Last update: 29/07/2018 – Issue we’ve met
We are back with a new review about the Ruffwear Grip Trex.
Before buying some boots for Musli, I did some research on the internet, but I was not completely convinced with the reviews I found. I hope this one will be comprehensive enough and if you have any questions, feel free to ask in comments below or via the contact page.
If you are only interesting by the review, skip the introduction!
I was often asked why I had bought some boots for Musli. In general, people think it’s a good idea once they know it has a real usefulness.
Musli has got very sensitive pads and every year – especially during summetime – she has some pad issues. We have tried different creams and they work, but after some hikes and evening walkies, her pads were anew cracked. I searched a lot on internet and have finally decided to buy some boots to help her on abrasive and extreme environment as well as on hot pavement and to protect her paws from chemical (salty roads…) in winter. Of course the boots won’t help her without a treatment, that’s why I continue putting cream on her pads. Here are two photos of her pad issues:
After some reasearch, my choice fell on the Grip Trex. I was looking for boots that can be used on hot, wet and cold weather; the Grip Trex were perfect for this purpose. I had other boots at home, but they fell off very quickly (5 min or so).
Here are the main differences between the Summit Trex and the Grip Trex, both from Ruffwear:
To help dog owners finding the right size, Ruffwear has created a ‘Paw Measurement Chart’. You can download it here: Ruffwear-PawMeasurementChart. (credit: Ruffwear)
I have also put the link of a video because finding the most suitable size for your dog can sometimes be a real struggle! We’ve met an issue with Musli’s size at first that caused rubbing; that’s why it is very important to find the most suitable size.
Finally, you can find an interesting blog about ‘Breaking boots in’ here. This is a very important thing to do before going for long hikes: “Yet, just like human boots, dog boots need a break-in period. To make it easy, we’ve got 6 tips for breaking in Ruffwear dog boots.” (Ruffwear)
The Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots protect dogs’ paws from extreme environment. The base of the boot is a vibram non-marking outsole with rugged lug design which provides flexibility and traction on varied terrain and does not bother the dog thanks to its pliability.
Breathable mesh upper provides ventilation and keeps dirt and debris out. The closure system is a reliable hook-and-loop cinch and gusset design provides wide opening for easy on/off. As on most of Ruffwear products, good visibility is ensured with 3M reflective trim in low-light condition.
These boots come in three colours: Red Currant, Obsidian Black and Blue Spring.
Source: Ruffwear UK
The Grip Trex boots are sold either as a set of four or two, from size 1.50 in (38 mm) to 3.25 in (83 mm).
As I have already mentioned above, it might be a bit tricky to find the right size… However Ruffwear do their best to provide different tools such as a video or the “Paw Measurement Chart”… (update) For Musli, I started by buying two different sets of two boots: 2.25 and 2.00, but finally I should have bought one set of four 2.00” boots.
- Secure fasteners
- Wash in cold water
- Gentle cycle
- Mild detergent
- Air dry
2) Construction materials
For a medium dog like Musli, I think these boots are very light, the sole is not too hard. At first she needed some time to take to the boots, but she did it well. During our walks and hikes, she runs, jumps, lies down… easily and does not seem bother in any way.
I think Bark’n Boots Liners (socks for dogs) help her a lot as they enhance the fit and also provide additional padding for dewclaws: they are indispensable as they also protect the sole of their paws from rubbing. The only disadvantage of these socks is that it takes a bit more time to put them on, but it is really worth it.
The only issue we met with these boots is rubbing, not on her dewclaws as I had read on the internet, but on her skin (see image), at one of her front foot. When Musli is walking, I noticed socks are sometimes falling down and do not protect her any more. I think it could be great if Ruffwear could add an extra cloth (see images – I had nothing else than socks to show what I mean, so not an entire sock of course – at the loop to prevent from rubbing and it might help dogs that are rubbed on dewclaw.
(update) Concerning Musli’s issue, it was a problem for my part: the 2.25″ I bought for her front feet were slightly too big and rubbed on her front legs. After trying the 2.00″ out, we had no longer rubbing and her pads were anew protected.
This is something that you can do to prevent rubbing from happening. All you need is a vetrap. The vetrap sticks to itself, but it doesn’t actually stick to a hair or anything.
Before you put the boot on, wrap the vetrap round the paw several times and then wrap it underneath the dewclaw as well.
Hot weather does not prevent us from walking in woods, and I can say breathable mesh upper provides a good ventilation: her paws were not that hot, not hotter than without boots I’d say. If we tighten them really snug, dirt and debris are keeping out.
I wouldn’t put some boots on Musli’s feet every day as they need to be rough enough, but for hiking on extreme environment, they are perfect. Ruffwear also recommand them for activities such as backpacking, mountains biking, trail running.
Sometimes when hiking, it is impossible to avoid hot pavement. We all know that might cause issues for dogs’s paws. That’s why these boots are perfect for this purpose too. I recommend always having some boots in your pack.
During one of our hike in France, I noticed how important these boots are: there were pebbles and rocks everywhere. It was hardly possible to find a path without rocks. Once we had to walk on pebbles and rocks for all the hike long and when I saw her jumping on rocky edges – especially very sharp ones – I realized she could have hurt or even torn her paws without these boots. Furthermore, it gave her extra-confidence and she was able to walk on every rocks as well as jumping on them with a confidence I didn’t know she had. As she likes water, she cooled herself more than once in waterfalls and her boots always stayed on her feet and I was afraid it could cause any rubbing or anything else, but it didn’t (at least on her sole).
4) Do you recommend this product?
Yes, I really recommend it and not only for dogs that have got very sensitive paws. I think they can really help the dog on extreme environment and at some point can give extra confidence. The sole (Vibram) works perfectly, they stay on for more than two hours. I really can’t ask for more!
Finally, to end this review in a smooth way, here is a video put together by Eva Kastelic from Slovenia. She helped me a lot when I was looking for the most suitable boots for Musli.