The 9 Best Gardening Shoes, According to Our Testers

Take care of your garden with the Sloggers Women’s Waterproof Comfort Shoes.

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Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Summer is in full swing, and that means gardeners are enjoying the tasks that come with having a garden. However, pruning, weeding, watering, and planting can all get quite dirty—not to mention muddy at times. So, it's important to find a pair of gardening shoes that can withstand the mess and keep you comfortable as well.

To find the best gardening shoes, we put 24 pairs to the test and wore them for a total of 68 hours. Using a pre-determined methodology, testers evaluated each pair based on five categories: quality, comfort, durability, design, and value. We also consulted Sara Gatanas, director of marketing at Urban Garden Center, and Katie Parks of Freckles & Sprouts.

Overall, the best gardening shoes are the Sloggers Women's Waterproof Comfort Shoes, because they're waterproof and easy to clean. They were also comfortable to wear and had a stylish design.

Here, the best gardening shoes.

What We Recommend

Best Overall: Sloggers Women's Waterproof Comfort Shoes

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These gardening shoes are waterproof and easy to clean.

Keep in Mind: They aren't available in half sizes, so you'll have to size up and use the half sizer insole. They also started to feel hot quickly when in the sun.

Overall, the best gardening shoes are the Sloggers Women's Waterproof Comfort Shoes. After one tester wore them for 90 minutes, the shoes received high scores across categories and a near-perfecting rating overall. Plus, they're a waterproof, closed-toe option that's even great for rainy days or cooler weather.

The shoes received a perfect score for their quality, with a tester noting that the brand's "All-Day Comfort" soles are solid yet flexible and that the pair felt high-quality overall. It's worth noting that these shoes don't come in half sizes, however there is a half-sizer insole included to help you achieve a better fit.

When it came to comfort, the shoes received a 4.5/5 as the tester noticed the shoes don't offer much arch support. The tester's feet didn't feel sore after wearing them for 30 minutes, however, and they felt well-cushioned. It's worth noting, however, that due to the closed-toe style, color, and material, the shoes did begin to feel hot after being in the sun.

The shoes received a perfect score for their design as the tester appreciated the tulip design and gloss finish. The shoes had a snug fit, so water didn't get inside while they hosed and there was a small tab on the back of each shoe that made it easier to take them off. The tester, who tried them without socks, noticed that the shoes made a slight nose while she walked.

The shoes include a heavy-duty tread to minimize slipping, which is perfect for gardening in wet conditions. When you're done using them, simply rinse them off with a garden hose before you bring the shoe inside.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women's 6–11 (no half sizes)
  • Widths: Standard
  • Materials: Not listed
  • Waterproof: Yes
sloggers-womens-waterproof-comfort-shoes-tulip-black-8-viveka-neveln-02
Viveka Neveln

Best Budget: Amoji Unisex Garden Clogs

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The shoes are breathable, formfitting, and lightweight.

Keep in Mind: They have waterproof material but do feature holes that let water through.

If you're looking for a style that's less expensive than other options, the best gardening shoes to consider are this unisex clog from Amoji. Our testers liked the breathability, thanks to the multiple holes and the lightweight material. Plus, they're offered in a variety of colors and sizes, so you'll be able to find a pair that suits your style.

Park of what makes this pair some of the best gardening shoes to consider is their design, which received a 4/5 from testers. Overall, they liked that the holes on the top of the shoe are smaller than some similar styles from other brands, which means less soil can work its way into the shoes.

The shoes received a lower score for quality, as the tester noted there are no straps and it's made of a lightweight, waterproof foam material. They're a very simple slip-on style, however, which allowed the tester to easily take them on and off.

When it came to durability, the gardening shoes received a perfect score due in part to the fact that there was no visible wear and tear observed after testing. The clogs are also easy to clean with a quick rinse through the hose or with a damp cloth, and you can just let them air dry before your next use.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women's 6–15, Men's 5–13
  • Widths: Standard
  • Materials: Rubber
  • Waterproof: Yes
Amoji-Garden-Clogs-Photo-Caitlin-Sole-04
Caitlin Sole

Best Waterproof Boots: Evercreatures Women's Rain Ankle Boot

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: They're easy to pull on, closed toe, and are fully waterproof, so they're ideal for muddy tasks.

Keep in Mind: The waterproof material won't be very breathable, especially while working in the garden on hot days. They might also be harder to clean than some other options.

Thanks to their cotton lining and waterproof rubber soles, these ankle boots are the best garden shoes if you need a waterproof pair. The gardening shoes received high scores across the board, with the tester particularly appreciating the pair's quality and design.

