September 30th, 2008
Garden Clogs

Rhodophiala bifida oxblood lily
Gratuitous photo of oxblood lilies because it’s that time of year.

The one time my mother was able to visit me here at Zanthan Gardens, she wanted to buy me a present for the garden. Together we picked out some garden clogs from the Muck Boot Co. I liked them very much and wore them for six years until they cracked. When I went to buy some more, I couldn’t find them in Austin. I would have tried to buy them online but I couldn’t remember the size and I seemed to remember that it was larger than my street shoe size. I looked in the shoes, but if the size had been printed there it was worn. So, I gave up my quest for new garden clogs

AJM kept nagging me (in the friendliest, most loving and concerned way, of course) to get some new shoes. One day we saw some Crocs on sale at the Whole Earth Provision Co. They fit and were only $9.99 so I bought them. Problem solved.

Crocs are not garden clogs

Not. The Crocs are completely unsuitable for gardening. I’m not sure how that nail missed going through my heel; I’m just thankful it did. It went through the side of the shoe. And when Vertie and I went to get recycled glass mulch, I knew I’d made a mistake wearing them.

AJM continued to gently remind me that I needed to buy some new and appropriate garden shoes.

So when Kathy @ Cold Climate Gardening tweeted that Lee Valley was having a “no shipping charge” sale for four short days, I decided to see if they had any garden clogs. I had consulted with Carol @ May Dreams Gardens. She has Muck Boots, too. In the end, I just bought a pair that looked most like the ones I had.

Crocs are not garden clogs

These new Bogs are certainly sturdy shoes with a wonderful gripping sole. The label promises that they are “warm, comfortable, and waterproof”. I tried them on and they do feel warm and comfortable. I’m not sure that when it’s still in the 90s that warm is a good thing. However, they are also embedded with the “Aegis Microbe Shield™” to protect against “odor, staining, and deterioration”. Maybe that will guard against my sweaty feet.

by M Sinclair Stevens

17 Responses to post “Garden Clogs”

  1. From Diana - Austin:

    They certainly look nice and sturdy, too. I got two pairs of full-on rubber garden boots for Christmas last year and love them for big jobs when it isn’t 105 degrees! Enjoy your anti-microbial footwear!

    Thanks. Boots seemed a bet excessive for our climate, although a pair might come in handy when working in pond. And you never know when we’ll go from drought to flood. — mss

  2. From Annie in Austin:

    It’s just fine with me if you keep the gratuitous pictures of oxbloods coming – no matter what you write about!

    The new Bogs do look good – hope they’re your new favorite.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Thanks. And I’m glad you’re having fun with your new camera. I’m enjoying all the photos you’ve been taking lately. — mss

  3. From Vertie:

    I’ve with Annie–I’m all for gratuitous! The clogs look great too, and much better than either of our choices for glass mulch pickup. Let us know how they turn out.

    One of these days soon, we’ll have to take them for a test drive by doing another recycled glass mulch run. — mss

  4. From Kathy (New York):

    My daughter got a pair of Bogs and found them a little too snug. (Not width so much as the depth.) Nevertheless, she wears them when she wants her feet to stay dry. I need extra wide width (4E) and am still looking for the ideal garden footwear.

    They seem a bit snug in the toe to me too and I wonder if I should have gotten the next size up–especially in the winter when I will probably wear them with socks. We’ll see. The width feels fine for me. I have bunions so it’s hard for me to find a comfortable shoe, especially if there is a seam over that part of my foot. But in that respect, I find the Bogs more comfortable than the Muck boots.

  5. From Frances at Fairegarden:

    Hi MSS, that was a close call with the nail! Scary. I am a proponent of the muck boots too. We get them at the farmer’s coop here, don’t know if you have access to such a thing, but look for one in the outer limits of civilization there. I have sloggers for the summer, but the muckboots are so much cooler for the feet than my old wellies, pure rubber! I found that getting them a size or two larger makes for more circulation of air and less sweating inside. I wear my husband’s boots in summer, much cooler.

