Often I get questions about Xena’s boots. So here are some fun facts for you.
- Xena thinks her boots give her invincible power
- It’s normal for dogs to act as if someone stole their paw right after the boot is on
- Wearing socks before boots has been working great. No blisters to this date
- Zoomies right after all 4 booties are on is a must
Do dogs need boots for hiking?
I will share our experience. At first, I got them for amusement. I saw them on social media sites and wanted to see if they make any difference on Xena. I really had no expectation. I thought she’d refuse to walk after the booties were on because that’s something she would do if she doesn’t like something. That girl speaks her mind. We hiked to a summit then before we start the descent, I put them on her. At first, yes, she was awkward and really really cute and funny. She walked around as if walking on hot potatoes. Then, she began to run around in pure joy to my surprise. She was doing zoomies and all smiles. I couldn’t believe it! She hiked down the mountain with more energy than ever and not once tried to take the booties off on the trail. I was sold on booties after the 1st try.
It is important to let your dog hike on different terrains and develop callouses. They provide natural protection for the paws. For hikes longer than 8 miles on technical terrain, we use boots on the second 1/2 of the hike or the part of it. That seems to work best for Xena. Every dog is different. Some dogs have more sensitive paws and some dogs don’t need boots. Ever. You know your dog better so you need to answer that question. If you do get boots, make sure they are breathable. Dogs only produce sweat in areas not covered with fur.
- Brand: dogbooties.com
- Style: 1000 Denier Cordura® Booties
- Size: XS – XL (click here for sizing)
- Color: Black, Red, Hot Pink, Neon Green, Tan & Blaze Orange
- Retail price: $3 per bootie
- Made in U.S.
Since I was pretty sure that the 1st pairs were going to be a throwaway, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive brands. Then I saw these. $3/boot. Sold. They turned out to be great for us though.
Design – 5/5
- Similar to backpack material
- Water resistant material
VELSTRETCH® Brand Fastener flap secures the bootie around the dog’s leg
- Easy to put on
- Slight taper to the toe
- Variety of colors
Function – 4/5
It is easy to put on and breathable. The stretchy velcro wraps around the leg tightly. I just leave the extra strap alone. It never gets in her way while hiking or even doing zoomies.
I’ve never used the booties alone. Always put socks on first to prevent blistering. If you want to see it in action, we have a video of it on our Facebook Page here.
When we tried these booties for the very first time, I wasn’t sure how tightly I could secure the strap. I didn’t want her to be uncomfortable. Two of the booties almost came off after a quarter mile or so. I needed to wrap it tighter. Since then, we rarely have to fix the booties while hiking. You get the hang of it quickly. Once they are on, they stay on in dry condition.
Although there is no special treatment for traction at the bottom of a boot, I never noticed her having a sliding issue on the trails except on ice/snow. The degree of sliding is about the same as when I hike on ice/snow without a crampon.
They are somewhat water resistant. Since the seam isn’t sealed, the water goes inside. I wish they were waterproof. That’s the only downside to these boots. If the water (or snow) is deeper than the top of the booties, water will go inside from the top as expected.
Quality & Durability – 4/5
These boots are made from quality materials and well made. They come in different degrees of durability. We use 1000 Denier Cordura® booties. These are supposed to hold up better on sidewalks, streets or rough terrain than the lighter weight booties. We put them through a mileage test. Over a span of two weekends, we hiked 22+ miles and gained 4,456′ in elevation. The hikes included water crossing as well as 3 miles on pavement. At the end of the test, 3 out of 4 booties were visibly worn out. Without the booties, socks had no chance. They were worn out too. We probably could have gotten more mileage out of it if our hikes didn’t include 3 miles on pavement.
I’ve washed them in a front load washing machine in a gentle cycle then air-dried them. Because of the velcro, you want to separate them from other clothing articles during a wash.
Fashion and Fit – 5/5
These dog booties come in a variety of colors and sizes. So bright!!, you think at first. No worries, they get dusty and dirty in no time. They’ve got lots of compliments on the trail though. Everyone enjoys seeing happy paws!
To get the right size, you need to measure the width correctly. It’s normal for each paw to have a different size like us. Usually though, the front paws are about the same and the back paws are slightly narrower and/or smaller. Xena’s widest paw has 2 1/4″ width. XS fits her perfectly.
Overall – 4.5/5
Dog Booties provide great protection in dry condition. They can be used to protect an injured paw(s) while healing. They are easy to put on, breathable and comfortable to wear. They are affordable and pleasing to the eye as well. However, they are not waterproof and will not keep your dog’s paws dry and warm in the snow. Overall, these boots work well and we like them.