I’m a big fan of clogs and My! haven’t they come a long way since the Dutch thought that blocks of wood on your feet was a good idea. Today, garden clogs are far more practical but nonetheless insanely comfortable.
For years I wore an open-backed pair with a wooden sole and leather upper. Initially I was incredibly skeptical that they shouldn’t instead be hung on the mantelpiece as some decorative adornment. Yet after a short test drive I was convinced that these could quite possibly be THE most comfortable shoe that I’ve ever worn.
My feet, after having survived years esoterically shrouded with socks and lumping boots, have relished the liberal style of clogs. The easy slip-in/ slip-off is the obvious attraction and when you find footwear is becoming burdensome in your gardening endeavours flicking them off with a twist of your toes can be quite a relief.
One of the other benefits is the aeration holes that modern garden clogs sport. Since most of these are now produced from plastic or rubberised materials they do have a tendency to make your feet more sweaty. The aeration holes provide an escape from the build-up of moisture allowing your feet to keep shoes on even in the middle of summer.
By far the greatest feature of garden clogs is their versatility in all types of weather. ‘Gum-boots’, ‘Wellingtons’ and ‘Galloshers’ are great in really wet weather but overkill in dry, dusty summer. The opposing garden shoe may suit the warmer months but once they get a bit of mud or water on them they’re practically rendered useless. Garden clogs perform in all conditions.
Here are some of the major manufacturers and a store for these branded garden clogs;
CROCS™ and SLOGGERS™ need no introduction as they’ve almost become household brands. CROCS™, named for their similarity between a crocodile’s head, are possibly Boulder, Colorado’s best export.
Originally CROCS™ were made specifically as outdoor footwear but they have now crept into mainstream apparel and can be seen on people as casual wear, camping gear and as awesome garden clogs.
Their two main styles for the garden are;
Hydro – for wet weather and sandy conditions.
Endeavor – for cold climates. Complete upper layer.
SLOGGERS™ are no sluggards in this market either. While CROCS™ have broadened their scope and market share, SLOGGERS™ have remained faithful as ‘Garden Outfitters’. Their sleek styles won’t break the bank and seem to offer more safety with their enclosed uppers.
Plus, their durable yet flexible EVA plastic won’t damage your feet as your gardening chores contort them. With a range of fashion prints plus quite a few more styles than CROCS™ that are suitable for the garden, you’re sure to find something from this maker.
NORCROSS FOOTWEAR INC.
NORCROSS are well-noted for their safety footwear being contracted to many organisations and government bodies to provide their employees with suitable, yet practical shoes and boots. This high standard seems to have been taken across into their garden clogs range as well.
Strong, tough and durable these clogs are great. The only limitation seems to be their styles.
MUCKBOOTS™ are a signature brand of Norcross Footwear and aimed primarily at the gardener or those working outdoors. The brand has been tailored to offer longevity and they’re manufactured from 100% Waterproof CR-Foam. While most of the other garden clogs on the market are produced using EVA rubber the CR-Foam is a similar compound to Neoprene which is used to make surfing booties.
So, while MUCKBOOTS™ may outlast the others don’t expect to source them cheaply. Most styles in this brand sell for at least double the asking price of the others.