This month, I received a pair of Muck Boots gardening shoes to try out in the garden. The only problem is that really, I am a barefoot gardener. I risk heel and pinky every year hoeing the weeds in naked tootsies. The soles of my feet are so calloused that even the Canada thistle shies away for fear that my foot will crush it without ever knowing it was there.
When I said I would look at these shoes, I had every intention of trying them myself just for the purposes of the review. But when they came in the mail, The Daily Garden rubber gardening shoes were of such a high quality, that I felt it just was not fair. Why should I keep such a nice pair of gardening shoes when I would wear them twice and then sacrifice them to the hungry monster I lovingly refer to as the foyer coat closet? Surely there was someone in my life who would be more deserving (and apt to make good use of the shoes) than I was.
That was when I thought of my mother. She has been on a quest for several years now in search of a perfect gardening shoe. It wasn’t that she couldn’t find comfortable gardening shoes. Nearly all of them are comfortable. A gardening shoe that is not comfortable tends to be converted to a planter rather quickly and therefore ceases to be a gardening shoe. It was just that, well, they all had breathability issues. Gardening shoes do tend to be overwhelmingly made from easy to rinse but solidly formed plastic or rubber. In my family, one cannot trap one’s feet into a solid confine and not expect there to be a few air quality issues when we remove them. For those who have not put two and two together, this would be why I frequently go barefoot.
But I had high hopes for these shoes for my mother. These shoes are made from the ubiquitous solid rubber, but they had a foam like lining. It felt much like the memory foam that is so popular these days. The packaging claimed that this lining made for superior breathability within the shoe.
My mother tried them on and she was pleased with the way the felt on her feet. She compared them in comfort to a pair of Crocs, with that soft yet firm support. The foam lining is largely responsible for that. The lining also did a good job of keeping the feet cool. She liked the look of the shoe as well and was impressed with the quality feel of the shoe. This is a heavy, well madeÂ shoe and you can feel it.
She did note that because the shoe is so heavy, she is not sure how well she would like it in the heat of summer. She felt that for the Fall and Spring, it was defiantly a great garden shoe, but she would have to try it out during the summer (now a whole year away) before knowing if the shoe would be too heavy.
She did end up with blisters on the backs of her ankles after wearing them for a few hours. This is not so much a fault of the shoe, but rather a warning that if you do purchase these shoes, you will want to protect your ankles until you have built up the appropriate calluses.
All and all she was pleased. She felt that this time, she may have found the perfect gardening shoe. Perhaps now the EPA can stop sending those annoying notices to the house during the gardening season.