The most comfortable wool shoe ever?
If you want to know what heaven for your feet feels like, you have to slip into a pair of Allbirds Wool Loungers. Seriously! The first time I put my bare feet into the merino wool loafers I could not believe how soft and comfortable a shoe can be.
The company Allbirds produces two types of shoes, the wool runners and the wool loungers. The wool runners are a sneaker or trainer type shoe with laces while the wool lounger is more of a loafer without any laces.
Colours – basics and limited editions
The wool lounger comes in two basic colours – light grey and black. I think of the black more of a dark grey or chark coal colour. These two colours are always available in addition to a series of limited edition colours which keep on changing. As I write this blog post, Allbirds offers 6 additional special edition colours such as plum, moss, ocean blue etc. It is definitely worthwhile checking the website every so often to see the latest limited edition colours.
Material – super soft merino wool
The material used for the Allbirds wool loungers is very soft merino wool. The merino wool used comes from New Zealand and is manufactured into knitted fabric in Italy. The insole is also made out of wool.
What is amazing about the Wool lounger is that there is only one seam on the inside of the shoe. This seamless cut of the shoe ensures that there is no friction and zero potential for blisters. The wool fabric is, as already mentioned, super soft but also flexible. The fabric adapts very nicely around your foot. In addition the fabric and the entire shoe are also very lightweight.
Wool properties in action
Wool has a lot of great properties of which a few come into play with the Allbirds wool loungers.
Antibacterial means less odour
Our shoes tend to start to smell, once bacteria from our sweat start to accumulate in the fabric. So basically it is not our sweat that smells but the bacteria that start to grow afterwards. Bacteria however don’t like wool all that much and therefore don’t start to grow on the wool fabric. And less bacteria on the wool lounger means less stink from our feet.
Breathability – moisture wicking
Wool is also a very breathable fibre. This means that once our feet get a little bit warmer from walking or in summer, the moisture vapour that starts to build up around our feet will be absorbed by the wool shoe and released into the air. This ensures that our feet stay dry and cool – like an air conditioning system.
Insulation – staying warm
While wool can keep our feet cool, it can also do the opposite in cold weather conditions. Wool has insulation properties that will ensure that our feet stay warm. Wool fibre has a very fine crimp. This crimp forms tiny air pockets within the fabric. These air pockets act as an insulator, similar to a thermos flask.
Stain repellant – staying clean
Due to the wool fibre structure it is also naturally stain repellant. Any dirt, tomato sauce or coffee that accidentally hit your wool loungers will not be absorbed by the wool fibre, it will either roll off by iteslf or just sit ther on top of the fabric to easily be removed with a moist cloth.
Water resistant but not waterproof
Wool is also to some extent water repellant. So a little summer drizzle or a few drops will not be a problem and your feet will not get wet. However, if you need to walk in your wool loungers through heavy rain, indeed the shoes will get wet and also heavy. Wool can absorb water up to 35% of its own weight before feeling wet, but once this treshold is reached the shoe will feel wet and heavy.
The shoe can be washed in the washing machine’s wool cycle. Once washed the shoe should only air dried and not put into the tumble dryer. The insole can also be washed but Allbirds also offers the insoles to be bought individually at a price of $25 USD. However, due to wool’s properties, you will not have to wash your wool loungers often, as airing will do the trick.
Price and shipping
The wool lounger is available for $95 USD and $160 NZD. For the moment Allbirds only ships within the US and New Zealand. If you happen to be in San Francisco or New York, you can also visit the Allbirds store to inspect the wool loungers before falling in love and buying yourself a pair.
The company Allbirds was founded by Tim Brown from New Zealand and Joey Zwillinger from the US. Their goal was to create a shoe made out of natural materials and using the positive attributes of merino wool. The company first launched their product successfully on Kickstarter and has since grown into a successful business.
Allbirds is quite transparent about their supply chain and is trying to reduce the product’s and company’s environmental impact wherever possible.
To find out more about the Allbirds Wool Lounger, visit the company’s website here.
If you manage to get your hands on a pair of Allbirds Wool Loungers, then please tell me if you agree that this is the most comfortable shoe there is so far. Leave a comment below, I would love to hear about your experience.