Best Gardening Shoes Reviewed & Rated

A vast majority of us garden in our free time. Whether it is to provide fresh vegetables and herbs for our families or a well-manicured flower garden to provide curb appeal and brighten our days, gardening is a great hobby that requires proper equipment.

Last Updated: July 3, 2018
By Tony Skye:

The recent update reflects the best of 2018’s gardening shoes of all types, shapes, sizes, colors, with new information as to how to choose the best gardening shoes and our criteria for evaluation. Also, included are some of the most frequently asked questions about gardening shoes.

There used to be a day when I would garden in tennis shoes, only to see my feet soaked and my shoes covered in dirt just minutes after I dug my hands into the soil. I don’t have to be the first to tell you that wet, cold feet can ruin any activity, especially gardening. You wouldn’t use second-rate trowels or shears, so why would you wear a second-rate shoe into the garden?

Featured Recommendations

Sloggers Low-cut
  • Sloggers Low-cut
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Easy to Clean
  • Price: See Here
Sloggers Boot
  • Sloggers Boot
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • All-Day-Comfort Insole
  • Heavy-duty Lugs
  • Price: See Here
ALEADER Garden Sandal
  • ALEADER Garden Sandal
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Massage Footed
  • One-piece Construction
  • Price: See Here

If you are like me, it is hard to find the right gardening shoe. Where do you look? What traits are important to consider? But most importantly, what matters most to you? After all, it is your garden, so it needs to be the footwear that suits you best. Whether it is a boot, shoe, or clog, waterproof or quick-draining, lightweight or heavy and durable, there are almost as many garden shoes as there are perennials. Allow this top 10 list to help guide you through some of the top brands in garden shoes.

 

10 Best Gardening Shoes

 

1. Sloggers Low-cut

Is a boot a little too much for your gardening needs? Not to worry, as Sloggers has a low-cut design, just for you! These shoes are so easy to clean up. You only need to wipe them and/or hose them off. Furthermore, there is heavy-duty lug tread to help increase traction and Sloggers' All-Day-Comfort insole works to give you the best in comfort. In addition, these best gardening shoes are non-latex, vegan-friendly, and have many colors to choose from.
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Hose or Wipe-off
Cleaning is a cinch in the shoes. Simply, hose or wipe them off. Moreover, this might allow you to spend more time in the garden and less time in the inevitable phase of tool cleanup.

Heavy-duty Lug Tread
These shoes are made for the environment pertaining to a garden. After all, gardens can be wet a sloshy at times. But with these Sloggers, you have the correct amount of tread for nearly any situation.

Cost and Value
In addition to being a great all-around gardening shoe, this pair of Sloggers is a wonderful choice in purchasing, for they are budget-friendly. Moreover, these shoes are built to last, are easy to clean, and have a decent amount of comfort, as well.
Pros
  • All-Day-Comfort Insole
  • Hose or Wipe-off
  • Non-latex
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Heavy-duty Lug Tread
Cons
  • Size runs small

2. Sloggers Boot

Sloggers is one of the top brands in gardening shoes, pacing the industry since 1948. There is no doubt they would be at the top of this list. The waterproof rain and garden boot serves as a multi-purpose functional shoe and can easily be used for other tasks besides gardening. The boots are easy to slip on and even easier to clean, as they can just be hosed off. The boots can, also, be customized with many different patterns, allowing the wearer to truly make the shoes one of a kind.
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Versatility
The Sloggers brand is one of the most versatile shoes on the market. The waterproof material makes it perfect for gardening because the damp soil can, otherwise, ruin a day in the garden. The multiple pattern options make it an ideal boot on a rainy day, regardless of the activity.

Comfort
One of the traits that consistently rank Sloggers at the top of most ranking lists is the fact that their shoes are so comfortable. Similar to most Sloggers models, these come with their unique All-Day-Comfort insole, including stitched-in fabric that keeps the heel comfortable and in place. The material makes the boots easy to slip on and off; but with how comfortable they are, you won’t want to slip out of them for a long while.

Cost and Value
The Sloggers Waterproof Rain and Garden Boot is a tremendous value for the quality of the shoe. The combination of comfort and durability guarantee that you will get the right amount of bang for your buck with this boot.
Pros
  • All-Day-Comfort Insole
  • Heavy-duty Lug Tread
  • Easy to Clean
  • Multiple-color Variety
  • Upper is 100% Recyclable Material
Cons
  • Best with long socks

3. Crocs Specialist Clog

There is a reason that Crocs are a top-selling brand. They produce a clean design that is very comfortable, due to its massaging footbed and enhanced arch support. Whether you will be on your feet a long period of time, in the flowerbed, or doing any other activity that requires a lot of standing, you cannot go wrong with Crocs.
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Comfort
The Crocs are, arguably, the most comfortable of the garden shoes on this list. The massaging footbed is something that can only be found in Crocs and provides an incredibly soft feel, whether in socks or barefoot. The enhanced arch support provides protection, as well as comfort, ensuring that the wearer’s feet will not tire out under extended wear.

