I Tried Giesswein Wool Shoes and They Kept My Feet Dry and Healthy
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Wool shoes can be a healthy footwear option. Here's what I discovered after wearing a pair of Giesswein wool shoes all summer.
Are wool shoes worth the hype?
Wool shoes and sneakers are all the rage. Why? Because they’re sustainably made of merino wool and feel soft on the feet. Plus, they’re odor and moisture-wicking. Essentially, wool shoes are comfortable and easy to wear all year round.
If you haven’t yet heard of Giesswein, they’re a third-generation family-owned European company that makes sustainable and comfortable slippers, shoes, and sneakers from their signature wool. Plus, the shoes look good.
Of course, I had to try a pair of Giesswein sneakers. I wore them all summer long—with and without socks—to test them out and report back. I also talked to a podiatrist for his take. Interested in getting your feet on your own pair of wool shoes? Here’s everything you need to know.
Are Giesswein wool shoes eco-conscious?
Giesswein shoes are sustainably made. For instance, the company uses up to 90 percent recycled water in its production process and uses 100 percent renewable resources. Pretty impressive.
The shoes come in a minimal amount of packaging—a nice change from shoes stuffed with plastic inserts and piles of paper. The shoe box is also entirely paper, and everything is fully recyclable.
(Here are the solutions for common foot problems.)
What are the benefits of wool shoes?
Sustainability is important, but what about the other benefits of wool shoes? I asked Mark Mendeszoon, a podiatrist, foot and ankle surgeon, and consultant with the University of Akron Track & Field Team, for his take.
“Wool is antimicrobial and is breathable,” he says. “It can regulate temperatures and weather changes throughout the day.”
After the sustainable packaging, the second most noticeable thing about the Giesswein sneakers is how light they feel. It’s hard to believe, but the pair only weighs 5.6 ounces. That’s about the heft of a French baguette!
“Wool shoes are generally lightweight and are machine washable, so care of the shoes is very easy,” Dr. Mendeszoon adds.
Other Giesswein benefits include a stretch that hugs the foot but doesn’t feel restrictive and cushioned EVA soles (which stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate, a rubber-like substance) that are comfortable for walking.
Plus, the wool doesn’t hold onto odors or moisture—making these shoes ideal for all sorts of conditions and sweaty feet.
How I tested wool shoes
Giesswein makes a huge range of wool shoes, from flats to slippers to runners. For this wool shoe test, I ordered a pair of Giesswin wool sneakers in arctic white. I wore them any time I could get away with wearing sneakers this summer—pretty much every day.
I wore them rain or shine to the farmer’s market, the state fair, bike riding on Lake Michigan, walking my dog, and to outdoor barre classes.
They were also my footwear of choice for quick errands, grocery store runs, and casual drinks with friends. I wore them both with and without socks.
Straight out of the box, I noticed how light the shoes are. When the package arrived in the mail, I worried the box was empty.
I was excited to see how stylish and sleek the sneakers looked, with a low vamp and subtle perforation. I paired them with both athleisure and exercise dresses.
Sliding them on to my feet, the sneakers felt soft and comfortable. The cushioned sole gave extra support without feeling orthopedic. I took a quick walk around the block and didn’t experience any of the usual “new shoe” discomfort—especially around my arches and in the toe box.
(Note, I ordered my usual U.S. shoe size, and they were true to size.)
- Odor- and sweat-wicking for seriously cool and comfy feet.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear all day.
- Stylish cut and available in a variety of colors from white to red.
- Made from ethically sourced Merino wool.
- Naturally waterproof, thanks to lanolin.
- Free shipping and free returns.
- Easy to wash in the washing machine.
- The sneakers aren’t meant for serious sports and training. (Here are the best workout shoes, instead.)
- If you’re allergic to wool, these aren’t your shoes!
Are wool sneakers worth the hype?
Absolutely. I reach for my Giesswein sneakers first. They’re so lightweight and comfy, it almost feels like I don’t have anything on my feet—but they provide arch support and a snug, secure fit. I can feel the quality and care that went into designing these shoes.
I definitely sweat in these sneakers without socks, and don’t experience odors or blisters—which is no small miracle.
Since they are white, I’ve washed them a few times in the washing machine (and let them dry in the sun) to remove dirty spots. They’ve come out looking fantastic.
I plan on wearing them this fall and into the winter with socks. Wool is good for keeping feet warm, too.
Where to buy Giesswein shoes
Giesswein wool sneakers retail for $99.99. “For the quality, pricing is very reasonable,” Dr. Mendeszoon says.
They’re available on Giesswein’s website, in men’s and women’s sizes, and all orders come with free shipping and free returns. Next up, I’ve got my eye on a vegan pair of Giesswein sneakers made from cactus leather.
- Mark Mendeszoon, DPM, a podiatrist, foot and ankle surgeon, and consultant with the University of Akron Track & Field Team