The Best Gardening Shoes to Keep Your Feet Dry and Protected

We recommend the Hunter Garden Clogs and the Muck Boot Mucksters

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The 8 Best Gardening Shoes of 2022

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

A sturdy pair of gardening shoes provide structure and keep your feet dry while landscaping or working in your garden. We researched dozens of shoes, evaluating them on water resistance, durability, and support.

Our top choices are the Hunter Garden Clogs for women and the Muck Boot Mucksters for men, both of which are supportive, protective, and water-resistant options. 

Here are the best gardening shoes on the market today.

Our Top Picks

Best for Women: Hunter Garden Clogs

4.5
Hunter Garden Clogs

Courtesy of Terrain

What We Like
  • Stylish

  • High back keeps moisture out without needing a boot

What We Don't Like
  • One-inch heel might not be for everyone

  • Color can fade in direct sunlight

British footwear company Hunter has been making rain boots since 1856, so they certainly know a thing or two about keeping feet dry during damp weather. These handcrafted rubber garden clogs are not only attractive, they also have a high-traction sole and a cushy, moisture-resistant neoprene lining. The high back keeps moisture out of the shoe without requiring a boot. They're available in women's whole sizes only (5 through 11), so if you're between two, order one up from your usual. Hunter also makes a men's version of this style.

Best for Men: Muck Boot Company Men's Low Mucksters

Muck Boot Muckster Ll Men's Rubber Garden Shoes

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Thick, grippy sole

  • Range of color options

  • Pull-on tab allows for easy on/off

What We Don't Like
  • Foot opening is slightly narrow

  • Only comes in full sizes

Although the Muck Low Mucksters are lightweight, they're rated for wearing in temperatures down to 18 degrees Fahrenheit. They have a breathable mesh lining, neoprene insulation, and a design that will help your feet stay stable, even on slippery surfaces. They're sold in black, brown, and moss green and available in men's sizes 7 through 15. Muck also makes a similar style for women.

Best for Kids: Hunter Original Kids First Classic Rain Boot

Original Kids First Classic Rain Boots

Courtesy of Hunter

What We Like
  • Easy for little ones to put on

  • Lots of fun colors to choose from

  • Orthopedic footbed

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Wide fit

If your kiddos like to help in the garden, you might want them in boots rather than shoes, since they offer a little more protection from the inevitable mud and water. These pint-sized Wellingtons come in eight colors and have a soft cotton lining that feels cozy. They're sold in whole sizes (little kid 5 through older kid 2) and will fit children between 18 months and 8 years old. Busy parents will love that even young toddlers will be able to slide these on without too much help.

Best for Summer: Crocs Classic Clog

Crocs Classic Clog

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Roomy fit might be too big on some

These breezy, generously sized clogs are a perennially popular summer gardening shoe, and it's easy to see why. You can easily hose them off at the end of a sweaty day, and the ventilation holes keep your toes cool while still protecting them. The strap can be rotated to sit over your heel for extra support, or flipped up for a slip-on vibe. They weigh just a few ounces and are made of a molded foam that conforms to your foot shape for an extra-comfy fit. They're available in whole sizes 6 through 12 for women and 4 through 17 for men.

Best Slip-On: Birkenstock Super-Birki Cork Footbed Clog

Birkenstock Men's Super-Birki

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Removable lining

  • Fun color options

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat stiff construction

Surprisingly elegant, these polyurethane Birks could be worn to work in a pinch. Gardeners will love that they're designed to resist dirt, and they've got the brand's comfortable cork-latex footbed liner, which is lined with moisture-wicking fabric and can be removed for washing and eventually replaced. Because these shoes can be easily disinfected, they're also popular with medical workers and chefs.

Best Waterproof: Sloggers Women's Waterproof Rain and Garden Shoe

sloggers shoes

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Cute patterns

  • Low pricepoint

  • Made in the USA

What We Don't Like
  • Less supportive than other brands

  • Heavy

These glossy waterproof shoes come with half-size insoles, so you can get a more custom fit. The thick tread provides excellent traction on slippery surfaces, and you can easily clean them with the garden hose. The company also offers a recycling program: Send them your old shoes and they'll be ground up, with the material earmarked towards a new pair. (Sloggers guarantees that 50 percent of each pair is made with recycled material.)

