Ruff Wear Polar Tex Review

March 24, 2013
Ruff Wear Polar Tex
Ruff Wear Polar Tex 2Ruff_Wear_PolarTrex_in_the_field 3Ruff_Wear_PolarTrex_fallen_off
On Trail
Off Trail

The Good

  • Quality materials you would find in human grade products
  • Warm
  • Protects from salt
  • Durable

The Bad

  • Fall off too often
  • Cam buckle can pop open
  • May require more break in time for smaller dogs

In our experience, these booties had a real problem staying on the dogs paws. They are certainly the highest quality booties on the market—with a price to match—but even when cranked as tightly as possible, they repeatedly fell off multiple test dogs. We can’t recommend booties that don’t reliably stay on a dogs paws, no matter how well made they are.


Ruffwear put lot of thought into creating a winter boot for dogs that was sturdy and protective. They certainly accomplished that.

It is by far the most durable boot we tested. The problem is that it is tough to get them to stay on for active use. If you choose too large a size they will fall off for sure. Too small a size and the cam buckle will be right at the bend in the dog’s paw and be uncomfortable when done up tight.

I tried two different sizes to ensure that the fact that the boots kept falling off was not due to a sizing issue. I also found it to be a lot of material in the boot upper that bunches up and doesn’t lay flat against a small dog’s legs.

In my opinion, this likely wouldn’t be an issue with a larger dog. [Editor’s note: We also tested these booties on a 90-pound Bernese Mountain Dog with 3-inch paws, and the booties would not stay on, either.]

The boots require some break in time. They are quite stiff due to the Vibram sole, especially for smaller dogs. I had booties fall off several times during each walk, and the cam buckles come undone. The elastic closure on top of the boot stayed intact for me, but I suspect that if you were not gentle with this piece, it could break with heavy and repeated use.

On Trail
Get the right fit and these could work well for city and leash walking. If salt is an issue you will find these boots offer the best protection of all the boots we tested. The Vibram soles give surprisingly good traction.

Off Trail
I tried two different sizes, one that must have been too big because I could not get them to stay on. The smaller size stayed on better, but still fell off a couple times every walk and required readjusting a couple of more times. No matter how tight I did up the cam buckle, I could not get them to stay secure for a whole walk. And when I did them up too tight, my dog tried to lick at the boots in discomfort. (Plus, these booties are expensive—lose one and you’re looking at a steep replacement cost.)

The trade off for mega protection from the elements and salt is that you have a lot of heavy duty material to put on the dog’s paws. It looks like this feels weird for them at first, but they can get used to them. It should be way less of an issue for bigger dogs, but the material does not get thinner or lighter or more flexible for smaller dogs. My dog seemed to fuss when I cranked down the cam buckle in attempt to keep the boots from coming off.

These booties are at the top of the price range, but you are paying for more technology and materials than other boots we tested. Trouble is—they don’t stay on. What sort of value to you get from a top-quality boot that won’t stay on a dog’s paws? Not much, in our view. (If you loose a boot you can order a single boot for $22.50.)

The quality of materials is excellent, as with all Ruff Wear products. These boots will last a long time. The one potential weakness is the elastic drawstring closure on the top of the boot, which a dog can chew up if it wants.


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