    Our local Ace hardware store turned into an upscale Cornerstone (and now out of business) used to carry them. I used the Muck Co’s online distributor locator and found them in various small towns all about 60 to 80 miles from Austin. Wasn’t worth the gas money to make the trek. In the future I might just buy them online and return them if they don’t fit. I really don’t like buying shoes I can’t try on first, though. I do almost all my shopping online but not for clothes or shoes. Hmmm. Maybe that’s why I rarely buy clothes or shoes. — mss

  6. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    The ones on the left look just like my Muck Boot gardening shoes. Well, they aren’t quite that bad yet, but there’s a hole on the top of one & they are starting to crack. I guess I should order a pair of those Bogs.

    We certainly operate on the principle that nothing gets thrown away until it’s been worn completely out. I was raised to be thrifty. Some people think I take it just a bit far…and they’re probably right! — mss

  7. From Nancy Bond:

    I’m glad you found new clogs and also glad that that nail didn’t go through to your foot! Those oxblood lilies are spectacular in color!

    Thanks. The oxblood lilies are the only thing worth seeing in the garden right now. And you can see them from quite a distance! — mss

  8. From Gail:


    This is too delightful…I left town and arrived home to my Lee Valley boots and a new perennial plant spade. I was charmed by the taller Bog boots, since we have very wet winters. Like Frances I wear Sloggers in the summer heat. Glad the nail missed your foot.

    The oxblood lilies are gorgeous, btw.


    We don’t seem to have wet weather in any season any more. I like tough shoes because I’m alway stubbing my toes otherwise. Maybe I should go by a new name…”The Clumsy Gardener”. I haven’t tried Sloggers but they sound promising. — mss

  9. From Cindy, Katy:

    I’ve been wearing Skechers clogs all summer, both in and out of the garden. They’re comfortable and a bit sturdier than your Crocs flats. (Close call with that nail!) I wear socks with my clogs in the garden, even in the summer. It’s an extra layer of protection from creepy crawlies and sharp stuff!

    Creepy-crawlies and sharp stuff…that sounds like my garden. I guess those gardeners who go barefoot are spared fire ants, wasps, and ticks. Also some of my paths are granite gravel or decomposed granite sand–not nice for bare feet. — mss

  10. From Bonnie:

    I just keep saving my old hiking shoes to garden in. But it would be nice to have some official gardening shoes. I like the color of yours.

  11. From Layanee:

    I can’t get enough of those lilies and as I have said, since I can’t grow them here, I love seeing them there in your garden providing a bright spot of color for the shoes. Hope the new ones work out well.

  12. From Mother Nature's Garden:

    I can’t concentrate on anything but the lilies. 🙂

  13. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    I love the Muck Boot Co. shoes that I have. They started out a bit tight, but seem to stretch and now fit perfectly. I can wear them mowing, hoeing, whatever and my feet stay nice and dry and comfortable. It’s too bad you couldn’t find any locally.

    But those Bogs look like good shoes, too. I’ll be waiting for your review of them.

    (My little sister has a pair of Crocs like you pictured and swears they are the most comfortable shoe she’s ever worn. But they clearly aren’t suitable for gardening.)

    For casual gardening, I still like the shoe/clogs from Jolly Co. I think Lee Valley just started selling them.

  14. From elizabeth:

    I don’t know how crocs ever got the rep of being good for gardening; I have the Sloggie croc-alikes and they are totally inappropriate for gardening,

    The BOGS look great!

  15. From Michelle:

    Those are some fabulous gardening shoes you have there! I would like to have some, but they all seem to come with anti-bacterial stuff in them and I am allergic to it! (hives,eczema – yuck!)

    So I just stick to Birkenstocks. Those are comfy and last forever! 😉

  16. From Angelina:

    I just wear my old Keens for working in the garden but they aren’t waterproof and it does really seem like a good idea to have shoes you can hose the mud off of.

  17. From Charles Laumonier:

    Hi, love your blog.Specially your photos, so warm. I have a friend, Kate ( who has a spot about gardens. i’ll tell her to have a look at your website. maybe she could quote you. thanks!