I’ve been excited about testing out Woolloomooloo Shoes for a while now. When we started Merino Wool Gear, they were a new name in the sneaker game. And due to their high-quality materials and innovative approach to manufacturing, they have rapidly made a name for themselves. They create Merino wool sneakers, slip-ons, slides, platforms, and more!
This review will focus on their flagship creation, the Merino wool Belmont shoes (in jet black). I’ll give you my initial thoughts fresh out of the box, wear them for a few days, then put them through the laundry. Finally, I’ll provide some insight into what I liked while testing these shoes and some areas to improve. And who knows? You may want to grab a pair by the end, too!
Disclosure: Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products to maintain our genuineness and authenticity. However, as an affiliate member, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Specs & Features
The first thing I noticed after ripping the package open was how lightweight these shoes felt. They are about the same weight or an ounce heavier than Allbirds Wool Runners, yet have a more stable structure and shape.
They look and feel more like traditional sneakers due to the digitally-knitted Merino uppers. It’s different from the conventional fluffy wool texture you may see with other brands that may boil their wool. Instead, you get a shoe similar to the Nike Flyknit collection but lighter weight and more odor resistant.
The elastic laces are a nice touch, too. Slipping them on and off should be easy, and the signature curls provide a unique look. Although I hesitate about how the laces will hold up in the long run, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself yet.
Alright, it’s about time to try them on. I immediately noticed the soft interior feel when I first slid them on my foot (with no socks). There was no scratching, irritation, or rubbing, only soft Merino wool. Moreover, the thick soles and the wool insole offer plenty of comfort and arch support. I wouldn’t classify them as orthotic shoes, but they will keep my feet comfy no matter how far I walk.
After comparing them with other shoes throughout my ‘Initial Thoughts,’ it’s clear that these Woolloomooloo Belmont Sneakers are in a class of their own. The lightweight, comfortable, and unique digital knit design is unparalleled in the Merino wool shoe world. Let’s hope they stand up to the rigors of our three-day wear test.
Three-Day Wear Test
There’s nothing worse than a shoe review where you know the reviewer hasn’t even worn the shoes! So, testing the Woolloomooloo Belmonts in different situations, weather, and outfits is important. Over three days, I kept a little diary about my experience with these shoes. I tried to wear them in various circumstances so that you can better understand how they will fit into your life. Enjoy!
Day 1: Comfort at Work
Since I typically walk to work, and our dress code is a relaxed business casual, I decided to test these Belmonts in the office first. So, I slipped them on with socks, black chinos, and a gray polo, then set off for my day. The outfit looked sleek and casual but professional enough for a business setting.
Throughout the day, I barely even noticed that I was wearing new shoes, which is exactly what I was looking for. My feet didn’t overheat or experience any irritations, which is hard to say about typical office shoes. Moreover, it rained on my walk home, and these shoes performed well. Although, my socks were slightly moist toward the end. So, while these are marketed as water-resistant, I wouldn’t call them waterproof.
When I finally got out of the rain and took them off, a simple whiff test showed no lingering foot smell yet! Let’s see if this is still the case throughout our wear test.
Day 2: Performance Around Town
After successfully wearing these Woolloomooloo shoes to work, I decided to give them a go around town. You know, you’re typical Saturday out and about. Here are some of the small activities I did that day:
- Yoga class at the gym (plus a light lift)
- Outdoor farmer’s market
- Grocery store trip
- A couple hours in the park
Again, I barely noticed these shoes throughout the day, but there were two instances worth noting. First, when I was at the gym, I realized these would not be my go-to cardio shoes. The loose elastic laces (even when tied) didn’t perform well running on the treadmill. Also, my feet started getting sweaty towards the end of my time in the park. It was 85 °F outside, though, so my feet would still sweat even if I wore slides.
And after the day was over, I did another whiff test. This time, there was a hint of foot odor. However, after airing them out for an hour, I rechecked them, and they smelled fresh again.
Day 3: Questionable on the Trail
The only other place I could think of testing these shoes was in the great outdoors. So, I threw on these Belmonts (without socks) and decided to walk the dogs around a nice three-mile trail around my neighborhood.
Everything was going well at first; no issues with comfort or sweat. But, once I started to get onto rockier terrain, things went a little south. I was walking with the laces untied (first mistake), so I was getting a lot of rubbing on my heel as I navigated the uneven ground. Once I actually tied the laces, though, the discomfort went away. Moreover, many little stones were getting stuck in the bottom of the shoe. I even had to stop and pry them out a few times.
Needless to say, I don’t think these sneakers would be great for trail shoes based on their outsole design and lace system.
If you have read one of our long-form reviews, you know our laundry test is one of the most essential testing elements. Wearing the Merino wool gear is excellent, but if it falls apart in the washer, there may be an issue.
So for these Belmont sneakers, we’ll follow the precise laundry instructions by Woolloomooloo, and hopefully, they are still good as new!
Before I go further, it’s important to note that these sneakers didn’t need to be washed. They didn’t smell and weren’t that dirty (other than some dog hair). Still, I removed the insoles, undid the laces, and washed them because it’s a good test of durability and longevity.
According to Woolloomooloo’s care instructions, the shoes are machine washable with cold water on a gentle cycle. They say to use the wool cleaner as needed, so I added Outback Gold Wool Wash (about a cap-full in each). As for the insoles, Woolloomooloo recommends handwashing with a few drops of wool cleaner, so that’s exactly what I did!
