There’s no doubt that dogs have tough feet – much tougher than your ours, for sure. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t wise (and occasionally necessary) to give your dog’s paws some protection.
The best way to accomplish this is by outfitting your canine companion with a set of high-quality dog shoes, or booties, as they are often called.
There are a gazillion different booties on the market, but most are not very helpful. They’ll either fail to protect your dog’s feet, come off too easily, or frustrate you in countless other ways.
With that in mind, we’ve identified some of the best choices, which should keep your pup’s paws safer and more comfortable during your outdoor adventures.
Quick Picks: Best Booties For Your Furry Friend
- #1 Kurgo Winter Boots [Best Overall Dog Booties]: These flexible booties will keep your pooch’s paws pristine throughout any season with their long-lasting, safety-enhanced design.
- #2 Dimicoo Breathable Dog Boots [Most Affordable Dog Booties]: They may not last quite as long as some other options, but these booties are great for budget-limited owners looking for paw protection.
- #3 Muttluks Fleece Boots [Best Dog Booties for Winter Use]: Need something to keep your terrier’s toes toasty during walks? These boots from Muttluks are a fantastic choice.
Are Dog Booties Really Necessary?
Most dogs walk around barefoot their whole life without sustaining a major foot injury, so many pet parents wonder just how necessary booties are.
There are a number of situations when dog booties may be a solid option, including:
1. For Adventurers
The need for rugged outdoor booties depends upon whether your dog is likely to step on a sharp stick, trudge through knee-deep snow or cross a lava-hot concrete parking lot.
If your dog regularly encounters these types of challenges, then booties are probably necessary.
Winter warriors are especially in need of dog booties – not just for snow, but to protect paws against ice melt salts that cover sidewalks and roads in the winter.
2. For Older or Injured Dogs Who Need Traction
Booties provide plenty of value for other dogs too, even those whose rowdiest adventures are limited to walks in well-manicured backyards. For example, boots help many dogs – especially older or sick individuals — get traction on slippery floors.
Boots may also be helpful for protecting injured or infected paws. This includes dogs who have cracked or damaged nails, ripped pads, or even yeast infections of the paw.
3. For Owners Who Want a Clean Home
Booties will also help you keep your floors clean, and prevent your pooch from tracking mud, water, or snow into the house after every trip outside.
You could also use a paw washer to clean off your dog’s paws, but that wouldn’t help much with preventing your pup from slipping and sliding.
4. For Protecting Your Floor
Some owners also find dog boots appealing because they can prevent your dog from scratching up surfaces.
While simply opting for dog-proof flooring to avoid claw marks is probably the best long-term solution, booties can be helpful in short-term situations when you want to stop claws from gouging flooring (for example, visiting the in-laws who just had new hardwood put in).
So, as you can see, while not always strictly necessary, booties are helpful for the majority of dog owners!
Important Considerations When Shopping for Booties
To help distinguish good booties from those you’re better off avoiding, you’ll need to consider several different characteristics of the dog boots in question.
Some of the most important considerations include the following:
You don’t want to walk around wearing the wrong size shoes, so don’t make your dog do it either.
Carefully refer to each manufacturer’s fitting instructions or size guidelines when making your selection – some will require you to trace the outline of your dog’s foot and then measure the drawing to ensure a proper fit.
The video below shows how to take your dog’s paw measurements!
Easy to Put On
Getting your dog’s booties on and off of his feet can be a frustrating chore, so it’s always wise to seek out booties that are designed to slip on and slip off easily.
Usually, the best dog booties featuring wide split seams are the easiest ones to get on your pup’s paws.
Most booties rely on straps to ensure a snug fit – boots that lack straps are usually very easy for dogs to remove on their own (something your dog will likely attempt to do). You’ll want to ensure that the straps are easy to operate and of high-quality.
Some straps feature Velcro closures, while others use buckles or snap-locks; any of these will work, although Velcro closures are usually the best and easiest to manage.
Durable and Comfortable Materials
Many low-cost booties are made from substandard materials, which will fall apart after only a short period of use, so you’ll always want to be sure that you select boots made from materials befitting your dog’s typical activities.
Additionally, it is important to make sure that the boots are comfortable for your dog’s feet, so give special consideration to those boots with super-soft interiors.
Most good booties should be water-resistant enough to keep your dog’s feet when walking through wet grass for a minute, but only a small number of boots will keep your dog’s feet dry while playing in a creek or trudging through snow for an hour.
Typically boots with greater water resistance will cost more than those that offer less protection, so you’ll want to decide how important water resistance is before making your selection.
Most of the best dog boots feature reflective patches, stripes, or stitching, to help make you more visible to passing motorists. But even if your walks take place miles from the nearest road, reflective booties can make it easier to keep an eye on your pooch, or find him if he runs off.
Dew Claw Complication
Be aware that some booties tend to work better for dogs who have intact dew claws than others. However, thanks to the differences in fit between various booties, and the different builds exhibited by dogs, this can be tricky to determine in advance.
