! Finally, dryness and even blisters can occur from repeated exposure to hot concrete. If you run with your dog, apply a soothing lotion or balm (see my article here).

Measuring your dog’s feet for dog boots for hiking

Always make sure you measure before you but dog boots. Like humans, our pups need comfortable shoes that fit well. Check out this youtube video for a how-to ensure you are getting the correct size:

Top five best dog boots for hiking

RUFFWEAR, Summit Trex Everyday Dog Boots with Rubber Soles for Walking

dog hiking boots ruffwear summit trexJudging by the name alone, you can tell this is good for hiking! And from Ruffwear, which is a favorite brand of mine, you can tell it’s gonna be good. It’s great that these have a rubber sole. They keep your dog’s paws protected from anything and everything that could be on the ground. It’s also nice that they come in sets of two or four. So, for your dog’s hind paws, you can buy a larger size. It’s also good to buy extra in case you ever need a couple handy as a backup on a camping trip. Even if my dog won’t be wearing hiking boots on a trip, I like to bring some in case he gets a scrape. That way, I can bandage it and put the bootie on top to ensure the scrape heals well. Check price here.

Pros

  • Rubber sole protects paw from the elements and snowmelt chemicals
  • Ideal for everyday use
  • Ideal for all-weather use
  • Hook and loop closure secures bootie to paw
  • Weather-resistant top
  • Flexible
  • Sole has good traction
  • Machine washable in gentle cycle (always air-dry)
  • Available in two colors

Cons

  • May not be suitable for dog breeds with dewclaws, but may be okay with a doggy sock inside the boot

Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots

best dog boots for hiking canine equipment black bootsMy favorite thing about these is that the sole consists of a recycled rubber material. If you are trying to be more eco-friendly, this is a great choice. The tread on the bottom looks very durable. They also come with a garment bag for easy machine washing. What makes these boots stand out? They are actually designed to fit front and hind paws. So, you will receive two booties designated for the front and two for the hind paws. This just makes sense to me, after all front and hind paws are different. Check price here.

Pros

  • Recycled rubber material
  • Upper is made from weather-resistant soft fabric
  • Good traction
  • Designs vary for front and hind paws
  • Machine washable
  • Gusset and cinch closure
  • Reflective accents
  • Does not irritate dewpaw, since it sits below the carpal pad

Cons

  • Deep snow may get jammed into the velcro

Pawz Dog Boots

best dog boots pawz booties with cute dogimpressions
For winter walks in the city with my dog Thor, I rely on these dog boots. They are very lightweight and easy to get on and off. Unlike the Canine Equipment Dog Boots, these are not designed for the front and hind paws. To remedy this, I use a smaller size on Thor’s hind paws. For a shorter hike, paddling, or car camping trip, these are also suitable. They do not offer any traction so I would not take them on a very long hike. I love that they are biodegradable. Another standout feature is that they are thin enough that the dog can still feel the ground. Check price here.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Difficult for fussy dogs to remove
  • Allows dog to feel the ground, so it is more natural to them
  • Protects your dogs feet from harsh snow melt chemicals, heat, dirt, and irritants
  • Each pack contains 12 boots (and they last long)
  • 100% biodegradable natural rubber
  • Does not irritate the dewclaw

Cons

  • You may need to buy two different sizes for front and hind legs

RUFFWEAR – Polar Trex Waterproof Winter Dog Boots with Rubber Soles for Cold Weather

best dog boots for hiking ruffwear polar forest greenI can see your expression now, haha “another ruffwear boot?!”. Yes, this is another ruffwear boot! But, that is because I know this brand makes such high-quality equipment. These are a bit more rugged than the  Summit Trex Everyday Dog Boots, with some serious grip on the bottom. I love that they work in extreme weather, and can stand up to cold temperatures. These dog hiking boots use Vibram on the soles. This material is used in a lot of human footwear. Check price here.

Pros

  • Stretch gaiter and zipper secure bootie to paw
  • Flexible
  • Vibram Icetrek outsoles provide intense traction designed for snow and ice
  • Machine washable on gentle cycle and air-dried
  • Available in sets of two or four so you can use a different size for front and hind paws (if needed)
  • Durable Water Repellent upper

Cons

  • May not be ideal for dogs with dewclaws, but may be okay with a doggy sock inside the boot

Kurgo Winter Boots for Dogs | Dog Shoes for Hot Pavement | Dog Snow Boots | All Season Paw Protectors

best dog boots for hiking - kugo red and black This all-weather shoe is breathable and water-resistant. I love that the uppers are ripstop leather since I find leather dog supplies do tend to last much longer. Note that these don’t come in sets of two. But they do have a lifetime warranty. So, if you are having a sizing issue the customer support can likely work with you. Kugo is also a brand with a great reputation. I prefer booties designed to fit the front and hind paws a little differently (I have a lab mix). But, this can work on other breeds of dogs. Once again, the dewclaw could be an issue here, but socks may discourage any rubbing. Check price here.

Pros

  • Designed for all-weather use
  • Water-resistant
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Reflective trim
  • Lightweight with ergonomic design
  • Adjustable for a custom fit
  • Ripstop leather upper
  • Double closure to ensure they don’t fall off

Cons

  • May not be ideal for dogs with dewclaws, but may be okay with a doggy sock inside the boot
  • The set of four boots does not have different designs for front and hind paws

Best overall dog boots for hiking

Of all the options I took a look at, my favorite is RUFFWEAR – Polar Trex. I’m showing how Canadian I am, but I am so happy to see something designed for cold winter weather. I can picture all the fun winter activities I want to do with my dog (cottages, ski trips, and snowshoeing). Although I don’t go for winter camping, I do try to get outdoors as much as possible year-round. It’s nice to know that there are options available to suit my needs. If you aren’t into winter activities, my runner up is the Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots. Most of the boots on this list make me a bit concerned about the dewclaw (my pooch does have dewclaws) these ones don’t. I like that they contain recycled material too. Always make sure your pupper tries on his or her boots in advance of your outing. Remember, like human shoes, dog shoes need to be broken-in too!

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