In the below article, I will be reviewing the Wool Slip-on from Baabuk. Baabuk is a popular alternative to Allbirds and a great brand to follow if you like wool shoes.
The purpose of this review is to give you my personal and honest feedback on these shoes so it can help aid you should you be considering purchasing these shoes, or any like them.
I am going to review the shoes on the criteria of style, comfort, durability and performance, giving you my thoughts on each of these criteria.
Overview of the Baabuk Shoe: Design, Materials & Target Audience
So why are these shoes worth looking at?
Baabuk is one of the forward-thinking shoe companies out there looking to make sustainable and eco-friendly footwear.
I first found Baabuk when writing an article about alternatives to Allbirds. People either loved or hated Allbirds, but I wanted to provide alternatives.
In comes Baabuk, a Swiss footwear company founded in 2013 by Dan and Galina Witting, which is known for its sustainably crafted shoes made from natural wool, inspired by traditional Russian Valenki boots.
The shoes I am reviewing are slip-on shoes which are made primarily from natural materials, with the breakdown as follows:
- Upper: 100% natural wool, which provides warmth, breathability, and moisture-wicking properties.
- Insole: Removable insole made from wool for added comfort and insulation.
- Outsole: Typically made of thermoplastic rubber, natural rubber, or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), providing flexibility, durability, and grip.
The slip-on features a sleek, minimalist design that combines the coziness of natural wool with a modern aesthetic, offering a stylish and comfortable footwear option suitable for both indoor and outdoor wear.
The simple silhouette and rich color options make them versatile and easily adaptable to various outfits and occasions.
In my opinion, these shoes are great for eco-conscious consumers seeking comfortable, sustainable, and stylish footwear for everyday use.
With their versatile design, these shoes appeal to a wide range of individuals, from busy professionals to casual wearers who prioritize both fashion and function.
Features and differences from competitors
So what are the unique features or materials that sets these shoes apart from other shoes?
- 100% natural wool uppers that provide excellent insulation, breathability, and moisture-wicking properties, keeping your feet warm and dry.
- Handcrafted construction ensures high-quality, durable, and eco-friendly footwear.
- A removable wool insole for added comfort and easy maintenance.
- An adaptable design that effortlessly transitions from indoor to outdoor wear.
- Inspired by traditional Russian Valenki boots, combining timeless craftsmanship with modern style.
But my personal favourite is the fact that these shoes are machine washable! Just throw them in the washing machine and out they come, clean and shiny!
Now for the nitty gritty. Here are my thoughts on the Wool Slip ons from Baabuk.
Fit, cushioning, and support
When I got the shoes, I ordered my standard size, in US measuring, and they fit nicely, so unlike some other shoe brands, they fit to size. You shouldn’t have too many issues with that, at least I didn’t.
The cushioning is minimal on the actual shoe with the woollen upper hugging your foot quite nicely all the way around your foot. There are no uncomfortable pieces sticking into your foot, and this feels nice around your foot.
I do personally like the woollen shoes when it comes to comfort and feel as they regulate temperature nicely, they also tend to keep any wetness out quite well.
So yes I do find these shoes comfortable.
As far as support goes, if you are looking for strong support for your ankles you are better to go with the full shoe variation. The slip-ons are designed to be nice and loose and easy to get on and off quickly so will not offer great support if that is what you need.
My personal experiences of wearing the shoes in various situations
What do I use these shoes for personally? Mostly around the house, or for short excursions out and about for everyday use (picking up kids, off to the shop, doing errands etc). More casual situations. I have found them more than adequate for those situations and they are super easy to get on and off.
Honestly, this is probably the first pair of slip-on shoes I have owned. I have never really been a slip-on kind of person but these have certainly filled a niche I didn’t know existed for me.
Having said that I do have a couple of drawbacks when it comes to these shoes.
This probably goes against the whole concept of slip-on but I feel when I wear them my feet need to be covered a bit more.
