yards improved is a website devoted to advice on how to get the most out of your yard and outdoor areas
This article may contain links which lead to us earning commissions at no extra cost to you.

Are Aerator Shoes A Good Fit?

Sometimes at first glance, you come across an idea that seems fantastic. But when you have time to think about it more, you realize it’s not as great as you first thought. Unfortunately, that’s the case with aerator shoes.

So we’ve already given away our verdict, but we hope you’ll keep reading anyway!

Why Lawn Aeration Is Important

Just as a refresher, let’s talk briefly about the importance of aerating your lawn.

We all know that plant roots – including grass – need water, air, and fertilizer to thrive. So the soil has to oil these elements to reach them. But over time, the soil becomes compacted, limiting the ability of these things to reach the roots. 

Aeration is the process of piercing the soil to break it up and allow greater penetration of what the roots need. Normally, it should be done at least once a year, in the fall.

To learn more about aeration, check out our full article.

What Aerator Shoes Are

Aerator shoes let you walk around your yard while piercing holes in the soil. So far, that sounds like aeration! But we’ll talk about the shortcomings in the next section.

They aren’t shoes, but they strap onto the bottom of your shoes. They have spikes that are about three inches long that pierce the soil as you walk. 

It seems like a good way to get some exercise and maybe even kill two birds with one stone since you could be performing other tasks while aerating.

For the most part, aerator shoes do all of this. And they’re sturdy enough for the task. However, there are some serious drawbacks.

Why They’re Not Worth It

There are some problems with aerator shoes that make us discourage their use, though.

First, aeration should pull soil out of the hole it makes. Other aerating tools generally have hollow spikes to do this; the soil falls out (or you shake it out) when the spike comes out of the soil. However, aerator shoes have solid spikes, so they compact the soil more along the sides and bottom of the hole they make.

Also, the spacing of the spikes isn’t ideal for aerating. They’re generally too far apart to do the job effectively. This is compounded by the size of your steps! Think about how difficult it would be to cover every inch of your lawn, step by step. Theoretically, it may be possible, but it’s not efficient.

Alternatives To Aerator Shoes

There are plenty of great alternatives that do a better job than aerator shoes. Mechanical aerators are perhaps the choice that works fastest, but they require a bigger financial investment. Hollow-tine aerator forks are more affordable. They take more time but it’s easier to trace a complete path as you go about the task.


Aerator shoes sound like a good idea, but on deeper inspection, they leave a lot to be desired. If you want to take good care of your lawn, we recommend you skip them! Your lawn will be grateful that you use more appropriate equipment to keep it flourishing.

About Us

Tom and Sarah Greenwood are the dynamic duo behind “Yards Improved,” dedicated to the joys and challenges of gardening, pool maintenance, and lawn and patio care. With Tom’s passion for landscape design and Sarah’s enthusiastic approach to gardening, they share their journey of transforming their backyard into a thriving retreat. We strive to offer practical advice aimed at helping you enhance your outdoor space.