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The Very Best Shoes for Gardening

Your green thumb helps you cultivate all sorts of plants. Whether it’s a vegetable, fruits, or flowers, your garden requires a lot of work, love, and effort – and the right tools. How effective of a gardener would you be without a hoe, shovel, and soil? In fact, even your shoes are a tool when it comes to gardening. Great gardening shoes are those that can hold up in mud, muck, and water. They need to be comfortable and durable, too. Aside from those features, gardening shoes also have thick, flexible soles that allow you to walk, bend, and kneel as you weed, plants, and more. Plus, the last thing you need is a pair of shoes that slide on slippery, wet mulch. This guide will help point you in the right direction to the best shoes , whether they’re clogs, boots, or shoes. Study the best reviews, too, where you’ll find the consensus on each pair of gardening shoes that should work for any home horticulturist.

5 Best Shoes for Gardening Comparisons

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageMuck Boot Adult MuckMaster Hi-Cut Boot
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Materials: Leather, synthetic
  • Waterproof: Yes
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byb2-table__imageJOINFREE Women's Rain Boots Men's Garden Shoes
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Materials: Rubber, nylon, neoprene
  • Waterproof: Yes
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byb2-table__imageCrocs Unisex Classic Clog
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Materials: Synthetic
  • Waterproof: Yes
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byb2-table__imageSloggers Women's Waterproof
  • Gender: Women's
  • Materials: Synthetic
  • Waterproof: Yes
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byb2-table__imageThe Original MuckBoots Daily Garden Shoe
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Materials: Synthetic, rubber, fabric
  • Waterproof: Yes
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Why Do Your Shoes Matter When You’re Gardening?

When you first consider the idea of buying shoes just for gardening, it seems silly. After all, you probably have a pair of spare tennis shoes laying around. So, go ahead. Slip those running or walking shoes on, and then go out and play in your garden. Good luck not stepping in puddles, dirt, and mud. Before long, your shoes are a soggy, dirty mess. Time to rinse them off and clean up. Surely, they’ll dry. Yes, but it could take days. And you might notice the next time you slip them on that they’re stiff or fit differently. And those insoles. Oh man, are they still wet?

The shoes you wear when you’re gardening matter, and that’s why you should consider buying the best shoes for  yard work. You need shoes made of waterproof material. They should be slip-resistant, and comfortable. You bend, kneel, and walk about your garden all the time, so flexibility is important. Additionally, a thick sole is a good choice to keep your feet safe. If you drop a tool and step on it, you want to make sure you don’t puncture the shoe and hurt yourself. Plus, a thick sole adds a little height, which might keep your ankles out of all that gardening mud and muck.

Types of Shoes to Consider for Gardening

There are several types of shoes you can consider for gardening. And no, you don’t have to get the ones named after reptiles, but you might want to seriously consider them. Nor do you have to shell out the big bucks for those brand name mud boots that are mostly seen on Instagram, rather than in the bed of a garden, but these could be the best choice just because of their high quality.

Boots

The purpose of buying a pair of gardening rubber or clog boots is to keep your ankles and/or calves dry as you work. Water and mud splashing around as you trudge through a wet garden can be frustrating if it gets all over your jeans, pants, or bare legs. Buying a pair of rubber boots can help keep you clean and dry.

Shoes

Regular gardening shoes are easy to slip on, but they have a heel to them, which makes them a bit more secure. If they’re made specifically for gardening, they’re typically made of a waterproof material with a quick-drying insole.

Clogs

These are those shoes that you see without a heel. They’re easy to slip on and off, and they’re good for going out to water the garden quickly. You might want to get a pair with a strap in the back for security. The best thing about clog shoes is that they often come with ventilation, which is important when it’s hot outside and your foot is enveloped by thick rubber.