My feet feel like they can slip in and out easily if I wanted to (yes I know..) but whether this is the case for most slip-ons or for just these particular shoes I’m not sure.
Given the designs I have compared these to it may be just a case of my shoe preference.
Nonetheless, I do have that feeling when I wear them.
Style: Aesthetics, Colors, and Design Elements
The aesthetics of the shoe is minimalist which I like. Nothing superfluous, or wasted materials, only what’s necessary for the shoe to do what it is meant to do. And I like wool as a shoe material, as mentioned above, for its great regulation of temperature.
The heel is reinforced with another layer of material which is important being one of the areas shoes deteriorate the most.
The shoes come in 3 colors which are blue, grey and black. I received black shoes.
Can the shoe be incorporated into different outfits or styles?
As far as wearing these with various outfits or styles I have worn them with relatively smart outfits, for example, going out to a nice bar, and also as mentioned, just running errands, so they have been a versatile shoe for me.
When it comes to the materials and build quality of the shoe, at this point, as I have not had them long, it is hard to pass full judgement, but, wool is generally considered a durable fabric.
It is naturally resilient, which means it has the ability to bounce back to its original shape even after being stretched or compressed.
Wool fibres are also strong and can withstand wear and tear better than many other fabrics.
Additionally, wool is naturally moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating, which means it can help to keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.
This also helps to prevent the fabric from becoming damp or soggy, which can lead to damage and wear over time.
I do have experience with other brands wool shoes and can say the soles gave out long before the woollen parts of the shoes have.
Overall these shoes look quite solidly built, and I have had no issues yet, however, I will update in time when they have had more use and wear and tear.
Warranty or replacement policy
As far as warranties and returns go, Baabuk offers a unique policy of asking you to keep or gift your shoes in order to conserve resources. In return, you will get 50% off a new pair at the regular retail price.
This policy is in effect for within 30 days of delivery.
The return rate of Baabuk shoes is only 8% which is well below the industry average of 20%.
However, if you prefer a traditional return, they also have that option available also.
Pros and Cons:
In my opinion and experience, here are the pros and cons of these shoes.
• Machine washable
• Easy to slip on
• Woollen shoes – I am a big fan of wool as a fabric for shoes.
• The design is stylish enough for semi-formal occasions right down to casual use.
• Snug fit
• Sometimes they feel to me like they may come off easily (though they haven’t)
• I’m a bit unsure of how long the grip might last.
• I personally do not like the sole color.
My final verdict on these shoes is that I am happy I have them. They are comfy, handy, easily cleaned, and without sounding like a broken record, made of wool.
As far as comfort and style go, I am certainly happy with these shoes, I do not have too many criticisms, other than I would love to see a few more color variations, especially with the sole.
Funnily enough, when I removed my shoes from the doorway, where my shoes usually live, I found myself missing them. It turns out I needed some slip-ons in my life and didn’t realise it.
As far as durability goes, given my experience with woollen shoes I have great faith in their durability and performance, the one thing I personally am intrigued about is how the sole holds up with more wear and tear.
I will keep you updated as time goes on.
Recommendations for specific types of uses and activities
Which types of people and consumers would these shoes suit in my opinion?
Eco-conscious humans need stylish, comfortable multi-use shoes at a reasonable price.
Would I use these for long walks, probably not, running, obviously not, but popping out to cafes, lunch, dinner, or the store, these are a great choice.
Purchasing information, such as retail price and availability
At the time of writing the shoes were for sale at $79.90 (on sale) but generally retail at around $99. Make sure to check for the availability of sizing and stock.
In full disclosure, there is a relationship between myself and the brand. I was reached out to by the team that works with Baabuk and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their shoes.
I was more than happy to do that as I have promoted Baabuk due to their business practices, ethics and dedication to the environment before this liaison took place.
It was made clear I would give an honest review, for better or worse before I accepted and ultimately I stand by everything I have written in this review.