As you can see from the image, there isn’t any significant difference before and after putting them in the laundry. It took me about 2-3 minutes to watch each insole, and they dried out in around 3-4 hours. As for the shoes, they laundered well and took about the same time to dry. And while I noticed some slight pilling in the uppers, it’s to be expected with any Merino wool shoes. Also, the logo on the insoles wore out, but that is simply aesthetic.
Despite these minor discoveries, the Woolloomooloo Belmont shoes passed the laundry test. I wouldn’t say they look ‘good as new’ because that would be a stretch. However, they are as close to new as I’ve seen (and I have done many of these reviews). They didn’t rip, tear, lose shape, or have any defects. And that’s all I ask for in a pair of washable Merino wool shoes.
Editor’s Note: I don’t know if you can wash the elastic laces or not, but I suggest removing them before cleaning. Although, their unique design makes it challenging to lace them back up. You’ll have trouble your first few times, but Woolloomooloo has published a solid how-to video if you need assistance.
What I Liked
After several days of testing in different scenarios and a successful laundry test, the Woolloomooloo Belmonts earned a spot in my daily rotation. They have a lot of unique features that set them apart from their competitors. Let’s expand on some aspects that won me over for good.
The Elastic Laces
I was initially hesitant about the elastic lace system, but it grew on me throughout the testing process. The shoes were so easy to slip on and off, which is always good since I’m always in a rush. And they offer such a cleaner, sleeker look than traditional floppy laces.
Are they the perfect shoelaces? No. But are they the perfect laces for this shoe? Absolutely.
The all-day comfort level of these Woolloomooloo Belmonts is top of the industry. They are flexible where they need to be for better day-to-day performance. The thick outsoles offer plenty of cushion to keep you going pain-free. I had no leg or back pain during testing, which is always a plus. They are genuinely one of the comfiest Merino wool sneakers I’ve ever tried.
Moreover, if you have unique foot needs like orthotics, you can always use insoles instead of those provided. Although you won’t get the same level of odor resistance. So, it’s best to keep your socks on in this case.
Look, these are now my go-to ‘dapper sneakers.’ They have a professional elegance that I have yet to see before. Not only do they look good with athletic wear, but they look just as fitting in business casual attire. They would also be great for anyone working on their feet all day.
Woolloomooloo has also engineered every aspect of these shoes with ultimate performance in mind. Much of this style is due to the digitally-knit uppers instead of traditional boiled Merino wool uppers. This level of craftsmanship and expertise truly puts the Belmonts in their own category.
Finally, I love the black-on-black the best of all the color options. After testing them, I’m thinking about grabbing another pair to match more of my wardrobe. I’m leaning toward the white-on-white for a more classic look, but I am drawn to the mustard color for some extra pop. Whichever color I choose, I know they’ll still have the same sleek, professional design that I’ve come to love.
Areas to Improve
As with our Merino wool gear reviews, these products always have room to develop and evolve. It’s just as important to highlight the areas of improvement as the positive aspects of each piece of gear.
I’m not saying the following growth areas are negatives, but aspects worth noting as I tested the Woolloomooloo Belmonts.
Maintenance & Care
The care process can be cumbersome, depending on how you use these shoes. As you can see from our laundry test, they clean up well, yet you need to have wool cleaner available, and it takes time to hand wash the insoles.
Moreover, I noticed that the all-black style picks up much dirt, debris, dust, and pet hair. I gave digitally-knit uppers a quick sweep with a soft shoe brush at the end of each day to keep them fresh, but it can be time-consuming if you’re in a rush.
The extra maintenance isn’t necessarily a negative, but part of the experience of wearing these shoes. They are expensive (which I’ll talk about in a bit), so you must take proper care of them to truly get the best value. Although, you may need to adopt some new cleaning habits, as I did.
When I walked on the trail, I was getting lots of small stones and debris stuck in the gaps on the outsole. The design is excellent if you wear them indoors or in the city, and they even provide a lot of extra grip in wet conditions. However, if you’re anywhere with small little stones, it will get annoying to pick them out all the time.
Listen, there’s no getting around it; these shoes are expensive. But when you look at Merino wool shoes, they fall into a similar price range as other pairs.
Compared to these other shoes, you get a digitally-knit upper that holds its shape, an easy-access elastic lace system, and tons of comfort with the Woolloomooloo Belmonts.
And, as long as you take care of them properly, they are 100% worth the high price tag.
|Allbirds Wool Runners||$110|
|Giesswein Merino Knit||$150|
|Baabuk Sky Woolers||$151|
Final Verdict: Woolloomooloo Belmont Shoes
And there you have it, our complete review of the Woolloomooloo Belmont Shoes. They are a high-quality product that definitely deserves a spot in my daily shoe rotation. Not only are they lightweight and comfy, but they look good.
If I gave them an actual grade, it would be an A- considering everything discussed. If anything, they are for sure worth checking out. So, head to Woolloomooloo and grab a pair today!
Or, if you’re just interested in checking out more Merino wool gear, jump around our site for long-form reviews, best-in-class lists, and all the Merino wool information you’ll ever need. And, if you’d like more news, discounts, and deals on Merino wool, follow us on any of our social channels, or just sign-up for our newsletter. We always welcome new Merino lovers to join the flock!