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If you thought dog boots were all function and zero fashion, think again. It’s easier than ever to keep your dog’s paw pads safe when you venture out—while also adding a little style to the moment. But more importantly, these dog shoes provide all sorts of protection, whether you’re out braving hot pavementhiking, or battling the elements.

Read on for the details, our all-around top pick, and other great dog boot brands to consider.

Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots

Best All-Around Dog Boot: Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots

Both durable and economical, Expawlorer dog boots are a practical and affordable entry-level option that can be used under a variety of conditions.

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Do Dogs Really Need Boots?

For most dogs in mild or temperate conditions, padding around in bare feet (er, paws) is perfectly fine. But if your best friend is going to be walking in very hot or very cold weather, or accompanying you across rocky terrain, a good pair of dog shoes can go a long way.

What’s more, dog shoes can help older dogs get around. That’s because, in addition to offering needed traction, they can help to prevent “toe curling” or “toe dragging,” which can occur for a variety of reasons including arthritis, spinal disease, and generalized weakness.

Finding the Right Dog Boots

There are multiple bootie styles on the market, designed to fit a dog’s various needs. For many dog owners, finding dog boots that stay on can be a real challenge. The key is finding a bootie that is flexible enough to feel comfortable, but still allows durability and support for, say, a hard-hitting trail hike—or just a jaunt across slick hardwood floors.

Whether you’ve got a large dog or a petite pupper, the best dog booties share these qualities:

  • Snug around the ankle
  • Have a bit of space at the toes
  • Allow some wiggle room, but still offer support
  • Have an anti-slip sole

Dog boots come in different sizes. Some companies measure shoe size by weight, while others go by foot length: from the heel of the pad to the tip of the toenail. It’ll take a couple of tries for your dog to feel comfortable wearing booties, but if the shoe fits, most dogs learn to tolerate (and even enjoy) the sensation.

The bottom line: Because sizes will vary, always check the manufacturer’s sizing chart and compare your dog’s measurements with it for the best possible fit.

Additional Dog Boot Tips

Keep in mind that water-resistant dog shoes are not the same as waterproof dog shoes, which will provide much greater protection if you’re planning to walk in standing water, creeks, or lots of soft, wet snow.

Got a puppy? Stick to more affordable options, as your puppy is sure to grow out of his or her initial pair.

Alright, it’s bootie time!

Our Picks for the Best Dog Boots

For rain, snow, hiking and more, check out these dog boots for your next wild (or urban) adventure with your best pal.

Available in eight sizes, these waterproof boots help keep your dog’s paws dry and have durable tread and construction.

The two velcro straps are reflective and adjustable, and reviewers note that these puppies (get it?) are great at staying put on paws for all sorts of outdoor explorations.

Verified Review: Our tester tried size 4 on her medium-sized Pitbull mix and found the sizing to be accurate, though the numeric sizing (as opposed to the standard S/M/L system) required extra consideration (she strongly recommends measuring your dog’s paws before ordering).

The tread is heavy-duty, designed specifically for snowy or rugged hiking conditions, though its tough construction can also be great paw protection on snowy or icy sidewalks treated with salt or chemical deicers that can damage your dog’s paw pads.

They will be stiff right out of the box, though our tester found this quality enhanced the product’s overall hardiness. As with hiking or snow boots for humans, you’ll want your dog to “break them in”—a few laps around the block every couple of days for a week should be sufficient.

Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots

Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots

Both durable and economical, Expawlorer dog boots are a practical and affordable entry-level option that can be used under a variety of conditions.

Shop on Amazon

Ruffwear Grip Trex boasts adjustable, reflective velcro straps and breathable mesh uppers that make this a comfortable boot for short or long periods of time. Available in sets of two or four and three colors, the sturdy soles of these shoes provide proper all-terrain protection.

Verified Review: Our reviewer noted that the material was durable and nice to touch. They observed that though the boots themselves are of high quality, getting the right fit was tricky, as the boots tended to slide down in spite of being fastened on the ankles with the velcro straps. Users will want to do a few home fittings, prior to a hiking trip, to get the proper fit. Be sure to give your dog a chance to wear the boots daily for short periods of time, which will allow them to break in comfortably.

RUFFWEAR, Grip Trex Outdoor Dog Boots with Rubber Soles

Ruffwear Grip Trex Outdoor Dog Boots

Great for hiking, running, and walking, these lightweight dog booties are a good option for recreation in dry and warm weather.

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Kurgo’s outdoor booties are ready to hit the ground running. They’re water-resistant, with a double fastener system that ensures a secure fit on your doggy’s paws, and made of tough stuff, including rubber uppers and ripstop, tight-weave mesh. Plus, the bottoms are constructed to imitate your dog’s paw pads for comfortable walking.

Kurgo Blaze Cross Dog Shoes

Kurgo Blaze Cross Dog Shoes

With an adjustable ankle strap and a sole designed to mimic your dog’s paw pads, these dog boots offer a custom fit.

