Five different pairs of shoes?! Do you really need five different pairs of agility shoes?!
In all honesty, it really depends on where you live, and what type of facilities host your local agility competitions.
Here, in Arizona, we run on everything from dirt to indoor soccer turf. So, here is my list of 5 Types of Shoes You NEED for Dog Agility:
1. Running Shoes (with tread)
This probably seems obvious, but running shoes come in a variety of tread options. I have found that your running shoes with a lot of tread are the best for outdoor trials on surfaces such as sand and loose/dry grass. I personally prefer the Saucony brand, but almost every brand of athletic shoe has some good options!
The newest trend for agility shoes is the Salomon Speed Cross. They come in both Men’s and Women’s and in a variety of colors. Check out some examples below:
Or, personally, I recommend Saucony. These shoes tend to have a wider toe, and the tread runs in different directions (VERY helpful for the turns and pivots we see in dog agility). Check out some Saucony examples below:
2. Running Shoes (with little to no tread)
Why would you want a running shoe with little to no tread? With the rising trend of indoor dog agility facilities, this has become a must. Especially if the indoor facility has the Comfort Crown Matting like Top Notch Canines in Arizona. This type of matting has a lot of “stick”, so if you run with too much tread on your shoes, you’re actually more likely to trip. An added bonus to this type of shoe for indoor facilities with matting…you don’t track in rocks!
3. Soccer Cleats
There are many different type of cleats, but I recommend soccer for dog agility as the cleats tend to be large, rubber surfaces (a lot less scary to run with your dog than the metal cleats), and they tend to have more flexibility in the toe, thus allowing for a more comfortable fit. I recommend having a pair of soccer cleats if your area has outdoor trials on nice grass or thick dirt. Both of these types of fields allow the cleats to get great traction which helps you turn and accelerate!
4. Indoor Soccer Cleats
Artificial turf is on the rise for dog agility facilities. The type of turf varies, but the type of cleat you should wear on artificial turf is the same regardless. Indoor soccer cleats have smaller rubber surfaces, and more of them, than your traditional outdoor cleats. Some facilities that have artificial turf will not allow you to wear traditional outdoor cleats on their turf, so be sure you are prepared with indoor cleats before you attend a show on artificial turf!
5. Before/After Trial Shoes
Okay, you don’t really need these shoes, but I can’t express enough how nice it is to be able to slip into a comfortable pair of shoes before or after a long agility trial.
Have anything to add? Shoes you recommend? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!