Followers of my blog for the past two summers know that I have often lamented about the steep grade of our hill and the challenges it poses to gardening and me. One of my biggest challenges is appropriate footwear.
I prefer to garden barefoot, but it just isn’t practical or safe.
I need something that will protect the soles of my feet from stones, sticks and briar. Plus I need shoes that will protect the top so my pedicure makes it to Monday when I have to return to the office.
I’ve tried Crocs and Ducks. They are waterproof and super easy to hose mud and debris off. However, they aren’t a very tight fit. My feet slide sideways inside the shoes if I stand on an incline. In fact the entire shoe can slip and slide, so that you come right out and end up barefoot standing next to your wonderfully waterproof shoes.
In other experiments, I tried Keds and running shoes. While these fit my feet better, they get wet and muddy, and if you throw them in the washer and dryer they tend to wear out fast. Also the Keds didn’t have any traction on the early morning dew on the grass of my steep hillside. I felt like I was skiing.
I found these (see photo above) for $3 on Ebay entitled “MIDWEST GREEN WATERPROOF RUBBER RAIN MUCK MUD GARDENING BOOT SHOES”. Always game for a good deal, I bought them. They are made out of a super durable rubber that is so thick and heavy that I feel like I’m wearing lead weights and they actually cut into my ankles. I tried wearing them with socks and found the weight of the shoe meant that I stepped right out of them. I’ve already donated them to Goodwill.
I read about Sloggers and was intrigued. Fun colors and other gardeners give rave reviews. I may try them yet.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear what other people are using for garden shoes with the pro’s and con’s.