What's covering your feet when you garden?

There are a total of 802 votes:

Sandals are my favorite summer footwear
(223 votes, 27%)
Red dot

Tennis shoes are my must-wear shoes
(210 votes, 26%)
Red dot

I wear work boots when I'm gardening
(55 votes, 6%)
Red dot

I am usually found barefoot in the garden
(119 votes, 14%)
Red dot

(195 votes, 24%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

I normally wear garden clogs--

I used to go barefoot sometimes until I stepped on a snake.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Wooo hoooo I'm first, I'm first, I'm first!

I have such horrible feet, and don't forget I'm doing this all in an electric wheelchair. I've had lots of surgeries on one of my wide short high instepped feet. So I wear the leather washable Keds. Which are not quite tennis shoes but almost. They're the only shoes I have never gotten a pressure sore from. I have 2 pair, one black and one white. I not only wear them to garden, but to drive, to go to MD appointments, to go to elegant dinners out, to go to community service awards, ad nauseum.

xxx, Carrie

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Oh..... I typed too slowly... Well, I was first while I was typing.

x, C

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Is the tennis shoes vs, sneakers thing a regional issue? [they're "trainers" in the UK, I believe.] I know what you mean, but I've never played tennis in my life. I do, however, do a lot of sneaking.

x, C

(Maggie) Jacksonvill, FL(Zone 9a)

I prefer flip-flops but when I'll be working hard all day, I wear sneaks with supportive insloes and thick socks. not as comfy in the short term but my ankle, knee, and back prefer sneakers.


New Caney, TX(Zone 8b)

Rubber rain boots..Galoshes, that is..
Fire ants don't seem to climb them..

Jim Falls, WI(Zone 4a)

flip flops are the preferred foot wear! If grass is wet and I have to do a lot of walking around I slip on DH's rubber boots. and last tennis shoes if it is picking rocks for raised beds!

Noblesville, IN(Zone 5a)

I am a good old hillbilly girl. Hate shoes and don't wear them unless I have to. Life is so much better with bare feet. Yes it is.

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

I wear sneakers if I am digging (I have to stand on the shovel), but mostly I wear flip flops or just go barefoot. Tamara

Southern, CT(Zone 6a)

I prefer black wingtips.

Westchester, IL(Zone 5b)

I put other, because I usually wear gym shoes (not the same as tennis shoes), but I also go barefoot a lot, too. I don't go barefoot as often as I used to, though, after stepping on a bee! OUCH! I'm allergic, too, so my whole foot and calf swelled up! But, I love the feeling of grass between my toes too much to give it up completely, lol. I just try to watch where I step, now!


Westchester, IL(Zone 5b)

Dave, LOL!


waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Not tennis shoes, but they are rubber soled walkers. I start out each spring with a new pair, and swear I won't wear them for gardening, to keep them nice and clean. I have several old pairs in the garage, which I can slip on on the way to the outdoors, they were all once pristine. Usually by June, I have forgotten my "keep 'em clean" promise and the new ones start to resemble the old ones. I refer to the new ones as my dress shoes, as they go everywhere I go...due to my fallen arches and the need for orthoticss. I dread the occasion where I may need to wear "real" shoes. Maybe I won't go.

Davenport, IA(Zone 5a)


I wear my Birki's for most gardening work, but when it comes to mowing or digging, out come the Sketcher's and orthotics. :-(

Oh, well-at least nothing stops me yet, if I have the proper shoes on.

I loved to wear my Crocs, in the early morning while the dew is out-but I SHRUNK them in the dryer. Oops. LOL


This message was edited Jun 25, 2007 7:11 AM

Evans, GA(Zone 7b)

I was so happy to "discover" garden clogs. Easy to clean and easy to slip on and off if I need to return into the house.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Funny, Dave!