Style
The Crocs Specialist Clog is one of the more stylish clogs available. The Specialist Clog does not feature vent holes and is a solid, synthetic construction. The clog can, easily, be worn in the garden, washed off, and then worn out shopping or to a restaurant. The Specialist Clog can be purchased in black, white, or navy to fit any preference.

Cost and Value
Depending on the style and size of Crocs you would need, the price will fluctuate. In general, the prices are very reasonable. You would be hard-pressed to find a similar price on another brand as trusted as crocs.
Pros
  • Massaging Footbed
  • Enhanced Arch Support
  • Stylish Look
  • Large Toe Box
  • Grippy Outsole
Cons
  • Not available in half sizes
  • Sun shrinkage in prolonged exposure

4. Crocs Freesail

4. Crocs Freesail
Crocs’ Freesail line boasts a slimmed down silhouette without losing the practical comfort you have come to expect from Crocs. These waterproof mules are perfect for gardening with their Coslite™ foam for added cushion and comfort. They have no heel strap, so it’s easy to just slip in and go. A Freesail Mule is a versatile option which is great for the house or garden.
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Croslite™ Foam
Only available from Crocs, Croslite™ foam is a closed cell foam-resin with an unbelievable mix of rebound, cushion, and softness. It’s lightweight and airy feel will have you wanting to wear these mules all day long.

Slip-On
Designed without a heel strap for an easy slip-on/slip-off wear that saves valuable time and effort, these Crocs help you to concentrate on that lovely garden.

Cost & Value
These are a budget-friendly option which will keep your feet happy, all day long. Waterproof and lightweight, the Freesail Mule is a great option for anyone who enjoys long hours spent in the garden.
Pros
  • Slimmed Down Silhouette
  • Waterproof
  • Croslite™ Foam
  • Slip-on Design
  • Versatile & Stylish
Cons
  • Size runs small

5. Crocs Jaunt Shorty

5. Crocs Jaunt Shorty
This waterproof boot is perfect for looking stylish while you garden. It features contrast pull circles on the sides along with a decorative logo button and contrast stripe. These are made with a fully-molded Croslite™ material which delivers lightweight cushioning and a durable rubber outsole for long-lasting wear. These boots will keep your feet dry and comfortable all day long.
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Style
These boots are always stylish and will have you looking extra trendy while you garden. Their decorative logo and contrast stripe along the midsole adds a layer of chic to these classic garden boots, while their contrast pull-circles gives them an upscale and modern look.

Rubber Outsole
The rubber is both durable and waterproof, making it the perfect material for gardening boots. This solid outsole will keep your feet dry and stable while you work and will keep your feet happy all day long.

Cost & Value
These super-cute boots couldn't be any more reasonably priced. Trendy, modern, and budget-friendly, these garden boots are sure to keep your feet comfortable all day long; a definite must-have for any gardener.
Pros
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Stylish Design
  • Waterproof
  • Croslite Material
  • Durable Design
Cons
  • Not easy on and off 

6. Easy Spirit Eliana

6. Easy Spirit Eliana
Extraordinarily comfortable and built with a sturdy design, the Easy Spirit Eliana is a great mule for gardening. They’re slip-resistant and lightweight, with a leather upper and removable insole. The Eliana Mules feature a sculpted EVA midsole and padded footbed with added arch support, along with a rubber, waterproof sole. They offer a cushioned walking experience and rebound with every step.
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Rubber Waterproof Sole
Perfect for gardening, the Easy Spirit Eliana Mules’ sole is made of rubber which is both waterproof, as well as, anti-slip for better grip in slippery conditions.

Leather Upper
The leather is both breathable and long-lasting which makes it an excellent material for any gardening shoe. It is resistant to abrasions and will stay true-to-shape longer, making these a long-wearing and stylish choice.

