If warmer temps include outdoor walks and hikes with your dog, you’ve probably encountered hot pavement or rough terrain. Luckily, the best dog boots for summer can help keep their paws protected. To find the best dog boots for summer on Amazon, I turned to a veterinarian and a dog trainer for advice. As you shop, look for products that offer protective soles, adjustable straps, multiple sizes to choose from, and (ideally) breathable designs.
First, you’ll want to look for dog boots that incorporate mesh or air holes to offer ventilation. In an email to Bustle, Dr. Jessica Bell, DVM, clinical assistant professor at Washington State University, explains: “Summer booties need to be lightweight and breathable. Dogs release body heat by panting and through their paw pads.” Kellie Stevens, CPDT-KA certified dog trainer with Gonzo Dog in NYC, also suggests that dog owners always “take breaks and remove boots periodically to prevent overheating.”
Stevens recommends looking for products with wide openings that make it easy to put them on and secure closures “to keep the boots from falling, sliding or being flung off” as well as anti-skid soles. Some boots integrate deeper tread for better traction on slippery surfaces, and water-resistant dog boots can help keep feet from getting soaked in rainy weather — just keep in mind that water-resistant boots might skip breathable mesh and ventilation holes, so you’ll want to take more frequent breaks.
When it comes to fit, active dogs’ feet should be able to function normally as they run in the boots, and their “toes need to spread as they step for balance and traction,” according to Dr. Bell. Stevens suggests looking for boots that come in a wide range of sizes and examining sizing charts and user reviews for extra context. If your dog’s front and back feet are different sizes, look for options sold in two-packs. Dr. Bell adds, “Not all booties will work for every dog, so be prepared to try different kinds for the best fit.” Bell also recommends regularly checking your dog’s paws, nails, and lower legs for any signs of irritation after wearing boots.
If your dog is new to boots, remember that it takes practice. Stevens suggests introducing just one or two boots at a time, “so they can slowly adjust to how it feels while retaining their normal sense of walking with the other feet.” She also recommends providing treats, taking breaks, and taking your time. Making it as enjoyable as possible in the beginning will “make it easier for both of you in the long run.”
With all this in mind, below you’ll find some of the best summer dog boots that Amazon has to offer.
1. A Pair Of Summer Boots With Superior Traction
These Ruffwear dog boots tend to lean on the pricier side, but are a solid choice if you’re looking for high-quality materials. They feature Vibram rubber outsoles with deep treads, which are known for their gripping abilities, to provide extra traction to handle rough or slippery terrain. The upper part of the shoe is constructed from a breathable mesh material, which offers plenty of ventilation yet is woven tightly enough to keep out debris.
These shoes come in two-packs, which are great if your dog’s front and back feet vary in size. All sizes are listed according to the width of your dog’s paw, so you’ll want to get the measurement for each one first. If you find that their paws fall in between sizes, the manufacturer recommends sizing down. But rest assured, Ruffwear is a well-known brand and many reviewers have claimed they were quick to respond to any issues with returns or exchanges.
The boots have wide openings with hook-and-loop straps you can cinch down securely. This makes for an easy fit for dogs that don’t like their feet handled too much. Some reviewers have suggested pairing them with Ruffwear socks to add padding and make things more comfortable. As far as style goes, these shoes come in three different colors with reflective trims on the tops for visibility in low light. Plus, cleanup is a breeze since these shoes are machine-washable.
Promising Amazon review: “High end boots. If you’re looking for boots this is the way to go. They are breathable (we use them for the summer in AZ), and comfortable. Our pup has dew claws and we use socks, he hasn’t had an issue.”
- Available sizes: 1.5 inches (2 Boots) — 3.25 inches (2 Boots)
2. A Budget-Friendly Lightweight & Breathable Boot
When you’re looking for boots with lots of ventilation, look no further than these Bark Brite dog boots. They’re made from a lightweight neoprene material with mesh-like holes to allow air to easily flow through. The bottom soles are made of “puncture-resistant” rubber to protect from sharp objects and hot pavement. One reviewer noted that they feel “almost like a stretchy sock with a rubber sole. Not clunky or heavy, yet super protective for the paw pads.”
Some reviewers found the sizing a bit larger than expected, but many reviewers have successfully contacted the seller to return for a different size. Keep in mind these shoes are meant to be flexible and expand — but to help keep them secure, each shoe comes with two elastic reflective straps on top to adjust the shoe for a secure fit. There’s also a slight slit on the back of the shoe to easily slide the shoes on and off. One reviewer reported, “These stay on and open wide enough to get his paws in each one easily.”
Promising Amazon review: “The quality of these boots were definitely better than what I thought they would be! It’s a neoprene type material with holes to provide ventilation for your dog paws. And then the sole is a rubber material to provide grip and protection from hot pavement. I have a lot of sidewalks around my neighborhood so I need to protect my fur baby from the hot Texas summers! I did have to kind of learn how tight I needed to strap the boots on. Once I figured it out it was easy. And they look so cute on!!”
- Available sizes: Small — XXL
3. A Best-Selling Pair Of Water-Resistant Dog Boots
Rated as a best-selling choice on Amazon, these protective dog booties are made with durability in mind. Their anti-slip soles can protect against sharp stones and gravel — one reviewer noted, “We go to the beach daily and also walk on a lot of rocks and these have been great.” Although these are the only dog shoes on this list that don’t incorporate mesh or ventilation holes, they’re worth considering for their versatility. The water-resistant nylon and polyester design works across the seasons, according to reviewers. One fan noted, “I wanted to find booties that will work year round, so I didn't want them to be too thick, and these are perfect!!”
The small yellow paw print embroidered on the outside of each shoe helps to distinguish between left and right boots. When it comes to fit, these shoes offer a “wide split seam” at the top that allows for extra stretch (perfect for dogs with thicker legs). Plus, they come with reflective straps to adjust the fit and offer extra visibility at night. The manufacturer doesn’t list a specific guarantee or warranty, but reviewers have claimed it is quick to respond and great at helping with sizing issues. These boots come in four colors: black, pink, red, and vibrant cheetah print. To clean, the manufacturers suggest hand-washing and setting them outside to air dry.
Promising Amazon review: “Bought these for my dog to wear hiking as the gravel seemed to be bothering his feet. After a week of slowly training him to let me put them on and wear them, we took him out on a hike to test, and he seemed to love them! [...] They've got good non slip grip on the bottom, and stayed on for over an hour while we hiked without needing any readjustment. He hiked longer than he has in ages - apparently it was his feet that were slowing him down! [...] So glad we tried these for him!”
- Available sizes: 2.4 x 1.7 — 3.3 x 2.9 inches (length x width)
Dr. Jessica Bell, Veterinarian and Clinical Assistant Professor for the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Community Practice
Kellie Stevens, Certified Trainer for Gonzo Dog in NYC