For one of my fantasy humanoid races, I am conflicted on whether to make them digitigrade or not. A big question that comes to mind for this, is how shoes might work for a people with feet similar to say, a wolf or lion (no, these guys do not have hooves).

Perhaps something like a roman sandal might work?

  • $\begingroup$ Presumably only digitigrade on the feet? $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ @RonJohn I'm having trouble figuring out what you mean by that comment. Did you mean digitigrade upright-walking? Because "digitigrade" is about standing or walking on its toes, so by definition its feet; e.g. Wikipedia's introduction says that "A digitigrade[...], is an animal that stands or walks on its digits, or toes. Digitigrades include walking birds (what many assume to be bird knees are actually ankles), cats, dogs, and many other mammals, but not plantigrades or unguligrades." $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 9:34
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I mean upright walking, thats kinda what I tried to infer by including "humanoid" and "biped." Take the Priden from Allods Online, or well, most furries. $\endgroup$
    – Rushfire
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ Ahw, no hooves? I was really hoping to see an analysis dealing with draenei-like humanoids! $\endgroup$
    – Mermaker
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling I wondered if this race would also have paws on it hands. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


A quick search gives you some hint on how a shoe for a dog can look like (in this case a snow shoe)

snow shoe for dog

I think that's a starting point for your design: fasten it around the ankle, seconding the natural movements of the joint.

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    $\begingroup$ You beat me to the punch there. Good job. I agree that something like a roman sandal would probably have something to go up and around the heel bone. Maybe with a hole in the back so the heel can stick out and not be chafed. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 7:06
  • $\begingroup$ Emm but the one you posted fastens below the ankle. Actual ankle is what looks like "reversed knee". $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Mołot, I think actual dog shoes are designed to make owners happy, not dogs comfortable. Wolves have crawled in snow or mud for as long as they exist without the need for shoes. So it's pretty hard to find a "good" example of these shoes. But in the OP world thing are (hopefully) different. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 7:42
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    $\begingroup$ On the other hand, wolves rarely wear blankets when out in the snow... Human-directed dog breeding has left quite a few breeds pretty far removed from what would be needed to actually survive in the wild year-round. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 7:45
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    $\begingroup$ Sled dog racers make simple nylon fabric shoes for their dogs. Otherwise the pads of their feet get sanded off by rough ice. It's particularly bad on the sea ice, but any thawed/refrozen surface can be bad. They wear out very quickly. Some mushers replace the shoes daily. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 19:15

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