Barn Boots

I’m hard on boots.

I keep a pair of slip-on rubber boots by the back door. I like waterproof boots which keep my feet dry through dew, rain, snow and mud. I like boots that are almost knee-high so that I can stand in the pond and pull weeds. I like boots sturdy enough to stomp on electric fence posts, and not rip when a goat stands on my foot. I also like to buy my boots on sale because I know from experience that in no time at all they’ll look like this:

Those charming pink boots were bought (on sale!) in England in May. Only five months ago they were bright pink. They’re now cracked and soggy inside.

I’ve bought expensive boots; I’ve worn LL Bean boots and Muck boots, and I’ve even bought Coach rubber boots. In a few short months they all end up looking like those pink boots. Replacing boots is one of the costs of having chickens and goats. Manure eats away at rubber, sunshine dries and cracks it, and cold makes it brittle. If I weren’t tromping around outside with my animals, my boots would look pristine. Disreputable boots are an indicator of a life well-lived.

This morning, with no boots to wear, I mucked out the barn in my crocs. Goat “berries” smooshed on my socks, which were already damp from walking across the wet lawn. It’s time to go shopping for new boots.


  1. “Disreputable boots are an indicator of a life well-lived”. I think I’m going to have that printed on a sign to hang on the barn! My daughter and I agree with you wholeheartedly!!!

  2. I have Smoky Mountain rubber muck boots and wear them almost every time I go outside. I like them, they’ve held up well, but I just looked at them and they were Made In China. I wasn’t even thinking about that when I bought them last year. My next boots will be Made in the USA!

  3. Have you tried Bogs? I’ve had good success with them- though they are a bit warm in the summer and I usually end up wearing garden clogs instead. My sister in law gave me some crocs, first time I wore them out to muck the coop I realized all those ventilation holes are not conducive to barn chores!! Can’t wait to see what cute boots you come up with next!

  4. Can you get Hunters over there? My first pair lasted me 14 years of pretty much daily wear, including digging (very bad for wellies). They’re murderously slippy though.

  5. like you… I am hard on my barn boots. . . I probably go through 3 pair a year. My kids suggested the “Muck Boot Company”. There are several different types to choose from. . . I have the “tack” boot. My son has the “chore” boot. They are still going strong after a year of daily use. With horses, chickens, goats and sheep they have seen their fair share of poop, mud and muck! The down side . . . they are made in China . . . grrrrrrr. Good Luck :)

  6. I wear Northerner or Servus (both made in the USA) We have them at our Tractor Supply Stores in Virginia or get them online. They are just plain navy blue, not cutesy at all, but they get the job done and they hold up well.

  7. LOL. We just bought our homestead last month…CAN’T WAIT till we’re out there full time with our chickens and various other critters and start wearing out my own pair of boots!

  8. We are a family of farmers/hunters and LaCrosse Burleys are the best rubber boat we have used!

  9. You need a pair of Bog boots,they are warm in the winter,I love them! You can order Crocs with out holes for the summer!

  10. I suppose my current fascination with wanting these Ilse Jacobsen boots is a bit impractical, but gosh are they cute:

    L.L. Bean still offers a lifetime guarantee. I’ve never heard of them declining to replace one of their products, as long as you hold on to the receipt. I know someone who returned 20-year old pants with a hole in the knee.

    Coach offers lifetime “repair,” though they are careful to disclaim “for the natural life of the product”. I know they’re wonderful for restoring things like handed-down handbags. I wonder what they consider the “natural life” of boots?

  11. Do you have a boot dryer? I love my boot dryer. Warm toasty dry toes are a great thing. I think I got it at Cabelas.

  12. Terry, while I love CUTE boots as much as anyone, I want DRY feet and FIRM footing! My husband and I both got a pair of outdoor boots from Menards, a hardware store chain in Illinois. They have heavy lug soles, steel toes, and come up to our knees. They are lightly lined, so you can get some very thick socks in them easily. The best part is, they were only $16! Yes, they smell like tires, and yes, they’re a bit heavy to tromp around in. We consider them part of our exercise program! The downside to heavy lug soles is prying the goo out of them. I’d rather do that than have slippery, easy-to-hose-off bottoms. Good luck on your hunt!

  13. I suppose this would be a bad idea, but could one maybe hit the thrift stores and try to find some work boots that maybe haven’t been used so much ? Hopefully collect a few of them for a a few bucks, maybe in a wealthier part of town, where maybe some women decided they didn’t like to wear rubber boots ? So instead of spending 40 dollars you maybe only have to pay Five for some slightly used boots.

  14. terry- well i whent out-side to feed the chickens and goats yesterday but i noticed that lola my white silkie had somthing very wrong with her wing it had nats all over it all the feathers are gone and i think it is broke i dont think my vet takes chickens and i dont know what to put on it i have her in a diffrent pen and i keep a close eye on her with visits every chanse i get but can i put purple spray on it or what can i put on it?-kristen

    • Oh dear! Have you washed it off and inspected it carefully? I’d be surprised if those are gnats – I’m thinking something more nasty will be on a bad injury. Could a predator have attacked her? In any event, clean it up, use antiseptic cleaner. Use an antibiotic/analgesic wound cream. If the wing is broken you might be able to splint it. But if she’s in pain you might have to euthanize her. Good luck!

      • I havent had the best luck with chickens but it will be okay her wing is looking way way better she is eating and drinking and going to the bathroom so thats a good sign she doesnt look like she is in pain she lets me clean it and stuff so maybe she will be okay with a little TLC

  15. Ew! -One day it’s applesauce, next day it’s smooshed goatberries! :-)