Oh, dog boots. That most frustrating piece of gear to both dogs and their humans alike. From getting dogs used to walking in them to finding a pair that fits well and doesn’t fall off multiple times during a hike/walk, getting the right dog boot for your dog can be a challenge.
Here in Minnesota, the biggest reason most dogs need boots is to help protect their paws from the salt and cold that comes with winter weather. But dog boots can also be helpful for dogs walking on hot or rough surfaces. Or even to help protect a paw pad after injury.
DogBooties.com booties are the 3rd style of dog booties that we have tried to help protect Glia’s paws in the winter. We purchased our DogBooties.com dog boots online and received them in the mail about a month ago. They have since come on several hikes with us and we have been pretty pleased with these dog boots so far.
DogBooties.com is an American company whose current location is listed as Anchorage, Alaska. They specialize in creating “durable, dependable, 100% made-in-America dog booties and jackets.”
The company was founded by Louise Russell in 1993. It was originally an outdoor fabric store in Duluth, MN called Arrowhead Fabric Outlet. DogBooties.com grew out of this business in 2000. Per Louise Russels linked in profile, this is when they “began manufacturing dog booties for sled dogs, veterinarians, and pet owners who want to protect their best friends feet against all types of conditions.”
Find out more about the business in this Duluth News Tribune article: “DogBooties.com has customers all over the world“.
We first heard about these dog booties on one of our favorite dog gear review blogs: RobinVentures. After trying out several other brands of dog boots, RobinVentures gave these dog booties a glowing review. So we knew we had to try these booties out for Glia. We also got a pair for Glia’s friend Becca.
When purchasing these dog booties, the first two decisions that will need to be made are what weight and what size is right for your dog.
DogBooties.com makes dog booties from 4 different fabrics: fleece, 330 denier Cordura, 500 denier Cordura, and 1000 denier Cordura.
Most of us are familiar with fleece, but what is a denier Cordura?
Denier is a unit of measurement. It is used to determine the fiber thickness of individual filaments or threads used to create a fabric. A high denier count indicates a fabric that is thicker, sturdier and more durable. A lower denier count tends to be more sheer, silky, and soft.
Cordura fabrics are usually made of nylon but may be blended with cotton or other natural fibers. They are typically durable and resistant to abrasions and tears.
Glia has previously worn handmade fleece dog booties. While these worked to protect her feet from the salt and did help her walk in the bitter cold, they often got wet when walking through any type of slush. Also, the fleece we used to sew this homemade booties wore out quickly. So we didn’t order the fleece dogbooties.com dog booties.
But we did get two dog booties of each of the other fabrics.
330 Denier Cordura
These booties are very lightweight. To me, they seem the most comfortable, being thin, almost sock-like in flexibility and thickness. While they certainly appear to be the most comfortable, they also are the least weather resistant. These booties became soaked in the winter slush on our first hike in them.
DogBooties.com states that these are their “#1 selling bootie for sled dogs! 330 Cordura® booties are designed to keep the snow from building up between the footpads. Lightweight and breathable booties. They are not waterproof and perform best on snow. “
If your snow is drier than ours, then the 330 Cordura booties might be right for you and your pup. But if you walk a lot on salted sidewalks and hike in the snow on 30 degree days, you will want a little more water-resistant option.
500 Denier Cordura
Per dogbooties.com, “500 Denier Cordura® booties are a coated nylon and are slightly heavier than the 330 Denier Cordura®. These work well to keep dirt, mud, salt, sand and other debris off of your dog’s feet. Keep in mind that they will wear out on abrasive surfaces.”
We are overall pleased with the thickness and weather resistance of this weight of Cordura fabric. They are a nice compromise between the thin and flexible 330 denier and the stiffer 1000 denier.
After a hike with some wet slushy snow, the 500 denier booties were damp but not soaked compared to the 330 denier booties.
1000 Denier Cordura
In the slush and wet snow, the 1000 denier Cordura dog bootie protected Glia’s feet the best. Her paws were mostly dry after an hour hike in melting snow. And even though these booties are stiffer and have a higher chance of rubbing/chafing, she seemed comfortable in them throughout the hike.
According to dogbooties.com, ” 1000 Denier Cordura® booties are a coated nylon heavier than the 500 Denier Cordura®, similar to backpack material. These will hold up better on sidewalks, streets or rough terrain than our lighter weight 330 Denier Cordura®. They are water-resistant. Keep in mind that these boots will wear out on abrasive surfaces.”
These dog booties come in 7 different sizes. From XXXS to XL, there is a size available to fit most dogs. The smallest size (XXXS) is 1.5 inches across at the widest part and 3.5 inches tall. The largest size (XL) is 3.5 inches wide and 7 inches tall.
To measure for the correct size, follow these simple instructions. Have your dog stand bearing weight on the paw you are measuring. Then measure the paw at the widest part. Keep in mind front and back paws are often different sizes in an individual dog. For more information on sizing, head over to DogBooties.com.
