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9 best dog boots for hiking in 2020 [DON'T let your dog suffer in silence]

Published on: 
April 4, 2020

Your dog can make one of the best hiking companions when you proactively take care of their health and safety.

Our top picks for best dog boots for hiking are Ruffwear Grip Trex and Lonsuneer Soft Sole Dog Boots. The Grip Trex offer superior durability and their Vibram outsoles offer exceptional traction. Lonsuneer Soft Sole dog boots are the comfiest dog boots you will find and are the safest choice to prevent dewclaw injury.

Our picks
Ruffwear Grip Trex
Best dog boots for rocky terrain
Super durable in even the harshest conditions. Vibram outsoles offer unrivalled grip and traction. 
Check current price on Amazon
Lonsuneer Soft Sole Dog Boots
Best dog boots for dewclaws
Safest and comfiest option for dewclaws. Soft soles offer a more natural experience and allow your dog to feel the ground underneath. 
Check current price on Amazon

Many people think their dogs’ paws are as tough as our shoes and this isn’t true. Think of your dog’s paw pads like they are your own bare feet. They can get torn, dry, cracked and sore. And this is especially true when you take your pup on hikes where the terrain and weather can be harsh.

Before choosing the best dog boots for hiking, why not check out our post: do dogs need boots for hiking? 

There’s loads of great information in there but the TL;DR is that we don’t recommend that you put your dog in boots for the entire hike. Dog boots are more for extreme circumstances such as injury, snow/ice, hot rocks/terrain or long and difficult hikes. 

While it's not necessary for your dog to wear boots on every hiking trip, it is an absolute necessity for you to carry dog boots on every hiking trip. Accidents happen and if your dog gets an injured paw it will reduce the pain, protect the wound and allow them to walk more comfortably.

9 best dog boots for hiking

1. Ruffwear Grip Trex

Best for rocky terrain
Ruffwear Grip Trex
Best for rocky terrain
You can't find more durable dog boots than ones built with Vibram outsoles. They offer great traction, grip and protection from the roughest terrain. They also perform excellently in water and dry quickly.  
Check current price on Amazon

Ruffwear makes some of the most well-regarded outdoor adventure gear for dogs. And for good reason. The quality of their gear is top-notch and the Grip Trex dog booties are no different. In fact, they are the most recommended dog boots for hiking out there right now. 

The Grip Trex boots have Vibram soles. Vibram soles will offer your dog the best traction possible, second to their bare feet. If you’re not aware of Vibram soles, they were originally used on mountaineering boots and are widely used these days on a wide variety of boots and shoes that require exceptional grip. 

Besides providing traction, the Vibram soles offer protection to your dog’s paw pads. Being fairly thick, they are the best dog boots for hiking in extreme terrains with sharp rocks or thorns. They’re also a great way to give your dogs feet a rest when going on long hikes or hiking trips that span days. 

If you’ve seen any of the “funny” videos online of dogs wearing boots, you’ll see that most dogs don’t like the sensation of wearing shoes. However, the Grip Trex boots probably have the highest success rate of doggos accepting their new footsies. Especially when used with the Ruffwear boot liners that make the boots much more comfortable (the boots themselves don’t really have any material inside them in the way of comfort). 

The Grip Trex boots are super durable and stand up to the rugged terrain many hiking trails entail. They also handle getting wet very well, they don’t disintegrate, fall apart or smell bad. 

The only down side is that they are not very comfortable for your dog to wear. They don't have any lining inside to cushion your dog's paws. This can create rubbing sore on your dog's paws and ankles. The strap can also be in a bad spot for your dog's dewclaws and can cause them injury.

For both of these issues though, you can purchase Ruffwear Bark'n Boot liners to provide some cushioning whilst preventing your dog's dewclaw from getting torn or injured.

The Ruffwear sock boot liners also help with sizing issues. You don't have to be as accurate with sizing if you plan to line the boots with the socks first.

