The Best Gardening Shoes of 2022

Gardening can be a messy hobby, so keep your feet free of muck with a quality pair of gardening shoes.

By Steph Coelho | Updated Jun 20, 2022 5:52 PM

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The Best Gardening Shoes Option

Photo: depositphotos.com

Those who love gardening have likely muddied if not totally ruined a decent pair of shoes while pursuing it. That’s where gardening shoes come in. Made of durable, flexible materials such as rubber or foam, they’re easy to wash and offer adequate arch support, enabling users to feel comfortable when crouching, kneeling, and digging.

But, ultimately, the best gardening shoes are those that don’t leave the user’s feet aching, dirty, or wet at the end of the day. We researched the best gardening shoe brands from reputable companies. These shoes are known to perform well and look stylish, and they are made from quality materials. Read on for some of the best gardening shoes on the market in their respective categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Hunter Original Chelsea Boots
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Crocs Unisex Adult Classic Clog
  3. BEST FOR KIDS: Crocs Unisex Kids Classic Clog
  4. BEST BOOT: Hunter Original Tall Rain Boots
  5. BEST WATERPROOF: Muck Boots Muckster Garden Shoes
  6. BEST NONSLIP: L.L.Bean Rubber Moc
  7. BEST GARDEN CLOGS: Hunter Gardener Clogs
Best Gardening Shoes

Photo: istock.com

What to Consider When Choosing Gardening Shoes

Garden shoes are designed for gardening, yard labor, and other outdoor activities. They are made from materials specifically intended to keep feet dry and clean while providing traction and comfort. When shopping for the best yard work shoes, take the following considerations into account before making a decision.

Sizing and Fit 

As with everyday footwear, garden shoes should fit properly. A proper-fitting shoe is important to ensure comfort throughout the body. Shoe sizing will vary among brands and styles, so keep in mind that a user’s regular shoe size may go up or down, depending on where the shoes are purchased. To determine the best fit, look at the shoe manufacturer’s product specs. Most companies will indicate if the shoe fits true to size (i.e., the sizing will be consistent with the user’s normal shoe size) or if the shoe runs small or big, in which case the user should size up or down, respectively.

Also, the width will play into how the shoe fits. Shoe widths are indicated by letters ranging from the narrowest to the widest: AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, and EEE. If wider sizes are not available in the user’s normal shoe size, it is better to order a half size up for a better fit. In general, if a shoe width is not indicated, most shoes sold are of standard, or medium, width. A woman’s medium is B, and a men’s medium is D.

Materials and Durability 

Although garden shoes can be made with typical shoe materials such as leather or fabric, the best materials for garden shoes are rubber, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam. These materials are easy to clean and are more durable in moist environments.

Rubber is a natural material produced from the sap of tropical rubber trees. It contains latex, which gives the material its flexibility, making it a popular choice for the soles of many shoes. Rubber is waterproof and very durable, and it also naturally biodegrades over time. However, it is heavier and more expensive than PVC.

PVC is a plastic material more commonly known as vinyl. It’s less expensive and lighter than rubber. However, it’s not as durable as rubber, but it’s waterproof and offers greater flexibility in terms of color and design.

EVA foam is a closed-cell, semirigid substance used in various materials including packaging, footwear, gaskets, helmets, and more. EVA foam is often used for insoles and clog-style shoes. It’s also waterproof and flexible, and it comes in a variety of colors.

Ease of Cleaning  

Ease of cleaning is essential for gardening shoes. Rubber and PVC need only an occasional washing with a garden hose to get clean. However, shoes with fabric lining or removable insoles will need extra care when cleaning if they get dirty or wet.

Our Top Picks

The gardening shoes below, ranging from slip-on styles to rain boots, are designed to help keep feet dry in rainy, growing season weather, and are considered among the best on the market.

Best Overall

The Best Gardening Shoes Option: Hunter Original Chelsea Boots
Photo: hunterboots.com

Hunter is a British footwear manufacturer known for its rubber Wellington boots. The brand makes various 100 percent natural rubber footwear and other accessories. The Chelsea half boot is one of Hunter’s most popular styles and is available in men’s, women’s, and kids’ sizes.
The Chelsea boot features a recycled-polyester lining and insole with elasticized gussets and nylon pull tabs to make stepping into and out of the boot easy. The rubber slip-on shoes fit true to size but are slightly fitted. There are no width options available. For users who are in between sizes, Hunter suggests ordering up a size.
The Chelsea boot is designed for everyday, wet-weather, and garden wear. The boots are easy to clean, durable in the mud, and comfortable. These boots are pricey, but natural rubber will last for a long time if cared for properly. Also, the company offers a 2-year warranty on the boots.

