“So should I wear socks with my sheepskin boots?” While this really comes down to personal preference, the answer from those of us in the know, is “no” - sheepskin boots are designed to be worn without socks, and for good reason.
We get asked the “socks with sheepskin boots” question here at the home of Australian made sheepskin boots on an almost daily basis. And whilst we’ve been telling our customers for years not to wear socks with sheepskin boots, one of our retail members from our Wild Wool family recently felt the need to test the theory to bring a firsthand knowledge to her customers. The result? “I could hardly feel the warmth from my sheepskin boots and the fit was now too tight anyway,” she observed.
Let’s focus mainly on the first aspect of her realisation about the reduced warmth of sheepskin boots when wearing socks. Genuine sheepskin wool is an active fibre which means it will regulate to your body’s temperatures and keep your feet body temperature warm even when in the face of blistering cold weather. It can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water, drawing moisture away from our bodies so we can stay dry, regardless of the temperature. Being a natural insulator, this particular property will only work to its full potential if worn on bare skin which is why sheepskin boots are much warmer without socks than with socks. Besides, who buys a pair of authentic sheepskin boots for the pleasure of warmth and comfort of the natural sheepskin to then mask it with a pair of socks?
The second issue that was observed when wearing socks with sheepskin boots, was the change to the fit of the world’s favourite comfort footwear. Even thin socks can detract from the cosy fit of your sheepskin boots, because when you buy the correct size sheepskin boots, socks will get in the way of the natural process which occurs as the fibres of the sheepskin mould around your feet. With socks on your feet, the warmth and comfort of the sheepskin can’t get in between your toes, fill out the arch of your foot and wrap your ankles up like a fluffy blanket. Some people also find that their sheepskin boots are too tight when worn with socks, so if you’re planning to go against the grain and wear a “socks and sheepskin boots combination”, you should keep this in mind when choosing your size (of course, our sizing is based around sheepskin boots being worn without socks).
Many of our customers are concerned that if they wear their sheepskin boots without socks, they’re likely to become dirty or smelly on the inside. Generally speaking, sheepskin boots which are manufactured from 100% A-Grade quality Merino sheepskin should not develop an odour, given the loose fibrous nature of the sheepskin will allow your feet to breathe, and will also wick away deposits of sweat as they start to form. (We can’t say the same for products made from synthetic or low-quality sheepskin though, so steer clear of those at all costs). However, you certainly should always ensure that your feet are washed, clean and dry before you put them into your glorious boots by Wild Wool. Whilst sheepskin boots are magic enough to prevent your feet from becoming odourous, they can’t undo dirt or odour which is brought into the sheepskin boots from your feet in the first place. For this reason, we recommend getting into the habit of making sure your feet are dry and clean every time you put them into your warm, cosy sheepskin boots.
Although we’re sure you’ll enjoy your sheepskin boots much more without socks, we know it can be a personal preference for some. So, our parting tip? If you’re still sure you’d prefer to wear socks with your sheepskin boots, we recommend wearing a sock made from a natural material such as bamboo or 100% cotton.