Main Features

  • Air-mesh shell
  • Vibram outsole
  • Reflective trim
  • Hard-soled

Pros: Highly durable, made for hiking, can handle getting wet, quick-drying and quick-draining
Cons: Require purchasing the Ruffwear boot liner socks to prevent them from falling off/creating rubbing sores or dewclaw injury

2. Lonsuneer Soft Sole Dog Boots

Best for dewclaws
Lonsuneer Soft Sole Dog Boots
Best for comfort and dewclaws
These soft sole boots provide all you need for protection and durability in most terrains. While they may not last as long on extreme trails, they are by far the comfiest boot for your dog.
Check current price on Amazon

The Lonsuneer soft sole dog boots are one of our favorite boots for hiking. They may not seem like the ideal choice due to their soft sole and thin material. But this is the exact reason why they are perfect. 

Many dog shoes with thicker soles can be too rigid for your dog to feel comfortable with them being on their feet and can cause some serious damage to your dog’s dewclaws if you don’t ensure they fit correctly. 

The Lonsuneer boots however, conform to the shape of your dog's paws. The thin material means that you don’t have to get the sizing 100% correct for them to be comfortable for your dog. The light material naturally stretches around the paw rather than the paw being jammed inside with no give. 

The positioning of the strap ensures a tight fight around the leg, but unlike most, it doesn’t interfere with your dog’s dewclaw.  This means you can fasten the boot tight enough that they don’t slip off without having to worry about injuring the dewclaw. For this reason, they are one of the only boots that actually stay on your dog’s feet! 

The soft sole provides enough traction for most terrains while allowing your dog to still be able to feel the natural curvatures and oddities of the surface they’re walking on. 

Unless you’re hiking extremely rugged terrain, these boots provide the best trade-off of protection and comfort. For most hiking trails, your dog likely only needs protection against ice/snow, hot rocks/gravel, and general scrapes and wounds. These boots will protect against all of that, AND ensure your dog is happy, balanced and comfortable. 

If you read our post on whether dogs need boots for hiking, you’ll know that dogs don’t really like wearing shoes, but sometimes they are necessary. And if you want your doggo to enjoy the hike as much as you, it’s vital to understand what’s most important to them. And that’s being able to use the functions of their feet as much as is possible when wearing boots.

While they may not be as durable as some hard-soled boots, they are the best dog hiking boots you can buy to ensure your dog’s happiness, comfort and safety. 

Main Features

  • Water-resistant oxford shell
  • Fleece-lined
  • Reflective straps
  • Soft-soled

Pros: Comfiest option, cheap, stay on properly, least risk of dew claw injury, fleece-lined for added warmth and comfort
Cons: Not as durable as dedicated rough terrain boots

3. Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots

Best for desert
Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
Best dog boots for cactus, desert and hot weather
While great for winter extremes such as snow and ice, the Ultra Paws truly excel in hot, rough terrain. They provide excellent protection against cacti, sage and any other sharp nasties that you and your dog may encounter. They're soft soled so offer great flexibility and allow your dog to move more naturally.
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Ultra Paws Durable dog boots are super easy to get on your dog’s feet. The top of the boot opens up widely to allow your dog’s paw to fit in without a struggle. 

While they’re great for cold weather and snow, they excel in hot, rough terrain. They’re soft-soled but protect extremely well against cactus thorns, hot desert sand and hot rocks/gravel. 

Speaking of soft-soled, these kinds of boots are our favorite...they offer the perfect balance between protection and flexibility. They allow your dog to move more naturally while protecting their paw pads.

Along with offering protection against hot sand, they also prevent sand from getting into the boot, stopping any discomfort or irritation from the sand rubbing on your dog’s paws. 

The Ultra Paws boots have a double velcro strap mechanism that stops them from falling off as easily as other boots. They also feature soft cushioned padding around the top to allow you to tighten the boots without the seams rubbing on your dog’s legs. 

While this is great for most dogs, it can cause potential issues with their dewclaws. The velcro strap is positioned in a way that can crush the dewclaw against the paw and create sores if you do fasten them tightly (which you’re supposed to do). 

The wide opening has a slit down the side that can also cause potential problems if the boot doesn’t fit correctly. If the boot moves around, your dog’s dewclaw can get caught and end up torn or snapped off. 

That’s not to say that these things will happen of course, in fact, they are fine for most dogs. But if you do purchase them, it’s best you check on your dog’s paws regularly to begin with. 