Product Specs

  • Material: Rubber
  • Style: Half boot
  • Fit type: Regular

Pros

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • 100 percent recycled-polyester lining and insole
  • Women’s sizes have a variety of color options
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Men’s sizes have limited color options
  • No custom-width options

Get the women’s Hunter Chelsea Boots gardening shoes at Hunter, Zappos, or Nordstrom.
Get the men’s Hunter Chelsea Boots gardening shoes at Hunter, Zappos, or Nordstrom.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Gardening Shoes Option: Crocs Unisex Adult Classic Clog
Photo: amazon.com

Those looking for a durable, comfortable slip-on style that will hold up over many, many growing seasons will want to consider these Crocs clogs. Made of the company’s signature Croslite foam (similar to EVA foam), the clogs are lightweight and convenient to slide in and out of; however, for a more secure fit, users can use the pivoting heel strap.

The unisex clogs provide a decent amount of arch support, making them comfortable to wear for long periods. Crocs feature ventilation holes for maximum breathability, which is an asset when working outside in the summer heat. They also quickly shed water, dirt, and other small garden debris, making for easy care and cleanup.

Product Specs

  • Material: Croslite foam (similar to EVA foam)
  • Style: Clog
  • Fit type: Roomy

Pros

  • Versatile and inexpensive
  • Wide range of color options
  • Lightweight and roomy

Cons

  • Ventilation holes let in dirt

Get the Crocs gardening shoes at Amazon or Crocs.

Best For Kids

The Best Gardening Shoes Option: Crocs Unisex Kids Classic Clog
Photo: amazon.com

Because of their versatility, fun color options, and easy maintenance, Crocs are a popular footwear choice for kids. Like the adult versions, kids’ Crocs offer arch support and cushion, holes for ventilation, and a heel strap to help keep them from sliding off. They are easy to clean, and kids (and parents) love them because they are easy to put on and take off. They are an affordable option for everyday wear and garden use.

Product Specs

  • Material: Croslite foam (similar to EVA foam)
  • Style: Clog
  • Fit type: Roomy

Pros

  • Versatile and inexpensive
  • Wide range of color options
  • Lightweight and roomy

Cons

  • Ventilation holes let in dirt

Get the Crocs gardening shoes for kids on Amazon or Zappos.

Best Boot

The Best Gardening Shoes Option: Hunter Original Tall Rain Boots
Photo: amazon.com

The Original Tall Rain Boot is Hunter brand’s most iconic shoe. The stylish boot features a traction-gripping sole, subtle tonal motifs circling the shaft, and an adjustable buckle at the side. Like all Hunter shoes, the Original Tall Rain Boot is made from 100 percent rubber.

The women’s boot is available in several color options, while the men’s boot has only a few color options available. Both men’s and women’s styles feature a 100 percent recycled-polyester lining and insole. Hunter recommends the shoes be worn with socks to protect the wearer’s skin from contact with the rubber. The boots are available only in whole sizes and medium/regular fit.

Although these boots are designed for rainy weather, the 16-inch shaft and durable rubber material keep users’ feet dry and protect their calves from thorny shrubs while gardening, making them the best yard work shoes. Hunter’s Original Tall Rain Boots are an investment, but the company offers a 2-year warranty. With proper care, these boots can last for many years.

Product Specs

  • Material: Rubber
  • Style: Boot
  • Fit type: Regular

Pros

  • 100 percent recycled-polyester lining and insole
  • Women’s sizes have a variety of color options
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Men’s sizes have limited color options
  • No custom-width options

Get the women’s Hunter rain boots at Amazon, Hunter, or Nordstrom.
Get the men’s Hunter rain boots at Hunter, Nordstrom, or Zappos.

Best Waterproof

The Best Gardening Shoes Option: Muck Boots Muckster Garden Shoe
Photo: amazon.com

The Original Muck Boot Company is known for its 100 percent waterproof boots and footwear that withstands the muckiest situations in every season. The Muskster Low shoe features a natural rubber outer shell with a flexible neoprene bootie insert. These waterproof garden shoes have a molded rubber outsole with medium tread to provide traction in slippery conditions.
The inner 4-millimeter-thick neoprene bootie features an Airmesh lining that allows airflow and wicks moisture away from the user’s feet. These comfy garden clogs are designed to adapt to the movements and contours of the user’s feet, providing sure footing while the user is walking, bending, or crouching.
The Muskster Low shoe is perfect for any outdoor task, such as gardening, walking the dog, or running errands in the rain, but it’s especially great for wet, muddy conditions. Although the Airmesh neoprene lining promotes air circulation, the neoprene may be too hot for some in warm weather. The shoe has a loose fit, so thick socks are recommended when wearing them.

