Looking for a way to protect your hound’s paws from the elements? Cold temps, scree slopes and long distances are no match for the Ruffwear Grip Trex Bark’n Boots.
Ruffwear Grip Trex Bark’n Boots Details
- Non-marking Vibram® outsole with a new, multi-directional, flexible lug design
- Adjustable closure strap
- A one-piece mud guard enhances the fit and long-term durability of the boot
- 3M™ reflective details provide low-light visibility from multiple angles
- Tightly woven air mesh keeps dirt and debris out while providing superior ventilation
- Knew-tec synthetic pigskin interior grip cuff helps keep boot on paw
Ruffwear Grip Trex Bark’n Boots Review
I will be the first person to admit that I am skeptical of the idea of dogs wearing boots. I love the idea behind keeping a dog comfortable, but Baker, my black lab/cattle dog cross, is oblivious to pain. He will hike for hours, unfazed by fatigue, varied terrain, snow, or anything else that comes along. The idea of putting boots on him almost seemed silly. And, it certainly looked stilly. Then, last summer, when we were living on the beach, Baker was running along some rocks and snagged his toenail, ripping the majority of it off. After some intense first aid, Baker was officially on activity restriction, meaning “no getting his foot wet” for 3 weeks. The idea of keeping him away from the beach for 3 whole weeks was crushing, and I began to wish that I owned a set of dog booties so that he could keep his paw dry and still have a good time. However, I lost track of that idea and forgot to pick up a set. Then, winter set in up in AK, and we had a month of single digit high temps, with lows well below -25. Baker’s cut off point seems to be about -10. He’s fine to head outside until it’s below -10, but after that he starts pulling the “flamingo” maneuver, where he runs outside, discovers how cold it is, and then pulls one leg up away from the ice, attempting to warm it.
The following spring, Ruffwear redesigned their Grip Trex Bark’n Boots and I decided to give them a try. The newly designed boots have added traction and a new design to help them stay on better, which seems to work. I did have a few incidents of loosing a boot, but fortunately, it was in the middle of the trail and I snagged it before we biked/skied/walked past it. Overall, a great design and idea. However, there’s a fine line between keeping your dog comfortable and looking just plain ridiculous. If you live in the city, and take your dog on short walks on mellow terrain, you run the risk of looking like a total bafoon if you put booties on your dog (at least in my book). Extreme cold temps, long hikes over rocky terrain, sure, that makes sense. Older dogs who need traction on hardwood floors to help them stand up? Go for it. Just to look stylish and match the sweater you just purchased for your pooch? Please don’t. Just keep that in mind as you toss shoes on your hound.
- Protects your pooches paws in a variety of terrain
- Improved fit helps boots to stay on your dogs legs, instead of on the trail
- Ruffwear realizes that you’ll have a “break-in” period with your dog and the boots. They’ve posted a great blog posting about how to deal with “The Break-In Dance,” be sure to check it out here!
- Ruffwear also sells single boots. Rejoice, those of us who frequently lose things!
- Boots can still slip off occasionally. New design helps them stay on better, but they still wiggle their way off on occasion.
The fit of the newly redesigned Bark’n Boots is better, and the idea behind them is great. Will I toss the boots on every single time I head on a hike with my dog? Probably not. Will I be super stoked that I own a pair come next January when we have 4 consecutive weeks of temps that don’t get above zero? Absolutely.