This may come as a surprise, but that thick and cozy material wool is actually one of the world’s most versatile fibers. A naturally occurring fabric, it actively does a fantastic job of really regulating your body temperature and wicking away moisture from your body. In other words, while keeping you comfortable and cozy, it’s also keeping you from overheating. Hikers have known about the powers of wool for decades (using it frequently as the bases for their layers or in their socks), but the fashion industry has been a little slow to incorporate it into more stylish options, until now.
Wool shoes certainly weren’t much of a thing until Allbirds came along. And while that beloved sneaker (rightfully) gets a lot of love, there are lots of other exciting options out there for those that want all the benefits of wool sneaker. Below, you’ll find plenty of wool sneaker options to help your feet stay cool and cozy.
1. AllBirds Wool Runners
The shoe that arguably started it all, the AllBirds Wool Runners are more than likely the wool shoe you’re most familiar with — and for a good reason. The superfine merino wool does an excellent job of naturally regulating your body temperature, which means your feet won’t overheat. Additionally, that merino wool helps to cushion and comfort your foot with every step and even helps to cut down on foot odor. Light and springy with every step, you might not want to ever wear anything else ever again.
2. LeMouton Wool Sneaker
BEST ALLBIRDS ALTERNATIVE
Out of all the shoes on the list, these by LeMouton are (perhaps) the closest thing to Allbirds you can get without getting them directly. Built from a wool and polyester blend, the upper is also built with a bit of extra cushion and support to help gently cradle your foot in place as you wear the sneaker throughout the day. The wool construction allows you to wear them without socks, making it so that they’ll naturally regulate foot sweat to keep you cool. However, if the shoes get too funky, you can easily toss them in the wash for a nice refresh.
3. Baabuk Urban Wooler
BEST PHILANTHROPIC OPTION
Based in Switzerland, Baabuk is yet another entry in the wool sneaker market, though they are taking a slightly different approach. Yes, they do offer a similar style of handsome-looking sneakers made famous by Allbirds, but these shoes take it a step further (forgive the pun) by adding a little philanthropy with each purchase. Registered as an official B Corporation (which is a for-profit company that promotes an actionable, philanthropic agenda), Baabuk has made sure its business impacts the countries it operates in, as well as the environment as whole, in a positive way. Our favorite option from Baabuk is their Urban Wooler. With a sleek silhouette and an upper comprised of 100% Portuguese mulesing-free sheep wool, this is a shoe that looks good and does good, too.
4. Hoka One One Hupana Wool Sneaker
BEST FOR THE GYM
Since wool is a great, natural moisture-wicking fabric, incorporating the material into a gym trainer is a no-brainer option. The Hoka Hupana has enough sturdiness built in to support any lifting endeavors you may undertake while regulating your foot temperature. The sock-like feel will also continue to be comfortable and supportive once you step outside the gym, providing that same great fit throughout the entire day. Plus, Hoka’s shoes are already well known for a sophisticated level of support and comfort, so it’s like adding a scoop of ice cream to a slice of pie — you’ve got two great things that only get better together.
5. Cole Haan Grandpro Tennis Wool Sneaker
These shoes from Cole Haan were quite literally designed for being on a tennis court, but they’re so polished and trendy that you should wear them off the court too. Crafted with wool from the 150-year-old Faribault Woolen Mill Co., the shoe is both warm and lightweight for winter court play. And even though it’s fairly light, the shoe still provides excellent traction and support. Tie it all together in a really slick-looking package and you’ve got a shoe that looks and feels great.
6. Loro Piana 360 Flexy Wool Sneakers
BEST LUXURY OPTION
The luxury pick on this list, Loro Piana’s wool runners are super light. Like really light. The 360 in their name refers to their 360 gram, or 3/4 of a pound, lightness that makes it feel like there’s almost nothing on your foot at all. The Italian brand also builds their wool shoes from ultra soft Wish wool, a proprietary wool material that’s made entirely by Loro Piana themselves. This wool adds even more softness and comfort than a standard pair of wool shoes. The light sole pops nicely alongside the rich, two-toned gray, too.
7. Sperry Captain’s CVO Wool Sneaker
Sperry has always been known for their boat shoes, but they’ve been able to take much of the same design features that have made them such a beloved staple and incorporate them into their actual shoes. Specifically, their rubber outsoles help to provide stability on a number of surfaces, while providing a nice look alongside their upper, which in this case is a handsome wool. Speaking of, you’ll get all of the same breathability and comfort from that upper. Also included in that upper is an abrasion-resistant lining, which helps decrease the amount of time it takes to break in the shoe.
8. Frye Ludlow Wool Chukka Sneaker
With a really rich texture, Frye’s chocolate wool chukka sneakers look more similar to suede than they do to wool. Complete with a fully cushioned insole, you won’t need to worry about the shoe feeling good; the interior footbed will provide support for the bottoms of your feet all day long. What’s more, that great wool gives you all the technical features you’d need — but in a totally work-and-play-ready shoe.
9. Pendleton Trona Park Wool Sneaker
You might already know Pendleton from their beloved wool blankets, so it’s quite on brand for them to have crafted a wool sneaker. Accented with a typical Southwestern-style design common in their offerings, the upper has bit of leather for a fun contrasting flair alongside the pattern. The boot-like silhouette will hug your feet and ankles, providing all day lasting comfort and support from the ground up.
10. AllBirds Wool Runner-up Mizzles
BEST HIGH TOP SNEAKER
If your personal preference skews more towards a high-top, the AllBirds Runner-up Mizzles are the way to go. Built with rubberized treads and the brand’s water-repellent tech, they’re a great shoe to stomp around town in on rainy days. And, just like their low top brother, they’re comfortable, supportive, and cozy as hell.