Best Boots: Crocs Jaunt Shorty Boot

womens-jaunt-shorty-boot

Courtesy of Crocs

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Low profile is easy to wear

What We Don't Like
  • Little arch support

  • Inconsistent sizing

These lightweight boots offer ankle coverage without being cumbersome as you bend and move in your backyard. They're made from Crocs' patented resin but also have a rubber outsole that will help you avoid wiping out when the ground is wet, so they're also great for running errands on rainy days. As with the Crocs' popular clogs, you'll have space to add funky Jibbitz charms to customize your look.

Best with Arch Support: LL Bean Men's Rubber Moc Bean Boots

Men's Bean Boots, Rubber Moc

Courtesy of LL Bean

What We Like
  • Extremely durable

  • Laces for adjustable fit

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • A bit warm for summer

Handsewn in Maine by trained boot stitchers (really!), these shoe boots might look casual, but they have a steel shank that helps provide plenty of support. The upper is made from high-quality leather, and the bottom is molded rubber with a chain tread to help guard against slippery ground. They come in three widths (narrow, medium, and wide), and a women's version is also available.

Final Verdict

The shoe you ultimately choose will depend on fit and personal preference, but the Hunter Garden Clog (view at Hunter) is an excellent overall choice, since it's well-made, protective, and fairly lightweight. If you prefer a flatter, more slipper-like option that can be worn in chilly weather, consider the Muck Boot Company Mucksters (view at Amazon). Looking for something more affordable? The easy-to-rinse Sloggers Rain & Garden Shoes (view at Amazon) have fun patterns and good traction.

What to Look for in a Gardening Shoe

Multiple widths

If your foot is especially narrow or width, look for a shoe that comes in more than one width option. This will allow for a more customized, comfortable fit that you'll appreciate after being on your feet for hours. If multiple width options aren't available, you can size up or down a half size.

Breathability

If you aren't planning to wear socks, choose a material like molded resin or polyurethane, which may be more breathable than leather or traditional rubber. (Hunter, for example, recommends wearing socks with its rubber shoes and boots.) Ventilation holes can also help since they allow air to flow through the shoe, preventing moisture and odor from building up.


Ease of cleaning

Are you the type who prefers to simply hose down your shoes each day and let them dry? You may want to choose a molded shoe that doesn't have a separate insole. That said, removable insoles can be taken out for airing and cleaning and eventually replaced. 

FAQ
  • What is a gardening shoe?

    A gardening shoe is a sturdy, waterproof shoe with a sole that gives you extra traction to prevent you from slipping on wet soil, grass, or pavers. Gardening shoes are easy to take on or off so you can do quick gardening task without spending your time lacing up boots. Some gardening shoes are meant to be worn in warm or hot weather, others are insulated so they not only keep your feed dry but also warm in chilly weather. If you do a lot of shoveling, which involves pressing down on the shovel with your foot, the rubber sole of the gardening shoe does not offer the same protection against pressure as rugged work boots would.

  • Do you wear socks with gardening shoes?

    It is always a good idea to wear socks with gardening boots because they protect you from blisters, moisture, insects, and small rocks and debris that get into the shoes during gardening. Socks also provide additional cushioning and stability—the shoes are less likely to slip off your feet when the inside of the shoes gets wet. Socks that wick away moisture are best.

  • How do you clean gardening shoes?

    If they are coated with mud, let them dry first, then knock or brush off the dirt before cleaning the shoes with water. Pull out the insole if it’s removable. Washing the shoes with just water might be sufficient; for pesky stains, add a few drops of dish soap. Brush or wipe off the dirt and rinse with clean water. And don’t forget to clean the sole. Remove any dirt stuck in-between the tread profile and pattern, an old toothbrush comes in handy here. Let the shoes air-dry completely inside and out before putting the insole back in the shoes.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Lexi Dwyer has written about patio tables and inflatable hot tubs for The Spruce. She's a huge fan of the molded shoes from Crocs and Birkenstocks, since they can be easily cleaned after a day on the grimy sidewalks of New York City.

Updated by
Nadia Hassani
Nadia Hassani
Nadia Hassani is a gardening expert with nearly 20 years of experience in landscaping, garden design, and vegetable and fruit gardening. She became a Penn State Master Gardener in 2006 and is a regular contributor to Penn State Master Gardener publications. She gives gardening talks about growing specialty produce for ethnic cuisines, authors two gardening and growing blogs, and created the taxonomy for the plant encyclopedia for Better Homes & Gardens.
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