silly topic -- do you ruin shoes???

louisianagal(z7bMS)August 13, 2009

I have a pair of garden clogs and a pair of spiffy "rain" boots for muddy or rainy times.....but I still manage to ruin most of my shoes!

I come home from work (I'm a nurse) and I'm in my scrubs and a running/walking shoe and I just start in on weeding, or mowing or whatever. Invariably I get clay on my shoes, or like today, green grass stains. I've ruined several running/walking shoes and sandals that I've gotten wet again and again over the years. I just don't take the time to get properly outfitted for the garden. I do wash them of course, but they do not remain in good condition for long.

I'm not going to even mention my hands and nails.


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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Yes. And I have big o'l darned feet so my shoes cost a fortune. Right now I'm wearing Simple Shoes brand a lot, I can throw them in the washing machine - I don't have a job that I have to wear any kind of fancy footwear...and now I have to wear wider shoes than I am used to (I have incredibly narrow feet) as my arch supports are really kind of wide (at least they work). Washable shoes have saved me the last year or so... clogs are too wide and not enough support, I can't wear shoes that tie on top (high arches) I am very thankful that I found large size washables that are lasting!!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 11:57PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Lol i ruin my shoes every year! I do the same thing, get caught up in something and thats the end of that! I did accidentally discover that powerwashing your shoes will make them white as can be! :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:40AM
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How funny and yes I have. It seems as if I keep a pair or two of the crocs by the doors it reminds me to at least change shoes before hitting the yard work. I'm getting better about changing clothes while cooking dinner and then heading out after dishes are done. This saves on the shoes and clothing. It also makes a happy hubby. I don't like to come in before dark most nights. LOL Punk

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 1:36AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Oh yes. But I also wind up going barefoot a lot. If my feet are hot, it really drives me crazy. I too, have big feet (10's).

Funny side story. Mother said her feet got smaller just by getting married. She had the biggest feet in her family (7) and all Daddy's family had big feet. His sisters all envied her "little" feet. I have a cousin that wears a 12. I just love standing next to her.!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 7:11AM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

not just shoes. I go out for my morning tea in my pj's and end up gardening...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 7:27AM
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Yup, I have done it. Sometimes I rush home from work and head right out to the garden in my suit and heels.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 8:18AM
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treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)

Shoes aren't my problem. I go barefoot in the house, so I just slip on the clogs that I keep by the back door.

However . . . I have learned that I must put on my old grungy clothes first thing in the morning on my days off. Even when I don't intend to work in the garden, I wander outside and, without fail, end up doing some filthy job without remembering to change my clothes first.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 8:57AM
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well, I've ruined pedicures and manicures. My shoes have fared better.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 9:37AM
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Yes all the time!!! I end up ruining shoes and clothing! I always end up looking like a ball of mud by the time I am done in the garden!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 9:45AM
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Errrr - - I ruin my SOCKS!

I have those rubber shoes with the holes on the sides. I end up with dirt on my socks!


    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Yes! And then I come in for a drink and get clumps of dirt all over the floor or worse, the carpet. I definitely need one of those brushes by the door, but since I don't know the name of it, I can't even suggest it as a gift, LOL.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 10:39AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

I go out for my morning tea in my pj's and end up gardening...

Same here. Just can't help it.

I keep clogs/crocs outside two exterior doors, so my shoes are safe. Have to be real careful if I get tempted to do anything in the yard when I'm not wearing yard clothes though. I tend to wear the same 2 yard outfits all season. At the end of the year they get tossed.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 11:14AM
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I've been pretty good - I have a pair of lace up boots for major projects when I want foot protection that are pretty muddy, and rubber slides that I wear when it is wet outside. But since my beds are mainly designed so I can reach into them, my shoes don't get ruined unless I forget and wear leather shoes in wet grass, and so far they have all recovered. I'm also pretty good at squatting without my knees touching the ground, so I do that if I'm in nicer clothes. I also strategically bought some dark brown pants and capris and shorts, to avoid dirt stains from showing!

The most annoying thing is when I garden in my z-strap Skechers, which are open on top, which I wear a lot in the spring. If I dig while wearing them, I always get dirt in them, which is annoying - but they are quicker to get on than the laceup boots, and in spring the slides aren't warm enough. I haven't found clogs I like...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 11:25AM
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All the time, but because we have fire ants and they will sting your feet when you wear those cute crocs, flip flops, sandals, heels or anything they can sting through, I consider it worth the cost of new sneaks every three months.

