What Makes a Great Gardening Shoe?

Garening Shoe UnisexAfter much research on the Wellington boot and on various other gardening boots and mucker’s I decided that for some occasions the Welly shoe would be the better bet.

I walk to the allotment.  A Wellington boot is heavy and an awkward shape, especially when there are lots of plants or other bits to carry.

On our allotment, the grass between plots is often cut so you can get away with a Welly shoe sometimes instead of a boot.  (Although this is not always the case then you get soggy trousers!).

So, after traipsing around various shops and garden centres one thing became clear – they didn’t have what I was looking for.  The shoes they sold were more like clogs with either backs or low backs, really!?  These are great for slipping on in the garden and great for slipping over too – not much use for the allotment.

So, back to on-line and searching again lol.  I don’t know about you, but without the online options, I would be seriously stuck.


My criteria for my new shoes were quite strict

  1. They must have proper high backs as they are being used for work and need to stay on my feet.
  2. The shoe needs to be robust and sturdy.
  3. Being waterproof is essential.
  4. They must have good deep tread, and ideally be ideally non-slip if possible.
  5. They must not cost too much, I think between £7-£12 including postage max would be OK.
  6. And the brand must have a good reputation for lasting as my first set of boots split within a couple of months.

After several days and days of shoe research, I got it down to the last few. Then it was just a matter of which shoe was best.  I came up with this one:

The Dunlop Gardening Shoe for Both Men and Women

Garening ShoeThis shoe filled all of my criteria.  Dunlop has a good reputation and I hoped that they hadn’t sold out and were a name only.

I was not disappointed.  They are really sturdy and comfy with chunky but not intrusive tred and for the most part, they do not seem to slip.

They are suitable for both men and women.  They are really high quality.  For the tiny price tag of about £10 and with no postage, a bonus.  And, they had proper backs which is often easy to miss. (If you are searching on-line pay careful attention to the backs of the shoe to this as the words clog and shoe seem to be interchangeable).

I use them for digging and so far (touch wood) they have not split and seem to take the tough life of the allotment well.

Dunlop Gardening Shoe, Goloshes, Clog. Waterproof. These are Unisex Sizes 3-11 UK

The Size of the Shoe

The only issue I found which was mentioned in the reviews was that the shoes are at least half a size too big.  This, I assume is so you can wear big, warm socks.  But, these days with hi-tec socks being much thinner it isn’t necessary to make them larger.  I used my walking socks and a second pair to get them to fit.

I guess, you could always use shoe inserts to give a more permanent solution. I am not sure you’d get away with going the next size down, though.  Oddly enough, I only notice this on the walk to the allotment not when I am actually on it.  You can’t have them flopping about all over the place for safety reasons.

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