Cost & Value
These mules are, definitely, not going to break your bank. They're a reasonably-priced option that offers a lot of value for the cost. Their leather upper and solid rubber sole make these shoes long-lasting and weather-resistant, perfect for the many hours spent in the garden.
Pros
  • EVA Midsole
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Slip-Resistant
  • Leather Upper
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Size runs small

7. Amoji Garden Clog

7. Amoji Garden Clog
These stylish clogs are multipurpose and can be used for lounging in the house or work in the garden. They are ultra-lightweight, weighing only 120 grams; making them light enough to carry in your bag. An EVA midsole and massaging footbed design make these shoes as comfortable as they are versatile. These Amoji's are comfortable and supportive while delivering durable toughness.
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Waterproof
Their waterproof craftsmanship and easy care make these an ideal garden shoe. Simply hose them off and leave in the sun to dry, it’s that easy.

Massaging Footbed
Their footbed is designed with tiny bumps that massage your foot while you work, making these garden clogs a must-have!

Cost & Value
These are a totally low-cost option which offers versatility and comfort. A massaging footbed and EVA midsole, topped with their lightweight and waterproof design, make these an ideal gardening clog.
Pros
  • Massaging Footbed
  • EVA Midsole
  • Waterproof
  • Easy To Care For
  • Weigh Only 120 Grams
Cons
  • Size runs small

8. MuckBoots Edgewater Hi

8. MuckBoots Edgewater Hi
MuckBoots has produced one of the top gardening boots on the market with the Edgewater Hi Boots. This MuckBoots line is, easily, the most durable boot available and will be the only boot you need. It can be used for gardening; as well as, hiking, landscaping, fishing, and other outdoor activities that require a durable, waterproof fit.
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Durability
The Edgewater Hi Boot is the most durable boot on the market. It has a protective, waterproof shell that is still soft and flexible. The outsole is made of strong rubber and is slip-resistant when in the garden. Added reinforcements at the Achilles and toes not only help ensure the security of the weather but, also, increase the durability of the boot.

Comfort
This boot is, truly, waterproof which adds to the comfort factor. A stretch-fit topline binding snugs the calf of the wearer, ensuring that moisture cannot get into the boot. It, also, regulates temperature, keeping out heat and cold. The breathable, air-mesh linings are, also, a great idea for garden boots, keeping feet dry and cool while working in the yard.

Cost and Value
The MuckBoots Edgewater Hi Boot falls into the midrange of cost association for garden shoes on the market but is easily the most durable. If you are an avid gardener that, also, spends time outside hiking or fishing, the Edgewater Hi Boot is a great boot to consider. This boot can be used for many outdoor activities and will last. It is an investment that should be considered.
Pros
  • Breathable Air-mesh Lining
  • Multi-use Activities
  • Great Traction
  • Stretch-fit Topline Bindings
  • Good Arch Support
Cons
  • Size runs big
  • Minimal-color variety

9. Joules Rain Boot

9. Joules Rain Boot
The Joules Rain Boot is an interesting selection among garden shoes because the interior has a fleece lining that most do not feature. The Joules brand prides itself on its unique designs. If you are looking to make a fashion statement in the garden, Joules is a good brand for you.
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Variety of Patterns
Joules produces a good product in its rain boot when it comes to design patterns. Anyone will be able to find a favorite design, making it a boot that can easily be worn in the garden, outdoors, or with blue jeans on a rainy day.

Sturdy Construction
The Joules Rain Boot is made of a highly- durable rubber. What makes them stand out though is the fact that they are coated in a wax film that will peel under extreme temperatures. This keeps the boots from weathering and makes them last longer than some of their rivals.


Cost and Value
These boots are similar in cost to some other boots on this list. It really comes down to preference. These boots sit a little lower on the calf and have more patterns to choose from. For a good, everyday boot that performs admirably in the garden, the Joules Rain Boot is worth the price.
Pros
  • Weathering Prevention
  • Fleece Lining
  • Wider, Flexible Insole
  • Multiple Patterns and Styles
  • 4.5-inch Shaft Height
Cons
  • Minimal arch support
  • A bit heavy

10. ALEADER Garden Sandal

10. ALEADER Garden Sandal
The ALEADER Garden Sandal could be one of the only shoes you will need in the summer months. It is ultra-breathable and features a comfortable insole with adequate arch support. Although they are not waterproof, they drain well when compared to other garden sandals, and dry quickly.
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Insole Design
The ALEADER Garden Sandal packs a powerful insole despite its lightweight construction. The sandal is massage footed, making it an incredibly comfortable wear when compared to other shoes on the list. It, also, has a sturdy, thick insole and good arch support for those that need it.

One-piece Construction
One of the perks of this sandal that others do not feature is the one-piece construction. This is something important to look at when deciding on a shoe, as moisture will escape much easier from one-piece shoes, reducing the risk of mildew and foot fungus.

