The founder of Woolby & Co, an eco-friendly footwear company you’ll find over at Etsy, reached out a couple months back to talk to me about her reclaimed cashmere and suede slipper boots. She sent me a pair of the men’s slipper sock boots (these guys).
I’ve become a huge fan of a good pair of slippers. My go-to for the past three years has been the Soft Star Roo (reviewed here almost three years ago!) — these guys are still going strong! And then there are the Padraig Cottage Slippers, which are also amazing and still make their way onto my feet on a routine basis.
I spent Thanksgiving up in the mountains and found the perfect opportunity to give the Woolbys a solid run on my feet. Today I’ll be sharing how they fared!
The Slipper Socks
The Woolbys I’ve been testing are the men’s slipper sock boots. They’re constructed of cashmere and merino wool and suede leather. Here’s the description of them from the product page:
Men Slipper Socks, Men Cashmere Winter Boots from Reclaimed Cashmere and Suede Leather.
Luxurious, soft, comfortable, warm, breathable and flexible Men Slipper Socks
Durable and sturdy
Three layers of natural fibers.
Shoes slips on effortlessly and will stay onto your feet
Wool lined inner soles, suede leather outer soles and caps
Eco-friendly minimalist Men Slipper Socks, handmade from 100% reclaimed materials
I crafted my Men Slipper Socks from felted recycled 100% Cashmere sweaters, and genuine suede leather apparel.
You can take a spin around the slippers via these photos:
As you might expect, the cashmere lends a super-soft comfort and warmth to these slippers. The suede adds a bit of durability to the soles and key points of contact/rubbing (toes and heel). The moniker “slipper sock” is spot-on in that in a way, the Woolbys feel like a sock with a hint of structure. As you can see in the photos, the Woolbys stand up on their own, something socks aren’t capable of doing. But on foot, the feel is exceedingly sock like.
More on this below!
Socks or slippers
So are they socks or slippers? Well, they’re both! With just enough structure to stand on their own (sans feet), the Woolbys are decidedly not socks. Also unlike a pair of socks that have elastic/stretchiness that helps keep the socks lifted on your ankles, the Woolbys have enough structure running up the cuff around the ankle and lower calf.
The structure does double duty as it allows the Woolbys to stay lifted against your ankles and lower calf (keeping them warm) and while making them easy to put on—putting them on just requires one hand holding a Woolby at the cuff as you slip your foot into the shoeslipper.
The first couple times I put my Woolbys on, I was a little concerned they were too narrow. However, after about 4-8 hours of wear, the Woolbys stretch in the forefoot and end up “just right.” In this regard, they’re more sock-like.
The Slipper-Sock Feel
Imagine the ground feel you get while wearing one of your beefiest pairs of socks. That’s what Woolbys feel like. In short, it’s the closest-to-barefoot feeling you can get. Compared to Soft Star Roos or Padraig Slippers, I’d peg the Woolbys as the “most barefoot.”
The soles of the Woolby slipper socks are a combination of wool and suede. The wool is against your footbed and the suede is against the ground. I didn’t measure the thickness of this combination but if I had to guess, I’d peg it at maybe 2mm thick. It’s not much and has so little density as to transmit a lot of groundfeel.
And while this isn’t really a knock on the Woolbys, I almost wanted a little more something to the soles. This is unavoidably subjective, but I most enjoy the foot-feel of sheep skin, which adds a sensational, plush “cloud” of compression to both the Soft Star Roos and the Padraig Slippers. While the cashmere-on-skin feel of the Woolbys is luxurious, I think if the Woolbys had sheepskin lining the footbed my feet would have been in heaven.
Cashmere softness and wool warmth!
All that cashmere (and the unseen inner merino or lambswool which is the third layer that makes up Woolbys) make for a super soft warmth that wraps your foot. I rocked these slipper socks in a mountain house with hardwood floors and had warm (but not sweaty!) feet the entire time. I’ve worn them around my house, too, and never not been comfortable.
A good pair of slippers should keep your feet warm. A great pair of slippers will go the extra few inches to warm up your ankles, too. On both of these fronts, the Woolbys deliver! And among the (now) three pairs of minimalist slippers I wear, the Woolbys are best-in-class as far as wrapping not only my feet but also my ankles and lower legs (The one knock I’d land against the Soft Star Roos is that the suede uppers don’t really insulate all that well).
Woolby notes that their slipper socks are wearable indoors or outdoors. Based on my experience with other suede-soled slippers, I see no reason the Woolby slipper socks wouldn’t do fantastically outside. That said, their sock-like look will give you the appearance that you’re wearing socks, so aesthetically, that look might not be for you.
Then again, if you’re into wearing unusual footwear, you might not care at all!
For this review, I wore my Woolbys exclusively indoors (save for a quick step outside here or there for a minute or two).
The Woolby slipper socks have a seam that runs the perimeter of the slippers. Your feet will take note of this seam immediately when you put them on. While it’s impossible to not feel it if your attention is on your feet, it’s also exceedingly simple to forget about. By comparison, I remember the first time I tried on my Soft Star Grippy Roos I thought, “This seam is annoying!” Yet I don’t think twice about it anymore. The overwhelming comfort of these floppy-type slippers just makes up for the seam in spades. However, I will say that the Padraig Slippers do the best of being an ultra-barefoot slipper that has hidden this sole-seam so well it’s unnoticeable.
The suede “guards” that you’ll find at the heel and on across the toes are great for reducing snags or pills from excess wear and rubbing. Smart design move.
Woolby slipper socks offer a premium experience of softness and warmth for your feet that will keep your feet comfortable during the cold winter months without adding stiff soles or bulk. While I don’t see these as outdoor footwear for me, I imagine they would hold up pretty well so long as you weren’t dealing with wet rain (or snow) outside. Your best bet for the Woolbys is likely as an indoor-focused minimalist slipper. That’s how I’ve been using mine!
If you’re interested in trying them out, Voneen (Woolby founder!) is offering BirthdayShoes readers a 15% off discount with no expiration! That’s a solid deal you’ll want to take advantage of as the premium materials of Woolbys land them at a pricepoint of $98. What more, if you’re keenly interested in trying these out, I’ve got two $20 off coupon codes to the first two people who want to buy them and email me at justinowings at birthdayshoes.com.
Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad based in Atlanta where he works for MURAL in marketing. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.