Surprisingly, dog walkers are often the most difficult to find the right fit. Most aren’t tackling very challenging terrain and tend to stick to footpaths, fields and woodland. For this type of terrain, I’d usually suggest walking shoes but because dog walkers are out whatever the weather, often in wet, grassy fields and can really clock up the miles compared to a ‘weekend hiker’, shoes get worn out quickly and boots last longer, plus they’re more likely to keep your feet dry.
Ultimately, finding the perfect fit really depends on what is most important to the individual - durability, comfort, waterproofness or value for money.
For example, if waterproofness is most important and you aren’t walking long distances, then wellies are always the best choice. If durability is more important, I’d always suggest a boot over a shoe as this will inevitably last longer. Some walkers don’t like the feel of a boot around the ankle, especially if they’re not used to it, but boots generally do provide better value for money as they will last longer. Since the average dog walker goes through at least two pairs of shoes in the time a boot would last them, I would always recommend a boot.
A good middle ground alternative is a ‘mid’ boot. They still don’t last as long as boots, but they do offer a bit more ankle support and protection from long wet grass because of the higher ankle cuff.