Are you looking for a new pair of sneakers? Maybe some slip-ons for that comfy business casual look? Lucky for you, no matter which shoe style you prefer, there’s also one made from Merino wool. And that’s why I’m here: to analyze and review the best Merino wool shoes for men!
From athletic sneakers from Giesswein to the classic Allbirds lace-ups, Merino wool’s popularity is growing in the footwear world. So, I’ll explore ‘the recipe’ for the best Merino wool shoes before diving into our top wool shoes! And as always, I’m just here to guide you in the right direction with Merino wool knowledge and expertise. It’s ultimately up to you to determine which pair of Merino wool shoes best suits your needs.
- Merino Wool Shoes: The Recipe
- Best Overall: Allbirds Wool Runners
- Best Running Shoes: Merinos Men’s Lace Ups
- Best Value: Urban Fox Parker Wool Sneakers
- Best Slip Ons: LeMouton Wool Casual Slip Ons
- Best High Tops: Allbrids Wool Runner-Up Mizzles
- Best Hiking Shoes: Giesswein Wool Cross X
- Most Stylish: Baabuk Sky Wooler
- Best Boots: Giesswein Leather Merino Boot
- Best Indoor Slippers: Nootkas Astoria Slipper
- Best Hybrid Slippers: Glerups Wool Boot
- Final Note: Best Merino Wool Shoes For Men
FTC Disclosure: Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products to maintain genuineness and authenticity. However, as an Affiliate member, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Merino Wool Shoes: The Recipe
Listen, I may not be the best cook in the world, but I like to think I’ve deconstructed the recipe when it comes to Merino Wool Gear. It comes down to four simple principles: quality, style, comfort, and care.
And we’ll explore each one – in recipe form, of course!
1. Start with a Base of Quality Merino Wool
Like any recipe, your shoes are only as good as the quality of your ingredients. In our case, the main ingredient for each one of these shoes is Merino wool.
So, how can you tell good wool from bad wool? Well, it’s a little more challenging than you may think. Your feet should feel comfortable with good wool, and their temperature should be regulated. However, you may feel some itchiness with bad wool, and your feet may feel too hot. This doesn’t always translate well in print, so I’ll do my best to provide my expert opinion on each shoe’s quality.
Note: While we are focused on Merino wool, several other ingredients play a significant role in a shoe’s quality. You’ll want to make sure the soles, laces, inserts, and seam construction all work together. Sometimes this means changing the shoe style you are looking for, and other times that may mean going for a non-wool sneaker.
2. Mix In Two Cups Of Personal Style
No matter how high-quality the shoe, you’ll never get the whole Merino experience if it doesn’t match your personal style. Luckily, most brands have dozens of colors options within their shoe collections. Many even release limited-time color schemes, so it’s essential to watch if you have a specific hue in mind.
Pictured: Baabuk Sky Wooler Sneaker
Pro Tip: When searching for the perfect shoes, if you don’t like the neutral color options (gray, black, tan, navy, etc.), you probably won’t like the vibrant color options either.
Yet, color isn’t the only style factor in your decision process. You’ll have to incorporate the overall design into your wardrobe. Sometimes, this means sacrificing the “crazy” sneakers for a more practical slip-on. Do you really want a $100+ pair of shoes sitting around because they only match two outfits?
In other words, the shoes you choose should match your life, not the other way around.
3. Finish with 24/7 comfort
I think Merino wool shoes are the most comfortable shoes on the market. However, you may think my opinion is a little biased. I completely understand.
But the truth still stands that no matter the weather outside, Merino wool will keep your feet comfy inside. Why, though? It has a lot to do with the fine fiber diameter and excellent moisture management properties. I won’t get into too many details here, but you can read more about the benefits of Merino wool if you’d like.
Moreover, these aren’t just summer shoes. There are plenty of options listed below that work well in wet, muddy, and wintery conditions. So, your feet will be warm and comfy all year long!
4. ‘Stir’ With Care Every Month
To get the most out of your Merino wool shoes, you’ll have to take good care of them. While many of the listed options are machine washable, don’t always assume that’s the correct way.
Merino Wool Shoes Care Tips
- Always follow manufacturer recommendations (or you may void any warranties)
- Spot clean or wash every month or so
- Make sure to remove laces before washing
- Use a delicates bag in the washer
- Never use the dryer (unless the manufacturer says otherwise)
Check out our comprehensive Merino wool care guide for more tips, tricks, and techniques about caring for your Merino Wool Gear.
