When you think of gardening supplies, what comes to mind? Shovels, gloves and rakes, most likely, but there is something else that is just as necessary. Although gardening shoes aren’t often thought of, they are a practical and money saving essential for backyard gardeners.
Ugly, But Smart
Gardening shoes aren’t fashionable or versatile. Many popular styles of gardening shoes, such as the rubber gardening clogs that are available in most garden centers, are downright ugly. But these ugly shoes serve a very practical purpose.
Gardening is a dirty hobby. Whether you are weeding a vegetable garden or spreading compost, it is likely that your shoes will take some abuse. Gardening shoes are an inexpensive way to avoid ruining your everyday shoes or boots with the grime of the garden. And when it comes to keeping that dirt out of your home, gardening shoes that are left outdoors or in a mudroom are an easy way to be sure the dirt isn’t tracked in.
Going Shoe Shopping
When it comes to shopping for gardening shoes, there are a few basic things to keep in mind to ensure the shoes you purchase meet your needs. Think about the practical purpose behind gardening shoes as you are shopping, and look for styles and features that best suit that purpose.
Gardening shoes that are easily slipped on and off are more likely to be used than shoes that require tying or other fastening. Garden clogs are ideal because of their simple, slip on design. What could be easier than slipping on a pair of clogs on the way out to the garden?
Because gardening shoes are likely to get wet, muddy, or just plain dirty on a regular basis, a waterproof, easily cleaned material is another must. Rubber may not be an attractive material for shoe design, but it is perfect for shoes that you’ll want to hose off at the end a hard day in the garden.
Finally, look for gardening shoes that offer sufficient protection against the thorns, sticks, and rocks that might be found in the garden. Stay away from very open designs, including open toed styles, because they leave your foot exposed to garden hazards and potential injury from lawn mowers or other equipment.
A good pair of gardening shoes can make working in your backyard more comfortable and less messy. Choose wisely and they are sure to earn a place alongside your shovel as your most used garden gear.