The best way to proceed is by reviewing the comments of owners who’ve already tried the model you prefer.
No, your dog does not care what color his booties are, but you may. And while fashion choices aren’t as important as other considerations, there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider the color and pattern of your dog’s boots, after ensuring they are otherwise well-suited for your pooch.
The Eight Best Booties For Dogs
Now that you understand the benefits booties can provide and some of the things to look for when making your choice, we can move on to some specific dog bootie recommendations. Let’s jump right in!
1. Kurgo Winter Boots
About: The Kurgo Winter Boots for your best buddy are ultra-rugged and will protect your pooch’s paws from snow, ice, hot pavement, salt, broken glass, and anything in between. With light-up LED boot soles and 360-degree reflective strips, you’ll be able to spot your canine companion from a distance while he’s romping around in this flexible footwear set.
- Water-resistant booties are perfect for use throughout the winter
- Rugged sole gives dogs traction while walking around
- Boots provide protection from heat, ice, snow, salt, and debris
- High visibility with embedded strobe LEDs and reflective design
- Breathable mesh design
- Easy fit with adjustable strap and bungee cord lock for a snug shoe experience
- Owners were impressed with the high-quality design of these boots and appreciated that the set could be used in any season.
- Pooch parents found these booties super durable and had no trouble putting them to good use on a daily basis.
- Included LED lights provide additional doggo visibility.
- These booties effectively protected paws throughout any season.
- There isn’t a way to access the battery compartment of the LED lights embedded in the soles of the shoes.
- Some owners found that these booties ran slightly larger than expected.
2. Dimicoo Breathable Dog Boots
About: If you’re seeking affordable, lightweight dog shoes that will get your pooch’s paws through the summer, these booties by Dimicoo deserve serious consideration. These booties have built-in ventilation holes, and a textured rubber role to give your dog some traction while strolling around town.
- Breathable, neoprene dog booties that feature air holes for ventilation
- Adjustable booties come in sizes ranging from small to extra-extra-large
- Durable rubber sole has a textured bottom to give your pooch some traction
- Affordable boots can be used for outdoor or indoor paw protection
- Reflective straps add visibility
- The affordable price makes this a great starter bootie set while Spot gets used to his new shoes.
- Some owners successfully used these dog booties to help guard their dog’s paw wounds while healing.
- These booties are perfect for protecting pup paws against hot asphalt.
- These economical boots will likely break down quicker than more premium options.
- These boots are not designed for long-term use in the cold, winter months.
3. Muttluks Fleece Boots
About: If you live in a colder area, these fleece-lined booties may be perfect for keeping your pooch’s paws warm. These adjustable boots are ultra-durable with leather soles and an adjustable, lightweight design.
- Long-wear, durable boots have a convenient machine-washable design
- Fleece-lined booties keep your canine companion cozy
- Adjustable, reflective straps keep your furry friend visible during walks
- Available in 7 different colors to highlight Spot’s sense of style
- Flexible leather paw soles are form-fitting for Fido
- These high-quality booties are designed to last season after season with their adjustable design.
- The booties have an embedded fleece lining which keeps dogs nice and warm while trekking through snow, ice, or rain.
- Owners were impressed with the durability and quality of these winter dog booties.
- Pooch parents love that these booties are machine washable.
- These booties are much pricier than some other options.
- Some owners found the booties somewhat difficult to put on.
4. QUMY Waterproof Boots
About: If you’re looking for a set of booties to keep your pooch’s paws dry without emptying out your wallet, this selection from QUMY is a serious contender. The rugged boots are designed to protect your pup’s paws from sand, water, and hot pavement.
- Adjustable boots with a reflective strap for visibility
- Rugged boot design for a variety of terrains
- Anti-slip soles give furry friends traction while walking around
- 7 different size selections to choose from
- Easy to put on with split-seam design
- These booties can be used throughout any season making them super versatile.
- Owners were impressed with these booties’ level of durability for the price.
- Unlike some other dog shoes, these booties stayed put for most dogs.
- The inside stitching of the booties caused chafing for some dogs.
- The adjustable buckle was too delicate for some owners.
5. HiPaw Summer Boots
About: If Spot needs a pair of breathable booties to protect his paws throughout the summer, this set from HiPaw is a great pick. The booties are constructed out of mesh fabric which provides plenty of airflow while still protecting paws from hot or jagged pavement.
- Rugged, anti-slip sole designed to give your dog traction on most terrains
- Closed toe cap and breathable mesh fabric make these perfect outdoor boots
- Two adjustable straps helps these booties stay firmly in place while in use
- Reflective stitching adds visibility for safety
- Straps are easily adjusted for a snug, secure fit
- Owners were impressed with the long-lasting design of these booties for the affordable price.
- Breathable booties are ideal for dogs living in warm environments.
- Roomy boots were excellent for big best buddies.
- There aren’t a lot of sizing options for small-sized furry friends.
- Some pooch parents had difficulty getting these booties to stay on for extended periods of time.