It's awful to be sitting in a meeting at work and trying not to go nuts from the itching. And people don't take you seriously if you're holding onto your foot while you talk. Cheryl

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:35PM
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dawiff(z7 WA)

Oh my goodness, yes! I ruin at least one pair of shoes every year by gardening in them without realizing. Socks too! I have lots of gray, streaky socks. It's hard to get that ground-in dirt out. It's usually the toes of my shoes, I like to kneel when I weed, and always end up rocking back and forth, grinding those toes into the dirt. I did finally get garden clogs that I keep by the door to try to remind me, but if I go shopping, and get out of the car, and see a weed, I just have to get down there and pull! I've done in the knees of plenty of pairs of pants too.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:38PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Another PJ gal here, go out with my morning coffee to do just a couple of things, end up dragging hoses around, pulling weeds, decide I need my pruners to cut back that piece of clematis that keeps trying to strangle me, so as I'm heading back outside pruners in hand I hear somebody mumbling "Are we going to have lunch sometime today?" I say "What!!! you want lunch now, I haven't even finished my morning coffee yet"
Yes I've managed to ruin numerous pairs of shoes, clothes as well but don't track as much mud in since I bought my boot scraper, link below showing mine (the black with brushes).


Here is a link that might be useful: Boot scraper

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 3:46PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

I used to wear birkies in the garden, and they would end up positively filthy, and they were hard to clean. I wear big gum rubber boots in the Spring when it is muddy, and crocs or bare feet the rest of the time. Yes, socks get almost unwashable froom the mud from the holes, but then I seem to even get mud down my boots!! lol. The crocs I can just through into the washing machine - careful with the heat...they do make crocs without holes these days.

btw, here is my boot scraper:

He's getting a little ragged, and in need of retirment. lol. And don't even get me started about the mud and dirt tracked through my house - that's a whole 'nother thread!

Nancy. - oh, and btw, a nurse friend of mine used the Magic Erasers to clean her hospital white shoes.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:05PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

What a fun thread.

I hate wearing shoes, so go barefoot constantly. Barefoot in wet grass, in the alley, up and down the sidewalk, in dirt, in mud, in gravel, and sharp brush. Barefoot is the best! It is so much easier to rinse off feet than to wash shoes, though ones toenails often need cleaning, lol! I find it is also easier to tip-toe around closely planted beds without shoes on.

I have to say, that I ruin more shoes by winter/spring puddles than I do by anything else. Once my "good" shoes look crummy I retire them to everyday and garden wear. I do the same with my clothes. I do keep a pair of rubber flip-flops outside in case I need to do any digging with the large shovel. I loose the flip-flops as often as I loose my shovel, lol!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:10PM
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Oh yes, and not just the shoes. I went in one morning (just off work) and started pulling the spent daylily blooms. Uh-huh. I had blue dye all over the white jacket and top.

DH was not happy (he does the laundry.) We finally got it out with a combination of oxy and the non chlorine bleach...and elbow grease.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:49PM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

Wow, and I thought I was the only one! Not a silly topic at all. I can't count the times I've gone to take the dogs out to do their business, and one thing leads to another and I've got dirt caked on my shoes. It usually starts with just a little innocent deadheading and leads into weed pulling, watering and digging! This is a fun thread, I enjoy hearing your stories...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 5:32PM
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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

I am always going outside and getting mud all over my shoes. It doesn't matter which shoes I have on - if I see a weed that needs pulling or a rose that needs deadheading, I'll go for it right then (have even done this in my little black dress and high heels).

Usually, I somehow end up in the garden for hours with mud all over yet another pair of shoes. So when I come inside I just take them off in the mud room and decide I have 'another' pair of gardening shoes.

DH is always asking me "Why are all these shoes in the mud room? Aren't these new shoes? Which of these are your gardening shoes?" and on and on.

I'm just glad I collect shoes like plants and can always find another pair to wear. :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 10:16PM
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blueberryhills(7 NW AL)

LOL !! Only the ones I wear!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 11:30PM
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Well I'm glad I asked becoz it was fun reading all the replies. I, too, go out with morning coffee and end up gardening in my pj's. I think to myself, "it's nice and cool and I'm not going to get sweaty," but before you know it it's hot and I am sweaty....and the coffee in my cup is cold.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:24AM
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This was a fun one to read alright. Punk

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:58AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Well,.....I just went out (barefoot) to deadhead my agapanthus and stepped on a dog "mine". At least I did not have to clean it off a shoe. LOL!

We have a pet door, so you never know where one might be. Of course if I would look down more often.....

I swear my cocker goes and and "tries" to find the most inconvenient spot.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 9:14AM
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Flip flops are my gardening "shoes" of choice unless I'm planning on digging. I then wear a pair of leather work boots but I hate gardening in shoes. So much easier and more comfortable to be able to rinse off my feet with the hose to cool off. Every night I scrub my feet with a brush, pumice, and sometimes soak them to look respectable!

