For me spring/summer gardening presents a real footwear conundrum. Like the majority of Islanders, my warm weather footwear of choice is a sandal/flip flop of some sort. I have at least 3 different types. However - sandals aren't always the best shoe for gardening. For one thing, there is an increased opportunity for foot dings and dents. I currently have several. Also, sandals don't provide a lot of protection from fire ants or sticker burs. But worst of all - (and I apologize in advance if this sounds gross but...) my feet get so filthy it takes a real effort (and some industrial cleanser) to get them cleaned up. We even purchased a special scrubber to address the problem. Still, given these problems - the notion of wearing anything other than sandals just seems wrong.
I know some readers will say "just wear shoes dummy." Here's the problem with that logic. I'm in and out of the house so often that I need something I can slip on and off easily. Tracking dirt and debris inside is a real no-no in our household so the on/off feature is very important. Besides - doesn't every gardener have at least one pair of shoes by the door?
I'm a big fan of Keens. They're a closed toe sandal that provide some protection while still letting my dogs breath. Keens aren't cheap but on occasion Gander Mountain will have them on clearance. I have a gardening pair and a going out pair. Even though Keens are somewhat of a shoe-sandal hybrid there are still problems with injuries and "foot hygiene."
I also have my old Birkenstocks but they don't do much to address the previously described problems - although they do make somewhat of a social statement.
I know many gardeners swear by Crocs but I've tried on several pair and they're just not comfortable.
So what's your gardening shoe of choice? Have any good or bad experiences? Places to buy/order gardening shoes? Let us hear from you...