Ultra Paws is a company that was created to sell dog sledding equipment and gear. Later they started offering a broader selection of products that are suitable for all active dogs. Today they have many different types of boots, coats, vest, and many other products on their website that worth checking out ;)
Many owners think using boots is stupid, while many believe it is necessary for all dogs. Well, like with every other gear, the answer is: it depends.
Different boots can be used for different 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 between the toes. It can also be used inside if a dog has arthritis or slides around a lot on the floor.
Some dogs 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 feet 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 shoes will chafe their paws much faster, so you want to measure it as precisely as possible.
These boots were designed for active dogs who need extra protection on asphalt, snow, or from the salt on the streets over the winter. They have recycled tire soles, which are 50% thicker than their similarly designed Ultra Paws Durable boot. The top red material is a water-resistant and durable nylon material, while the other parts are from a skid-resistant and flexible tire material.
The design is brilliant and shows that they paid attention to all details. One of the great features is that the boots are “cut in” on the sides, so the top has a wider opening. If you ever struggled to get your dog's paws into boots, you know how important this is.
The boot's back also has a small loop where the top velcro strap goes through to keep the shoes in place better, even when they run around.
Many dogs have trouble wearing boots because the back of the boots press against their carpal pads, chafing them. A smart detail is that the back of these boots is lower, leaving more room for the carpal pads.
These boots’ unique feature is the soft foam panels inside that cushions the dog's foot when the boot is tightened. This protects the paws from chafing and also helps to keep the shoes in place.
We used these boots for multiple hikes and are happy with their durability! There is a recommendation on their website that you can easily apply Shoe Goo to patch small holes or cracks if the sole of the boots would start to wear down, but we haven't had any problems like that so far. It's also great that you can wash them in the washing machine in a cold cycle (but don't put them in the drier)!
The foam panels make the boots a little bulkier, and first, Mia wasn't happy about wearing them. She needed a few minutes to get used to the weird feeling, but she happily runs around in them ever since.
The foam pads and the double velcro straps make these boots stay on well, but this also means that it takes some time to get them on. The boots have a wide opening, but the foam pads still make it hard to fit the paws for the first try. You have to be especially careful if your dog has dewclaws, but that's true for every boot. Once you managed to put the shoes on, you still have to fix all the straps - and don't forget to pull one through the back loop on the boots!
It usually took me a good 5-10 minutes to put them on, adjust them, let Mia walk around a little, and re-adjust them for the best fit. This isn't a problem if you are heading out for a hike, but it might be a little too time-consuming if you would like to use it for a quick city walk on the salt during the winter.
The straps on Mia's boots were longer than needed, which seems to be true for their fit on most dogs. This is only a problem because they will have an easier time opening up with time. We know that some people put tape or vet wraps around the boots’ straps to keep them in place for long outings, which seems to be a good solution.
These boots’ design around the paws seems to be a little broader and more flat than most others we have used so far, and the bottom is also a little flexible, not a rigid sole. These help the dog to the dog to get a better grip on a steep trail's rocky surfaces.
While the sole is excellent to prevent slipping during the warmer months, they do not provide any traction on ice - as most boots. Be careful when using it on slippery surfaces because the dog will have a more challenging time getting a grip, and they can fall and hurt themself on an icy trail or even while running around on your driveway covered with ice.
Altogether these boots worked very well for us! First, I was concerned that the foam panels would make it too bulky, and Mia will not be comfortable walking around in them for long, but once she got used to them, she wasn't bothered by them at all. The foam panels also add some padding to keep the dewclaws from rubbing; there were no signs of chafing on the outer side of them at all after the hikes.
The only thing to consider is that they can be time-consuming to put on the dog - even with Mia, who knows she has to stand still while I'm working on her boots. If you have a pup who wiggles around before heading out for a walk, you might want to choose a more straightforward design with one strap on each boot. If you need something that you will use for long walks and hikes, these Ultrapaws boots seem to be a comfortable and durable option!
For reference, Mia needed their Small size, which is currently the smallest size of this design. They keep extending their sizing chart, so hopefully, you can fit smaller dogs in them soon.