Gardening can be muddy, wet, dirty work. Gardeners need shoes that can keep their feet dry and warm, and shoes that can easily be cleaned at the end of the work day. Shoes that can easily be slid off at the door are even more convenient. The clog has long been the perfect shoe for gardeners, and modern plastic clogs are more practical than the old wooden and leather clogs.
Dry and Warm
Lots of clogs are on the market these days. Some are the traditional Swedish clogs with wooden soles and leather uppers. These are pretty, but they are not as practical for gardening as plastic clogs. Plastic clogs keep water and mud away from your feet, and come in many colours. For gardeners, dark colours are probably better, as lighter colours get stained by dirt sooner. Clogs can be washed, but not all stains wash out.
To Vent or Not to Vent
The main problem with plastic clogs is that they hold humidity in and do not ventilate well. To solve this problem, some plastic clog manufacturers add vents along the edge of the sole or on the top of the clogs. If you want ventilation, choose clogs with vents on top rather than along the side. Side vents let in more water and mud. Plastic clogs are most comfortable with socks, and if you have too many vents, your socks will soon be wet and your feet will be cold.
Where to Buy Garden Clogs
Garden centres sometimes sell clogs for gardening, and some well-known brands, such as Crocs, are easy to find in most cities. Some cities have Birkenstock stores or retailers, where you can buy very good Birki clogs. Online, your choices are unlimited; Zappos, of course, sells all sorts of plastic clogs. Many online retailers sell Birki clogs, and Crocs can be browsed at their website. Muck Boots has an online store, as does Sloggers.
At the time of publication, one of the best deals in garden clogs is Slogger's classic garden clog, at £13. Crocs are slightly more, at around £19 to £26. Muck Boots garden clogs are in the £39 range. Birki clogs without a cork liner are also around £39, and if you upgrade to the Super Birki with a cork foot bed liner, you are at the top of the garden clog range at around £52.
Pros and Cons
For a range of colours and styles, Crocs win the contest. They come in an amazing array of colours, so you can have a pair to match all your outfits. They also have a very appealing, "fun" look. Even the all-business classic green and brown Muck Boots now come in a few feminine colours. Sloggers come in several bright colours, as do Birki clogs and Super Birkis. For sheer comfort and durability, the pricey Super Birki with cork foot bed is probably the best garden clog on the market. It does not have vent holes, but you can always drill some in the top.