Saturday, March 15, 2014

Product Review: Neo-Paws Summer Reinforced Energy Orthopaedic Shoes

Neo-Paws Summer Reinforced Energy Orthopaedic Shoes are protective dog boots designed for active dogs in hot weather. These are used for police and military dogs, search and rescue, agility, hiking, and anything involving water.

Photo by Erin Koski
These are unlike any dog boots I have seen before, and they are sure to perform better as well. Neo-Paws makes a number of different types of boots, and these are their top-of-the-line summer model. Made from breathable fabric, the boots dry quickly and help keep the dog from overheating. They are reinforced with leather in the most vulnerable parts of the uppers, and have reinforced toe caps as well. These shoes are made from the same materials as human running shoes.

Neo-Paws boots go on a little differently from other boots I've tried. Most have a zipper, velcro strap, or both. The Neo-Paws have a long, skinny strip of velcro that acts almost like a shoelace. The result is a custom fit for every dog. These boots can be fitted to avoid the carpal pads, to keep pressure off a sore spot, and to conform to the exact shape of the dog's foot and leg. Other dog shoes don't have this option, if the strap is too low or too high it can put pressure on the dewclaw, cause sores, or just slip off easily.

Brisbane tears up his carpal pads whenever he plays ball on grass. He likes to catch the ball and then skid to an abrupt stop, shredding the pads on the backs of his front legs in the process. I ended up buying him some skid boots to protect his legs from the grass, because his Ruffwear boots and Epiks wouldn't stay on. These are the first boots I've seen that look like they would protect that part of his legs and maybe stay on through his crazed ball-catching antics.

I actually bought these at a thrift store for $5 in brand new condition. They are a size XL, and I was hoping to use them for Josie because she drags both back feet and also one of her front paws. Unfortunately they are too big, so I passed them along to a coworker for her dog Guinness. He paces a lot, and his front pads can't handle the wear and tear. After reading the instructions on how to put them on just right, the Neo-Paws stayed on just fine.

The trick is to pull the inside of the flap up and tight against the dog's leg, and then pull the outside flap down and around the first flap. After that the velcro can be wrapped however works best for the individual dog.

Guiness didn't do any damage to his feet while wearing the Neo-Paws boots. Of course, he was also much less active in them. Something about wearing shoes makes a lot of dogs mopey.

Pros: Custom fitting with unique velcro wrap design, Tall boot design protects more of the leg. Breathable mesh dries quickly. Sold in pairs to allow for different sizes to be ordered for front and back feet.

Cons: These are only sold in pairs, so they are among the most expensive dog shoes out there. Putting them on is slightly more complicated than boots of a simpler design.

Bottom Line: These are pretty amazing, and I will probably get Brisbane a pair for his front feet instead of replacing his holey skid boots.

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