If you want to know how to take care of your dog's dewclaws while wearing boots then read this little guide we created at the bottom of this post.

Main Features

  • Water-resistant nylon shell
  • Thermoplastic outsole
  • Velcro straps with cushion padding
  • Soft-soled

Pros: Easy to put on, prevent sand and snow from entering, soft-soled for better balance and comfort
Cons: Potential for dewclaw injury, not super durable in extremely rugged terrain

4. Qumy Waterproof Dog Boots

Best for deep snow
Qumy Waterproof Dog Boots
Best dog boots for deep snow
Perfect for deep snow, the Qumy are waterproof and durable. In even the thickest snow your dogs paws will stay dry with no collection of snow in the cuffs. You also wont lose a boot when they're bounding through thick snow.
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The Qumy waterproof dog boots are cheap, durable and perfect for taking your dog hiking or snowshoeing in deep snow.

Even though they’re one of the cheaper options, they are durable enough to handle extremely rugged terrain. Their thick soles won’t wear away or fall apart after a couple of rough hikes. 

The great thing about the Qumy boots is that while the soles are super thick, they are flexible enough to allow your dog to walk normally. No horse galloping with these boots...not after the first few goes, at least. 

What makes these so great for deep snow however, is their ability to stay on. Even if your doggo has a tendency to fling himself through the snow. Despite being a short bootie, the double velcro strap makes sure they won’t fling off no matter how rough your dog is. 

They are fantastic at keeping your dog’s feet dry and don’t fill with snow as most boots do. You can rest assured that even after a 2-hour hike, deep snow and a zoomie dog that you’ll come back with all four booties and a dog with dry, happy paws.  

While they are the best dog boots for deep snow, they don’t perform quite as well in hot weather or water. The boots aren’t made with a breathable fabric so in hot weather your dog’s feet will sweat if you do any sort of mileage in them. 

Due to their waterproofing capabilities they trap water inside the boot. This makes them heavy and difficult to dry as the water doesn’t drain away like it would with a breathable material. So taking your dog swimming or through creaks is a no-no in these booties. 

Main Features

  • Water-resistant shell
  • Rubber outsole
  • Reflective straps
  • Hard-soled

Pros: Cheap, durable, suitable for rugged terrain, prevent snow getting in the boot, don’t fall off in deep snow
Cons: Not breathable, hold water if they get wet, difficult to dry

5. Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots

Best all-weather
Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots
Best all-weather dog boots
Most recommended boot by service dog owners, theyre durable and versatile. Offering great breathability in hot weather and extreme flexibility to remain agile in winter.
Check current price on Amazon

Canine Equipment’s Ultimate Trail dog boots are the most used set of boots for service dogs due to their quality, durability and versatility. They’re the best all-weather dog boots for hiking as they perform equally well in both hot and cold conditions, as well as wet weather. 

The upper shell is made from a water-resistant, breathable material. The breathability makes them perfect for hot weather by preventing your dog’s feet from getting too hot and sweating. While the water-resistant material stops their paws from getting wet in rain or mud. The soles are made from recycled rubber to offer traction but also prevent burns from hot or cold terrains, as well as from sharp rocks or thorns. 

Despite being thick-soled, the Ultimate Trail dog boots are extremely flexible. This makes them particularly great for snow, wet terrain and difficult terrain as it allows your dog to have more control over traction and grip by still being able to utilize their own paws. 

The great thing about this set of four booties is that they are supplied with two booties for the front paws and two slightly smaller booties for the back paws. Most dogs’ front and back paws aren’t exactly the same size, yet many manufacturers make them all the same size. So you either have to buy 2 sets of varying sizes for a perfect fit, or accept that your dog won’t be wearing ideally sized boots. 

If you have had trouble with other dog boots, particularly Ruffwear, injuring or irritating your dog’s dewclaws then these may be the perfect answer. The strap that secures the boots to your doggos legs is positioned differently to that of Ruffwear dog shoes and generally avoids the dewclaw. So if Ruffwear booties aren’t suitable for your dog, give these a try! 

Being able to tighten the boots without worrying about dewclaw injury also means that you can fasten them tight enough that they don’t fall off. 