I wear the most comfortable but ragged looking K Mart zip up things on my feet. Not tennis shoes and not sneakers - just pathetic. I have three pair and save the best ones for nursery shopping. Any day now I expect if I wear the really worn ones to a nursery people will start giving me donations for new shoes.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Gardening clogs ~ I would rather be barefoot but hate the sticker grass! The Croc type clogs let the toes get dirty as they should!

-Flip flops when I am planting or watering.
-Some sort of a tall rubber boot that a girlfriend gave me when I'm out working in the wetlands. They're a little too big but they were free.
-Anything hard soled to dig holes or use the weed wrench.
-Steel toed work boots when I am removing undesirables with a chainsaw.
-Crocs every once in a while when I remember I own them. They certainly are comfortable and easy to clean.

I used to run around barefoot a lot until I had to pull a few too many thorns out of my feet. Hawthorn trees have nasty thorns that can go right in your foot straight through a flip flop but they're better than being barefoot around here.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Pirl ~ maybe they will donate plants? Hmmmmm.... LOL

New Hampshire, NH(Zone 5b)

I'm in love with my Crocs. They are so comfortable!

If I'm doing heavy labor though (hauling rocks, etc.) I usually end up in sneakers.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Podster - I've already brought people home from a nursery to give them plants!

I used to love going barefoot but with sharp pine needles, thorns, and most of all the occasional wandering slugs I can't do it anymore.

Ewwww, squished slugs between toes! Now there's a pleasant thought.

Southeast, NE(Zone 5a)

Crocs except when I'm digging, then harder-soled tennis shoes.

South China, ME(Zone 5a)

Barefoot if just puttering, crocs, sandals if weeding or watering, sneakers if i'm mowing and sh_t kickers if I'm using a shovel or spreading......well you get the idea.

Toddville, IA(Zone 5a)

A few years ago, I found THE MOST comfortable shoes in the world, a suede slip-on by Bare Traps. I bought 6 pair, and wore the heck out of them. Now that they are no longer acceptable in public, they are my gardening shoes. I know it sounds horrible -- suede? -- but they are water resistant and all lined on the inside and so comfortable. But I have got to look an absolute sight in sweaty, muddy shorts, t-shirt and headband to hold sweaty hair out of face (headband somehow always clashes with rest of colors, I don't know why), then add on these black or tan suede shoes... Thank heavens I live generally out of sight in the country; the folks who wander back here to visit me must be strong souls!

But Meezers, I do suffer from the "oh, I'm just going to run up to the barn, I won't get these dirty" syndrome with "good" shoes, too. So I have a few pair of Skechers now only suitable for gardening. I can't wear anything that laces... after all these years of tripping over untied laces, I now only wear slip-ons and am doing much better, thank you!

My burning question is how many pair of gardening shoes do you have? I feel the need to keep a pair by each door, then another in case those have gotten wet or too muddy and need to dry off a bit, and then another in case you forgot to put one pair back... my husband thinks my piles muddy, ugly shoes by doors are possibly unnecessary. What do you think?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Perfectly acceptable, mysterypoodle! I have three pair of the zip up pathetic shoes and would never consider laces. My brother's shoelace became untied while he was ascending a ladder and he fell, dying ten days later at 29 back in 1961. I have fits when I see people with untied laces, as you might expect, and insist they tie the shoes or leave the property.

Thomson, GA

Well, before I got a bunion thingy that makes my big toe hurt, I was barefoot or sandals all the time. I HATED shoes. But I hate foot pain worse. After trying many different types, I finally settled on Dr. Shoals gellin' athetic shoes. I am on my feet in varying situations all day every day for work, so they really helped with the excrutiating pain. (The other alternative was surgery, and I couldn't deal with 6 weeks off my feet to heal) After 6-8 months of almost exclusively wearing these, my toe hardly hurts anymore, except when it's going to rain, LOL, which hasn't been much lately! I even got some Dr. Shoals sandals for church and other dressier occasions.

So when my shoes get to looking sad, they get recycled to gardening sneaks! These dry really quickly, and I have thrown them in the washer & dryer. Love 'em!

