Our dogs are not only man’s best friend, they are also our cure for cabin fever. While it truly is quite uplifting, winter dog walking brings with it a unique set of challenges leaving you pondering what shoes will be best for the job. Your step tracker would have you reaching for your tennis shoes, but your weather tracker just handed you a pair of slip-resistant snow boots. That can only mean one thing: you have no clue what type of footwear to wear. Let’s put tennis shoes and snow boots to the test and determine who passes and who fails.
You may be surprised, but winter snow boots actually win this canine-cardio round. Tennis shoes are simply far too lightweight and minimalistic to stand up to the challenge of a wintery dog jog. You need the sturdy, trail-ready reliability of a waterproof snow boot with great tread. The ideal boot for a winter jog will be similar to a high top sneaker, but with significantly more winter weather worthy features — traction being #1 on the list.
No surprises here. Heading off the beaten path with your puppy pal during the winter months will require a good pair of winter hiking snow boots. You can leave those sneakers in the shoe closet yet again. Because it’s sometimes hard to know where the trail will lead you, wear waterproof snow boots designed for walking long distances in deep snow. Ankle support and deep treads will be the two most important features these winter snow boots have to offer. A solid pair of snow pants and some good hand warmers are also important must-haves for long winter hikes.
If running and hiking is of no interest to your pampered pooch, your dog walking route can probably be drawn without ever crossing over your lot line. Wearing tennis shoes to walk your dog in your own backyard is fine, right? Nope, wrong. Winter snow boots work best even on short walks. A pac boot with a high shaft to keep your leg warm will be better suited for taking your dog yard walking than tennis shoes because these winter snow boots are built with extra insulation.
You, your four legged friend, and your physician have come to a rock solid agreement: no more spontaneous spending sprees, no more rawhides under the covers, and absolutely no more skipping your daily walk. The three of you shook on it and everything. So, it’s official. The only thing left to do is lace up your tennis shoes...Wait! Unfortunately, your walking shoes won’t even do for 20 minute sidewalk excursions during the winter. Once again, you’ll want to wear slip-resistant snow boots instead. They’ll give you the traction you’ll need while walk through all of the snow, ice, and salt that make slushy winter sidewalks more hazardous than you may have expected.
At this point you may need to just consider those tennis shoes of yours to be on a bit of a winter vacation because they’ll be of no use to you until after the spring thaw. By then you and your fur baby will be splashing through sloppy mud puddles and dodging raindrops during your walks...Tennis shoes aren’t exactly reliable spring dog walking footwear either, now are they? Cue the rain boots, dog lovers. While watching your pooch play in the rain puddles as the weather starts to get warm may be your favorite sight, walking through the front door drenched head to toe is not the greatest feeling. A warm, waterproof pair of rain boots and an adorable rain jacket are springtime musts!