If you are about to embark on a long hike with your dog for the very first time and you are wondering if your pooch might need some boots, then you have come to the right place. If you have just come back from your first hike with your pooch and you have learned the hard way that your pup needs some hiking shoes because he injured himself, or you had to carry him back for the last few miles (like my husband did on our first hike!) then you have also come to the right place!
In this hiking boot guide, we are going to talk you through why your adventurous pooch needs a good set of hiking boots. You’ll learn exactly what to look for in a pair of hike-worthy dog boots. While it is important for you to know what to look out for, we have done all of the hard work and time-consuming research just so that you don’t have to. You’ll also find our favorite hiking boot recommendations for your pup.
In this article, our hiking boots are for general hiking. This may be in the forest, in the cold mountains, or through fields. If you are looking to hike across specific terrains, such as a sandy desert or deep snow, then you should seek boots that are suited to this specific terrain. But first, let us tell you exactly why Fido needs some extra help in the hiking department.
At a Glance: Our Favorite Dog Boots For Hiking
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Why Your Dog Needs Boots For Hiking
There are a variety of reasons why dogs need hiking boots. While their pads are generally a lot thicker than the soles on our own feet, their paws get sore sometimes too. The general rule is, if it’s too hot or too rough for you to walk on, then it is probably too painful or too hot for your dog to walk on as well. Typically, hiking entails hours and hours of walking across a variety of terrains. Your pup’s feet will need more support compared to a general day-to-day walk.
With the variety of different terrains, he is more likely to step on something sharp. This could be a rock or a prickly bush. This is especially true if your pup is a curious canine. So, a good hiking boot needs a thick sole that will protect him from sharp objects or surfaces. He may also find a foreign body, like a dangerous foxtail, wedged in between his toes. This can cause a lot of pain, so boots protect him from nasty foreign objects.
Some dogs are more prone to developing sore paws than others. As such, they need extra protection for their extra sensitive feet. For example, some dog breeds, such as English Bull Terriers, Pitbull type dogs, or both Whippets and Greyhounds to name just a few, are more at risk of developing cracked pads, calluses and corns. This is due to the accumulation of the extra levels of Keratin within their pads. If your pooch is known to have generally sensitive paws, then he will definitely benefit from a good pair of hiking boots.
There are a lot of dog boots currently available on the market, some are fantastic but not necessarily suited to hiking, and some are just plain useless, so before you buy just any old dog boot it is important that you know what makes a good quality hiking boot. Here in our buyer’s guide we list the main components that you need to look out for.
The boot material needs to be strong and of high quality, and the material should also be stitched together rather than glued together, otherwise it won’t take long for the boot to fall apart. Durable boots might cost slightly more, but they will pay for themselves because they last longer. Hiking boots usually have thicker rubber soles, which will add an extra layer of protection for his pads against sharp objects. Thicker soles also absorb energy, allowing your pup to hike for longer periods of time.
A good hiking boot will have a thick rubber sole which should prevent them from slipping. Hiking generally entails a variety of terrains. So, if you find yourself walking across wet or slippery rocks, or you need to walk across a mossy riverbed, then anti-slip soles will make the hike much more enjoyable. Anti-slip soles make hiking easier for both you, and your dog.
It is important that all dog boots remain securely on his feet. This is especially true if your pooch is adventurous and runs around at the speed of light. High-quality dog boots will have a Velcro strap, or two, that you can wrap tightly around his ankle to achieve a secure and customizable fit. It is also very important for you to measure your dog’s paw size as directed by the product instructions. If they aren’t the right size they will not stay on properly.
A high-quality hiking boot will also be water-resistant. This is simply because your pooch is not going to enjoy wearing a soggy and heavily water-laden boot. Additionally, a waterproof boot will also protect him from colder terrain, or for everyday rainy walks. This also allows you to slip the boots off and not have to worry that his feet are going to be muddy and wet. This means less washing for you!