Cost and Value
The ALEADER Garden Sandal is one of the most affordable shoes on this list. It may not have the most bells and whistles or the fanciest construction, but the value far outweighs the cost. The massage footed insole and arch support alone make this sandal more valuable than its costs.
Pros
  • Massage Footed Insole
  • One-piece Construction
  • Multiple Vivid Colors
  • Perforated Top
  • MD Sole
Cons
  • Upper is hard
  • Size runs narrow

Reading over the top 10 list, there are, definitely, many options out there for garden shoes and there is no right choice for every person. It is important to determine what might be important to you. While the clogs are great for summer months and provide for multiple uses, it won’t keep dirt out; something to consider if that is important to you. The boots are great for gardening and most are waterproof, which is a great bonus. They can cost a little more and do not have as many uses, as compared to the garden shoes or clogs.

My personal preference is for a nice garden boot. My favorites are the Sloggers Waterproof Garden Boot and the MuckBoots Edgewater Hi Boots, as both have the name recognition, durability, and waterproof traits that I look for. If I am looking to save a little money, I like the Polar Products Wellington Boot as an option. It has a nice, sleek design, provides a waterproof fit when gardening and, also, doubles as a good snow boot in the winter. We all know that gardening is dirty work. Our hands are down in the dirt, we don’t need our feet there, as well.

 

Criteria Used for Evaluating the Best Gardening Shoes

Weather Proofing

Gardening requires year-round perseverance and can be near impossible without a pair of shoes to protect your feet from the elements. Working in the garden exposes you to both cold and hot temperatures, along with constant contact with water and dirt which leaves your feet vulnerable to discomfort.

Knowing what to look for, in order to weatherproof your tootsies, can be difficult, which is why we’ve highlighted the key points to consider when purchasing a shoe for gardening; depending on the weather.

  • Lining: The lining of your gardening shoes is an important factor in determining your overall comfort. For example, in cold conditions fur, wool, or fluffy lining will protect and insulate your feet, preventing discomfort and possibly even frostbite. In the summer, it is best to look for shoes with lightweight and breathable linings. Materials like cotton or mesh are airy and will, also, wick moisture away from the foot, preventing odors.
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  • Waterproofing: When you’re going to be working in the garden, your feet are going to be exposed to a lot of water and mud. There’s just no way around it, which is why rubber is a gardener’s best friend, thanks to its excellent water-repelling properties. Shoes with rubber outsoles are going to offer great waterproofing, as well as, flexible movability. In addition to rubber, reinforced nylon is another waterproof material which will keep your feet dry and comfortable while you toil away.
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  • Hot Weather: The best time of the year for gardening is in the warm spring and summer months which, also, add to the concern of keeping your feet cool while you garden and while still remaining protected from insects, sticks, and other debris. Mesh is one of the most breathable and airy materials to consider for warm weather use and will, also, wick moisture away from your foot to prevent odor.

Durability

Gardening shoes need to be able to withstand long hours of wear under wet, warm, and muddy conditions. In order for a shoe to have any longevity, its construction must be solid and quality materials need to have been used.

Rubber is a long-lasting material which, also, offers excellent water-resistance and a strong grip. Rubber, also, tends to be snug fitting while still offering airflow to the foot. Nylon can be a suitable material for gardening shoes in part because of its airy breathability; yet, it retains sturdy properties. Mesh, on the other hand, is not as sturdy and offers less protection from sticks, stems, rocks, and other sharp objects one may encounter in a garden setting. Mesh, also, lacks in water resistance, though it does provide cool airflow for warmer weather, making it a good material to consider for the shoe’s lining.

Comfort

  • Fit: When it comes to gardening shoes, a snug fit is always best. Ideally, a shoe will fit nice and close around both your foot and ankle which will prevent water, mud, and debris from entering your shoe. Another feature to keep an eye out for is handles or tabs to make it easy to pull your shoes on or off. This will save you time in the long run and can make it much easier when you have slippery gloves on, or have dirt on your hands.
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  • Sole: The sole of a gardening shoe is important for many reasons; like support, comfort, stability, and balance. Working in the garden requires a fair amount of time and can take its toll on your body. Strenuous bending and lifting can cause all sorts of aches and pains; including painful feet, legs, shoulders, hips, and back. These sorts of discomforts can all be alleviated by wearing the right pair of shoes; ones that offer the kind of support your body needs.

