by Lindsay Law
Sheepskin boots have been a growing fashion trend since the early 2000s; however, they have been around for a lot longer than that. Sheepskin boots were worn for centuries before today's modern trend. They were used primarily for warmth and comfort by people with rural occupations, such as sheep shearers in China, Australia and the Arctic, where the raw materials are readily available and easily accessible. Today, sheepskin footwear is widely popular among men and women of all ages; the boots provide warmth, comfort and style. Here are some facts about sheepskin boots.
Sheepskin boots are available in a wide variety of different colors and styles. Tall sheepskin boots offer the most coverage. However, for those who want a shoe as warm as a sheepskin boot but less restrictive, slippers and clogs are also available with inner sheepskin layers. Sheepskin moccasins are also popular. The most common colors include tan and camel shades, but black, grey and pink are also available.
There are many different qualities of sheepskin boots. A lot of imitation or low-quality sheepskin boots are sold online, so be careful when ordering your boots to make sure they are genuine. Double-faced (both sides of the skin are used in the manufacturing process) Australian sheepskin boots are considered the highest quality. These can range from 50 to 300 dollars.
Be sure to buy the right size of sheepskin boots. The boots should fit snugly when first purchased, but the sheepskin will stretch when worn and fit more loosely.
Sheepskin can keep feet warm in temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Tall sheepskin boots are also well-insulated and breathable, so you can actually wear your boots without socks. The inside of the boots are lined with wool and have a tanned outer surface. However, they should not generally be used as winter boots or snow boots, because they can become soaked with snow or rain.
To care for your sheepskin boots, first spray them with a sealant. This will protect them from somewhat from dirt and water. Spot clean stains with a soft, dry cloth and use a wool cleaning product for heavier stains. Treat them similarly to how you would care for suede boots.
Never wash your sheepskin boots in a washer or put them in a dryer. This will strip them of their natural oil (lanolin) and leave the boots looking hard and rough.
Do not dry clean sheepskin boots. In fact, the boots should never be exposed to heating sources such as open fires or heaters when drying. Store them in a shady place so they will air-dry naturally.
Genuine sheepskin boots are not waterproof. The boots are made from soft leather that gets wet easily, although your feet will stay dry for awhile unless the boots are submerged in water. However, waterproof sheepskin boots can be found if you look for a cheaper sheepskin blended with something else. Sheepskin boots are not ideal for hiking or recreational activities, either, because they can be damaged by rocks and trees.