|GadgetScope.com > Tools > Aerator Sandals|
|Reviewed 5-26-2003 by John Shirrell - Produced by Improvements - List price: $12.99|
Aeration is what golf courses use to keep fairways and greens in their pristine condition. Those courses use large equipment to aerate the grass, but there is no easy solution for giving the grass at home the same treatment. After trying the Improvements Aerator Sandals, I can safely say that there is still no easy solution.
It seems like such a simple idea. Take the aerator spikes and attach them to your shoes, and all you have to do is wear them while you're mowing to aerate your lawn. Since these sandals are inexpensive (or should I say cheap) I thought they were worth a try. When they were delivered I received two plastic sandal bases, some straps, and a bunch of spikes and nuts. Using the included wrench tool I securely fastened the nuts to the sandals, then I attached the straps. They were much too long, so on one sandal I tucked in the excess strap and on the other I cut the excess off. I then started mowing and gave the grass the treatment.
Wearing these sandals is similar to wearing skis or skates, in that it is very difficult to walk in them until you start using them. Walking on pavement is difficult because your foot can go sideways. However, on the grass, the spikes slide into the soil with a bit of effort. It's very hard on the back to walk on these sandals for long. However that was not a problem with the Improvements sandals.
After all, having walked through less than half of the lawn, I noticed serious problems with the sandals. They were falling apart. Both straps, the one that was cut especially, but also the one that wasn't cut, frayed so much they were becoming a tripping hazard. The spikes were coming loose and wobbling around. A few nuts had come loose, because as tight as I had fastened them, they were clearly not designed for 100 pounds of pressure. Worse yet, the spikes that had stayed fastened had become bent because the plastic was bending under the stress. These sandals couldn't even handle half of a lawn, so I certainly would not recommend them as a solution for the whole summer.
Rule number one of a good, useful product: It can't break during normal use. These sandals broke within minutes of being used. Therefore, they are not a good, useful product. If you're serious about aerating the lawn, look for a roller-type device instead of these sandals.