Sunday, January 31, 2010

Product of the Month

Last month I did a general review of the different coats that I have for the dogs and what specifically I use them for. This month I thought I would do the same thing only with dog booties that I've tried so far. Again, these are just the booties that I personally have tried up to this point. There are other brands and styles of booties that I have not as yet tried. These booties are also listed in no particular order. It's just how I happened to snap the pictures of them.

First up on my list are the Bark'n Boots Grip Trex by Ruff Wear.

I have a pair for both dogs. I have to say that these are probably the most durable boots that we've tried to date. They hold up to pretty much everything that the dogs have put them through and there isn't any noticeable wear on any of the boots. The down side of these boots is that they do take a little bit of breaking in before they form more to the dogs' feet. They also pucker a little bit at the back, which unfortunately will allow snow to sift into the boot and periodically a snow ball will form inside the boot. However, I have found that if you readjust the tightness of the booties a couple times within the first 20 min. or so of the dogs wearing the boots, the snow going in is greatly reduced. Readjusting the Velcro straps a few times will also allow for a better fit in general of the boot to the dog's foot. I've found that by doing this, I have less of the boot getting twisted around on the dogs feet so that the sole is on the front instead of the back where it should be. These boots are also on the upper end as far as cost at roughly $59.95 for a set of four. However, considering how durable they are, I don't find the cost so bad. You can also occasionally find the boots for cheaper on REI Outlet when Ruff Wear changes up the colors of slightly changes the design and REI needs to make room for the newer models. Aside from the boots taking a bit to break in, I give them two thumbs up! And they absolutely fit dane sized paws!

Next up are TrAction Dog Boots by Ultra Paws.

On a whim I decided to try these booties out on Bess first. They were fairly inexpensive at $16.95 for a set of four and they seemed decent enough. I tried them out on Bess during a little skijoring class that I was giving. The snow conditions were pretty icy and there was no way that I was going to let her run on that stuff bare foot. The boots held up surprisingly well on that crunchy snow with her running all over the place and pulling me behind her. A big bonus was that she wasn't able to kick a single boot off! The fit was great and I was pretty happy with them. The second time that I put them on her, they did not fare so well. The snow conditions were better, but the padding on the sole of the boots came undone on three of the boots.
Granted, this didn't happen to all of the boots, but three out of four isn't all that great. At least the fleece material held up.

Next up are the PawZ Dog Boots. I decided to pick up a set of these booties because 1) they were relatively cheap at around $12 for a set of 12 and 2) I had read about them from a fellow dane owner who that they were great for certain circumstances.

I've had them for about a year now and only today got around to actually trying them out on the dogs. My first concern was that the top of the booties was going to be too constricting for at least Heffner. The boots are no good to me if they cut off circulation to the dogs' feet. As you can see from the above picture, it's a snug fit around only three of my fingers and I can assure you that Heffner's ankles are definitely larger than my three fingers combined. However, I was slightly surprised that the boots did seem to adjust once they were on the dogs feet. While it was still a snugger fit than I would normally like, they didn't feel so incredibly tight that I would be concerned about leaving them on for an extended period of time.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to give these booties a thumbs down as far as durability with great danes. This is the first time that I have tried these booties on the dogs and while I used the same two boots on each dog, they only wore them for a total time of about five minutes with hardly any walking around and most of that was on the soggy backyard. When I slipped the booties on Bess after Heff wore them, there were already tears in the fronts of both boots from the very limited wearing that they got. And I can't blame toe nails on this because I'm a bit of a toe nail nazi with the dogs. Their nails get religiously dremmelled once a week and keep them quite short. There is NO toe nail clicking on the floors in my house. So no, the toe nails were not so long that they punctured the booties.
These booties would probably work fine for indoor use on non-carpetted floors if you have a dog who has a hard time maintaining traction on this type of flooring. That's what I had originally heard of them being used for was for traction purposes with an older dane. For that type of use they're probably fine. However, these boots didn't even last five minutes with my guys walking around in the back yard. For that, I will have to give them two thumbs down.

And moving right along to the last brand of booties that we've tried Toughtek 9000 booties by
These are a pretty solidly strong material that does seem to hold up well to the minimal use that Bess has put them through. I did buy these specifically for Bess for skijoring. The cost is $2.50 per boot, which I find to be quite reasonable. These boots are not meant to last forever, but I feel that they are well worth the cost for the wear that you can get out of them. And they do fit dane feet. The fit is more ideal on Bess than on Heffner. Here's the fit on Heffner;

And the fit on Bess:

As far as cost versus durability, I think these boots are a great buy for snow use. I haven't tried them out on any other type of substrate, so I'm not entirely sure if they would wear out faster on pavement or other more abrasive substrates.


meemsnyc said...

Those all look like nice booties!

Kennedy said...

Good reviews! I love our Ruff Wear boots and I will say the socks really help to keep the boots from slipping around, too. They hold up super well - Vegas has worn them on several miles of biking on concrete and asphalt as well as the snow and they don't have any wear on them.

M.T. said...

Thanks for a good review post! I've been eyeing the Ruffwear boots for a while. I'm surprised you haven't tried out a pair of Muttluks ... i would be very interested in seeing how you think those measured up to the Ruffwear ones!

Lindsay said...

Muttluks are definitely on my list!

Schwang said...

Thanks for the reviews. Miss M. has a pair of Muttluks: I don't know if it's because of her "slender ankles", but she always seems to lose them on her walks. We'll be going and all of a sudden I'll see her barefoot with her bootie all the way behind us. I don't know if it's the fit of the boot, or something to do with her specific foot.

Wild Dingo said...

wow, just in time. i need to know what kind of snow boots to get them for next year. we won't be living in Switzerland until spring, but we will definitely have snow for a few years!
thanks for sharing!
wild dingo

Crystal said...

Interesting review, and thanks! I'm currently on the hunt for dog booties. Are the ones water resistant?

So far, the best fit I've found for an 18 pound hyper mutt is the UltraPaws- we have the same ones you tried- but they wore out quickly, after about 20 miles of walking. My dog does have long toenails (long quicks) that we're working on dremeling back.