Product Specs

  • Material: Rubber with neoprene bootie
  • Style: Clog
  • Fit type: Loose

Pros

  • Neoprene Airmesh lining allows airflow and wicks moisture away
  • Super light and airy
  • 100 percent waterproof and great for cold, wet weather

Cons

  • Maybe too hot for some in the summer/warm weather

Get the women’s Muck Boots gardening shoes at Amazon, The Original Muck Boot Company, or Dick’s.
Get the men’s Muck Boots gardening shoes at The Original Muck Book Company or Dick’s.

Best Nonslip

The Best Gardening Shoes Option: L.L.Bean Rubber Moc
Photo: global.llbean.com

L.L.Bean’s rubber moc is the clog version of the company’s famous duck boot, with the familiar rubber soles and full-grain leather trim and tongue. The shoe has a steel shank, a piece of metal in the sole that runs from the ball of the foot to the heel. Steel shanks are often found in work boots, and they are designed to provide support, protect the foot from below, and keep the shoe from wearing out quickly. The bottom of the moc features a thick heel and rubber chain-tread bottoms built for releasing debris, easy cleaning, and superior traction.
L.L.Bean’s rubber moc is designed for everyday wear in wet, muddy conditions and is comfortable to wear while performing gardening and yard tasks. The shoe is unlined, which makes it perfect for warm-weather tasks. Heavy socks are recommended to wear with the shoe in colder weather.

Product Specs

  • Material: Rubber with full-grain leather trim and tongue
  • Style: Clog
  • Fit type: Regular

Pros

  • Multiple width options
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Handmade in the USA

Cons

  • Runs large, may need to size down

Get the women’s L.L.Bean gardening shoes at L.L.Bean, Nordstrom, or Zappos.
Get the men’s L.L.Bean gardening shoes at L.L.Bean, Nordstrom, or Zappos.

Best Garden Clogs

The Best Gardening Shoes Option: Hunter Gardener Clogs
Photo: hunterboots.com

The Hunter gardener clog offers a waterproof exterior, 3-millimeter neoprene insole to cushion the foot, and a calendered tread with excellent traction that readily releases debris and mud.

The shoe’s exterior comprises 100 percent rubber in a matte green or olive finish, and the shoe offers the slip-on-and-off convenience of a clog. Still, it performs with the solid assurance of a work boot thanks to the high heel back and superior grip that helps keep the user upright on slippery surfaces. Hunter footwear is renowned for its classic style, and these clogs do not disappoint. Although the color options are limited to only green and dark olive, the clogs feature a classic style accentuated with Hunter’s classic red box logo, which makes them look great in or out of the garden.

Product Specs

  • Material: Rubber
  • Style: Clog
  • Fit type: Regular

Pros

  • Attractive style for in and out of the garden
  • Excellent tread
  • Slip-on-and-off convenience

Cons

  • Only 2 color options for women and 1 for men

Get the women’s Hunter gardening shoes at Hunter, Nordstrom, or Zappos.
Get the men’s Hunter gardening shoes at Hunter, Zappos, or William Powell.

Our Verdict

Hunter Chelsea Boots gardening shoes topped our list for the best garden shoes based on its 100 percent rubber construction, elastic gussets, range of color options, and overall pleasing style. It’s also waterproof. For a classic and practical garden clog, consider the Hunter gardening shoes, which feature the company’s signature red box logo, rubber construction, and calendered tread soles. We also recommend Crocs gardening shoes for their versatility, wide range of color and pattern options, and economical price.

How We Chose the Best Gardening Shoes

We selected the best gardening shoes based on materials, fit, style, and brand reputation. We conducted extensive research and considered our personal experience with each product to narrow down the selections. All these gardening shoes are made from waterproof materials, are easy to clean, and provide ample traction and comfort for the wearer.

Lastly, we evaluated the style and color options for each shoe. The final list features selections from the industry’s most reputable garden shoe manufacturers.

FAQs

Investing in a good pair of gardening shoes is a wise decision. Before making a final selection, answers to the following frequently asked questions may provide additional insight in selecting the right garden shoe.

Q: Are gardening boots and rain boots the same thing?

No, but some gardening shoes can function as rain boots, and some rain boots are suitable for gardening. Garden shoes have heavy-duty tread and are available in boot and clog styles; some are waterproof. Rain boots are typically calf-length rubber or plastic boots worn during inclement weather to keep the feet dry and warm.

Q: Why are clogs so popular for gardening?

Clogs are a popular choice for gardeners because they are comfortable, slip on and off easily, and are easy to clean.

Q: What are the benefits and drawbacks of overshoes for gardening? 

Overshoes provide an inexpensive way to protect shoes from dirt and moisture in the garden. However, overshoes do not always offer traction and may not fit well over the user’s existing shoes.