6. RUFFwear Outdoor Boots
About: Does your best buddy have a thirst for adventure? If so, it might be a good idea to pick up these durable RUFFwear booties specially built for spending time out on some trails. The booties feature a breathable mesh design and a strong, textured sole to keep your canine comfortable while adventuring.
- Trail-ready booties with a textured, gripping sole
- Breathable tightly-woven mesh fabric
- Reflective trim for added visibility
- Cinch closure strap for an adjustable fit
- Can be machine washed for convenience
- These breathable booties are flexible yet strong enough for regular use on hiking trails.
- Owners loved that these booties could easily be cleaned through the wash.
- Dog booties held up well to frequent daily use for most dogs.
- Mesh design makes them inappropriate for use during the cold months.
- These booties are not waterproof.
7. TEOZZO Paw Protectors
About: If your compact canine simply needs a bootie set to add another layer of protection, these paw protectors from TEOZZO are a great fit. The vibrant booties are doggone adorable and have a water resistant design to keep your pooch’s paws dry.
- Drawstring adjustable booties are easy to put on and take off
- Lined booties keep compact canines cozy
- Reflective strip for added visibility
- Anti-slip soles help dogs have a strong grip
- 5 different color choice to choose from
- These paw protectors are ideal for small dogs, and they come in cute color options.
- Owners found these dog booties easy to take on and off.
- Lined boots are perfect for keeping dogs warm during the cold months.
- They provide a tight fit, thanks to their form-fitting drawstring closures.
- These dog booties are only suitable for small to medium-sized dogs.
- The soft shoes won’t hold up very long against extended hikes or outdoor activities along rough terrain.
8. PawZ Dog Booties
About: While less durable than our other picks, these disposable booties from PawZ are a great alternative to traditional booties for some dogs and owners. Featuring a lightweight design, affordable price tag, and cute appearance, these booties are ideal for owners who only need to use booties occasionally.
Note that these disposable booties can be a bit tricky to put on your pooch, so you may want to grab Jawz for Pawz — which work kind of like a shoehorn, and make it easy to slip these on.
- Protect your pup’s paws from dirt, water, snow, and road grime
- Lightweight and made from flexible all-natural rubber
- 100% biodegradable, keeping them eco-friendly
- Sold in packs of 12, giving you three different complete sets
- Simply use them until they wear out, and then discard them
- While they weren’t right for all dogs and owners, some reported that they were the perfect solution for protecting their pet’s paws.
- These are great for keeping your dog’s paws dry.
- They work in a variety of circumstances and climates.
- Some owners found they were too tight and difficult to put on.
- These are not especially well-rated products (they’ve earned a 3.6-star rating on Amazon), but we’ve included them because they may be the best choice for some owners in unusual circumstances.
A Different Dog-Traction Option: Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips
Booties not a great option for your pooch? Don’t worry — there’s another way to help your pooch get a grip!
Dog Bootie FAQs
Still have questions about booties? We have you covered! Just check out these dog bootie questions and answers below!
Do dogs need booties?
Not all dogs need booties, but any dogs who spend extended periods outdoors and traveling across rough terrain might benefit from booties. In the winter, ice melts can burn a dog’s paws and the hot pavement can do the same in the summer, making booties a great choice for extreme climates.
How do I get dog boots to stay on?
The most important element to getting a dog’s boots to stay on is proper fit. Measure your dog’s paws and ensure you have the proper sizing for your pup. Adjustable velcro straps are also helpful for securing your dog’s paws inside the booties.
How do you measure your pet’s paws for dog booties?
There isn’t a set of universal dog bootie sizes, so your dog’s paw should be measured according to the individual manufacturer’s guidelines of your selected booties. It’s also a good idea to read a couple of verified reviews — pet parents often comment on the fit of a particular set of dog booties, so giving the review section a quick scan can help you build an accurate idea of how the shoes may fit on your furball.
Do dogs like wearing booties?
Some dogs like wearing booties as they can help dogs feel comfortable while exploring or simply walking around the house. Other dogs don’t enjoy wearing booties, but they can learn to tolerate the practice if it means lots of treats and keeping their paws protected. Make sure to do a couple of indoor “test runs” with your furry friend before going on a walk with your booties of choice. This will give your dog time to acclimate to the boots, and also serves as an opportunity for you to help create a positive association with your dog’s booties.
Are there any alternatives to booties?
This depends on what you’re using the booties for. For example, if your pooch simply needs something to keep him warm or provide some extra gripping around the house, dog socks with a gripping texture on the bottom may do the trick. Paw balm or waxes may be enough to keep your pup’s paws protected while adventuring during the colder season.
If none of the booties we reviewed here suit your fancy, you can also always trying making your own DIY dog booties!
Are you a dog-bootie devotee? We’d love to hear your experiences, whether they involved one of the products detailed above or not. What did you like about them? Did they last as long as you’d hoped? Did your dog mind wearing them? Did they keep his feet warm and protected?
Let us know in the comments below!