A good pair of hiking boots will also have reflective strips or straps incorporated into the design. This will help if your pup is partial to early morning or nighttime hikes. It will ensure he can be seen by other hikers, cyclists or vehicles. While comfort and durability are very important, it is equally important to consider safety.
Our Favorite Hiking Boots
Now you know what to look out for in a high quality hiking boot we can now get onto the exciting section, our top hiking boot recommendations! Not only do we think that these boots are the best, but each set of boots also been highly reviewed by other hiking enthusiasts.
This means you can be certain that these boots have been tried and tested by equally adventurous dogs. All of our recommendations are also made by well-known and reputable brands, so you know that all of the boots have been designed by experts with canine hiking knowledge.
Be sure to remember exactly what it is you are looking for in a hiking boot. You’ll want to consider what terrain you are hiking in, as each one caters to slightly different needs and it might sway your choice slightly. But rest assured that whatever it is you are looking for in a hiking boot, each of these picks is specifically designed for adventurous canine hikers. So, in no particular order, here are our favorite hiking boots!
QUMY Waterproof Dog Boots
- Great for all terrains including sand, and snow.
- Comes in seven different sizes.
- Non-slip bottoms.
- Soft and breathable material.
- Easy to adjust and secure.
These hiking boots have a sturdy sole made from strong rubber material. This prevents your pup from slipping thanks to the extra grips on the sole exterior. It also provides extra traction for long and adventurous hikes. The boots are also made from water-resistant material. This makes them great for walking across shallow water.
The boot material is also sewn together rather than glued. This makes them extra durable and better suited to energetic hikes. QUMY has added anti-slip mats inside of them, made with pig leather material. This helps the boots to stay in position, which is an added bonus compared to their standard boot.
These boots also have 2 Velcro straps, which makes them very secure. The 2 straps also ensure that you can achieve a more customizable fit for your dog. This means you can be sure that the boots are not going to slip off easily, if at all. Both straps are also reflective, which means that he can be seen in the dark, or in poor visibility, which is great for his safety. These boots come in 2 colors.
We love that these boots are designed with an extendable seem. This means that not only are they easier to slip on and off before and after your hike. But, it also means they also offer a more tailored fit for your pooches paws.
Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots
Ruffwear are a well-known brand who are known for their premium dog products, and these hiking boots are no different! These boots have a non-marking Vibram outsole, which is an extremely tough and durable material. This means you can be sure that these boots are going to last a long time.
It also provides an anti-slip grip design which means it is great for slippery surfaces, as well as providing your pooch with the traction he needs to stay upright when running quickly. The hooked Velcro loop is secure and tough, so they aren’t going to slip off. They are also made with reflective material. This helps during low light conditions, so that your pup can be seen in the dark, as well as reflective stitching throughout.
The boots are stitched rather than glued. This means they are much more suited to high energy hikes compared to everyday walking. They are also made of mesh breathable material which helps to keep his paws cool. These boots come in three different colors. You can also buy these boots as a pair, or in a full set of 4. Depending on your pup’s needs, or whether you need to replace a boot, there are extra options here.
We love that these boots are high-performance. They are made for the toughest of hikes and terrains, as well as being perfect for working dogs. Ruffwear makes other great pup products, which includes one of our favorite life jackets for dogs.
Xanday Breathable Dog Boots
The soles on these boots are made from strong rubbery material. This means they are long-lasting and durable. They also have a gripped design, which means that he will not be at risk of slipping, even on wet surfaces. They also also provide your pup with the confidence he needs to climb or run on a variety of terrains. The boot material is lightweight and breathable. This means that his paws will not get sweaty or too warm, but are still water-resistant for wet or rainy hikes.
There are two Velcro straps which means the boots remain secure throughout the entire hike. They also help to achieve that customizable fit. The straps are also reflective, which means he is visible during the darker hours, and the material is stitched rather than glued which makes them all the more durable. These boots come in three different colors.
We love that these boots have an extra reflective patch on the toe. This makes these boots one of the most visible on this list for those parents who are safety conscious.
