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The Best Dog Hiking Boots to Cushion Your Pup’s Paws

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Kurgo dog hiking boots

There’s nothing quite like an outdoor hike that allows you to witness the stunning beauty of nature. But it’s that much better when your dog can come along for the trek wearing a pair of his best hiking boots, that is. Those hiking trails pose hazards to your dog’s sensitive paw pads. Think about it: you’d never go hiking in bare feet, would you? Your dog shouldn’t either. Good thing there are dog hiking boots available to save their little puppy paw pads on the long haul.

Why Dog Hiking Boots?

Dog hiking boots serve essential functions. They protect your dog’s paws from heat and cold. A good hiking boot also stops dogs from slipping on wet surfaces. A bad fall is an excellent way to cut a trip short. Other hazards on trails like sand burrs, thistles, thorns, and foxtails have the potential to make your dog miserable. A solid hiking boot creates a barrier against such nasty surprises.

After all, if your dog sustains an injury on a hike, they may not be able to walk back. How far do you want to carry them? (CAN you carry them?) Dog hiking boots solve those concerns.

Choosing a Dog Hiking Boot

There are a lot of dog hiking boots out there. They span seasons and conditions. Consider the kind of trails and environments you prefer. For instance, desert runs probably don’t require heavy fleece lining. At the same time, mountain trails need proper waterproofing. Keep such facts in mind.

What kind of weather do you hike in?
  • Quality Materials: You want boots that are stitched, not glued together. Glued boots fall apart faster. Will you pay more for stitching? Yes, but you want durable materials. Look for thick rubber soles. A good sole not only protects against punctures but also absorbs energy so your dog can hike longer.
  • Anti-Slip Sole: Hiking trails go over different terrains. You don’t want your dog to slide in moss or over wet rocks. Make sure there’s a good tread on the sole.
  • Double Closure: The best dog hiking boots have two methods of securing them around the paw. A boot is useless off the dog and lost on the trail. A proper closure ensures a comfortable fit.
  • Reflective: You want your dog visible to others on the trail. Reflective strips or straps help in low light levels. It’s a safety feature you shouldn’t ignore.

Sizing Dog Hiking Boots

Ever put on a pair of shoes that gave you blisters? Were they the wrong size? You don’t want the same to happen to your dog. Every brand of dog hiking boots has its own sizing chart. However, the measuring process is the same. Make sure you take the time to measure your dog’s feet correctly. If his feet hurt every time the boots go on, he won’t wear them.

How to measure your dog’s feet:

  1. Place a piece of paper on the floor.
  2. Put one paw on the paper.
  3. Lift the opposite paw, so all of their weight rests on the paw on the paper. This spreads the paw to its fullest extent.
  4. Trace the paw and label the paper (i.e., front left).
  5. Measure the widest part of your outline.
  6. Repeat the process for the other three paws (or however many paws your dog has).

Surprise! You might end up with different measurements! Like us, dogs have variations between their feet. Luckily, some brands sell dog hiking boots in pairs or even individuals for just this reason (dog people are so smart).

Sizing Note

Some dog hiking boots list breeds “appropriate” for each size. You still need to measure your dog’s feet. Why? Such charts aren’t accurate. For instance, we have a Greyhound. Size-wise, she’s comparable to a Golden Retriever or German Shepherd. When you measure her foot, though, she’s tiny. Seriously, her feet are only 2 inches wide! That makes her equivalent to a Pug or West Highland White Terrier on size charts.

Measure your dog's feet carefully before any purchase

Best Dog Hiking Boots

Every dog hiking boot has its pros and cons. What works for one dog might not work for another. All of these boots receive consistently high reviews for all-terrain dog hiking boots. But you need to consider what your dog will tolerate and the kinds of activities you both enjoy.

If you have an older dog, EXPAWLORER might be a consideration for you. These hiking boots have a unique rubber toe cap to protect against toe collisions. The ergonomic design makes them easy to get on and off. Two Velcro straps have four lines of reflective strips for visibility. EXPAWLORERs have extra length – vital if you have a dog with longer legs or peskier dewclaws. These boots are the least expensive – won’t break the bank.

