Many owners think using boots is stupid, while many believe it is necessary gear for dogs. Well, like with every other gear, the answer is: it depends.
Different boots can be used for many reasons, such as protecting the paws on hot or very cold pavement or preventing the paws from drying out while walking on salted roads over the winter. Many also use them on icy snow when the dog's paws would get cuts, or in powdery snow if it tends to get stuck on the paws. It can also be used inside if a dog has arthritis or slides around a lot on the floor.
Some dog's paws are just more sensitive than others, so you have to know your dog and see how they can handle different terrain and temperatures.
We wrote an article about things to keep in mind when using boots on hikes over the summer since there are just as many pros as cons around the topic. If you want to read more on the subject, head over to our Articles page!
The best is always to follow the sizing guide on the product site. Measuring your dog's paws is the easiest if you put their paws on a paper, lift the opposite leg to put weight on the leg you are trying to measure and draw lines on both sides of the paw. You can measure the distance on the paper later without stressing the dog with it. It is always recommended to measure all paws! Commonly, the front paws are wider than the back ones, but the opposite can also be true for some dogs.
You have to figure out how tight and snug they have to be for the optimal fit. Many think that leaving the straps looser or ordering one size bigger will make the boots comfier for the dog, but if you have ever tried to hike in oversized boots, you know it's not true. If the paws are sliding around in the shoes, the dog will lose balance much easier, and the boots will chafe their paws much faster, so you want to measure it as precisely as possible.
The QUMY boots were the first boots we have ever purchased for Mia - way before starting Dog Gear Review. We used them on many hikes on very rough terrain over maybe a year. Unfortunately, we haven't documented the boots’ tear and wear as we would do it now since we haven't expected to show it to anyone, but we will tell you about all our experiences. The high-quality photos in this post were taken of the second set that we purchased later, but we didn't use them long enough for the same tear to show up on them.
These boots have a durable, rugged sole bottom, and the top is made of a water-resistant, sturdy material. The shoes aren't too rigid, they allow some flexibility, but the bottom is strong enough to protect the paws from sharp objects like rocks on a hike or broken glass on the streets. The grooved soles provide some traction, but of course, it is not the same as using their claws, so be careful not to let them run around off-leash on slippery surfaces or steep trails with the boots on.
The inside of the boots are not overly soft, but they have a fleece kind of layer. This helps make it comfier, but after a few use, dirt will start building up in them. The sewing is visible inside, but it isn't sticking out much; they weren't chafing Mia's paws.
The boots’ material is waterproof, but if they step in deeper water, it will soak through the sewing needle holes. We also experienced that the top material became less water-resistant as the boots broke in over multiple hikes. These boots aren't great for extended use in hot weather because the material isn't breathable, so the dog's paws get hot and dump quickly. Dogs also cool down by sweating on their paws, so restricting this with a waterproof material has its risks if used for an extended period.
Disclaimer: Although the design seems symmetrical, we just discovered that you supposed to put the boots on with the yellow paw prints facing outward (not like on many of our photos, haha). We wouldn't think this would make any difference in practice but wanted to put this information out there.
We used the first set on hikes for a year before the velcro straps started to rip and not stick. The problem wasn't only the velcro sides not sticking to each other, but the reflective top straps also started peeling. Below you see the photo after a few more serious hikes. You can already see that the sides of the reflective cover started to peel. This quickly resulted the surface of the reflective cover to scratch, break in, tear and peel, which made it hard to use the thin velcro strap under it. For some reason, this also caused the hook and loop strap on the top fastener to open up regularly.
Besides our troubles with the straps, the boots worked well for us: they protected Mia's feet and never fell off. The bottom part is not slippery, so she could climb big rocks while wearing them without sliding much. Since they aren't entirely waterproof, we wouldn't say it's an excellent rainboot, but they work well for hiking on rough terrain on dry and not too hot days.
We also used it during the winter; it helped a lot with sharp ice/icy snow. In deep snow, some snow always goes in from the top and melts into the boots, so it isn't great to keep the paws dry. Be prepared that they have to be quite tight to stay on - tighten than how you will try first.
These boots worked well for Mia, but it's hard to review any boot because there are so many factors that are just based on each dog. Even though this was a good fit for Mia, it might be too snug or sit too high or be too short for your dog. One of the most important things to check is that the top of the boot isn't touching the carpal pads on the front paws because that can cause serious chafing.
To be fair, the boots’ design is very similar to the Truelove TLS3961 Boots that we reviewed before while they did use slightly different materials.
The top material of the QUMY boots seems less waterproof and maybe more breathable than the one used for the Truelove boots. We were unable to find information on the exact material used for either of them, so this is more our feeling than a fact.
The main difference between the two boots is the velcro straps. The bottom one behaved similarly on both while we had some trouble with the top strap of the QUMY boots, as we discussed already.
The main takeaway is that there are no boots that would be great for all climates and all activities. The product's site says that these boots can be used on hot pavement, hikes, and winter walks in the city. They work well for all of these if you use them for a shorter period, but if you look for something specifically for more extended use on the hot summer days, we would recommend one made from a more breathable material.
While the reflective top straps are very visible, it was also the weakest point of the QUMY boots. The bottom straps also have a reflective lining in them, so we feel having two of those instead would solve this problem while still providing visibility.
Altogether these are functional boots for the price. If you need something that you would use for weeks at a time for a rough terrain trip, we would suggest going with another boot. If you just want to have it on you as a backup for hikes, use it for short outings on hot pavement, or put them on for the trails’ roughest parts, they can be a good choice over the more expensive ones.
You can buy these boots through Amazon. Mia needed size 5, but be sure to carefully check the size chart and measure your dog's paws (all four!) when ordering one for your dog!