FR Ruff Wear Bark'n Boots Grip Trex Jo Ann Moffi
- Hi Ryan,
Here is my FR for the Bark'n Boots.
July 1, 2008
Morgan has worn the boots on our hiking and backpacking outings. Most
of our hiking and backpacking has been in the Hiawatha Highlands and
Voyageur Trail system areas in the Algoma region just outside of Sault
Ste. Marie, Ontario. These two areas have many linked trails
meandering through red and white pine old-growth forests and dense
boreal stands of jack pine and spruce linked by a network of rivers,
lakes, and wetlands. Elevations range from 225 to 315 m (738 to 1033
ft) above sea level. We have also ventured up into Lake Superior
Provincial Park, about 2 hours north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The
terrain here consists of trails similar to those found along the
Voyageur Trail with the addition of rock and pebble beaches, long
sandy stretches, and numerous stream crossings.
We hike an average of 5 km (3 mi) per week. Sometimes this would be a
2 km (1.2 mi) trek, others times it would be a 7 km (4.4 mi) trek.
Over the past two months, I estimate Morgan has worn the boots for 20
km (12,5 mi) of trails and bushwhacking. This is a very rough estimate
though, as my husband and I only walk along the our path once, but
Morgan trots and runs all over in the bush, running up ahead and
coming back to us the entire time we are on the trail. She is not
leashed when we are hiking and backpacking unless we are in a well
traveled area. A rough estimate would be her traveling 3-4 times the
distance we do depending on how interesting the bush is along the
The weather has been cool for spring; temperatures have ranged from 0
to 24 C (32 to 75 F). Although we haven't had any snow as
precipitation, there has been snow pack in the bush into early June
this year. The skies have been clear, cloudy, and dark with
thunderstorms over the field testing period.
Terrain and Footing:
Morgan has worn the boots on hard packed dirt trails, leaf and twig
strewn forest floor, large rocky beaches, sandy and small pebble
beaches, muddy and boggy areas in the bush.
The Fit of the Bark'n Boots Grip Trex:
Getting the boots on and off Morgan is pretty easy. She's used to
wearing boots, so she stands there while I stand over her and go from
foot to foot putting the boots on. She does not move as freely with
the Bark'n Boots as she does with other boots she has worn. The sole
is fairly rigid for a dog boot.
Once she starts out on the trail, she almost seems to forget she is
wearing them. I say almost because after wearing them for an hour or
more, she starts to lick at the cuff of the boot. This is her
indicating that something is not comfortable. When I take off the
offending boot or boots (it only occurs on her front legs), she licks
at her dew claw for a bit. I have examined her dew claw for signs of
irritation, but I haven't seen anything visible. When I further
inspected the fit of the boot on Morgan's leg, the cuff reaches about
a 1.25 cm (0.5 in) above her dew claw, just below the carpal pad. This
is where the manufacturer states the boot should fit, but the strap
and lash closure then rides right over top of her dew claw. In order
for the boots to stay on, they need to be snugly closed, which has
this strap tightened right over her dew claw. It seems this is ok for
a while but becomes irritating over long periods of wearing the boots.
It also seems to become more bothersome if Morgan has gone into water
with them on. The point of her licking at the cuff starts sooner.
In The Field Performance:
On our first backpacking trip of the season, Morgan wore the boots
while we bushwhacked through about 4 km (2.5 mi) of unmaintained trail
and bush. They were really put through their paces as she ran through
the bush, into muddy puddles and boggy areas, over logs and brush,
along large flat rocks near the shore of a small lake, and over
boulders. The boots performed quite well in helping Morgan keep her
footing and protecting her feet. She did have some trouble when
climbing over logs and boulders. It was like she wasn't used to the
extra centimeter or so (1/2 inch) of boot protruding beyond where her
toes would normally end. She would occasionally get her toe caught on
whatever she was climbing over.
On other hikes Morgan has worn the boots along maintained trails with
no obstacles, but I find they are unnecessary on those infrequent
occasions. Our hikes usually start out on these types of trails or
along an old logging road, and then end up bushwhacking or along
unmaintained trails. She will start out without them on then I will
put them on when we start to get into heavier terrain. Either she will
carry them in her pack or I toss them into an outside pocket in mine.
One hike we went on had us climbing over melon sized rocks along the
shores of Lake Superior. On that particular day I forgot the boots at
home. At the end of the day, Morgan's feet were sore. I was feeling
terrible that I was such a bad parent for forgetting about her feet to
when we left the house. We will definitely not be doing that again
without the Bark'n Boots!
Other than the boots being very dirty, they are holding up very well.
There aren't any areas of excessive wear, stitching coming loose, or
other issues. Morgan does not try to chew or pull at them to get them
off, but she is obviously has no concern for being careful with the
boots. They are well engineered and manufactured.
- Doh, just got this!! Luckily I'm fast.
Nice report Jo Ann, good html too. Just a couple tiny edits:
>This is a very rough estimateEDIT: the `the' is unnecessary
>though, as my husband and I only walk along the our path once,
> the end of the day, Morgan's feet were sore. I was feelingEDIT: the use of `to' seems awkward too me. Did you mean `too', it
>terrible that I was such a bad parent for forgetting about her feet to
>when we left the house.
sounds fine without the `to' in any case.