Types of Shoes to Consider for Gardening

Regardless of which type of gardening shoes you buy, you’ll notice all of them generally have no laces. There are two reasons for this. One, laces take time to deal with, and these shoes should be easy to slip on and off. Two, laces would need time to dry, and you don’t have time for that as an avid gardener. Waterproofing is likely the most important feature in a gardening shoe. You need your feet protected. If water gets in, you’re unlikely to have a steady surface to stand in while you’re gardening. The lining of the shoe should be quick drying, as well. Not only do you want any water that does get inside your shoe to dry quickly, you want your shoes to wick away sweat. Another option is to find gardening shoes with vents to help with keeping your feet dry. Consider the soles of your gardening shoes, as well. Soles with tread are your best option, as these will grip a surface, rather than slide. It’s a safety issue, so this is just as important or more so than other features. A thicker sole can also protect your feet from injury. Just be sure the sole is flexible and that you can bend your foot while working. Colors and styles vary widely when it comes to gardening shoes, and you’re likely to find something that works with your unique style. Shop around and you’re sure to find something you like. Of course, this isn’t a feature that’s super important. Most gardening shoes are unisex, so you shouldn’t have to worry much about gender-specific shoes. Make sure you get the right size for your foot, though, because an ill-fitting pair of gardening shoes won’t do you much good.

Top 5 Gardening Shoes Reviews

Muck Boot Adult MuckMaster Hi-Cut Boot

Quick Info

  • Type: Boot (15-inch shaft)
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Materials: Leather, synthetic
  • Rubber sole: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors: Black, green, moss
When you find a pair of gardening boots that fit, keep your feet warm and dry, and have excellent traction, you buy them. The Muck Boot Adult MuckMaster Hi-Cut Boot meets all those qualifiers and more. The fleece lining of these boots not only keep your feet warm, they also provide extra comfort when you’re working out on a farm or in a garden. The thick rubber soles keep you from slipping and sliding on wet surfaces, and they protect your feet as you work. The waterproof leather and synthetic materials work hard to keep all the icky stuff out. You get a 15-inch long shaft to keep your calves warm and dry, too, which is important if you’re working in mucky conditions. These are unisex sizes and they’re mostly true to size, but they might run slightly larger. Consider getting these half a size down. Perhaps the biggest issue with these expensive gardening boots is that the workmanship leaves something to be desired. Holes, tears as seams, and soles coming loose after only a few months uses have been reported.

Pros

  • Fleece lining
  • Waterproof
  • Rubber sole
  • True to size to large
  • Rugged

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Workmanship issues
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Pro tip

If you’re looking for rugged gardening shoes that will keep your feet and calves warm and dry, these might be ideal for you.

JOINFREE Women’s Rain Boots Men’s Garden Shoes Low Short Shoes Ankle Car Wash Footwear Outdoor

Quick Info

  • Type: Shoe
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Materials: Rubber, nylon, neoprene
  • Rubber sole: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors: Black-green, black, black-red
A good gardening shoe will keep your feet dry and safe, and the JOINFREE outdoor rain boot shoe does just that. It’s not quite a boot, and it isn’t just for rainy days, but it’s definitely spot on with the outdoor description. These shoes are made mostly of natural rubber, and they do a good job of protecting your whole foot from water and mud. The tread on the sole of this shoe is thick and should prevent any slipping. The cuff of this shoe is made of padded nylon, which adds comfort and prevents chafing. When it comes to sizing, things seem to be a bit off. While most people said this unisex shoe fits well, many said it was either too large or too small. It’s odd that sizing could be so off both ways, but that could be accounted for in inconsistent workmanship. Although these shoes aren’t as thick and sturdy as others like it, they work well for gardening, and they seem to hold up to regular use. The insole often pops out when you take them off, but most people only rated that as a nuisance, at worst.

Pros

  • Padded cuff
  • Waterproof
  • Rubber sole
  • Pull tab for ease of use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Sizing issues
  • Insole tends to slip out
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Pro tip

If you’re looking for rugged gardening shoes that will keep your feet and calves warm and dry, these might be ideal for you.