We ordered both the XS (2.25 inches wide, 5 inches tall) and the S (2.5 inches wide, 5.5 inches tall) for Glia as I was worried about the XSmall being a little to narrow. Glia, who is a 40-pound mutt, measured almost exactly 2.25 inches across the widest part of her paw.
After receiving the booties, the XS fits her better, both in width and height. The booties are wider at the top to make it easier to but them on and are built with a slight taper to the toe to reduce floppiness at the toes. The XS can be placed on Glia’s paw easily, the velcro lands at a good spot around her “ankle”, and there is minimal extra fabric at her toes. The S doesn’t seem overly wide but is definitely too tall and Glia has lots of extra fabric at the toe.
For little 12-pound Becca, we ordered the XXXS. This size fit well on her tiny little paws.
What we like about these dog booties
Overall, we are really impressed with the DogBooties.com dog booties. The best part about them is the fact that they stay on. Like really stay on. We haven’t lost one yet.
On one of our recent hikes, Glia wore her Muttluk dog boots on her front paws and these dog booties on her rear paws. The Muttluks both fell off about halfway through our 3-mile hike. The dog booties made it all the way back to the car.
(To be fair to the Muttluk’s, the fastening strap on the front booties does fit right over Glia’s dewclaw. If tightened too much over her dewclaw, Glia tends to get a little uncomfortable. So Muttluks may stay on better for a dog without a dewclaw. )
Although Glia hasn’t lost one of these booties yet, the high visibility of the bright neon-pink we purchased is great. I am used to watching for dog boots to fall off and the bright pink makes it easy to tell if the boots are still on Glia’s paws. If one of these booties ever does come off, the neon color should also make the booties easier to see in the snow.
While we love that these booties don’t fall off, we also appreciate that they are easy to get on. The wide opening really does make a difference when sliding the booties onto a dog’s paws. And the velcro closure is very secure. In fact, it is so secure that sometimes it is a little difficult to get it undone to remove the booties.
Another positive is that these booties are small and easy to pack. I can easily slip a pair into my coat pocket to have handy in case they are needed. Even with a set of four in the pocket of my winter jacket, I still have room for my own gloves. At this point, I am thinking about stashing one or two in Glia’s backpack for our backpacking trips. A lightweight bootie could come in handy if Glia ever suffers a paw injury while on the trail.
The small lightweight feel of these booties also means that they minimally impact Glia’s natural gait. While she does pick up her paws a little higher when wearing these booties, below you can see that she is still able to sprint around with these boots on.
And finally, the price point is fantastic. At only $3/bootie, you can purchase multiple booties so you always have a spare. And since the booties are sold individually (not in packs of 2 or 4 like many other dog boot brands), you can purchase the exact number you need. Be aware that buying just one may not make sense, as there was a roughly $9 shipping fee for my order of 10 dog booties.
What we don’t like about these dog booties
While these dog booties could be used for many different purposes, our main intention was to use them to protect Glia’s paws in the winter. This means protecting her from salt on the roads and sidewalks and also protecting her paws from the cold.
The 330 denier Cordura fabric is not weather resistant at all, the 500 denier Cordura is meh, and the 1000 denier Cordura is okay. While even wet, the booties do a nice job of protecting Glia’s paws from the salt, the 330 denier booties were soaked after our first hike with them. That hike took place on a 30-degree day with about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Some areas of snow were getting a little slushy during that hike..
To be fair, the website clearly states that these are not waterproof booties, but we likely won’t be using the 330 denier booties much. In warmer snowy temperatures, there is almost always some slush/moisture. And on colder days, the thin fabric doesn’t do much to combat the chill. Although they may come in handy if we are traveling to a warmer climate and just need protection against a rough surface, the 330 denier Cordura booties don’t fit our current needs very well.
The 1000 denier Cordura booties do much better on a slushy snowy day, as they were merely slightly damp after a hike in these conditions. Glia did not seem to have a preference between types of fabric, as she hiked comfortably in all three fabrics regardless of how wet they became.
My other concern with these booties is in regards to how much warmth they can provide. These booties do not have a liner and while they offer some protection from the cold snow, Glia’s paws are still typically fairly cool after removing these booties. I would love to find a version of these booties with a liner for added warmth on those zero degrees F days. Having her wear socks underneath the booties may be one solution.
The final issue with these booties in the snow is that they are short, so snow often clumps a bit over the top of them. Again, Glia doesn’t really seem to care unless the clumps get excessively large, but a taller boot is ideal in the snow.
These dog booties get an A-plus for visibility, pricing, being easy to get on, and staying on a dog’s paw.
The main drawback that we have with these booties is that Glia most often needs dog boots when she hikes in cold and snowy conditions. The booties do not add much warmth nor are they waterproof for slushy snow. That being said, these booties do definitely make the difference between Glia stopping and holding up her paws in discomfort and being able to complete a full/hike walk in cold and snowy conditions.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly, basic dog bootie that stays on well, then DogBooties.com dog boots are worth the purchase.
For more information about deciding if your dog needs dog boots, check out our blog post about winter weather safety for dogs. Or if you just want to read another blogger’s review of these dog booties, head over to either RobinVentures or Hiking Girl With Dog for two more excellent reviews of these dog booties.