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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Proper Garden Shoes?

This has always baffled me. What exactly is the proper footwear when gardening? I know what is touted as the perfect shoe–-plastic boots, rubber clog things, waterproof, hideous and uncomfortable, slips on/off and easy to clean. That is all every well and good but not my idea of the perfect shoe, not for the way I garden anyway.

Easy on/off may sound like a good idea, so you can easily take them off before going into the house. That way you don’t tract all sorts of mud and dirt all over, but in my yard, where in spring time, directly after the snow is melted and the ground pretty much is a marshy pit, those easy on/off shoes would be mostly off and stuck in the muck. The ground here in spring time is so saturated with water, your feet will sink in to your ankles. Yes, they don’t call the Poconos the highest elevation swamp in the USA for nothing.

Then there is the boot, duck boots to be exact. They are good to keep the foot dry but they don’t feel comfy enough to trudge all over the yard. I know, I’ve tried and I don’t like them. They are heavy, clunky and just not right.

Easy to clean,slip on Keds which can be tossed into the wash are good if you don’t tackle the rough side of gardening but I do. That rough side includes digging, and if you’ve ever tried to put a shovel in hard packed dirt, you’d know those Keds are pretty much useless. Your feet will be hurting you something awful after digging for any length of time. Yes, I use my feet to push that shovel into the dirt and I expect to hit rocks. That’s what you get in the Poconos, rock and loads of them hidden in the soil. And rocks make your feet hurt all the more.

No, the perfect footwear has to be tough, has to be sturdy and has to be comfortable. So what is the perfect footwear? Basketball sneakers, high-tops with thick, gripping soles and hiking boots work too. For me anyway, these are best. How about you? Got a favorite shoe you like to wear in the garden? Please, don't tell me high heels, cuz that'll just make me laugh at you!

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