RS Recommends: The Best Wool Sneakers to Buy Right Now
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Over the past few years, conversations about sneakers have shifted from brands to materials. Well, one material, in particular: wool. The best wool sneakers have (justifiably) found their way into our wardrobes, and they’re here to stay.
For many, slipping on wool sneakers is something of an a-ha moment. The fabric boasts natural coziness, breathability, and plenty of flexibility for all activities. Wool’s best feature, however, is probably its effectiveness against moisture: Wool can absorb sweat, but it’s also naturally water-resistant against rain and splashes. This means all-day comfort — even if you’re sockless — no matter what you’re doing or what the weather looks like.
What Are the Best Wool Sneakers?
Because wool sneakers are a relatively new phenomenon (and many come from young brands), shopping for the right pair can be tricky.
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First, not all wool is made equal. Merino wool is considered the gold standard, lending extreme softness, and sweat-wicking capabilities, but it’s not the only option out there. Some fantastic wool sneakers use wool-polyester blends for more structure, and others are essentially traditional sneakers with a wool liner to garner the material’s benefits.
Second, you’ll want to think about how your wool sneakers will get used. Most wool sneakers are designed as everyday trainers — ideal for long walks, commutes, and traveling. But we’re also seeing some fantastic wool sneakers built for running and working out. These sneakers leverage wool’s flexibility, breathability, and moisture-reduction for better workout performance. Wool sneakers are fairly versatile, in general, but it’s still a good idea to consider how you’ll use them.
Then there’s style to be considered. We think one cause of wool sneakers’ success is their minimal yet earthy look, pairing well with casual chinos, jeans, button-ups, and classic tees.
Looking to understand the hype around wool sneakers? Read on. We’ve chosen some of the best wool sneakers to wear right now, including everyday kicks and workout shoes.
1. Allbirds Men’s Wool Runners
Allbirds’ first shoe, the Wool Runner, is still one of, if not the best wool sneaker around. Made of premium merino wool, the sneaker effectively wicks away sweat and controls odor while staying breathable and comfortable. They’re great for wearing without socks, and, if they get dirty or need sanitizing, just throw them in the washing machine. Add a minimal style that’s easy to pair with jeans or chinos and a button-up, and you’ve got one of the best go-to sneakers on the market.
Buy:Allbirds Men's Wool Runnersat$98
2. Baabuk Sky Wooler
Baabuk is another brand specializing in wool sneakers. The European company (rightfully) prides itself on the quality of its wool, which is sourced from mulesing-free sheep in Portugal. As expected from high-quality wool, the sneakers are breathable, sweat-wicking, and machine washable — not to mention extremely comfortable. We think they look great too, and they come in several unique colors to suit your taste.
Buy:Baabuk Sky Woolerat$149
3. Loro Piana 360 Flexy Walk Wool Sneakers
Courtesy Mr. Porter
Stylish, upscale wool sneakers do exist, as proven by these Loro Piana 360s. The name comes from the sneakers’ unbelievable lightness, weighing in at just 360 grams (Allbirds are about 510 grams, for reference). This weight, plus the brand’s carefully selected Wish wool construction, gives the sneakers an airy, sock-like feel. In terms of style, they’re about as sophisticated as wool sneakers come with leather heel counters, color blocking and a modern sole.
Buy:Loro Piana 360 Flexy Walkat$875
4. Le Mouton Slip-On Wool Shoes
The softness, breathability, and sockless opportunities of wool sneakers make them great as lounge shoes. Le Mouton leans into this side of wool sneakers with these slip-ons. Featuring a water-repellent merino wool build, a padded insole, and a supportive EVA outsole, the sneakers let your feet relax — even while running errands, traveling, or commuting. We’re also big fans of Le Mouton’s minimal style, teaming nicely with relaxed chinos, jeans, and T-shirts.
Buy:Le Mouton Slip-On Wool Shoesat$89
5. Woolloomooloo Cheviot Merino Wool Sneaker
For some serious cushioning, complemented by the comfort of natural Merino wool, check out these Cheviot sneakers from the aptly-named brand Woolloomooloo. The wool is micro-knitted, which makes the kicks look more like regular sneakers, and the elastic, no-tie lace system makes the shoes easy to slip in and out of.
6. Superga 2750 Wool
Superga is known for classic, retro-inspired kicks. But, with these 2750 wool sneakers, the brand’s iconic silhouette gets a modern overhaul. With both a wool lining and upper, the shoes are capable of keeping your feet warm in the winter, but won’t get too hot during transitional months. Overall, they’re a classic shoe that can outperform most other throwback sneakers.
Buy:Superga 2750 Woolat$60.76
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