Overall, testers gave a perfect score for quality, noting that they had a comfortable height and wide mouth that made them easy to put on. They also don't have an overly bulky feel, so they won't weigh you down while gardening. Plus, a tester ran a hose over them on various modes and noted there were no leaks.

When it came to the design, one tester liked that they felt like shoes you could wear in the garden as well as on a quick trip to the store. They also appreciated that they come in several colors and patterns and that the treads are nice and deep, so you'll have better traction whether you're running an errand or working in the soil.

Though the thicker rubber material protects toes and feet from sharp instruments, the tester found that these boots are quite comfortable to wear. Though they aren't as breathable as the tester had hoped, they're still a solid waterproof option.

It's worth noting that while our testers didn't notice any odor after wearing them, they mentioned it may be difficult to clean the interior if odors did appear. However, they appreciated that the outside of the boots can look nearly new after a quick rinse with the garden hose.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women's UK sizes 5–10
  • Widths: Standard
  • Materials: Rubber, cotton
  • Waterproof: Yes
Evercreatures-Rain-Ankle-Boot-Photo-Caitlin-Sole-06
Caitlin Sole

Best Clogs: Crocs Classic Clog

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Zappos and Urban Outfitters

Why You Should Get It: The shoes are so lightweight that you'll forget you're even wearing them.

Keep in Mind: They have large holes, so they're not ideal if you're laying a lot of dirt.

Crocs is known for their uniquely styled shoes, and are the best gardening shoes if you're looking for a typical clog style. Testers loved how lightweight the Classic Clogs are and appreciated that the strap is adjustable as well, so you can wear these as slip-on shoes or fasten the strap for a more secure fit.

In terms of quality, they're made of a lightweight plastic material that's easy to wear. However, it also means there's no sole, so our tester was a bit concerned about how these might hold up over time. While the material itself is waterproof, breathable, and easy to clean, the holes at the toe box will allow water in. Overall, they also might not be your best gardening shoe option for laying dirt, as they'll let soil into the shoe as well.

Crocs doesn't offer half sizes, though a tester found that sizing up gave them a comfortably loose fit. Their style can be a love/hate relationship for some people, but we felt the comfort and lightweight material of these shoes more than make up for the aesthetic.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women's 4–19, Men's 2–17
  • Widths: Standard
  • Materials: Ethylene vinyl acetate
  • Waterproof: Yes

Related: The 9 Best Small Greenhouse Kits You Can Assemble Yourself

Crocs-Classic-Clog-Photo-Caitlin-Sole-03
Caitlin Sole

Best for Men: L.L.Bean Men's Wellie Sport Shoes

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Why You Should Get It: They're a waterproof gardening shoe with the look and comfort of a sneaker.

Keep in Mind: They're more expensive than other gardening shoe options.

The L.L.Bean Men's Wellie Sport Shoes Men are a versatile style, making them some of the best garden shoes for men. The waterproof sneaker-style shoes received high scores across categories, with testers noting that they were comfortable and had a solid build.

The gardening shoes have a convenient pull tab for easy on and off, though a tester did notice that they needed to use our fingers to help our feet slide into them. Their sleek style looks like a fashion sneaker but the neoprene collar and rubber shell protect your feet from water and dirt.

These come in select half sizes and offer a lightweight, cushioned midsole with a True Comfort footbed for more support. Our tester found them to be just about as comfortable as sneakers, though they didn't feel they had a lot of arch support overall.

When it came to quality, one tester liked the sealed seams and neoprene collar that keeps water from getting in at the ankle. The tread keeps you from slipping and we found the shoes to be constructed of quality materials. However, testers did not they weren't very breathable. And while they're more expensive than some other options, testers did think the quality was worth the splurge.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Men's 7–14
  • Widths: Medium D
  • Materials: Ethylene vinyl acetate, neoprene, rubber
  • Waterproof: Yes
LL-bean-mens-wellie-sport-shoes-slip-on-alex-colby-13
Alex Colby

Best Slip-Ons: The Original Muck Boot Company Women's Muckster Low

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI

Why You Should Get It: They are a lower-cut gardening shoe that keeps out water and dirt.

Keep in Mind: These shoes only come in whole sizes. Plus, they offer less arch support than some other options.

For women in search of a waterproof, slip-on style, the Muckster Low boots are the best gardening shoes worth considering. The shoe itself is lightweight and flexible, yet our testers found them to have a very sturdy feel.

Because they're waterproof, one tester found that wearing them with thin socks helped in terms of not feeling too sweaty. The shoes also come with a mesh lining and a footbed insert that help reduce odors, which is ideal for long days in the garden.

