Please recommend a shoe for yard work.

This year I will be working in the yard for the first time in almost 20 years. (I was a workaholic who never made the time.) I am female and need a shoe with excellent arch support and the ability to be rinsed off after use. I will be mowing, using a string trimmer, using a chain saw and other gardening hand tools. The lawn is rather large and I will use a walking mower. All my friends use riding mowers and/or their husbands mow; so they are no help with the shoe problem.
Thanks for your time.

Will you be wearing the shoe or using it as some kind of implement? If wearing, keep in mind you will need two. You’ll want to budget accordingly. :wink:

My favorite yard work shoes are a pair of North Face hikers.

I used to just wear an old pair of athletic shoes, but hikers beat them hands (or feet) down.

First of all, they tend to have great support and remain comfortable all day.

Also, they (mine anyway) incorporate a lot of leather, so they wear very well and even offer a little bit of protection from stuff thrown off a trimmer or mower.

Many hikers are also water resistant, so a quick hose-off at the end of the day won’t hurt them.

Finally, the agressive tread on a hiker helps ensure solid footing when it is needed, such as when using a chainsaw. Having said that, when chainsaw-ing I generally switch to steel toes.

For the record I am a man, but my wife also wears her Salomon hikers in the yard when sandals are inappropriate.

I loves me my Crocs. Might not have the arch support you need and they won’t protect your foot from anything stronger than a branch, but they’re light, airy, are completely washable and hug your foot. I live in them in the summer.

I don’t understand the requirement to be rinsable, unless you’re slogging around in a bunch of mud, which is not suggested by the tasks listed. The truly rinsable footwear I’ve seen is rubber or plastic and generally doesn’t have the best support.

My recommendation would be boots, 6", work or hiking. If you want rinsable, get all leather uppers and keep them waxed. I favor a non-slip sole with a shallow tread – deep-lugged “off road” treads generally just get clogged up with stuff and are a bear to clean.

Just a tip about the string trimmer - unless it’s the dead of summer and all the stuff you are cutting is dead - you WILL get covered in grass up to your knees. I’ve been contemplating buying some sort of apron to wear when trimming. Currently I just keep a brush in my garage to brush off my pants.

You’ll also want to get eye and ear protection for using the power tools. But you probably knew that.

Anyway, in all my time as a push mower, I just used last year’s running shoes in the yard and bought new running shoes for exercise. The yard shoes stayed out in the garage thus never needing to be cleaned off.

For when I do heavy work with rocks or digging, I pull out my [faux] leather construction boots from Payless, into which I inserted some nice Dr. Scholl’s pads. Those also stay out in the garage. I think they can be rinsed off with water but I don’t bother.

If you do leave your shoes outside remember to always do a pre-donning spider check :slight_smile:

Thank you, everyone, for the replies and suggestions.

Beware of Doug I will get be sure to get two.:smiley:

Sicks Ate Thank you for mentioning steel toe. I do recall, on more than one occasion, dropping a tool on my foot and wishing I had steel toed.

phreesh I do have a pair of Winter lined Crocs that are very comfortable and I did consider a light color pair of them to facilitate seeing ticks since where I live is the tick capital of CT if not the world.

Gary T You are right. I do not know why I thought I wanted rinsable. I will not wear them for anything other than yard work; and will leave them in the garage.

ZipperJJ Thank you for reminding me about getting covered with stuff by the trimmer; I plan to wear old clothes. Also ever since I heard of someone who was bit by a black widow spider that was hiding in their shoe I always do a pre-don check even if they were in a shoe box in the closet.:eek:

So I am getting steel toes for the chain saw and heavy yard work and Crocs for the light weight mowing and weeding.

You’re welcome! Also, don’t be surprised if you get leather with steel toes and they’re uncomfortable or even painful the first day. I’ve had many pairs of them and they are quite stiff and unnatural-feeling until they start to break in.

Shouldn’t have a similar problem with the crocs, tho :smiley:

I’ve worn safety-toe work boots for years and don’t recall any being uncomfortable at first wearing. I usually get them from Red Wing or Iron Age. However, I see Iron Age has gone out of business and Red Wing’s women’s safety-toe offerings are not their own brand, so my experience isn’t going to help on that issue.

ETA: But I too agree about the Crocs. :wink:

It may have to do with the quality of boot I was buying! I never bought a pair of Red Wings, but I never bought the cheapest ones either. Probably a perfect example of you-get-what-you-pay-for.

My wife had trouble breaking in a pair of Caterpillar boots, but absolutely none with a pair Harley Davidson boots.