Closet Constructor: Clogging Up the Feeds

Forget loafers — gardening shoes are the new king of fashion footwear

April 19, 2024 12:55 pm
a collage of clothes on a background
Your secret spring style weapon? Clogs.

Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.

Welcome to Closet Constructor, a weekly series where I (a style editor) help you (a well-meaning person who likes clothes) discover new, interesting, and affordable ways to really start dressin’.

Despite what yesterday’s Bode x Nike Astro Grabber launch (the heritage style sold out in a matter of seconds) might have insinuated, the state of sneakers is by all accounts fairly bleak, enough so that menswear denizens have more or less agreed that the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 97-less era we live is a predominantly post-sneaker world.

The Best Lightweight Jacket Styles for Men, According to Style Editors
Are you more of a chore coat cat or blazer bro? You’re about to find out.

This news should not comes as a particular shock. Samba fatigue is nothing new, nor is that fact that the loafer appears to have eclipsed sneakers as the footwear of choice for fellas everywhere, even more so now as we move away from boots into peak who-let-the-dogs-out weather. (InsideHook has, naturally, contributed go the copious amounts of content chronicling this vibe shift.)

But while the loafer has cemented itself as a dressy staple in the modern man’s wardrobes, and while there are a multitude of ways to fashion the shoe when it comes to spring style, its graduation to full-time wear has left me craving a less formal kick-around substitute that I don’t have to worry about scuffing. With blazing heat imminent (no, I’m not talking about the Scary Kittles Basketball Mules), sandals would be the obvious answer, but, as I feel strongly men should probably refrain from unleashing the hounds unless routine pedicures are involved, they remain exclusive to beach trips and backyard lounging.

Martha Stewart/Aime Leon Dore
Martha was the blueprint for the likes of Aimé Leon Dore’s recent Garden Mules.
Martha Stewart/Aime Leon Dore

Instead, I’ve found myself gravitating towards the gardening clog, of all things, a choice only partial inspired by that one picture of smokeshow Martha Stewart weeding lettuce beds. To be clear, I’m a New Yorker with scant access to greenery, but I’ve found the shoe to be something of a revelation none the less. The loafer’s backwater cousin, the outdoor style is rooted in functionality — not to be confused with the wooden joints out of Denmark or kitchen-approved Danskos — and typically sports a rubber or poly shell atop a lugged sole for maximum flexibility and proper traction, making them both virtually indestructible and highly wearable.

I’ve been wearing a french-made pair from Plasticana for nearly three years now, commandeered for a mere 60 bucks from curators extraordinaire Gardenheir, and am pleased to report that they still look brand new, thanks in large part to their recycled hemp shell. They’re waterproof, perfectly slim and look killer with a pair of giant-fit chinos.

I am far from the only adopter of the style — the hottest menswear brand in the world Aimé Leon Dore recently introduced an entire extremely well dressed generation of young men who have yet to have sex to the concept via their take on an Italian gardening mule, with competitors quickly following suite. My point here being, a solid clog is a dime a dozen these days, if you know where to look, and the perfect investment for the season ahead.

When it comes to styling, I’d recommend considering the gardening clog the same way you might a pair of workwear pants — that is, don’t be afraid to dress them up, but recognize that they’re built for play, rather than the office. Introducing similarly hybrid styles to the mix (an elevated-cum-sporty track jacket or playful sling tote) offers an chic, often affordable ‘fit that for coffee shop and park lays alike.

The InsideHook Spring Style Guide
Leveling up your seasonal swag has never been simpler

There you have it. Ditch your loafers for some clogs. Get a little dirty. Know that a green thumb is a skill, not a divine blessing. Enjoy the weekend.

Shop the Look

Thoughts? Comments? Queries on how to pick out the perfect pair of socks? Email me your questions and concerns at

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.