Downside? They’re not as durable as other dog hiking boots.

The Good

The Bad

Hurtta created a flexible dog hiking boot with sturdy rubber soles. Like Mud Monsters, they open at the front, making it easy to get them on. For you, each boot comes with a “left” and “right” label to make sure you get the right boot on the correct foot. (Don’t laugh – you know you want this) The Outbacks are also weatherproof, keeping dog toes nice and dry.

The downsides? They’re pricey. They only have a single strap, which people felt was tricky to wrap appropriately and remain secure.

The Good

The Bad

Have you seen those light-up sneakers kids have? Well, now your dog can have a pair! Kurgo’s hiking boots feature color-coded flashing lights: green on the right side, red on the left. The claim is “navigational purposes,” but I think that’s stretching things. Pairing the lights with the reflective strips as a safety feature feels more reasonable. Taller than most dog hiking boots, they’re comfortable around dewclaws. They open at the front with a Velcro strap and an adjustable elastic cord for extra security. Like Kurgo’s Skybox Booster Seat, these hiking boots come with a lifetime warranty.

So what’s the downside? They’re on the pricey side. You can purchase a single boot, though, so different-sized feet benefit there. However, sizing excludes smaller paws.

The Good

The Bad

Muttlucks has a well-deserved reputation for quality. Mud Monsters LAST. The rubber sole conforms to your dog’s foot, and it wraps around the toe and sides for extra protection. They have a large opening that makes them easy to get on and off, even around dewclaws. Mud Monsters have a loop fastener that wraps the ankle twice, as well as an elastic hook for extra security.

Downsides? They’re on the pricier side. They’re also limited in their sizing, excluding the smallest and largest paws. The mesh top isn’t waterproof, either, so avoid puddle-jumping.

The Good

The Bad

Gotta love it when you don’t need to check for waterproofing, right? QUMY delivers a dog hiking boot with extra traction grips on the sole. The inside also features anti-slip material that keeps the boot in place, along with two reflective Velcro straps. You won’t complain about the price.

The downsides? While waterproof, they’re not breathable. The anti-slip material inside can also cause blisters, so dog boot liners are a MUST.

The Good

The Bad

Ruffwear is a well-known name in the adventure dog industry. Their Load Up harness receives accolades for safety when transporting dogs in the car. The Grip TREX features Vibram soles – the same material you see in many of our hiking boots. Constructed of breathable materials, they have a low profile. Best of all, Grip TREX are waterproof.

So what are the downsides? They fall right behind Mud Monsters on the price scale. The low profile can irritate some dogs’ dewclaws. You CAN ease this with a pair of dog boot liners. Some people felt the single strap was challenging to keep secure, and if the boot comes off in the water, it sinks like a stone.

The Good

The Bad

Xanday’s dog shoes have a sturdy, rubbery sole to provide traction on the hiking trail. The upper material is lightweight and breathable, so your dog’s feet stay comfortable in dry and wet conditions. The shoes have two reflective Velcro straps to achieve a comfortable, secure fit. Unique among dog hiking boots, there’s an additional reflective patch at the toe for added visibility. They’re very reasonably priced.

Downsides? You have to hand-wash these hiking boots. (Yeah, not something to look forward to) Also, many people didn’t feel these boots fit as securely as some of the others.

The Good

The Bad

Hitting the Trail

If your dog’s never worn hiking boots before, give them time. Boots are a novel experience. Give them a chance to smell and see the hiking boots first. You can then move to slowly let them wear them for an hour at a time in the house. (Don’t hit the trail until they’re comfortable.) Signs to look out for that show they need to break the shoes in a bit:

  • Immobility
  • High-stepping
  • Kicking out

Reward your dog with praise and treats when they hold still or walk normally. Eventually, they’ll see those monsters on their feet are harmless.

Important Notes

Whenever you reach for your dog’s hiking boots, trim their nails. Long nails rub against the inside of the boot. (Think how your toes feel cramped in a shoe.)