Best Overall Men’s Merino Wool Shoes
100% ZQ Merino Uppers | 12+ colors/styles | Sizes: 8-14 (whole) | Price: $$$$
Pros: Minimalist style | Maximum comfort | Ultimate sustainability
Cons: Tread issues | Must launder with care
In the Merino wool shoe world, Allbirds still reign supreme. Their staple shoe, the Wool Runner, is still one of my favorites. It just has a fantastic fit and foot feel. Honestly, when I wear mine, I just feel better overall!
Anyways, personal feelings aside, these shoes are built with two things in mind: comfort and sustainability. The comfort stems from the 100% ZQ Merino wool uppers and cushioned midsole. Moreover, Allbirds uses premium, eco-friendly materials to enhance the comfort level. As for sustainability, we’ll touch more on it later in this piece.
I love the simple, minimalist construction when it comes to the design. It’s the “right amount of nothing,” making it versatile. You can wear your wool runners for work meetings, coffee dates, and even to a wedding! And in 12+ colors, with new season colors trickling in, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect color for you.
Finally, I know you probably think I’m biased here. Still, the facts are that Allbirds Wool Runners are the top Merino wool shoe (in my opinion, of course). If you don’t believe me, check out celebrities like Ashton Kutcher & Matthew McConaughey rocking these comfy, stylish shoes.
Best Merino Wool Running Shoes
~100% Merino uppers | 10 colors combos | Sizes 8-13 (wide availabile) | $89
Pros: 24/7 Comfort | Extremely lightweight | Surprisingly durable
Cons: Narrow width | Some sizing discrepancies
Listen, I’ve tried my fair share of Merino wool shoes. As far as overall fit, comfort, and style go, I always put Merinos near the top of the list. There is just something about these sneakers that makes it feel like I’m walking on a cloud.
The feature I – and other Merino lovers – is the pure comfort of these wool sneakers. They are super lightweight (less than a pound), and the soft Merino wool provides a luxurious ‘foot feel.’ And since they are odor-resistant, I can leave the socks at home in the summer for a more airy feel.
Still, at Merino Wool Gear, we want you to understand the complete picture. So, it’s important to note that some users have reported sizing inconsistencies and narrow widths. Luckily, Merinos offers wide versions of their lace-ups (denoted with a ‘w’). Still, consult their fit charts or contact them if you are in-between sizes.
Overall, Merinos sneaker’s classic style goes with nearly every outfit! Honestly, they even look decent with a pair of work pants and a polo. So, you don’t have to bring an extra pair of sneakers when you hit the gym after work! Grab on the dozens of colors of Merinos shoes today!
Best Value Merino Wool Shoes For Men
70/30 Wool-Polyester Uppers | 6+ colors/styles | Sizes: 7-13 (whole) | Price: $37.99
Pros: Super affordable | Extremely soft foot-feel | Perfect for deck and patio use
Cons: Questionable quality | ‘Dad Shoe’ design
If you’ve noticed by now, Merino wool shoes can sometimes run on the pricier side. However, there are quality, affordable options for those running on a tight budget. One such pair is the Urban Fox Parker wool sneakers.
Besides being less than half the cost of some of its competitors, these wool shoes are surprisingly comfortable. And while the 70/30 wool/polyester blend isn’t the most top-shelf material, it still gets the job done.
Unfortunately, these shoes aren’t the most fashionable pair on our list. Honestly, the style may be why they cost less. I know it’s subjective, but they look like your standard pair of dad shoes. And for some people, that may be the style they seek. However, I’m probably not going to wear them past the backyard. Still, they work just as great as any Merino wool house shoe on the market.
Overall, it’s important to note that this Merino sneaker “value” pick is not simply due to price. These sneakers have fantastic comfort, color selection, and quality that rivals higher price tags. So, if you want a pair of Merino wool shoes that don’t break the bank, the Urban Fox Parkers are probably your best bet!
Best Merino Wool Slip Ons
100% Merino lining, 73% Merino outers | 6 colors | Sizes: 8-12 (whole) | Price: $89
Pros: Padded Merino wool insoles | Easy to care for (machine washable) | Packable & flexible
Cons: Odd logo placement | Long-term durability concerns
A quality pair of slip-ons make a perfect addition to any wardrobe due to its versatility. You can wear them with more professional outfits, and they also look fitting while rocking a pair of sweatpants. And when it comes to Merino wool slip-ons, we have a favorite: the LeMouton Casual Wool Slip-On.
