In March, I received the Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes for testing and ever since I’ve been wearing them nonstop for everyday life. Before I agreed to test them, I of course read a bit about the Swiss company behind them. I was impressed with their idea of using wool instead of synthetic materials to make more sustainable and eco-friendly footwear. Another thing that positively surprised me is that the Baabuk shoes are produced in Portugal in Europe. This does not only have a positive effect on the quality of the shoes, but also ensures that the employees in the factory work in good conditions and are paid fairly. I was very impressed with what I learned about the company and couldn’t wait to test the shoes.
For the last three months I’ve been wearing the Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes daily. I started wearing them in rainy March when the temperatures were still regularly below 41° F (5° C), and I wore them in June when the temperatures exceeded 77° F (25° C). Below is what I learned about the shoes.
The uppers of Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes are made of 100% Portuguese sheep wool and that’s what makes these shoes so special. Most shoes these days have uppers made of much less sustainable synthetic materials and/or leather. I’ve never had shoes with uppers made of wool before and therefore I was really curious about the concept. When I unwrapped them, I immediately started investigating the uppers and was very satisfied with what I saw. The uppers are made of two layers. The outer layer is woven very tightly and somewhat stiff which is a good thing as it ensures that the shoes provide support and increases their durability and weather protection. The inner layer (lining) is made of Merino wool (rather than conventional wool) and therefore it’s very soft to the touch. I haven’t tried but I’m confident that you can also wear these shoes comfortably without socks.
The shoes have flat TPU rubber soles. They seem durable and provide good grip on asphalt and similar surfaces, even in wet conditions. The grip is less impressive outside urban areas, i.e. on natural terrain, but that’s anyway not what these shoes are made for.
Functionality and Comfort
When I put the shoes on for the first time, I was excited. They felt really comfortable and the more I wore them, the more I liked them. They are breathable, odor resistant and simply pleasant to wear. Now, when I started wearing them in March it was still a bit too cold for them as they are designed for warmer weather. Nevertheless, once the temperatures rose over 50° F (10° C), they were perfect. They are also a great option for very warm weather because the fabric is relatively thin and very breathable. I felt like my feet were sweating much less in hot weather inside the Baakuk Urban Wooler shoes than they did in other shoes. This also makes sense as synthetic materials are simply not as breathable as wool (read more about this here). Furthermore, I haven’t noticed any bad smell coming from Baabuk shoes and I assume that that’s because wool is naturally odor resistant.
One thing that did bother me a bit is that the shoes don’t provide as good support as shoes with synthetic or leather uppers. They are simply not as stiff and thus they get uncomfortable if you need to walk very fast as the foot wobbles around inside the shoe a bit. I was also a bit disappointed with the cushioning. But then again, they are not sports shoes. I only got to notice this because I was once late for a train, and I had to basically run to the train station in them.
In terms of weather protection, I was quite surprised that I didn’t get wet feet immediately when it was raining outside. The shoes do actually provide some level of water resistance and it takes a while before you get wet feet. Nevertheless, if you step into a puddle, they will of course soak up the water. The good thing is that they dry much faster than any other shoes I have. I expected that wool will dry slower than synthetic materials but that’s not the case here. The thing is that the fabric is fairly thin and therefore it dries fast.
The Baabuk shoes also feature elastic laces which I’m very satisfied with. The elastic laces don’t only make the shoes easy to put on but also improve the fit.
Sizing and Maintenance
All Baabuk shoes are unisex and most of them are available in EU sizes 35 to 48 which equals to size 5 (for women) and up to size 14 (for men) in US sizes. I got the shoes in size 44 and they fit me perfectly. My Asics running shoes are also size 44 and my Lowa Innox hiking shoes are size 43.5. So, the Baabuk shoes seem true to size.
I found the shoes very easy to clean. The dirt quickly fells of when you brush them and they in general don’t get as dirty as synthetic shoes. However, the Baabuk shoes can also be washed in the machine on a wool program. I haven’t washed them in a machine yet, but I will certainly try if they get very dirty.
The Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes are perfect for everyday use in moderate and warm weather. They are not only made eco-friendly and sustainably but are also very comfortable, breathable and odor resistant. I was also satisfied with the elastic laces which make the shoes easy to put on/off and improve the fit. I wish they would provide a bit more cushioning and support but for urban use they are completely fine. So, if you are looking for a pair of good everyday shoes, I do recommend them.
If you have any questions about this product, drop me a line in the comments below.
We field tested this product. The rating shows its overall performance.About Rating
- Comfortable to wear
- Odor resistant
- Elastic laces
- Produced sustainably