Main Features

  • Water-resistant, breathable shell
  • Recycled rubber outsole
  • Reflective accents
  • Hard-soled
  • Supplied with a garment bag for washing

Pros: Super durable, smaller shoes for back paws than front paws - providing a better fit, comfortable, don’t fall off
Cons: Expensive, the velcro strap collects debris and needs clearing out regularly, hold water if they get submerged, take a long time to dry.

6. Protex Pawz rubber dog boots

Cheapest
Protex Pawz rubber dog boots
Best cheap dog boots
Funny-looking balloon things that are a lot more durable and useful than they look. A must have in any hiking first aid kit at the very least. Perfect for protecting injuries after bandaging, or protecting paw pads on hot ground, ice, snow and salt. They're also the least obtrusive for your dog to wear due to their 100% thin rubber shell. 
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You’re probably wondering WHY these disposable, thin, rubber dog boots made it onto our list for best dog boots for hiking. 

Well, let us explain…

We have a very good reason.

If you’ve read through this whole post (well done!), you’ll know we don’t promote the use of dog boots unless there is a good reason. So while these aren’t remotely durable if you plan to have your dog wearing them for the entirety of every hike, they are absolutely perfect for protecting injuries or against snow, ice, salt and hot rocks or surfaces.

Most dogs don’t need to wear boots all the time on a hike, they are much happier using the grip of their own paws. So if you just want boots for your dog in case of an emergency or for extreme terrain, these are ample and are actually a lot more durable than you would think. Besides, you actually get 12 booties in each pack and they’re REAL cheap.

Being made completely from rubber means these are the perfect choice for wet weather and snow if you want to keep your dog’s paws completely dry (perfect if they have an injury). 

Despite looking a bit like a balloon on the end of your dog’s feet, they actually seem to be the least annoying for your dog to wear. Being super thin and made of rubber, the boot conforms and stretches to your dog’s paws and allows them to feel and grip the ground with their paws. This also aids grip on slippery surfaces such as ice

As you can probably guess, these boots won’t suffice if you’re taking your dog hiking where there are plenty of sharp objects such as cactus, thorns or rough rocks. While they provide basic protection from wear and tear to your dog’s paw pads, they won’t stand up to anything that is extremely sharp. 

At the very least we recommend you carry these in your emergency first aid kit for your dog. If your dog has an injury or loses a more durable boot you can pop one of these funny looking things on and continue on. They couldn’t really be much cheaper or lighter so there’s no reason not to carry these with you on a hike

Main Features

  • 100% rubber design
  • Waterproof
  • Reusable
  • Disposable
  • Soft-soled

Pros: Cheap, perfect for dogs who don’t like other boots, excellent grip, completely waterproof, perfect for protecting an injury, least intrusive design, most natural for your dog to wear
Cons: Not durable due to the thin rubber, won’t protect against sharp terrain or objects

7. Muttluks Mud Monsters

Best for summer
Muttluks Mud Monsters
Best for summer and mud
Super flexible hard soled booties that provide fantastic traction while allowing your dog to twist and turn and have endless Summer fun. The mesh uppers offer exceptional breathability to allow your dog's paws to cool during hot temperatures.
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Muttluks mud monsters are the best dog boots for summer hiking and muddy terrain.

Designed specifically for summer hiking, the boots are ultra-breathable, allowing your dog’s feet to remain cool and avoid sweating. Not only are they breathable, but extremely lightweight too. 

Although they are lightweight and breathable, they have a super tough and durable sole to keep your dog’s paw pads safe from hot surfaces as well as rugged terrain and sharp objects. 

The Mud Monsters are one of the most flexible hard soled booties available. Perfect for some outdoor summer fun. They bend giving your dog the ability to feel the surface they’re walking or running on. They don’t reduce your dog’s agility, grip or balance. They truly are the Nike of the dog shoe world. 

