Let's face it, gardening shoes aren't exactly the prettiest footwear on the block. But take it from someone who knows, they are among the most essential items in your closet.
I had no gardening shoes, thus, a typical "me" scenario: I would head outside, sure I'm not going to be doing much in the garden, because a) I don't have much of a garden, and b) I'm not inclined to do much in the bit of "garden" I do have.
When I would venture out to the back yard, I would always end up sad and frustrated that my garden is not what it could be, and, impulsively, I would start working on it. Dragging bags of mulch around; placing a patch of landscape fabric over some weeds; or just finding a spot for the pretty little plant I'd purchased on a whim. Nothing major, and certainly no real commitment on my part.
I can't tell you how many pairs of shoes I've nearly ruined this way.
Thankfully, there are people far wiser than I in the ways of nature. Happily, those people invented gardening shoes.
What to Look for in Gardening Shoes
Easily slipped on and off.
- This will insure that you actually put them on when you need to.
Made from rubber, or some other waterproof material.
- This is essential, even on dry days. You'll want to be able run them under the garden hose.
Sturdy / Solid Construction
- Lightweight is good, but don't get anything too flimsy. While rubber flip-flops and holes with shoes are appealing in other ways, branches, rose thorns and other garden gnarlies can too easily scratch or injure your feet.
Beyond Clogs: Gardening BootsI mentioned above that gardening shoes should be easy to slip on and off, as is the case with gardening clogs.
But this isn't always true, there are times when you'll actually want a rubber boot for gardening. What they lack in ease of entry, they make up for in added protection from dirt, water and mud. Depending on your particular garden, and the work you'll be doing in it, you may actually want boots that extend well above the ankle. These won't win you any fashion awards, but they will protect your pants.