While hiking, stop every five hours and remove the boots to check your dog’s feet. Dogs sweat through their paw pads, and you don’t want to see blisters developing. Remember, if their feet develop problems, you’re carrying them back. (Hope you’re feeling strong…or that you have a small dog.) Also, hiking boots do not protect against ticks. You want to do a tick check at those pauses.

Dog mountain hiking

Hiking and reconnecting to nature are amazing experiences. With proper dog hiking boots, your furry family members can share the experience right at your side,

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Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy

Andria grew up in a pet-friendly household. On weekends, the family made trips to zoos and aquariums in the area. So it wasn’t a surprise when she gravitated toward a career with animals.

After six years working among the background operations at the Philadelphia Zoo, she gained a unique insight into the veterinary world. The vet staff provided her first lessons in terminology, the identification of medical equipment, and glimpses of radiographs (x-rays). She also enjoyed plenty of opportunities to talk with everyone, including the veterinary technicians. And they offered an alternative for someone NOT interested in surgical pathways: Namely, their course of study.

Andria enrolled at Harcum College. Philadelphia boasts two programs for vet techs, but only Harcum works with the Ryan Veterinary Hospital and New Bolton Center (University of Pennsylvania’s small and large animal facilities, respectively). Harcum’s vet tech students receive six months of hands-on teaching and experience alongside Penn’s vet students.

With the opportunities and connections available with one of the top veterinary schools, the decision was easy for her to make.

New Bolton Center: Large Animal Medicine
Andria ended up trudging through snow up to the knee and shivering in subzero temperatures during her winter semester, but she wasn’t disappointed with her choice. New Bolton provided a thorough grounding in large animal medicine. A horse-lover as a child, the experience renewed those old emotions.

And a few memories stood out and remained to this day:

  • Standing alongside a Clydesdale and feeling TINY
  • Holding the reins of a horse galloping at top speed on a treadmill
  • Nursing tiny foals through the first days of their life

Ryan Veterinary Hospital: Small Animal Medicine
Veterinary students can legally work at a practice while studying. Andria took advantage of the opportunity, gaining “real life” experience while attending class. It provided a slight advantage when she entered her three months at the small animal hospital.

However, as Ryan Veterinary Hospital offers treatments unique to the veterinary community, she continued to gain valuable experience. For instance, she spent a day working alongside their Chemo Team. The positivity of everyone she encountered – staff, clients, and patients alike – left a lasting impression.

Additional standout moments included:

  • An afternoon spent with the head of the feline kidney transplant program
  • A day serving as the anesthesia technician in their new radiation unit
  • Recognizing a radiograph of a giant elephant shrew (applying her previous zoo knowledge)

Emergency/ICU Veterinary Technician
Accompanying her Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology, Andria received a passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The two led to her certification/license as a veterinary technician – first in Pennsylvania (CVT) and later in Virginia (LVT).

Emergency medicine appealed to her from the beginning. The flux of ailments, injuries, and even species kept her mind sharp at all times. The knowledge required to handle cats, dogs, exotics, and even wildlife is highest in an ICU setting. When a vet tech never knows the patient’s stability coming back to the treatment area, skills and the ability to respond in an instant always stay in peak shape.

With treatments evolving at a constant basis, Andria sought out the best Continuing Education opportunities. She attended the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (IVECCS) Conference whenever possible. This allowed her to discuss the latest wound treatments, medications, and advancements in diet formulations.

Cardiology Veterinary Technician
With the increased knowledge and experience, Andria noticed gaps in her abilities. Her grasp of cardiology remained at the basic level. She wanted to boost her skills and understanding as much as possible, improving her patient care. When an opportunity within the practice arose to move into the cardiology department, she accepted.

She sharpened her ability to read ECGs, recognizing arrhythmias of every type. Speaking with the cardiologist, she learned to read echocardiograms, picking out the most common disease processes. And, courtesy of her position in the department, she took in everything she could regarding the grain-free diet concern.

And throughout her ten-year career, she built her store of client interactions. She learned stories of heartbreak and hope. In the middle of the night, she shared touching and humorous conversations. Every moment taught her to engage with people. And the skill blended into her writing ability, capturing the interest of pet-lovers everywhere.

Check out Andria’s LinkedIn here

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