I'm retired so almost every day is casual dress day - if I'm dressed up to go somewhere I avoid the garden.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 5:42PM
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I solved part of "the problem" My dad works in dress shirts with tee's underneath. When they get stained or yellowish looking they are given to me...:) They are our "Garden" shirts, and must be worn when out there. I have also dyed some pink so hubbs won't wear them as regular If I'm wearing normal shirts, I slip one of the huge "garden" shirts over, and I'm good to go. I do keep croc's by the door, but have messed up several pairs of sneakers in the
part of the fun of gardening is playing in the

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 8:22PM
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yes yes and double yes :) Today in fact....came home from a scooter ride...noticed some flowers that reeeallly needed watering. Picked up the hour later when I came in, I noticed bright orange something on me shoes..covered...I am assuming far..not coming out..and my favortie running errand shoes too..

Good Post...glad I am not alone :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 10:57PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Keesha, would that be lily pollen? if so wash it off as best you can then place them out in the sun the stain should disappear. I don't know if this works with other pollens but it does with lilies.
This works on clothes as well wash as usual then hang them in the sun, the stains disappear like magic. You can get the pollen off of upholstery by shampooing and then putting the chair or, out in the sun.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 11:08PM
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Thank you Annette...good tip. I forgot you could do that..when my kids were babies someone shared with me a tip...with really stubborn stains that nothing else worked with try this...liguid (or make your own paste from granular) dishwasher soap. rub into stain and the soak in the sun for a long afternoon or sometimes two days. Worked good when the kids were little..wonder if it would work on my shoes...just a caution tho...make sure it is either white..or if it is colored, it is a last resort...sometimes depending on the fabric it will bleach the area to much...not usually, but on occasion. Thank you Annette good reminder..I forgot you could do that, been a few years since stains were much on my radar. :) I don't think this is lily pollen...they are all gone now, I suspect maybe from my black eyes susans...I have carloads of them right now.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 8:16AM
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I have a pair of Birkenstock garden clogs I put on when I go out to garden. I don't know what material they're made out of, something like a hard plastic, but they rinse right off. If it's really muddy I wear tall rubber boots and then I only venture out in the yard or pasture to feed and water the horses. If I'm lazy and don't change out of my regular shoes and get them muddy I'm really ticked off at myself because I have to clean them right then. I have an Achilles tendon problem and can't go without shoes of some sort.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 4:04PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

sowngrow I was going to get some Birk Clogs.I had 5 years of Plantar Facsiitis Pain and the doc says ARCH support. Shoes all day the minute you get out of bed till you crawl in. If I wear reg boots OWCH so I was wearing my other shoes with bags on them in the garden to to clean the duck coop .

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 3:25PM
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Yep. I'm a nurse too, and I ordered new shoes today because there is this certain rusty stain on mine that has a lot to do with red clay...won't come out.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 8:17PM
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timetogrowthegarden(zone 9/Sunset 16)

I ruin shoes and shirts. DH is after me all the time about that. I will start in on the garden as soon as I get home from work in the evening and I will go out in my pajamas on the weekends.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:30AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Yes. At 130.00 a pair for SAS sandals and 250.00 for the orthotics that I velcro into them. Feet are too twisted up for closed shoes, although I am considering some made for people with diabetes. It doesn't help when I use them to level dirt or to stomp down gopher tunnels... heh heh.

But hey, gardening is my only vice.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 4:55PM
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I must have about 10 pair of gardening shoes now, cuz of coming home and going straight into the garden, with whatever I am wearing. I also am a BIG PJ gardener!lol! Glad I'm not alone!heh heh! I also seem to have very wide feet and my baby toes go thru my runners, and it looks so stupid, I don't even notice and want to run to the store without changing, then I "come to" and realize I have gone into town with my gardening shoes/clothes on least I haven't worn my gardening pjs out of the yard yet!lol! But they do get grass stains on the knees...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:22AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Not really. But that is probably because I go barefoot!! Even since I was a kid I have hated shoes. Mom even says as a baby I would kick off shoes and socks, lol.

I go barefoot when it is warm out, and then if I need to dig I don my rubber flip-flops. Feet are simply easier to wash than real shoes- all you have to do with feet is hose em' off or dunk them in one of the rainwater cans ;-D

In the spring when it is colder I wear retired sneaks that are not fit to wear out in public anymore, LOL.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 12:29PM
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lori_elf z6b MD

I have some rubber muck shoes I keep by my back door that I always wear, so I don't ruin my good shoes, but I am always forgetting to change my clothes and getting good clothes dirty or snagged on rose thorns.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 1:12PM
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