So, what makes LeMouton different than all the other Merino wool slip-ons on the market? Eh, not too much. The only way to describe them, I guess, is the fantastic foot feel. The padded wool inserts and 100% Merino lining add to the overall comfort factor. However, if you plan on trekking more than a few miles a day, you may want to opt for their lace-ups instead.
The only real downside is the odd logo design. Some of the color combinations are too loud, especially when you consider the simplicity of the shoe design. For example, these gray shoes have a bright blue logo. It’s not a major issue per se, but make sure that both the shoe and logo color match your style.
The LeMouton Casual Slip-Ons make for a comfy, stylish pair of Merino wool shoes. They are easy to launder, super flexible, and can even squeeze into the tight spaces in your suitcase. Grab a pair (or two) today!
Best Merino Wool High Tops
100% ZQ Merino uppers | 8+ colors | Sizes: 8-14 (whole) | Price: $145
Pros: Carbon neutral | High-top splash resistance | Water-repellent finish
Cons: Fit inconsistencies | Some pilling experienced
This is the second time Allbirds has made our list with the Wool Runner-Up Mizzles. They are basically the high-top variation of their wool runners meaning they come with exceptional comfort and style. And as I mentioned previously, they are sustainable and eco-friendly.
In fact, according to Allbirds, the Wool Runner-Up Mizzles are carbon neutral. But how? Initially, these high-tops have a carbon footprint of 14.5 kg CO2e (the equivalent of driving just under 50 miles). However, Allbirds offsets this impact by reinvesting in projects that sequester carbon. Thus, bringing the overall environmental effects back to zero.
And thanks to ZQ Merino, bio-based water repellent, sugarcane-based insoles, recycled shoelaces, and so much more, Allbirds is genuinely one of the most sustainable clothing brands, Merino wool or not.
Beyond sustainability, these Merino wool shoes work great with various outfits, especially with dozens of colors and style options. Although, if you do grab a pair of the Runner-Up Wool Mizzles, you may experience some initial pilling. Still, that’s nothing to worry about if you care for your Allbirds properly.
Best Merino Wool Hiking Shoes
100% Merino lining (TPU sole & EVA sole) | 4 colors | Sizes: 7-15 (whole) | Price: $160
Pros: 4-season outdoor use | ‘Micro-Grip Sole’ for traction | Flexible yet supportive
Cons: Expensive | Limited availability
At first glance, these may not look like your typical hiking shoes. But the sad truth is, 100% Merino wool shoes don’t always fare well in the rugged outdoors. However, there are a few all-terrain shoes with a 100% Merino wool lining, and my favorite has to be the Giesswein Wool Cross X.
If I could describe these shoes in one word, it would be ‘performance.’ The micro-grip soles work well on the uneven terrain of the backcountry. Plus, Giesswein uses a strategically cushioned sole to improve balance and stability. We haven’t even gotten to the best part yet: the Merino wool!
The wool lining itself aids in moisture management while you’re out on the trail. And if you’re just strolling around town, you could even rock these shoes without socks since they are odor-resistant. Still, you should air them out at the end of the day.
But, as you guessed it, the Giesswein Wool Cross X does have one downside: price. Did you really think all those features would come cheap? Still, even with their price, these Merino wool hiking shoes sell out fast. So, if you are interested, you better hurry up and check them out soon!
Most Stylish Wool Sneaker
100% Portugese wool upper & inner | 9 colors (w/ seasonal) | Sizes: 36-46 (EU) | Price: $139
Pros: High-Quality wool | Excellent overall style | Seasonal pattern releases
Cons: Limited availability | Shape retention over time
Wool sneakers aren’t just about lightweight runners and slip ons. As you’ll see, wool plays a role in nearly every shoe style. And in my not-so-expert opinion, the most stylish out of all these options is the Baabuk Sky Wooler. And although it’s made with Portuguese wool and not your standard Merino, it still deserves a spot on this list.
The wool uppers and inners are based on a centuries-old wool fabric called burel. Portuguese shepherds would use burel to protect against the elements as they watched over the flock. And the Sky Woolers take this ultimate weather protection and bring it to your feet! Plus, there is a Merino wool lining for extra warmth. Pretty cool, right?
Yet, as the title suggests, we love the overall style that Baabuk achieves with the Sky Woolers. They have that classic high-top look (in 10+ colors) that goes with various outfits. Still, I would stuff newspapers or inserts into these shoes to maintain their shape when you are not wearing them.
