The cold weather months mean a change in your staple pieces. As it stretches deeper into winter, keeping your feet nice and warm should be a top priority, but you shouldn't have to sacrifice style. Whether you're venturing out into the snow or getting dressed up for a holiday party, shearling boots are a popular choice during the cold season. But as comfortable and trendy as these boots are, do they have the ability to withstand water enough to use outdoors in the winter? We've found the answer for you!
Shearling or sheepskin boots are not waterproof. Sheepskin boots are naturally water-resistant and can withstand some water without damage. However, shearling boots will need to be treated to protect them from extensive water exposure.
Although these boots are not automatically waterproof, there are styles and products available to make sure your boots can withstand snow. Keep reading to see how you can make the most comfortable boots work for you during the winter.
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What is shearling?
Shearling is not just wool. It's made from the skin and coat of a lamb or sheep. The hide is tanned and treated with the fur still intact, making this material incredibly soft. If the wool is reattached to the hide, it is not authentic shearling, and therefore won't be as soft and warm as the real thing.
Shearling boots are top-notch when it comes to warmth. Sheep's wool is thick and wind-resistant, so wearing the wool inside and the skin on the outside creates perfect insulation for your feet. That's why this material is excellent for shoes, winter coats, and even sweaters.
Sheepskin is thin and lightweight; another reason why it is perfect for footwear! However, this does mean that boots can be more susceptible to wear and tear. Although shearling boots are considered winter footwear, that doesn't necessarily mean they should be worn in snow and rain. To increase your shearling boots' longevity, apart from treating them with waterproofing products, they should not be exposed to extreme weather conditions that will expose your boots to water, dirt, and mud. Instead, choose an all-weather shoe specifically made to withstand excessive exposure to snow, rain, and mud.
How do you wear shearling boots?
First and foremost — wear socks! Shearling is soft and warm, so it seems a shame to put fabric between your feet and the luxury of shearling. However, with shearling being so toasty, there's going to be a great deal of moisture in your shoes when your feet begin to sweat.
Simply put, the decision is up to you on whether or not you want to wear socks. By not wearing socks, you will be able to enjoy the full effect of shearling. The downside to this is that it can cause your shoes to smell. If you do choose to wear socks, it's recommended to wear moisture-wicking socks.
Shearling slippers or house shoes are ideal for enjoying shearling without socks, while you may want to wear socks in shearling boots you are wearing for extended periods of time.
Shearling boots are a cold-weather fashion staple because they are versatile. They can be considered loungewear, or you can dress them up for the perfect winter outfit. Let's take a look at some trendy ways to style your shearling boots.
Pairing comfy shearling boots, like Uggs, with leggings and an oversized sweater is the ideal mixture of style and comfort. This is a simple go-to outfit throughout winter, helping you stay cozy without jeopardizing style.
You can quickly change your casual look into daytime chic by switching out your leggings for jeans and adding statement pieces, like a colorful scarf or handbag. Shearling boots are perfect for coffee dates with friends or for a day of running errands.
Heeled shearling boots are a great way to dress up any winter look. Coordinating your boots with a matching bag and hat makes this a perfect outfit for an evening out.
An easy way to dress up leggings and an oversized sweater is to throw on a shiny leather pair of shearling boots and add a nice sweater or long blazer.
Another way to dress up the comfort of leggings and shearling boots is by opting for a pair of faux leather leggings. The added texture elevates what would be a casual legging look.
How do you protect shearling boots?
Shearling boots are trendy and cozy winter footwear. However, since they aren't meant to withstand the harsher winter weather, you have to properly protect and care for them.
Prevent Water Damage
From the start, you can protect your shearling boots with water and stain repellent. Water and dirt can stain your sheepskin shoes. Although you don't want to wear your shearling shoes in heavy rain and snow to preserve their integrity and extend their lifespan, you still want to prevent water spots and staining from everyday wear.
You can apply a spray treatment directly to your shoes, per the packaged directions. Choosing a water and stain repellent made for, or at least safe for, sheepskin is very important so you won't risk damaging your shoes.
Spot Clean Regularly
Cleaning shearling isn't as easy as tossing them in the washer. They require delicate care to maintain their color, texture, and composition.
You can spot-treat your shearling boots with products made specifically for shearling. Ugg has its own cleaning products you can buy from their website, or you can purchase other sheepskin cleaners that will work as well.
You can follow specific cleaners' instructions, but take care not to soak your shoes or use heat or sunlight to dry them. Place them in a well-ventilated area to dry. While they are drying, you can use newspaper or boot shapers to help them maintain their shape.
Brush To Freshen-up
It's best to brush suede shoes with a suede brush once they are dry to restore their original texture. Make sure that you are brushing in only one direction.
Are Uggs waterproof boots really waterproof?
Uggs are pre-treated with a water and stain repelling spray. Per their website, this is to help with light spills or splashes, but it does not protect them from large amounts of water. Ugg also warns that treatment will wear off over time and will need to be reapplied.
Although the original suede and shearling Ugg boots are not waterproof, they do offer some waterproof options. These come in the form of rain boots and all-weather boots. These styles are waterproof and are made to withstand excessive rain and snow. Choose waterproof Uggs in matte or high-gloss finishes of various colors and mid-calf or ankle heights.
Are all Bearpaw boots treated with NeverWet?
No, all Bearpaw boots are not treated with NeverWet. Bearpaw does boast of the alliance with NeverWet on their website, but they state that there are NeverWet styles available, but not all boots are treated. You can search through their NeverWet treated products easily, and they do offer a wide range from all-weather boots to shearling boots.
Shearling boots are a staple as you head into winter. They are trendy, comfortable, and will keep your feet warm with their soft and insulating material. However, unless you have treated boots or boots made for rain and snow, these boots are not waterproof and can be damaged. Choose boots that will work for you and follow proper care to make these versatile boots last.
For more on cleaning shearling boots, you can check out this post: How To Clean Shearling Boots [5 Steps].
If you're looking for other styles of boots to rock this winter, check out this post: 25 Types Of Boots For Women [A Fashion Guide].