Sloggers Rain & Garden Shoes Review
I’ve had this colorful pair of Rain & Garden Shoes from Sloggers® for some time now and, in spite of some limitations, they’ve become my “go-to” pair of “head out into the garden” shoes. I’ve put them next to the back door into the garden so I can quickly slip them on and slip out into the garden whenever I want. Here’s why …
A Few Things to Know …
Be aware that these are “garden shoes” – not “gardening shoes.” They’re comfortable and appropriate for strolling through the garden (particularly when the grass is wet or soil is muddy), but they don’t stand up to many gardening tasks, such as stepping on a shovel or garden fork, walking over rocky areas, or mowing the lawn.
Sloggers Garden Shoes are lightweight. This makes them flexible and comfortable to wear, but not very sturdy. While they have nice, grippy treads (giving them pretty good traction in slippery conditions), the soles are not very thick or strong. You’ll feel every rock you step on and putting your weight into digging (by pushing down on the spade with your foot) can be quite painful.
The shoes don’t provide much (if any) support, so you may find them uncomfortable after a while, particularly if you have flat feet or tend to overpronate.
The Garden Shoes also tend to slip off your heel (as do all shoes of this clog-like design) so I don’t recommend wearing them for garden tasks where it’s important that the shoes stay firmly in place (such as mowing the lawn or pushing a heavy wheelbarrow). Of course, this also makes them easy to slip on!
Finally, with prolonged use you may find that the heel becomes quite uncomfortable. The interior of the heel is formed from a grid, rather than a solid piece of plastic or rubber. While this does decrease weight, as well as the amount of material used in making the shoe, it can also be rather uncomfortable. Despite a cushioning insert inside the shoe (the “All-Day-Comfort-Insoles”), you can still feel the grid under your foot, particularly after wearing the shoe for a while.
Waterproof But Breathable
These shoes are made of a flexible type of resin that’s 100% waterproof. In fact, the entire shoe is made of one piece of resin, entirely lined with a patterned fabric. It’s those fabrics that give so many different looks to the Sloggers shoes – each shoe is made from a separate piece of fabric so the pattern falls differently on each shoe (so they’re all unique). There are a lot of fun and colorful patterns to choose from.
I had anticipated that a plastic shoe would be uncomfortably hot and non-breathable (an important consideration for those of us with sweaty feet!). But that turned out not to be the case at all. The special insole is made from open cell polyurethane that wicks away moisture (so your feet stay relatively dry) and has a biocide that helps stop foot odor (from bacteria and fungus). Even after wearing the shoes all day long, my feet were still comfortable. And, best of all, the insoles can be washed, rung out, and dried (although I wouldn’t recommend putting them in the dryer).
Full Sizes Only
Sloggers are available in sizes 6 – 10. Note that they only come in full sizes. If you fall between sizes, the company provides a shoe insert that, in effect, decreases the shoe size by a half size – so buy the full size larger than your usual shoe size.
While the insert is a way to address the lack of half sizes, it’s not ideal as it raises the insole of the shoe, making it easier to inadvertently slip out of the shoe. Eventually, most wearers will get used it to – but, initially, it was somewhat annoying.
Made in the USA
Not too many gardening products are made in the USA so when we find ones that are, we like to let you know ….
Who’d think that garden shoes would be recyclable? But Sloggers are! When your shoes eventually wear out, simply return them to the company and they’ll recycle them into a new pair of shoes. In fact, the soles of Sloggers Rain and Garden shoes contain up to 50% recycled material (according to company information).
We give the Rain & Garden Shoes from Sloggers a 3-shovel rating. While they’re comfortable and waterproof, the low cut means that they’re not all that useful in wet conditions (the boots or ankle-height shoes would be better). The flexibility of the soles and lack of support make these shoes impractical for “real gardening” tasks. However, shoes can fit very differently, depending on your foot size and shape – you may find Sloggers Rain & Garden Shoes to be more comfortable and secure than our testers did.
Where To Buy It
Sloggers Rain & Garden Shoes can be found in garden stores (but not big box stores) for around $34.99, as well as online at Sloggers.com and, of course, on Amazon, where you’ll find a complete range of colors, patterns, and sizes (as well as the “Half Sizer Insoles” that you’ll need if you fall between full sizes).