Advertisement

Aerating shoes are going viral as an easy way to care for your lawn - but do they work?

 Lavish lawn and garden of a country-style property.
Lavish lawn and garden of a country-style property.

One of the most important things to check off your to-do list when the weather warms up, is to aerate your lawn, and there is a pair of shoes doing the rounds on social media that promise to make this job easier.

Aerating your lawn is an important lawn care tip to help your lawn ideas to recover from the rain and frost from winter. It is usually done with spikes, to create pockets of space that will help to improve drainage, prevent any further water-logging, and maintain the health of your lawn in general.

One way that some gardening influencers and TikTok creators have been opting to do this recently is to use ‘aerating shoes’ – yes, you heard that right.

What are aerating shoes – and are they a good idea?

TikTok creator Nerkesha Rogers (82pondview) recently shared a video sharing how she likes to use aeration shoes to tend to her lawn – jokingly referring to them as 'the most glamorous shoes ever'.

She then proceeded to unveil the aeration shoes, which are essentially slats designed to be tied onto the bottom of your shoes, and which have long metal pins on the base to create holes in your lawn.

We’re not entirely sure which shoes Nerkesha is wearing in the video, but this affordable pair from Amazon for £12 looks incredibly similar.

Nerkesha explains that she usually straps these onto the bottom of her wellies – a process she calls ‘so easy’ – before walking around her lawn repeatedly in order to aerate it. At the end of the video, she comments, ‘this is so quick and easy to do. Job done!'

Another tongue-in-cheek video posted by Home With Wenlocks showed them aerating their lawn with these shoe inserts, leaving their followers (and us) giggling.

So while this method of aerating a lawn sounds ingenious as an incredibly low-effort way to achieve an important garden job this spring, is it something the experts would actually recommend?

Royal gardener and gardening expert Jack Stooks (speaking on behalf of Alt Index) explained that these shoes can be a great option for people with small lawns and outdoor spaces to aerate.

'These boots are very much veered towards people with smaller gardens – you won’t want to use them on a large patch of grass as it would take hours. In a smaller garden, these boots are great for creating a bit of air in the ground.'

However, he did warn that the holes created by these shoes may be a little too small to be useful for aeration generally. Jack explains, 'These shoes will just go underneath the roots of the grass, but they can still help if you have waterlogged grass, to drain water through the soil.'

Craig Morley, a gardening expert from Budget Seeds, agrees, saying that aeration shoes like this may not be as effective as you think.

'Wearing spiked aerating shoes is unfortunately unlikely to actually work,' he says. 'This is because they impact too small of an area, and by walking over the area continually, you may actually be compacting the soil even more instead.'

aearating lawn with a garden fork
aearating lawn with a garden fork

'Plus, the spikes used on the shoes are too thin to allow enough light and water to enter the soil, and they are also not long enough. Aerating shoes will only create holes that are around one to two inches deep, whereas the machines used by professionals create holes that are three to four inches deep.'

If you are really keen to take care of your lawn as best you can, Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress.co.uk instead advises using a different, more traditional, gardening tool.

He says, 'A garden fork is a sensible option to use instead, as it won’t cause damage to the plants.'

Craig also suggests that hiring in help could be a superior option if you have the budget for it. 'A better alternative to aerating shoes is to hire a professional or rent a machine that can aerate your lawn, or use a handheld aerator to do so manually,' he says.

'Machine and hand-held aerators will remove plugs that are much larger than what the shoes would supposedly remove, cover a much larger surface area and do not add to the compaction of the soil.'

So there you have it - while they may look like a lot of fun, it's probably best to opt for more traditional methods when it comes to aerating your lawn!