|Article Author: Dog Clothes Review - A Merryvaluation by Angie McKaig|
It wasn't too long ago that there were only a couple of styles of dog boots on the market, and wihle they may have been functional, there wasn't much style... or ease of use, for that matter.
Luckily, it's a whole new doggy boot world out there and there are more styles, colors and fabrics than you can shake a stick at (get it? shake a stick? dog? oh... never mind). As cute as they are, it's always good to keep in mind that boots are also highly useful particularly for city dogs. Our street, for example, uses a sheer ton of salt every winter and that's very destructive on the paws - in fact, Merry won't walk more than a half-dozen steps on our salt-lined streets without a pair of boots on. Boots give her the freedom to get out and enjoy the cold, bright winter air.
The kind folks at Funny Fur sent us not one, not two, but three Doggy Style Design brand boots to try out. Faux fur trimmed dog boots in pink, Ribbon Bow dog boots (also in pink), and black dog hiker boots. Merry wears a size 3 in each of the styles reviewed below.
The first set - the faux fur trimmed boots, so cute! - are perfect for winter wear. Crafted from a combination of light pink pleather and deeper pink microsuede, the boots are topped with a white faux fur trim. The interior is lined with a black fleece to help keep tiny paws a little warmer during the really cold months. Like many boots of this style, the tongue is fastened to one side with a couple of stitches, allowing easy-on, easy-off. A zip runs up the front of the shoe from the sole to the boot top and a strip of velcro-lined microsuede wraps around the dog's foot to help keep the boot in place.
The outside of each boot features the letters "DS" embroidered on the side. The sole is black rubber, with slightly deeper treads to help grip on snow and ice.
Fit of these is fairly standard, though we did find the faux fur section to be a little more snug around Merry's ankles than non-fur versions of this type of boot. If your pooch has "thick ankles", you might want to try a style without the fur.
The ribbon bow dog boots in pink were absolutely adorable dog clothing. The outer boot is made completely from pink pleather with white backing. Inside, the boot isn't lined, but isreinforced around the base of the shoe to help make it sturdier.
The back of the boot is gathered with elastic, allowing for easier on-off access. Instead of a zip/velcro combination, these boots fasten like 80's running shoes: two thick velcro strips run across the rise of the boot. The bottom, thicker velcro strip features a pink pleather bow. Honestly, I loved the velcro idea - I think it's fabulous, and means that you're less likely to spend time struggling with zippers with a wriggling pup in your lap. Can more boot manufacturers work on this, please?
However, be warned that these boots fit wide. For some dogs, that would work wonderfully - if your pooch has a clearly defined "foot" at the base of their ankle, with a wide flare, this is definitely the boot for them. For Merry, though, she has narrow little feet, which meant she swam a little in them, even though they were the right length. With the nature and size of the boot, you don't have a huge amount of leeway with the velcro. But they're so darned cute that she wears them anyway; just not for really long walks. :)
Finally, the black dog hiker boots were our "Goldilocks moment" - these boots were juuuust riiiight and fit Merry without any snugness or looseness. I loved this style of boots. Built from black microsuede and black nylon with black zips and velcro, they're simplicity. While they're not hugely padded inside, they do have a slim nylon lining, and they're just perfectly shaped and organized and built for winter wear, in my opinion. They fit like gold, and let's be honest: black is infinitely practical, given the muck and goop and salt and sand and funky blue stuff that people put out in the winter (oh, you crazy Californians and Floridians... I can see you scratching your heads. Don't worry - consider yourself lucky to not know what I'm talking about). The boots feature the full-length zip and velcro ankle strip fasteners like the faux fur boots above.
The sole is interesting. While it doesn't have the deeper treads of the fur-lined boot, it does have one feature that's even more interesting to me: an extra piece of rubber at the heel that helps the boots (and the wearer) to stand up straight during wear. It's hard to explain if you haven't ever seen this type of boots before. Basically, dog boots built in this style have a heel shaped like the letter r - it's flat across the bottom but curved up over the back of the heel. Trouble is, this often causes your dog to "rock back" in their boots, which leads to them coming loose more quickly and also can't be 100% comfy. With this new extra piece of rubber on the sole, that doesn't happen any more.
(The ribbon bow dog boots also feature this sole - perhaps it's a newer design?)
Honestly, all three sets are to die for, and little Miss is loving her new, more protected footsies with these shoes! Funny Fur and Doggy Style Design are right on the money. (Funny Fur is an authorized retailer for Doggy Style Design products.)
You can find out more about Funny Fur from their web site at www.funnyfur.com.