CovertSafe Waterproof Dog Boots
These boots are made with a rugged sole that not only resists the tough terrains faced during hikes, but it is also anti slip thanks to its rubbery and gripped design. All of the materials are stitched together rather than glued. The boots are easy to slip on and off once your adventure is over thanks to the wide-split seam. The boot material is strong and water-resistant. This makes them a great option for wet or rainy hikes.
These boots have 2 reflective Velcro straps. These not only keep the boot secure, but they also provide the ultimate safety for your pooch during those darker mornings or nights. They come in four different colors. While this has nothing to do with the boot itself, every purchase of these boots helps a dog in need with their ‘Paw for Paw’ program.
We love that these boots are the most popular and reviewed. They are budget-friendly, and have won several online awards for canine products in the paw-wear category.
Kurgo Blaze Dog Boots
- Kurgo is a well-known brand.
- They make several high-quality dog products.
- Lightweight and ergonomic.
- Includes all four shoes.
- Can be used for every season.
- Protects from uneven terrain and thorns.
These premium dog boots have a thick and durable rubber sole. They have plenty of grips and grooves to ensure that they are anti-slip, as well as providing your pooch with the traction he needs for speed. These boots protect your pooch from hot and cold weather. They also provide protection from uneven terrain and sharp thorns. With an ergonomic design, they are easy to get on and off. They have an adjustable strap and ankle cord which makes them secure during your hike.
The material is lightweight and breathable, which protects your pooch from sweaty paws and heat rashes. The material is stitched rather than glued together, which is great for durability. The adjustable strap has reflective stitching, and there are also reflective patches on either side of the boot. This means your pup can be seen from all directions, which is important for his safety. They only come in one color.
We love that these premium boots come with a lifetime warranty. You can be sure that they are built to last a lifetime, and if not you can get another pair for free! Kurgo also makes a great no pull dog harness and a top-end harness for pitbulls.
Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots
These boots have a rubbery sole which makes them great for traction and protection. They are also anti-slip, which is great for those dogs who get the zoomies while hiking! The boot material is durable and water-resistant, and they slip on and off easily thanks to their ergonomic design.
There are 2 Velcro straps which make them great for comfort and security while hiking. This means you can be sure that they are not going to fall off. The straps are also designed with 4 lines of reflective stitching, so he will be seen in the dark. These boots are designed with an anti-collision rubber toe cap too. This makes them a great option for those older dogs who have a tendency to drag their feet along the floor as they walk. They come in 2 different colors.
We love that these boots are designed with an extended length. It makes them a great option for larger dogs who have longer legs, or those with large dewclaws.
PUPWE Skid Proof Dog Boots
These boots are described as being made with soft and breathable material. But the material is tough enough for hiking and all-season weather. The sole is made with rubber, which means that it protects your pooch from hot and cold temperatures, as well as sharp or slippery surfaces. The gripped sole pattern also aids your dog with traction and stability.
The boots are lightweight and convenient and are easy to put on and off, which is great for those excitable wriggly dogs. These boots have 2 Velcro straps which help to keep them in place during hiking, and they have 4 reflective stitched lines which means they are great for early morning or late-night hiking. These boots are available in one color.
We love that these boots are one of the least expensive on this list. This makes them a great option for those parents with a tighter budget.
Everyone loves a long hike, especially our four-legged best friends, so why not make it even more enjoyable for him, and provide him with the extra support and comfort that he needs in the form of a hiking boot, or four. You might not think he needs hiking boots, but trust us when we say, if you want to get the most out of a hike, and you don’t want to carry him back, then you really should purchase some!
It is important to buy high-quality hiking boots if you want them to last more than a few hikes. So, be sure to look out for the important components described above, as well as what you think you, and your pooch needs, from a hiking boot. Just remember to measure his paw before buying them, and don’t assume he is a particular size.
There is something for everyone on our list of hiking boots, and you can be sure that if you choose one of our recommendations, you are purchasing one of the best hiking boots around, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t get them sooner!