This boot comparison was done in partnership with Backcountry K9. They provided Ruffwear Summit Trex, Hurtta Outbacks, and Ultrapaws Durable for us to test and compare, and we also tried out a set of Muttluks All Weather back in the summer. At the end of the test, we gave away all but our favorite pair. If you missed the boots test introduction and comparison table, check it out here.
Robin’s Ultrapaws Durable are size Petite (1.25″) and X-Small (1.75″) in black.
Price: $31.95 – $34.95
Sizing and colors: 1.25″, 1.75″, 2.25″, 2.75″, 3.25″, 4″ in black and red/black
Unfortunately, Robin absolutely hated these boots. I was disappointed, since they have ingenious foam ankle pads that cushion the legs and would probably have helped with his dew claw blisters. I think his displeasure largely stemmed from the lack of grip, since he was willing to play fetch indoors and would grudgingly walk on a sidewalk, but would not move on the trail. Plenty of dogs wear Ultrapaws happily, but Robin’s right that these aren’t suited for steep terrain, although they’re great for snow.
The Ultrapaws Durable boots are very basic in design. They’re flat, unlike the molded-style Hurtta Outbacks and Ruffwear Summit Trex, with a “Toughtek” plastic sole on the bottom side, a densely woven water-resistant nylon upper, and two ankle straps. They’re similar in shape to the Muttluks All Weather, but they’re finished better: the inside seams are covered with seam tape, although they are somewhat bulky inside the boot. The Durables’ most interesting design factor is the addition of interior foam pads at the ankle, one on the front and one on the back, to cushion the leg and help grip the ankle.
Three of the four boot models (including these) fit snugly at the top to seal out snow and sand; the Durables do so via a two-strap system. The bottom strap is a cinch-style where the strap threads through a ring and doubles back on itself, which is the most secure type of strap and the easiest to tighten. The upper strap doesn’t double back, but it has enough hook and loop surface area to stay securely fastened. Having two straps is extra valuable if your dog is slogging through deep snow, since they reduce your chances of having to dig for a lost boot.
Grip is low on these boots, which aren’t designed for heavy trail use. Ultrapaws does make a more durable version, the Rugged, which has a recycled tire sole and a “Toughtek” toe cap, but they start at 2.25″.
Unlike the other brands, these boots actually came in Robin’s exact sizes, 1.25″ and 1.75″, but even so, the flat construction made them seem larger than they are. The back boots fit fairly well, but the front boots could double as flippers. I think the size and flappiness of these boots was one main factor in Robin’s hatred for them, the lack of tread being the other.
Because the “Toughtek” sole material covers the whole underside of the boot, it actually seemed harder for his foot to bend in these than in the foot-shaped construction of the molded style boots, and they slowly worked their way down his feet, though they typically stayed on. I don’t think this would be a problem on larger paws, and it was less of an issue on his back feet, where the boot size was more appropriate.
The foam pads are my favorite part of the design, and I’d love to add them to all of the other models. It’s easier to cinch down the boot without worrying about cutting off circulation, and they didn’t seem to put pressure on Robin’s dew claws.
Trail: The Ultrapaws Durables might do for a flat trail or a fire road, but they are a poor choice for steep, rocky, or narrow trails. They offer very little grip, and Robin struggled with footing for the few steps he did take on the trail. Their thin plastic soles are not really designed for rocks, or for many miles.
Snow: These boots are perfectly suited to snow, since they have velcro closures right at the top to seal out snow (see above) and the fasteners are quick and easy. Grip isn’t too important in snow, but watch for slick patches. If you’re covering mixed winter terrain with a lot of ice or pavement, rubber soles like those on the Hurtta Outbacks might do better.
Street: The Durables do fine on the street, but won’t last too long with a lot of pavement use. Their soles can be extended with a product like Freesole Shoe & Boot Repair if they are the best fit option for your dog, but consider shoes with more durable rubber soles like the Ruffwear Summit Trex or Hurtta Outbacks. For occasional street use, the Durables are a great, economical option.
Indoors: None of the boots in this lineup will do badly indoors, but the Ultrapaws are one of the quietest and seemed to be grippier than the Muttluks. These are a great option for dogs struggling with slick hardwoods.
Build quality: 4/5
The boots are well made, with solid construction and good stitching. The nylon and straps are sturdy and fairly durable. The raw edges on the inside are covered, but still angle toward the feet and could cause abrasions depending on the fit of the boots, so I’d prefer to see flat seams or a lining. The Durables don’t feel like they’re designed to last the way that the molded-style boots do, but the lives of the soles can be extended using a sole repair product and they’re the most economical of the four.
These are a great boot for trekking through snow if the available sizes are close to your pup’s paw sizes. The straps are simple, yet effective, and with two straps they’re less likely to get lost in deep snow than single-strap boots. They’re also economical, so a boot loss won’t be as much of a financial hit. Since they’re not grippy enough for trails, they would never really have been a great option for us, but if we ever move somewhere snowy I would try them again.
Best for: Snow, indoor use, flat and safe trails
Not ideal for: Steep or rocky trails