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Ruffwear is an outdoor dog gear brand based in Bend, Oregon, founded in 1994. The company is dedicated to creating gear for outdoor adventures and is guided by performance, adventure, and sustainability principles. They are committed to conducting business to maximize the good they can do in the world while being conscious of their impact on the planet.

Do dogs need boots?

The question of whether dogs need boots is a common one among pet owners. The answer, however, isn’t straightforward as it varies from dog to dog and depends on various factors.

Different types of boots serve different purposes. For example, boots can protect a dog’s paws from extreme temperatures, such as hot pavement or cold snow. They can also prevent paw drying and cracking caused by salted roads during winter walks. Additionally, boots can provide traction on slippery indoor surfaces and protect paws from sharp objects on rocky terrain.

The decision to use boots ultimately comes down to your dog’s needs and sensitivities. Some dogs may require boots more than others, depending on their breed, size, age, and health conditions. Observing your dog’s behavior and how they react to different terrains and temperatures is essential to determine if boots are necessary.

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. We also have another article on the different types of winter boots, the differences between summer vs. winter boots, and much more.

To read more educational posts, check out our Articles page!

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Polar Trex Boots

Innovative dog boots

Warm and sturdy winter boots for dogs with the unique addition of an elastic gaiter.

Disclaimer: this review contains affiliate links, which support Dog Gear Review if you purchase the product after clicking on it without costing you anything extra. Using affiliate links will never compromise us in writing unbiased, honest reviews!

What size of boots does my dog need?

When choosing the right size of boots for your dog, it’s essential to follow the sizing guide provided by the manufacturer. Most companies provide sizing instructions on their product site, so be sure to check before purchasing.

Place a sheet of paper on the ground to measure your dog’s paws accurately and have your dog stand on it. Lift the opposite leg to put weight on the paw you want to measure and draw lines on both sides. You can then measure the distance on the paper later without causing any stress to your dog.

Some companies ask for the paw’s width, while others size based on the paw’s length, so it’s crucial to check the sizing guide for each brand. It’s recommended to measure all of your dog’s paws since the front paws may differ in width from the back paws. You also need to ensure a snug fit, as loose-fitting boots can cause your dog to lose balance and chafe their feet.

Avoid the misconception that leaving the straps looser or ordering a larger size will make the boots more comfortable for your dog. Just like hiking in oversized boots, ill-fitting shoes can cause discomfort and pain for your pet. Therefore, aim for the most precise measurement possible for optimal comfort and performance.

Ruffwear Polar Trex Winter Dog Boots Review

The Polar Trex dog snow boots are designed to provide warmth, traction, and protection for the paws during the winter. Available in eight sizes and a single color, and sold in sets of two recognizing that many dogs have wider front paws than the rear.

The Polar Trex boots feature a hook-and-loop closure that cinches at the narrowest part of the dog’s leg, securing a snug fit. The unique feature of these boots is that they also have a stretch gaiter made of spandex that can be zipped over the closure to prevent snow build-up.

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The elastic gaiter with the zipper open.

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Gaiter fully closed vs rolled down

Crafted with an insulated softshell upper, these boots ensure breathable, weatherproof warmth even in extreme cold and inclement conditions. The Vibram® Icetrek™ outsole, created by Ruffwear, is engineered to offer traction on frozen surfaces while serving as a barrier against cold and snow-melt chemicals. Additionally, the boots incorporate reflective trim for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions.

Ruffwear Polar Trex Dog Boots Review | Dog Gear Review

I love the material and design of these boots as snow going into the boots can be an issue in deep powder. If the dog walks in snow that has an ice layer on top, the sharp ice edges also tend to cut up and wear down the velcro strap of similar boots. The elastic gaiter section solves both of these problems!

My only complaint about this solution is that it takes forever to put on the four boots on Zulu’s tiny legs when the process also includes rolling down and then securing the gaiters. Zulu is wearing their smallest 1.5" size; I imagine this process is getting easier as you size up. Struggling with the straps, tiny zippers, and tiny paws before heading out was a time-consuming process for us. I would still do it for a longer walk/hike where she needs to wear boots, but for us it doesn’t make sense for a quick walk.

Ruffwear Polar Trex Dog Boots Review | Dog Gear Review

The boots stayed on Zulu well. The gaiter section also helps to prevent the velcro straps from getting dirty and opening up over time which will limit the chances of losing the boots.

Zulu had no issues with chafing while wearing them but Ruffwear recommends using their boots with Bark n Boot Liners to make them more comfortable.

As with every boot that has a solid sole, keep in mind that dogs lose the traction their nails would provide, therefore try limiting off-leash time and running around on slippery grounds especially on steep trails as they can more easily slip and injure themself.

Ruffwear Polar Trex Dog Boots Review | Dog Gear Review

Review Summary

The Polar Trex is a well-made, innovative winter boot. The elastic gaiter section is a great way to protect the velcro straps from wearing down on icy snow or rough, rocky terrain, and they also help to keep the paws dry and warm. The sole feels durable but is somewhat flexible to provide more comfort. All materials used seem to be high-quality, and the boots are beautifully made.

This is a boot designed by people who know the pain points of using winter boots, and Ruffwear came up with creative solutions to launch a well-rounded boot for adventure dogs.

It comes in eight sizes and one color and is sold in sets of two. For reference, Zu is wearing the smallest 1.5" size.

about-image

Polar Trex Boots

Innovative dog boots

Warm and sturdy winter boots for dogs with the unique addition of an elastic gaiter.

Disclaimer: this review contains affiliate links, which support Dog Gear Review if you purchase the product after clicking on it without costing you anything extra. Using affiliate links will never compromise us in writing unbiased, honest reviews!

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