The following list breaks down the three key points of a shoe sole and explains the benefits to each:

  • Midsole: A shoe midsole is made to absorb shock and provide an extra layer of cushioning. Generally speaking, a softer midsole will be more lightweight and flexible, while a hard insole will be heavy and more rigid. Softer midsoles absorb shock better but do tend to wear out faster, so you will have to weigh which is more important: shock absorption or longevity.
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  • Outsole: The outsole of a shoe is the outermost part of the sole and is the part of the shoe which makes contact with the ground. Natural rubber and PVC compounds are the best choice of material for an outsole, due to their water-resistant properties and long lifespan.
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  • Footbed: Also, known as the insole, the footbed is the foundation on which the shoe rests. Softer insoles provide less stability and wear out much faster than harder insoles. They do, however, provide more cushion.

Protection

  • Full-Cover: Full-cover shoes offer full-foot protection but can get a little warm in the summer months. This type of gardening shoe is ideal for the colder months, as they tend to offer weather-resistant lining and stronger grip.
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  • Closed-Toe: Closed-toe shoes such as, Crocs and other clogs are great for warmer weather because they offer more protection at the forefoot while still allowing for an open heel which helps to ventilate.
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  • Open-Toe: Open-toed shoes are to be used cautiously while working in the garden, because they leave a large part of your foot, including the delicate forefoot, exposed. Open-toed shoes are best used for light watering or weeding.

Care

Shoes worn in the garden get wet and muddy extremely fast which is why caring for your gardening footwear is so important. Again, rubber is the best material when it comes to caring for it and can be easily hosed off without worry about water leaking inside the shoe. Other materials just aren’t going to be as easy to clean off and will require hand or machine washing. Clogs and rubber boots will be the easiest by far to clean and care for.

Another option is to wear a reusable rain cover on top of your shoes if they aren’t the best material for waterproofing and care. Reusable rain covers slip over your garden shoes and protects them from water, dirt, and debris. They can easily be removed and are, usually, machine washable for convenience.

These rain covers offer additional benefits such as slip-resistance but can, also, tear easily which is something to consider when you’re planning on wearing them for use in the garden.

Practicality

For some people, a trip to the garden in the morning is part of a long day of chores (i.e. water garden, pull weeds, feed animals, and etc.).  Then again, in the evening, these chores may repeat. If you find yourself in this type of a situation, then boot styles might be the best option, in terms of practicality. A low-cut design is not practical when considering you may be in for a round of deep mud when heading to the trough to place feed in.

In addition to this, there is the fact of garden size. While a cheaper-made material might work for a small garden through an entire season, you might find yourself purchasing another pair if your garden happens to be large enough to keep you in it for more than four hours at a time each day. Opt for something made of a thick and sturdy material. In this, you will ensure your gardening shoes will last the season you need them to last in.

Also, the type of garden can play an important role, as well. Is your garden full of watermelons where there is a lot of water irrigation? If so, you will need waterproof gardening shoes. If, however, you have a small flower garden, as it were; then, you might not need something so drastic. In some cases, a small flower garden could mean you will have minimal water exposure. As such, a lightweight clog might suffice.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Is it okay to wear sandals while I garden?
A: Sandals are everyone’s favorite summer shoe but aren’t the best option for gardening. A clog or closed-toe shoe is a better option for gardening in warmer weather because they offer an added level of protection and prevent injuries from occurring.

Q: How can I clean off my Crocs after I finish in the garden?
A: Crocs are such an easy shoe to care for, which is why they’re a favorite amongst gardeners everywhere. You can simply spray them down with a hose and let them air dry, it’s that simple.

Q: Are there cheaper shoes available that are similar to Crocs?
A: There are some options which claim to be similar to Crocs but cost less money. These shoes will never fully compare to Crocs and, definitely, will not offer the same level of comfort and versatility.

Q: Can I wear gardening shoes for other activities too?
A: Yes, you can. Many gardening shoes, like some on this list, are great for all sorts of outdoor activities and water sports.

Q: How often will I have to replace my gardening shoes?
A: That really depends on how well-made your shoes are. A quality pair of shoes should last you just as long in the garden as a normal pair of shoes would for everyday use. The shoes on our list are all high-quality and are designed to be long-lasting, so you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing them every season. Of course, the size of the garden will dictate the hours spent in your gardening shoes. This must, also, be considered.

Sources

  1. Gardening Channel, Best Shoes For Gardening , Article, Jan 01, 2018
  2. Jack Bennett, The Ultimated Guide to the Best Garden Boots, Guide, Jan 04, 2018
  3. Jenny L Sanders DPM, Understanding The Impact Of Shoe Insoles And Midsoles, Article, Jun 11, 2017
  4. Melanie Yates, 10 GARDENING SHOES THAT MAKE YARD WORK LESS OF A MESS, Article, Feb 01, 2018
  5. morningchores.com, 6 Best Gardening Shoes, Clogs, and Boots for Your Daily Gardening Tasks, article; blog,


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