Vibrams for Humans and Dogs, Alike

Moji trains his clients in them and his clients have bout them. He always had problems building calves but he now works out with them so his calves have improved a lot. You can view him on his website or I have them on my FB. Moji ha…

I got the above photo from Patty depicting her husband Moji and their dog — if you look closely you’ll notice both are wearing matching Vibrams. Yes, the dog has on Vibram-soled shoes mdash; they are “Bark’n Boots” dog boots that feature Vibram soles.

I’d heard about these Vibram-soled shoes for dogs awhile back. I think many (myself included) wondered on seeing them, “Why would a dog need shoes?” The irony of asking that question is that you could ask the same of us humans wearing FiveFingers! Why not just go barefoot? Well, just like we have our reasons, so might a dog.

To that end, I asked Patty to tell me a little bit more about both Moji and their dog and their Vibram shoes. After all, Moji clearly has quite a physique and his dog looks awfully happy in his booties.

So what’s the backstory? Want to see more about those wild dog boots? Read on!

Before I share Patty’s note below, let me first say that you’re looking at Moji Oluwa — former Captain of the Nigerian Olympic Weightlifting team in the 1996 Olympics (in Atlanta!) and winner of numerous bodybuilding competitions. Nowadadays, while he still competes (looks like his most recent placing was just last month), Moji trains — and he does it in Vibram FiveFingers.

Anyway, here’s what Patty had to say about husband and dog:

Moji trains his clients in his FiveFingers. He always had problems building calves but he now works out with them so his calves have improved a lot.

Moji has flat feet and has to wear the Vibrams because he is on his feet all day and I have a high arch so have to wear them also. I got rid of all my shoes and own only Vibrams. I have no dress shoes. I wear Vibrams everywhere and get stopped constantly asking about the shoes. We must have sold hundreds by now. Wish I could sell them personally.

Moji and I have been wearing these shoes now for 3 years. We both have 6 pairs each!

Kai is our year old SharPei and he has a problem with his feet. He shuffles when he walks so when I take him around the Rose Bowl for his walk, his feet bleed. I have been looking for good shoes, not cute shoes, but good shoes and did my research online and found these at REI. I get so many compliments and people taking pictures of him because of the shoes and because he is cute.

People love them and want to get them for their dogs. I tell them that dogs need caring for their feet just like we do. They always ask if he likes them. He loves them. He cries for his shoes to be put on. When I try to take them to wash, he cries and does not want them out of his sight. He stands there and watches me wash the shoes and follows me to see where I am drying them. He will go to them after a few hours and cry for me to put them back on. It is funny.

The Ruff Wear Bark’n Boots Grip Trex Dog Boots — they come in sets of four, of course.

We had friends over today and they saw how much Kai loves his shoes and could not believe a dog could love shoes that much. I told them because they are Vibrams even the dog knows comfortable shoes….He is going out to buy a pair now.

So there you have it — dogs love their shoes, too. Go figure, right?

Patty tell Moji we’d love to hear more about his training in FiveFingers. As readers can see, Moji has some pretty epic calf muscles!

A photo of the “V” Family getting ready for a walk.

Thanks for sharing Patty, Kai, and Moji!

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

14 replies on “Vibrams for Humans and Dogs, Alike”

I used to do a lot of hiking every summer with my sister’s dog. I noticed her foot pads (the dog’s, not the sister) were worn, and thought some booties might help.

I ordered some online, and put them on the dog–but she was having none of it. Maybe I got the wrong size, but she would shake her paws till the booties came flying off. Alrighty, then…

what’s next?? smartphones for dogs??
leave the creature alone.
why? cause nobody loves rubber.
and also.. imagine the weird stares he’s gonna get from fellow dogs…

In the Texas summer heat I’ve had my dogs blister their paws a couple of times on the sidewalks and also on trails. And let me tell you this can be pretty serious. The dogs didn’t complain during the walk, but afterward it was pretty nasty.

The solution, of course, is to stay inside during the heat of the day. But the dog shoes would offer protection if you absolutely had to go out during the heat.

I’ve seen shows about dog sledding where mushers use them to protect dogs’ feet against ice and snow.

So the shoes would be recommended for protecting your dog from either extreme of heat or cold.

Another use is if your dog has some neurological problem. My German Shepherd Dog later developed degenerative myelopathy which caused him to drag his hind paws on the ground which resulted in bloody sores. I bought dog shoes to protect his paws from abrasion. I wish I’d had these shoes because they look pretty protective.

i really hope this doesn’t start a trend, dogs DO NOT need stuff like this, their foot pads are made for what they do

i don’t understand the need to put shoes on everything….horses included

This is pretty awesome. My beagle would have no part of these shoes though. She doesn’t like things on her that aren’t her collar.

Patty clearly stated the reason her dog “needs” footwear. It is not a fashion thing or a need for their pet to resemble the owner, it is out of necessity for the safety of the animal. If Kai’s feet drag or shuffle, it is wear that the animal’s pads were clearly not designed to endure. Most animals would not do this and thus would not “need” protection. The fact that the dog carries on when not in them only reaffirms that even it understands the repercussions of not having them. Please do not berate Patty for her choice to give her pet a quality life. I am glad that she shared her story, and as a few of the other positive comments indicated, others clearly have a need for this type of product as well. It is nice that she shared a product, with a Vibram sole no less, that worked for them.

Thank you Mr. Leigh. I was going to say something similar. Dogs are breed for different reasons. Some of the pads on the feet can have different thickness and resistances to heat and rough surfaces. Clearly they are doing this for health and safety reasons, not fashion reason. I applaud them for caring enough about their animal, to take the time to research a solution that works well for their needs. You have one cute puppy!

Where my sister lives long-hair dogs often need boots. There is a species of grass with long, very hard and sharp seeds that get caught in the hair around their paws and stab the pads.

I actually have these same boots for my dog. She only wears them in the winter though. She has webbed feet, and when she’s out running around in the winter the webbing collects snow, and it compacts into ice balls under each foot. After a few minutes she’ll quit running around, and try to stand on as few feet as possible. Now with her boots she can keep up with me on runs and walks with no issue.

to all the people saying there is no need to put shoes on dogs, I can see several scenarios where these would be very useful. In my case, I live in an area of the city where people are very generous in spreading rock salt on driveways and sidewalks during the winter to combat snow and ice. This is EXTREMELY painful for dogs, especially when a piece gets stuck between their pads or toes. These boots would help quite a bit in the winter (if I could get my dog to keep them on! lol)

Hello, I have a 150lb Great Pyrenees with very large due claws on his back feet, I have not been able to find shoes to fit him that don,t puss the deu claws into his legs. Can you help me, we live in Arizona and the ground during the summer is very hot.
Hope you can help. Wendy Thompson

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