Best Wool Sneakers (2021): Allbirds, Giesswein & More Wool Shoes - Rolling Stone
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RS Recommends: The Best Wool Sneakers to Buy Right Now

With natural comfort, sweat-wicking capabilities and modern style, here’s why wool sneakers are currently blowing up — plus, the best pairs to shop now


Courtesy Allbirds

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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.

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

white allbirds wool sneakers

Courtesy Allbirds

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 Runners at $98

2. Hoka One One Hupana Flow Wool

grey wool sneakers for running


Hoka One One, a brand loved for its supportive, rocking soles, has tried its hand at crafting a wool sneaker with these Hupana Flow Wools. We think Hoka nailed it, delivering a comfortable, high-performance sneaker for running, lounging and every situation between. The sneakers’ knit wool upper helps wick moisture, and a balanced cushioning system supports your feet without eliminating responsiveness. You also get no-tie laces and a versatile style, making these Hokas great for travel and long days on your feet.

Buy: Hoka One One Hupana Flow Wool at $91.95

3. Loro Piana 360 Flexy Walk Wool Sneakers

merino wool sneakers designer

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 Walk Wool Sneakers at $950

4. Le Mouton Slip-On Wool Shoes

grey wool sneakers merino

Courtesy Amazon

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 Shoes at $89

5. Adidas UltraBoost LTD Wool Blend Running Shoes

adidas ultraboost knit

Courtesy Nordstrom

Big brands have taken notice of the wool sneaker trend. Take these special Adidas UltraBoosts, which add a built-in wool liner and wool upper to the brand’s popular UltraBoost silhouette. In addition to the sweat-wicking comfort of the wool, you get the shoe’s original support and stability for running or working out.

Buy: Adidas UltraBoost LTD Wool Blend… at $180

6. Asportuguesas by Fly London Camp Sneaker

wool shoes slipper sneakers

Courtesy Nordstrom

These chunky, earthy wool sneakers from Asportuguesas are truly unique, and they make for a comfortable statement with casual weekend outfits. Grounded by a bold cork-lug sole, the sneakers’ upper is made of merino wool for moisture and heat control. Thanks to the wool, the shoes are extremely comfortable, making them a good choice for lounging at home, walking the dog or grabbing groceries.

Buy: Asportuguesas by Fly London Camp Sneaker at $129

In This Article: Fashion, RS Recommends, sneakers


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