Published Nov. 23, 2021

Does your pup strut down the street like he or she is owning the runway? Or maybe like they’re walking on burning coals? Well, it may be time for you to get them a pair of dog boots. If it’s just fashion you’re concerned with, your pup can look well-heeled as they, well, heel with designer collars. But if you’re looking for an accessory that’s still cute but very much about function, shoes (or dog socks) protect their paws against the elements. Dog footbeds can be very sensitive, so if they’re dealing with a lot of extremely hot, cold, slippery, and/or uneven surfaces, they should be outfitted in something that actually stays on their feet and allows them to walk without discomfort. And you know how overwhelming it can be to pick out your own shoes? Well, imagine doing it if you’re a dog—there are so many choices if you can even sneak away with a smartphone long enough to order from Amazon (plus figure out how to navigate a smart device efficiently without thumbs). Instead of letting your canine companion deal with the stress of sorting through all that dog gear, we’ve picked some of the best dog shoes and dog socks on the market and broken them down into categories so you and your pooch don’t have to. Read on for more!

How to pick a shoo-in for best dog gear

There are a couple of features that the best dog shoes should have across the board. Firstly, they should easily slide on and off of your dog’s paws when you’re putting them on and taking them off, but they should also stay on for the duration of your dog’s activity. Lucky for our canine friends, many dog boots and dog slippers now have straps that tie around your pup’s ankle to ensure they stay in place. Secondly, you’ll want the soles to be anti-slip and thick yet flexible enough so they can walk freely while their paws stay protected from harsh objects, including glass, rock, ice, salt, etc. 

For winter months, dog snow boots will be your best bet. They should keep your dog’s paws warm, cozy, and protected so they can do what they love: frolic in the fresh powder. During rainy days, putting your pup in dog rain boots will keep them and you happy—they will have dry feet and you won’t have to clean up their wet, muddy paws. The boots need to be waterproof or at least water-resistant. For the warmer months, dog shoes for hot pavement are a must, and the breathability of the shoe is important because dogs have a small number of sweat glands in their feet so they can get quite hot. Additionally, the sole of the shoe should have a nice rubber padding to protect paws from hard/harsh surfaces. And indoors, dog booties can prevent some fumbles and tumbles on slippery surfaces.

A couple more things to consider when shopping for the best dog shoes

When shopping for shoes to protect your pup’s paws, specificity is key! As mentioned earlier, some dog shoes are better suited for the snow or rain while some dog shoes for hot pavement have features that work best in the more sweltering months. Knowing your pup’s sensitivities—whether it is hot pavement or sand, salt or ice—will guide you to the best shoe for your sweet dog. 

For inside the house, dog socks and dog slippers are great options to prevent slipping and to protect your hardwood floors from unintentional scratches (alongside dog booties we also recommend the best nail clippers). Similar to dog boots, slippers/socks with an ankle strap will stay on your pup’s feet comfortably, and to ensure they are anti-slip, look for some sort of rubber coating on the bottom. Having these tips in your back pocket can help narrow down the many dog gear options on the market. Lucky for you, we’ve already got suggestions for the best dog shoes right here, so boot scootin’ boogie onwards:

Best dog slippers: PUPTECK Anti-Slip Dog Socks

Anti-Slip Excellence

These slipper socks have a cute rubber anti-slip paw print on the soles to protect your pup from skidding around the house. PUPTECK

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Offered in four sizes—small, medium, large, and x-large (a size chart is provided to help you determine the correct size based on your pup’s measurements)—these 100-percent cotton, anti-slip dog socks are functional and cute-to-boot. They are made with the latest anti-slip grip technology to prevent slipping on surfaces like hardwood floors, so your dog can run and play indoors all day with ease. No more Tom Cruise in Risky Business impressions (or uncontrollably running into walls) for your four-legged friend. To ensure the socks stay on, there is a removable velcro band you can button onto the sock if needed. Cozy dog slippers vibes commence!