Southern, NH(Zone 5b)

I would love to go barefoot - but just not possible - too many critters (bees, spiders, snakes....)

I have a pair of croc's for spring, and a pair of TESA sandals. The only problem with the sandals is I get the most interesting tan lines...

I have quite a few pair of Birkenstock - but they are my "good" shoes that I wear to work.

Wauchula, FL(Zone 8b)

Living here in Wauchula, Florida, I would never think about going barefoot in my garden. Between the "Fire Ants" and poisonous snakes we find here, it just isn't a good idea.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

With my feet the poditrist insists on New Balance tennis shoes with thick socks. I think I've wore the pads of my feet out wearing sandals and such for years. He said to get them 1/2 size bigger for when my feet swell in the evenings.


Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

Love my Crocs, to date have 5 pair and begging for #6. If I can't wear my Crocs I'm not going....

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

Crocs are the only shoe ,period...........wash the mud off and put them back on!!
I didn't turn to crocs until I had ruined every pair of sandals in my closet (seriously).....
Now I am waiting for July 4 th to get sandals on sale....

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Carrie: It's tennis shoes in Michigan---still call them that in Texas. Good point!

I wear sandels year round....even if I'm in snow. I like to be able to kick shoes off quickly once I step in the house---I hate shoes. Wouldn't dare go barefoot in a Texas garden though with all the critters that live in the yard. :)

I wear good sturdy and comfortable Reeboks and white cotton socks (rubber soled 'walkers') usually . When it's muddy I wear my Muck (brand) shoes (rubbers shoes that only come up to my ankles). The Muck shoes are very comfortable and alot my comfortable than the 'cheaper' priced mud shoes. I also wear my Muck shoes anytime the grass is wet.

Regarding the Crocs (brand) shoes; there are several styles of the Croc shoes......

Which ones do you all wear for the garden? Could you let me know please? What color(s) do you all prefer? What are the positives to them? What are the negatives to them? Don't you all get alot of soil, rocks/pebbles, sticks, mulch, etc...... in your feet? Aren't your feet real dirty afterward? Do you ever 'turn your ankles' when wearing them in the garden or otherwise? Thanks!


This message was edited Jun 25, 2007 10:28 AM

This message was edited Jun 25, 2007 11:08 AM

This message was edited Jun 25, 2007 6:36 PM

(GayLynn) Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

ownedbycats, yuppers I get those same interesting tan lines from my sandals. My feet are the first things to tan. I live in them. Seems my feet are constantly wet when gardening so it has to be sandals. Can't stand the feeling of sloshing around in wet shoes. It's easier to just kick 'em off when I have to run into the house for something too.

Grifton, NC(Zone 7b)

flips flops,should have stock in them.I even have a pair of Halloween flip flops...If I only could work in them....HD

Gold Hill, OR(Zone 7a)

Barefoot most of the time, but I do wear sandals if the ground gets too hot from the summer sun ... :) don't have that many critters to worry about stepping on around here.
I only wear shoes when I 'have' to ... even in the winter ... love the feel of Mother Earth under my feet. ;)


Beachwood, NJ(Zone 6b)

I voted other. I used to only wear the original wood Dr. Scholls outside. But now I have changed to the croc type shoe with the vents in them. Toes are always dirty in the spring/ summer. A little extra chlorine in the pool helps, too!

New Hampshire, NH(Zone 5b)


I wear the crocs that look like clogs, but they have an ankle strap. They are extremely comfortable and cool, waterproof and easy to clean. As for the negatives, well you listed them, LOL. Yes, soil and pebbles sometimes find their way in through the holes. But one shake of the foot and they fall out too. My feet are FILTHY after a day in the garden. But I'm still doing a lot of digging and planting. They are not as bad if I'm just mosey-ing around, deadheading or watering. Sometimes I wear old socks with them - it helps with the sand and dirty feet problem. And, yes, I have turned my ankle in them as well. That is why I wear sneakers if I'm doing any really heavy yardwork. But they truly are perfect for light to medium labor gardening.

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