The heat of summer has gone, and cold weather is here. I was in the market for dog boots that would work well on the road and in the snow. We don't get a lot of snow here, in Alabama, but I wanted a boot that would fit both jobs, just in case.
As usual, when I'm looking for gear for my dogs, I turned to Ruffwear. They offer three different types of boots. The Grip Trex, Summit Trex, and Polar Trex. Right off the bat I threw out the Polar Trex. As I mentioned before, not much snow in my area.
Next I looked at the Grip Trex and was very happy to find out the sole was designed by Vibram. It looked like a great shoe but didnt have a gaiter to keep out debris. We do a lot of trail running, and while I didn't plan on having my dog wear shoes on the trail unless there is snow or ice, I still wanted to be able to keep any type of debris out of his shoes.
Lastly, I looked at the Summit Trex. It doesn't have the Vibram sole but does have a gaiter. Ruffwear describes the Summit Trex like this:
"Summit Trex dog boots provide everyday traction and paw protection from extreme temperatures, abrasive surfaces, and salt or other snowmelt chemicals. The Ruffwear-designed outsole provides flexible traction while an integrated stretch gaiter protects legs and locks out dirt and debris."
Sounded just about perfect for what I was looking for so I pulled the trigger and purchased a set.
When they arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they come with a little bag to keep them all together. I was worried that my dog wouldn't like wearing them (we've all seen those hilarious videos) but after fumbling around in them for just a few minutes, he accepted his fate and wore them as if they were not even there.
Adjusting the velcro straps can be difficult. Not too tight but not so loose that they fall off. I played it by ear on the first go around and let him walk around the house for a little while. One came off fairly soon but I put it back on, tightened the straps a little and seem to have found the perfect adjustment.
Our first road run with his new Summit Trex shoes was a success! He ignored them and trotted along happy as ever. We didn't even loose one on the three mile run.
When we got done, I took off the shoes and checked his pads and ankles, where the gaiter sits. Normally, with even just a short road run he would have significant wear on his pads. They would be smooth, when normally they are quite rough. I was excited to find no wear on his pads and no problems around his ankles.
These shoes look like they are going to perform exactly they way I wanted them to. Only a few minor things could make these shoes any better and I am very happy with them. We haven't had our first snow fall yet but I am excited to see how they perform in those conditions.