By: Amy Jacquin
Growing good grass can be a real challenge. Maybe all you need to do stroll behind your push mower wearing some aerator sandals. Or that could be a challenge in itself. Amy checks to see if Brookstone maybe 'spiked' its claims about the lawn aerator sandals.
Do you ever wish your lawn looked as lovely as your neighbors? Maybe all you need is a little aeration. That's where you pull plugs out of your lawn about the size of your fingers. Aeration helps funnel oxygen and water to the root system.
"And these holes fill up with grass roots, so it actually strengthens the root system and makes it grow deeper into the soil, and consequently you get a better turf," added Paul Schnare, owner of Sunny Hill Garden and Florist in Cape Girardeau.
But can you get the benefits from wearing Brookstone aeration sandals? Brookstone claims you merely strap them to your feet and walk! They even encourage you to wear these sandals when push mowing your lawn, to do two jobs in one. Who better to test them for us than Paul Schnare?
He straps them on, stands up, and immediately wobbles a bit as the spikes sink partially into the ground. On the third step, the right sandal slips off. We're not off to a smooth start. Paul fumbles with the sandals some more, and they repeatedly slip off his shoes. But Paul plugs away at it and eventually manages to partially aerate some of the front lawn. We say "partially" because the Brookstone sandals aren't doing a complete job.
"Because if you don't pull the soil out of the plug, actually what you're doing is compacting the soil," he says. "And that's more harmful over the long haul. "
The spikes often don't sink all the way into the ground, and that's on a day immediately following a nice rain. "Can you imagine doing this as you mow the yard?" Paul laughs. Walking in the Brookstone aerator sandals is cumbersome and can be downright difficult!
"I'm feeling like i got my feet in muck!" Paul continues. "If i had to wear them on a hillside at all, I think it would be dangerous!"
Put your $15 toward renting a real, self-propelled aerator. The Brookstone sandals just don't cut it. "They're awkward and clumsy," says Paul. "It doesn't do the job that needs to be done."
It's barely better than nothing, so it barely passes. The Brookstone lawn aerator sandals earn a 'D.'