Crocs Unisex Classic Clog

Quick Info

  • Type: Shoe
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Materials: Synthetic
  • Rubber sole: No
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors: 43
For all the hate the brand gets, the Crocs Unisex Classic Clog still may be the best gardening shoes available on the market. Let’s get one of the cons out of the way right now: These are ugly clogs. There’s no way around it. It’s one of the most recognizable shoes out there, but it’s far from stylish. That being said, these are universally comfortable. The lightweight synthetic material is squishy and comfy for any foot, even if they don’t provide much arch support. They’re waterproof and easy to clean, and there’s a heel strap to make you feel a little more secure in them. Although these shoes don’t have a rubber sole, they are non-skidding in most cases. Some people have had issues walking on watery surfaces and slipping in these. The durable material lasts many people years, which is saying a lot for such an affordable pair of gardening shoes. The ventilation makes sense for gardening in the summer, but you may still find your feet sweat. And the holes will allow dirt and water in. Still, these are one of the most popular choices for gardening clogs, and for many good reasons.

Pros

  • Ventilated
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Non-skid sole
  • Heel strap included
  • Durable
  • Flexible
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Ugly
  • May slide on a watery surface
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Pro tip

If you’re looking for a classic clog for gardening and you don’t mind the style of this shoe, it could be the best option for you.

Sloggers Women’s Waterproof Rain and Garden Boot with Comfort Insole

Quick Info

  • Type: Boot (10.5-inch shaft)
  • Gender: Women’s
  • Materials: Synthetic
  • Rubber sole: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors: Black, prints, dots
Gardening can be a messy chore or hobby, and you need shoes to protect you from all the muck – sometimes up to your knees. The Sloggers waterproof garden boots are made for women, and they’re made to be more comfortable than your average gardening boots. The insoles are molded to offer more arch support and comfort for your whole foot. The only issue is that these boots only come in whole sizes and they’re quite narrow. So, with or without the optional half-size insert, you may find that these boots are a bit tight. The thick tread should keep you safe in slippery conditions, and they’re waterproof, so water should be kept at bay. These durable boots are great for gardening but don’t slip them on without socks or short socks. Many people who bought these boots reported getting a bit of a burn on their calves from the cuff of the boot. Pick up some long socks, ladies. Other bonuses of this boot are that they come in stylish and fun floral prints, and they’re made of 50 percent recycled materials.

Pros

  • Comfortable insole
  • Waterproof
  • Thick tread
  • Durable
  • Made of recycled material
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Tall socks necessary
  • Sizing is narrow
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Pro tip

If you want a pair of comfortable and stylish gardening boots, these might work well for you.

The Original MuckBoots Daily Garden Shoe

Quick Info

  • Type: Shoe
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Materials: Synthetic, rubber, fabric
  • Rubber sole: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors: Green, brown
A gardening shoe that’s not only waterproof and skid-proof, but also comfortable does exist in the Original MuckBoots Daily Garden Shoe. You’ll need to choose the size carefully, as these unisex shoes don’t come in half sizes. You might find that this shoe fits a little too snugly or loosely. Still, the cloth around the ankle keeps things comfy as you trudge around in your garden. And the sole is made of rubber with a thick tread, which should keep you from slipping and sliding. Although these shoes may seem high quality at first, and flexible, they seem to lose durability quickly. Many people reported after only a few months of wear, holes appeared where the shoe flexes when you bend your foot. Considering the cost of these garden shoes, it might not be the best value. They slip on and off easily and keep your feet dry in wet conditions, so they may still be worth the cost.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof
  • Thick tread
  • Heavy

Cons

  • Sizing is off
  • Questionable durability
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Pro tip

If you’re looking for gardening shoes that are comfortable and won’t skid in slippery conditions, this might be the pair for you.

Conclusion

Gardening shoes are a necessity when you spend a lot of time out in the dirt, water, and the resulting mud. They must be waterproof, skid-proof, and comfortable. Sometimes you need warm and dry, while at other times, a ventilated shoe is the best option. When it comes to finding the best gardening shoes, you have to consider the conditions and weather. It might even be a good idea to find a couple pairs of gardening shoes that work for different conditions. Overall, though, the best gardening shoes title belongs to the Crocs Unisex Classic Clog. These classic clogs are known for being durable, lightweight, and breathable. They work well for light gardening tasks, and they clean up easily. You might not want to use them for shoveling, but most other tasks will be easy with these shoes.

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

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