The shoes don't come in half sizes, so the tester sized up. Overall, this made the toe box roomy, which kept them comfortable even after wearing the shoes for a couple of hours. It's worth noting that they don't offer much in the way of arch support and a tester found that the soles were a bit stiff, making it more difficult to squat for long periods of time.

The shoes fit closely around the ankle, so dirt and debris didn't get into them during testing. However, that tight fit also means it may take a bit of wiggling to slip your feet into them, so one tester appreciated the handy pull tab.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women's 5–11
  • Widths: Medium
  • Materials: Neoprene, rubber, mesh
  • Waterproof: Yes
muck-boot-company-womens-muckster-low-8-viveka-neveln-03
Viveka Neveln

Best for Yard Work: The Original Muck Boot Company Women's Muckster II Mid

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Also available at Walmart

Why You Should Get It: Testers noted that the soles had great traction and are comfortable to wear.

Keep in Mind: Some may find that the shaft fits too tightly around the calf.

If you prefer a style with a higher shaft for yard work, the best gardening shoes are Women's Muckster II Mid. They're waterproof boots that can be rolled down to fit more like a shoe. Plus, they're designed so dirt won't stick to them very easily and they offer great traction, so the shoes will help keep you steady in wet conditions.

When it came to quality, our tester felt that the shoes were very sturdy and noted that water didn't get into the boots, even when we wore them while rinsing them with a hose. They protected the tester's feet on everything from wet grass to mulch to wet pavement and had such good traction that even when they tried to slip on wet surfaces they couldn't.

The boots get warm over time but unlike other gardening shoes, you'll be able to roll this pair down into a shorter style. The gardening shoes also offer plenty of cushion and support, earning them a high score for comfort as well. The tester did not that the shaft felt a bit tight around the calf, especially when worn with jeans, however pairing them with shorts provided a more comfortable fit.

In terms of durability, the gardening shoes earned a near-perfect score with testers noting that they didn't see any clear signs of wear and tear. Although the shoes didn't come with any specific cleaning instructions, one tester was surprised at how easily the neoprene washed off.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women's 5–11
  • Widths: Medium
  • Materials: Neoprene, mesh, rubber
  • Waterproof: Yes

Related: The 16 Best Garden Benches to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space

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Anna Knief

Best Arch Support: Naturalizer Women's Marianne Loafer

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Zappos

Why You Should Get It: These loafers offer plenty of support and breathability as well as style.

Keep in Mind: These aren't waterproof and are a little harder to clean, so you won't want to wear them for heavy-duty gardening work.

For a stylish yet comfortable style, the best gardening shoes are Naturalizer's Women's Marianne Loafer. These slip-on loafers are made of 100 percent leather and have a suede sole. Plus, they also offer plenty of arch support as well as a removable insert, so they'll keep you comfortable while working outdoors.

When it came to design, our testers gave them a perfect score as they felt they could take this pair from the garden to a dinner reservation. They also found them to be quite comfortable and highly breathable and noted that their feet didn't sweat. Plus, they have great traction, which is great for multiple trips across the yard.

Unlike other styles, the shoes are not water resistant or waterproof, so cleaning them requires a bit of extra care using dish soap and paper towels. Because of this, the shoes are best for light gardening and yard work that won't get them very dirty.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women's 4–12
  • Widths: Standard, with Wide in sizes 11–12
  • Materials: Leather, suede
  • Waterproof: No

Related: The 10 Best Solar Lights to Brighten Your Outdoor Space

Naturalizer-womens-marianne-loafer-christine-colby-06
Christine Colby

Best Mid-Calf: Xtratuf Salmon Sister Boots

Best Gardening Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI

Why You Should Get It: These boots are perfect for heavy-duty garden work since they're waterproof and have deep treads.

Keep in Mind: They may have an oil-like coating when first purchased.

This pair of 100 percent waterproof boots come up to about mid-calf, making them some of the best garden shoes, especially for heavier-duty gardening work. During testing, they didn't let any water in and they provided excellent traction, even while we were working in wet and muddy areas.

Overall, the gardening shoes received high scores for quality, comfort, and durability. Testers found that they were waterproof and sturdy and provided great traction, even in particularly muddy areas. It's worth noting, however, that deep treads like the ones on this pair tend to hold onto dirt and debris, so a tester had to spend a bit of time cleaning them.

The tester felt that the boots were comfortable and provided arch support, but they weren't very breathable. However, they do have a lining that helped their feet stay dry. Plus, if you need a shorter style, the boots can be rolled down a bit.