Main Features

  • Breathable mesh and microfibre shell
  • Recycled rubber outsole
  • Reflective accents
  • Hard-soled

Pros: Best for summer and muddy terrain, extremely breathable, lightweight, comfortable, flexible
Cons: Only supplied in a set of 2 booties, expensive

8. Bark Brite Neoprene Booties

Best neoprene dog boots
Bark Brite Neoprene Booties
Best neoprene dog boots
Perfect for soft terrain such as sand and grass, they'll prevent sand from entering the boot whilst keeping your dog's paws nice and dry. 
Check current price on Amazon

These neoprene booties are perfect if you hike trails were walking through streams is expected or if you’re looking for more of a sock-like bootie as opposed to a sturdy structured boot. 

Neoprene is the same material used in wetsuits. It’s an insulated, waterproof material. While the neoprene does stop water to a certain degree, if water goes above the bootie, some water will get in. The insulation characteristics of neoprene however, create a sandwich of water between your dog’s paw and the boot. The dog’s natural body temperature will then heat the water in boot, preventing your dog from getting exceptionally cold feet. Neoprene also dries very quickly.

The neoprene material is also a great barrier to sand and small gravel. 

While these booties are great for hiking in deserts, soft terrain or water, they don’t hold up well to rugged terrain. Neoprene isn’t really made to handle rough surfaces, and is more for soft sand, water and mud. 

Main Features

  • Neoprene shell
  • Rubber outsole
  • Reflective straps
  • Hard-soled

Pros: Great for water, sand, and mud, Conforms to the shape of your dog’s foot, Protects inflatables such as kayaks and rubber rings
Cons: Not durable enough for harsh terrain hiking, poor traction on ice

9. Bark Brite Lightweight Neoprene Booties

Best for swimming
Bark Brite Lightweight Neoprene Booties
Best dog swimming boots
Have a doggo that can't resist jumping straight into that stream, river or lake while on a hike? These lightweight neoprene booties allow your dog to swim naturally without being weighed down, while drying rapidly due to the fine mesh uppers. 
Check current price on Amazon

These lightweight neoprene booties by Bark Brite are a step up from the standard neoprene booties for doggos that love to swim.

Being lightweight, the boots are perfect for allowing your dog to swim freely and naturally without feeling weighed down or struggling to paddle. 

Being a soft neoprene material, the boots are more like socks and over time conform to the shape of your dog’s paws. This aids in their ability to stay on even when your dog is jumping in and out of water. 

The neoprene is more of a mesh than the standard neoprene bootie by Bark Brite. Perfect to keep your dog’s feet cool on summer hikes while allowing better drainage of water when wet. 

The only disadvantage of the mesh type neoprene is its ability to keep sand out of the boot. Fine sand and gravel will find its way into the boot and you will need to empty the boot periodically to keep your dog comfy on long hikes.

Main Features

  • Neoprene mesh shell
  • Rubber outsole
  • Reflective straps
  • Hard-soled

Pros: Super lightweight, extremely breathable, fast-drying, don’t hold water, conform to your dog’s paw shape
Cons: Fine mesh neoprene allows sand into the bootie, not durable enough for harsh terrains

How to protect your dog’s dewclaws when wearing dog boots

In a perfect world all boots would perfectly fit every dog paw. But this isn’t the case. Every dog’s paws are different and this makes it extremely difficult for any brand of dog boot to make a boot that doesn’t interfere with every single dog out there.

While there are certain styles of boot that drastically reduce the likelihood of dewclaw irritation or injury, we wanted to create a mini-guide for how to deal with dewclaws and dog boots.

Method 1

If irritation does occur, use vet wrap around your dog’s paw first and then around the dewclaw and paw together. 

The first wrap prevents the dewclaw from digging into the paw itself, and the second wrap holds the dewclaw against the paw to prevent the dewclaw from being able to get caught and snapped or torn off. 

Method 2

Put a baby sock over your dog's paw and past the dewclaw. Make sure the paw is laid flat and vet wrap the top of the sock to keep it in place.

This method is more suited to larger dogs where a baby sock won’t swamp their feet and definitely requires that your dog’s claws and dewclaws are trimmed and filed. 

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6 comments on “9 best dog boots for hiking in 2020 [DON'T let your dog suffer in silence]”

  1. Hi there to all, the contents existing at this web page are truly remarkable for people experience, well, keep up the good work fellows. Gracie Courtney Guido

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