What are the best dog shoes for summer? Does my dog need shoes?

Protective shoes for dogs! Why dog’s need shoes and dog shoe comparison guide

Dog shoes, they are adorable, super cute and eye catching but they can serve a purpose too. Let’s go over the facts of what you need to know before getting your dog his or her first pair of sneakers.

Why do dogs need shoes?

Do dogs need shoes every day like us? No, for the most part no (not taking into account pets with injuries that use them for different reasons). It actually can be detrimental to put shoes on your dog daily or for long periods, see our section below on dogs sweating. But there are many select reasons that shoes can be useful.

Allergies: Dogs with grass allergies may benefit from wearing shoes while at the park and romping in the grass. For dogs with not as severe allergies try wiping down paws with something like malacetic wipes after walks and see if it helps.

Hot ground: If the ground is too hot for your dog then dog shoes are a great way to protect those paw pads while your dog is joining you on adventures, remember to look at temperatures to see if it is simply too hot for your dog to join at all… heat stroke is not a joke and can be deadly in dogs. Don’t know how to check the ground temperature, take the back of your hand if you can’t leave it on the ground for 5 full seconds then it’s too hot for your pup and time for the dog booties.

Hiking: We also use dog shoes hiking when their paw pads are getting bit sensitive, I request check their pads to see if they are swollen or worn down. 

Protection: When filming The Pack for Amazon we used dog boots in areas where there were thorns (Italy episode) and other prickly items on the ground to prevent any of the dogs from getting injuries. I use dog shoes at my horse shows when there are tons of foxtails out, this prevents the foxtails from getting stuck in his paws which can be extremely dangerous. 

Rainy days: One of my dog’s hates going out after the rain if the ground is wet, he’s a bit of a spoiled LA dog, but throw on his booties and he’s good to go pee outside.

In the snow: Booties can prevent snow from building up between paw pads and causing irritation. 

Senior dogs: I have a friend whose senior dog drags one of his hind feet, some time in his boots help protect his paws.

But there are times when we shouldn’t be using shoes:

It’s important to note that while good quality dog shoes have tread on them dogs can often get more traction when they are able to use their claws, which is why we didn’t use dog booties in the snow episodes of The Pack. 

Don’t forget dogs need to sweat!

While dog shoes can help save our dogs paws from burns it’s important to take them off once our dogs are inside, dogs sweat through their feet so allowing your dogs paws to breathe is really essential too!

How to measure your dog for shoes

Most dogs have different sized front and back paws.  This is how I easily measure dogs for shoes:

  1. Get a piece of paper, a pencil or pen and your dog ready. 
  2. Put out the paper and have your dog stand on it, I then lift the opposite paw – this forces the toes to splay out and ensure you’re not getting too small of a size (plus, it makes it easier to measure). 
  3. Now take your pencil (or pen) and draw a line on each side of your dogs paw. 
  4. Measure from line to the other line for your dogs foot measurement in inches, compare to the shoe brand you are buying.

Our favorite dog shoes for summer and hiking

RifRuf dog shoes

RifRuf: (Rifruf coupon code below) This is probably my top pick for cuteness and functionality. Think doggy high top sneakers!

We use these for hot pavement mostly. I love the shape, the traction and the fit of these.

Take 15% off with Rifruf coupon code Maggierossi

Ruffwear griptrex

Ruffwear GripTrek: Our Ruffwear boots are my go to for hiking and adventures (and Rossi’s paddington bear dog costume). These are also the shoes we used on The Pack.

They don’t come super tiny, see Muttlucks and walkee paws below for smaller paws, but they do go up to huge sizes for the big pups!


Muttlucks: Muttlucks are another favorite of mine. These are the dogs shoes I find that fit small dogs really well!

These also fit dogs with dew claws, like Maggie. I use the mud monsters for Maggie.


WalkeePaws: These are what I use at horse shows and would be great for someone living in the snow or rainy environment that needs something quick to take their dog outside briefly. They are all connected and you just slip your dogs paws into them; which means loosing a shoe is a thing of the past which is one of the reasons I absolutely love these. I also find that dogs get adjusted to these very quickly.

These are great for dogs that don’t like shoes, tiny dogs, you don’t have the time to train your dog to wear shoes or your dog likes to loose shoes. I find these are the easiest for dogs to adjust to quickly

At horse shows we are running around, walking the cross country course, etc. These are super fast to put on and they don’t get lost ever, which work out perfect for my horse show adventures with Rossi. Save 15% off WalkeePaws with coupon code NICOLE35401

Have fun with your pup in his or her new shoes!

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