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Expert Shopper Lawn & Garden

The best aerator shoes for fall lawn care

Which aerator shoes are best for fall lawn care?

If you’ve been properly watering, weeding and fertilizing your lawn yet it still doesn’t look bright green and healthy, it may be because your soil isn’t properly aerated. Hard, compacted soil doesn’t allow the water and fertilizer to get down to the roots where it is needed.

There are many ways to aerate your lawn and break up thatch, but if you have a small property, aerator shoes are one of the best. When choosing aerator shoes, it is important to look for a pair with a sturdy strap system like the one featured in Leweio Lawn Aerator Shoes. This helps ensure they stay securely in place throughout the entire job.

What to know before you buy aerator shoes

Why lawns need aeration

Anyone who has ever tried to maintain a lawn knows that keeping it green and healthy is no simple task. It needs proper watering and adequate fertilizer, but just a bit too much or too little of either can result in grass that doesn’t grow well or dies off. 

Over time, the soil gets compacted from people walking on it, heavy rains and various other reasons. Additionally, thatch from mowing and other sources can build up on top of the soil. Together, these two factors can result in a nearly impenetrable layer that stops water, oxygen and fertilizer from getting down to the roots of your grass. Periodically aerating your lawn breaks up this impenetrable layer so your grass can get the nutrients, oxygen and water it needs.

When and how often to aerate your lawn

Most experts recommend aerating your lawn at least once a year. That said, some lawns need more frequent aeration, while others can go for two or three years before requiring it. Some signs that your lawn may need aeration include a spongy feeling when you press on the grass, water pooling up after rains rather than quickly draining away and dying patches of grass that won’t grow even with regular watering. 

You can aerate your lawn at any time without harming it, but you’ll get the most benefit from doing it during the peak growing season. This is early spring or fall for cool-season grasses and late spring or early summer for hot-season grasses.

What to look for in quality aerator shoes

Aerator shoe straps

One of the most important aspects of aerator shoes are the straps. If the straps aren’t sturdy or tend to loosen up as you work, they will allow the shoes to slip, which can potentially be dangerous. The wider and thicker the straps or the more there are, the better they will secure the shoes in place on your feet.

Aerator shoe buckles vs. velcro

Straps on aerator shoes are generally tightened in place through the use of buckles or Velcro. The latter is easier to don and remove quickly. It also tends to have better holding power. However, buckles can sometimes loosen up as you work, so you may want to avoid them.

How to keep lawn aerator shoes from slipping off

As an additional safeguard against your foot slipping around as you walk, some aerator shoes have a textured footbed which adds some traction.

Aerator spike reinforcement

On many aerator shoes, the spikes are secured to the plastic footbed. While this is often sufficient, it can lead to the shoes cracking with use. Higher-end models incorporate some kind of reinforcement, such as a metal plate, to reduce the chances of this happening.

How to assemble aerator shoes

While not complicated, assembling aerator shoes can be time-consuming because you have to individually secure each screw in place, and there are usually between 24-26 of them between the two shoes. If you don’t want to deal with this, look for a pair that comes pre-assembled.

How much you can expect to spend on aerator shoes

The majority of aerator shoes cost between $15-$35. However, most people may want to avoid models that cost less than $20, as they are often made with low-quality materials.

Aerator shoes FAQ

Do aerator shoes work?

A. Aerator shoes’ spikes are solid and push the soil to the side and downward when used, thus compacting the soil even more. You simply strap them to your feet and walk around your yard. You can even do it while mowing, allowing you to get two jobs done simultaneously. 

Do aerator shoes actually work?

A. There is no doubt that aerator shoes work to aerate your lawn, but whether or not they are a suitable choice for your needs is another question. If you have a small property, they are an effective way to loosen your soil and can even be used when you mow to save yourself some time. However, if you have a large property, you will be better off with a push or tow-behind aerator. You can learn more about the different types of lawn aerators on the BestReviews buying guide.

Do aerator shoes come in different sizes?

A. No, they don’t. Pretty much all aerator shoes have a one-size-fits-all design. 

What are the best aerator shoes to buy?

Top aerator shoes

Leweio Lawn Aerator Shoes

What you need to know: With a sturdy platform and thick straps, these aerator shoes should be the go-to choice for those who find other models feel a bit too flimsy.

What you’ll love: Thanks to a combination of laces and Velcro, they are easy to don quickly and stay securely in place. Plus, they conveniently come fully assembled, so you won’t have to waste any time screwing down a bunch of nuts.

What you should consider: The spikes can bend if you hit large rocks in the soil.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top aerator shoes for the money

Ergomind Lawn Aerator Shoes

What you need to know: The Ergomind Aerator shoes stand apart from the rest thanks to an integrated heel support system that helps ensure they stay firmly in place as your stomp all over your yard. 

What you’ll love: The spikes are embedded into a steel plate, so you don’t have to worry about plastic breaking if you hit something hard at an odd angle with them. Also, the sturdy metal buckles do an effective job at preventing the straps from loosening as you work.

What you should consider: They only come with two spare spikes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Ohuhu Lawn Aerator Shoes

What you need to know: These basic lawn aerator shoes get the job done but are less durable than more costly models.

What you’ll love: The simple strap system makes them easy to don and doff without much fumbling around, and the textured footbeds offer a bit of traction, so they don’t shift around as you walk.

What you should consider: The spikes can loosen during use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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