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If you’re pulling out your snowshoes, it’s safe to say your dog probably needs some winter dog boots of their own, too. These booties are made with element-resistant material that’s just tacky enough to keep the boots from sliding on slippery floors or ice, while protecting sensitive pads. Velcro closure straps ensure a snug fit, plus extra cushioning provides some extra paw comfort and warmth.

Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots

Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots

Made with element-resistant material that’s just tacky enough to keep the boots from sliding on slippery floors or ice, these boots are great in any temperature or climate.

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Muttluks dog boots, designed and made in Canada, are a well-respected option that have been on the market for over two decades. Sold in sets of two, the earth-friendly 100% recycled rubber sole makes for durable wear, while a fleece lining keeps paws toasty in cold conditions.

Muttluks water-resistant dog boots

Muttluks Snow Mushers

An earth-friendly recycled rubber sole makes for durable wear, while a fleece lining keeps paws toasty in cold conditions.

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Step out in style in this four set of sleek rubber wellies that come in a range of rainbow colors. These waterproof kicks feature ventilation slots along the shaft, a secure wraparound Velcro closure, plus tread on the bottom to keep your pup from slipping and sliding—and they’re just so darn cute!

Wagwear Wagwellies Dog Boots

Wagwear Wagwellies Dog Boots

This colorful line of waterproof dog boots prioritizes both style and functionality.

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The Polar Flex is a hardy little boot. Made with reflective trim, a tough, treaded sole, and comfy insulation, this set of four is also made with a stretch gaiter that extends the height of the boot to keep your doggo’s legs covered and warm in snowy conditions.

RUFFWEAR Polar Trex Waterproof Winter Dog Boots

Ruffwear Polar Trex Waterproof Winter Dog Boots

A hardy little dog boot designed to protect your dog’s paws against tough winter conditions.

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These 100-percent biodegradable natural rubber dog boots are pretty affordable—good news if you lose a shoe. The balloon-like paw protectors stay put thanks to a snug and secure fit around the ankle. One package contains 12 reusable boots, made in the USA in a variety of colors and sizes. Pawz boots don’t provide any real traction or support, but when it comes to basic, everyday protection, these booties deliver.

Verified Review: Both our tester and the manufacturer emphasize these boots are not for prolonged use, as the fit around the ankle can become restrictive. Our tester found that the sock-like fit was less bulky on her dog’s paws and therefore easier for her dog to wear and tolerate. She also found she could use the same set over and over again before the boots wore out, and that the simple rubber design is easy to clean and get dry, for easy on and off throughout the day.

Protex Paws Dog Rubber Booties

Protex Paws Dog Rubber Booties

These affordable, multi-pack rubber booties provide basic paw protection at a lower cost.

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Great for dogs large and small who do not care for heavier boots, these lightweight shoes come in five sizes and are just the ticket for neighborhood walks and dog park adventures. Made with breathable neoprene, this water- and puncture-resistant set is made out of flexible material, with a rubber sole that (though not heavy-duty) helps avoid skidding.

Verified Review: Overall, our tester determined that for simple summer dog shoes for pups who will tolerate wearing boots, these are a sound choice—the sock-like design with less rigid sole are designed for, and offer, better ease of wear and more versatility than rugged or heavy dog boots.

All Weather Neoprene Paw Protector Dog Boots

All Weather Neoprene Paw Protector Dog Boots

Neoprene fabric and a sock-like design make these dog boots a lightweight, easy-to-wear bootie best for summer conditions.

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Best Dog Boot Alternatives

When dog boots just aren’t going to fly, but you still want to protect those furry paws.

These are, well, dog socks, but they are easier for some dogs to tolerate than dog boots, thanks to their lightweight feel. If Fido is getting on in years, non-slip dog socks can help them navigate hardwood floors and other troublesome surfaces. Slip these on to protect your dog from hot or cold surfaces (a waterproof spray is recommended to repel the elements) or if your doggo’s injured paw needs extra protection on your next walk.

Frisco Cable Knit Dog Socks

Frisco Cable Knit Dog Socks

If Fido is getting on in years, non-slip dog socks can help them navigate hardwood floors and other troublesome surfaces without the weight of a heavy dog boot.

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Some dogs aren’t huge fans of booties but still need protection from deep snow or salty sidewalks in the winter season—that’s where Musher’s Secret comes in.

Originally developed for sled dogs, it’s a non-toxic natural wax that rubs right onto the pads of your dog’s feet to create a barrier from harsh conditions. The wax absorbs quickly and is semi-permeable, so your dog’s paws will be able to breathe (and sweat!) while still being protected; it only needs to be applied once or twice a week.

Bonus? This non-staining wax doubles as a moisturizer and helps heal wounds.

Musher's Secret Paw Protection Natural Dog Wax

Musher’s Secret Paw Protection Natural Dog Wax

For pups who protest the paw protection, this natural paw wax, which, when applied forms a barrier between your dog’s paws and the elements, can be the next best thing.

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Dog Walking

Is reading about dog boots is making you wish for some extra help getting your dog out and about more? Well, that’s where Rover comes in. Find a reliable dog walker near you, right on our site.

Further Reading

Featured image by pasja1000/Pixabay

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