To sum up, these wool sneakers are naturally water repellent, durable, and keep your feet toasty. They are a perfect pair of winter sneakers, wool or not. So, make sure to find the color combination that fits your style. Trust me; your feet will thank you.
Best Men’s Merino Wool Boots
360° Merino wool lining | 3 colors | Sizes: 7-15 (whole) | Price: $$$$$
Pros: Top-shelf Nubuck leather | Non-slip rubber sole | Waterproof & warm
Cons: Most expensive pair on list | Hard to find ‘comfort window’
We typically don’t see Merino wool boots. It’s just the nature of the material. However, many innovative brands like Giesswein understand that Merino has the opportunity to have its place in the winter boot world. And that combination of innovation and quality has led them to the Merino Leather Boot.
As with Giesswein’s products, these Merino Leather boots are made with top-shelf materials. The 100% Merino lining and footbed use ethically-sourced wool. On top of that, the Nubuck leather is top-grain, making it much more durable and protective from the elements. Finally, the soles are made from a lightweight EVA polymer so that you can trek the extra mile.
Wool and leather aside, these winter boots have everything you need. They are waterproof, comfortable, and have a non-slip sole for those extra icy winter days. Moreover, they come in different color varieties and are surprisingly stylish. I’m a fan of the Timberland-like camel option, but they also come in black and brown if that’s more your speed.
As you can imagine, these boots are expensive. However, their price is similar to some other non-wool winter boots. Plus, as Giesswein is a self-proclaimed “Merino Wool Innovator,” it’s safe to say these boots are well worth the price.
Best Merino Wool Indoor Slippers
Felted Merino wool (w/ suede sole) | 3 colors | Sizes: 8-12 (whole) | Price: $89
Pros: Fantastic temperature regulation | Barefoot feel (suede sole) | Minimalist design
Cons: Indoor use only | Expensive (for slippers)
You didn’t think we’d create a Merino wool shoe list without adding a pair of house slippers, right? There are several options out there, but my favorite has to be the Nootkas Astoria slipper.
These Nootkas house shoes aren’t that unique at first glance, but d*mn, are they comfortable! The hand-felted uppers use high-quality New Zealand Merino wool to improve breathability. Moreover, the interior wool lining is super soft, which offers an excellent foot feel. Oh yeah, don’t forget the high-density, 3/4″-thick wool padding.
“With unfussy styling and minimalist appeal, this slipper was designed with the modern man in mind.”– Nootkas
But honestly, the aspect I love the most is the minimalist design. It’s just a simple slipper with a wool upper and suede sole. They help me relax at the end of a long day. Maybe they’ll help you, too!
Finally, yes, I get it – these are expensive! However, I think Nootkas can justify their price through their quality materials and level of craftsmanship. As the adage goes: the best things in life aren’t free. And these Merino wool slippers are definitely one of the better things in life.
Best Merino Wool Hybrid Slippers
Gotland wool/Merino wool blend | 15 colors/combinations | 1-13 (some half sizes) | Price: $130
Pros: Industry-leading warmth | Flexible fabric | Durable rubber sole
Cons: Sizing inconsistencies | Not the most fashionable
Unlike the suede soles on the Nootkas slippers, Glerups uses a rubber sole in their design (although other materials are available). This both increases the durability and life expectancy of the shoes. You can use them out on the balcony, chilling on the patio, or even out in the yard. In other words, we genuinely believe these are the quintessential hybrid Merino wool slipper.
But why? What makes them so different? Well, two things actually: comfort and price. As you can imagine, the felted wool tops, lining, and padding are super comfy on your feet. They don’t itch. They won’t cause discomfort, except maybe to your bank account.
Anyways, these Glerups wool slippers are an excellent choice for a 4-season (yes, they keep your feet cool in the summer, too) wool slippers. And if you don’t like the rubber soles or high-top construction, Glerups has plenty of variations that should suit your needs.
Final Note: Best Merino Wool Shoes For Men
And that’s that; the top Men’s Merino wool shoes for 2023 (and beyond)! We’ve covered everything from simple slip-ons to hardcore Merino-lined boots and even a few house slippers. Hopefully, you can find a pair of Merino wool shoes that best fits your style and purpose.
But, if you didn’t find a pair you like and have a basic idea of what you’re after, feel free to reach out to us. We’re always happy to help with Merino wool gear recommendations (hence the name). Or you can follow us on any of the socials below.
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