Best dog shoes for hot pavement: QUMY Dog Shoes

Dog Days Of Summer Defense

High-quality fabrics not only protect your pup’s paws from hot pavement, but also allow them to breathe. QUMY

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What makes these kicks great is that they are designed with a tight woven air mesh that keeps debris out of the shoe while providing great ventilation on summer walks. Your dog’s paws will be protected from the hot pavement with the tough, anti-slip sole. Additionally, the reflective straps are adjustable so they will actually stay on your dog’s paws. These best-selling dog shoes for hot pavement are offered in six sizes—all you have to do is measure the widest part of your dog’s paw while they’re standing. Lastly, they are a beautiful turquoise color, which, let’s face it, can be every dog’s color. Your dog will definitely prefer ruuuuff wear over rough pads.

Best dog rain boots: GGR Dog Shoes

Rainy Day Resistance

These best-selling anti-skid dog rain boots are thoughtfully designed with fabrics to protect and support your pup’s paws on wet surfaces. GGR

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These all-star rain boots for medium to large dogs are anti-skid, waterproof, and wearproof. The suede-like microfiber shoe caps enhance breathability, durability, and aging. This upgraded style includes longer, adjustable straps to ensure the boots stay on your pup’s paws for the duration of their walk. Additionally, the straps are reflective, making nighttime walks safer. These dog rain boots are stain-resistant, making for an easy clean-up of the boots, though not the dog (sorry!), should they step through any mud. Something to keep in mind, however, is that they have waterproof soles, but are not meant for deep water.

Best dog snow boots: ZEKOO Australian Boots

Cozy And Cute

These dog snow boots are not only the cutest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on, but also will keep your dog’s paws warm and happy in the winter. ZEKOO

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If you want to match your dog’s snow boots to yours, then have we got a great purchase for you. These highly rated water-resistant boots are extremely well-made with soft faux-fur lining and a sturdy anti-slip sole that protects your dog’s paws from salt, ice, and snow. The straps tie all the way around the ankle so that the boots actually stay on your dog’s paws. If you’re not sold yet, just take another look at those beauties! Doesn’t your best friend deserve cozy toesies when it’s cold outside?

Best budget dog booties: TEOZZO Dog Boots

Affordable, Quality Booties

These dog booties have a drawstring closure, making them easy to put on and pull off your pup. TEOZZO

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For $11.99, these dog booties are a steal. Your dog can choose from black, blue, pink, red, or yellow. The lining is a soft, polyester fabric offering warmth, comfort, and breathability, while the non-slip rubber sole protects your dog’s paws from most harmful surfaces. The drawstring closure can be tightened to stay on and loosened to pull off easily. While you aren’t sacrificing much for these affordable bad boys, they are not waterproof, so they are best used for warmth in the winter and protection against hot pavements in the summer—just not snow or rain days.

FAQs

Q: How do I know my dog’s shoe size?

Typically, the brand will provide instructions, as well as a size chart. Most will tell you to measure the width and length of all four of your dog’s paws while standing and use the largest measurements to determine which size to order. Similar to when you order shoes, brand sizes can fluctuate, so always good to pay attention to specific instructions, as well as reviews, when possible. 

Q: Should dogs wear boots in the snow?

It depends on your dog and if they are sensitive to cold weather. Typically, smaller dogs have a higher sensitivity but it couldn’t hurt to have snow boots for any size or breed of dog. In addition to keeping their paws warm, boots can also protect them from the mixture of chemicals and salt scattered on many sidewalks and other walking surfaces, which can really hurt them. Snow boots also help protect from any other harmful objects you might not initially see because of the snow coverage. Also, it’s a much easier clean-up for you after winter walks!

Q: Why do dogs walk funny with socks on?

The short answer as to why dogs walk funny with socks on is because they aren’t used to having anything on their feet. Both socks and shoes can disrupt a dog’s natural ability to grip and feel the ground. This can cause their legs to stiffen, making their walk quite adorable to watch. Additionally, the socks could potentially weigh more, causing your dog to lift their legs higher to walk, throwing them off balance. 

The final word on shopping for the best dog shoes

No matter your dog’s personality—whether they love outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and/or rolling around in the snow, or just prefer to lounge around indoors—the best dog shoes can enhance each experience by protecting and providing comfort for your pup’s paws. (And if they’re particularly into adventures, you might want to check out these essential travel kits.) There may be a learning curve when it comes to putting dog shoes on your canine pal, but most dogs will eventually love their new dog gear when they learn how much better their feet feel! So start your next journey on the right foot with the right footwear for your loyal companion.

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