One detail testers didn't like was an oil-like coating that appeared a few days after they received them. They were able to wipe them down and the boots became shiny, but it's worth storing them away from other items that you wouldn't want the coating to get on, at least for the first few uses.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women's 6–9, 11
  • Widths: Standard
  • Materials: Latex neoprene
  • Waterproof: Yes
xtratuf-salmon-sisters-boots-legacy-christine-colby-09
Christine Colby

The Bottom Line

Overall, the best gardening shoes are the Sloggers Women's Waterproof Comfort Shoes. They're waterproof yet comfortable and even easy to clean, making them ideal for all types of gardening tasks. If you're looking for a less expensive option, the best gardening shoes are the Amoji Unisex Garden Clogs. The shoes are breathable, formfitting, and lightweight. Plus, they're offered in a variety of colors.

Our Testing Process

To find the best gardening shoes, we put 24 pairs to the test over the course of 68 hours total. Testers were given a pre-determined methodology and were asked to evaluate each pair in five categories: quality, comfort, durability, design, and value. For the quality and comfort categories, each pair had to be worn for at least 30 minutes and testers were asked to do a few tasks, like crouching, kneeling, and walking over specific surfaces. The final score for each pair was determined by averaging the scores in each category.

What to Know About Gardening Shoes Before Shopping

Waterproofness

When choosing the best gardening shoes, you'll want to consider what type of work you're doing and whether you want them to keep water out. If you need a waterproof option, consider materials like neoprene and rubber. It's worth noting that depending on the style, they may not be the most breathable options.

"You'll definitely want something waterproof for the cooler months. I prefer water repelling sandals for the summer so my feet can breathe," says Parks.

Ventilation

According to Parks, ventilation in a gardening shoe is a bit of a personal preference and depends on your local climate. If you're in warmer climates, you'll want to be mindful that the shoe may get warm and your feet might end up feeling sweaty while you're doing yard work. To help consider clogs or shorter styles that let more air in.

Arch Support

Overall, the best gardening shoes will offer some arch support. Whether you're kneeling to plant new flowers or walking across your yard multiple times, having arch support will protect your feet and keep you comfortable. If you're doing light work or don't need to use them often, however, you can opt for less supportive styles that won't have as much of an impact.

Cleaning

The way you clean your gardening shoes depends a bit on the materials they're made from and the brand's specific cleaning instructions. In general, rubber options can be easily wiped or hosed down after each use. If you have a more traditional sneaker style, they may be able to go right in the washing machine.

Other Gardening Shoes We Tested

Hunter Play Speckle Sole Clogs

Overall, testers appreciated the quality of the Hunter Play Speckle Sole Clogs. They look and felt high-end, and testers found that they were waterproof. They don't run true to size, however, making it hard to find a good fit. Testers also found that the soles are heavy and they have a thick platform, making them uncomfortable to wear.

The Original Muck Boot Company Men's Low Mucksters

The Men's Low Mucksters from The Original Muck Boot Company are certainly made to withstand the muddiest of gardening tasks. However, that also makes them very heavy to wear. Their deeper treads kept testers from slipping in mud and muck but unfortunately made the boots quite difficult to get clean.

Your Questions, Answered

What are gardening shoes?

Though gardening shoes can be whatever style you prefer, they're generally a comfortable, waterproof pair that's easy to clean between uses. In general, Gatanas's landscape team generally likes work boots while she gravitates toward "old sneakers because I know they are comfortable and I'm not concerned about getting them dirty." Crocs-style shoes are another go-to for Gatanas because "they are comfortable, lightweight, have ventilation, and can be hosed off after gardening."

For less-than-tidy gardeners, rain boots are also a solid option. Their high shaft allows less chance for dirt and water to work their way into the boots, notes Gatanas. For those looking for a trendy gardening shoe, however, clogs and other slip-on styles are worth considering.

Should I wear socks with gardening shoes?

Wearing socks with gardening shoes is a personal choice, according to Gatanas. She recommends wearing them with waterproof and water-resistant shoes to prevent chafing and cut back on sweat.

What's the difference between water resistant and waterproof?

According to Gatanas, waterproof shoes won't "let water permeate the surface at all," and they're typically made out of rubber or similar materials. Water-resistant shoes "will keep water out to a certain point," but they do allow it in "after a certain saturation point." It's also worth keeping in mind that according to Gatanas water resistance tends to be more breathable than waterproof.

Who We Are

This article was written by Brittany VanDerBill, a freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens. To create this list, she evaluated insights from testers who scored each pair based on quality, comfort, durability, design, and value. She also consulted Sara Gatanas, director of marketing at Urban Garden Center, and Katie Parks of Freckles & Sprouts.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

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