When you hear the term "shearling boots," you may visualize a pair of classic clunky, tan, calf-length UGGs with a crest of white lambswool peeking out at the tops. After all, this has been the standard look in shearling boots for a decade. But over the past few years, new styles and colors have hit the fashion scene, bringing with them a host of possibilities for creating unique looks. So, what kinds of shearling boots are out there now, and what should you wear with them? We've done the research, and we have the answers for you!
There are many styles and colors of shearling boots available. You can now create a highly personalized look, from casual to country to urban chic, with shearlings as a central feature. Here are some of the most popular types of shearling boots and what to wear with them:
- Ankle boots are best worn in late fall or early spring: pair them with leggings, skinny-leg jeans, or short skirts.
- Clunky mid-calf shearling boots go with leggings or jeans for a casual look.
- Knee-highs and thigh-highs work best with short skirts or thick leggings.
- Shearling-lined combat or moto boots make a powerful urban-chic statement with leggings or miniskirts.
- Add drama to your wardrobe by selecting boots in nontraditional colors.
- Or go for a more feminine look with high-heeled and/or embellished shearlings.
Of course, there are virtually limitless options for outfits and accessories to go with each type of boot listed here. Below, we'll show you some prime examples and explain what makes each combination of boots, clothing, and accessories click. Read on!
Styles Of Shearling Boots And What To Wear With Them
Ankle-length shearling boots come in several styles. The majority resemble hiking boots, with rugged soles and a fleece foldover cuff at the top. Others are made to look like running shoes, short duck boots, or even slippers. In a developing trend, some shearling ankle booties are designed with an unexpectedly feminine vibe: high heels, sleek pointed toes, and smooth uppers.
In most areas of the U.S., ankle-length shearlings are best worn in late fall and early spring. However, in warmer climates, they can be worn through the winter, as well. They look best when paired with leggings, skinny-leg jeans, or short skirts.
Shearling-lined hiking boots, thick leggings, a sweatshirt, and a hat make this a perfect outfit for a day in the great outdoors. This young adventurer may be more concerned with comfort than fashion, but her getup makes a rugged, outdoorsy statement.
Ankle boots paired with cropped leggings and a matching turtleneck produce a casual yet coordinated look.
Bare legs and a short skirt make this simple but stylish outfit a harbinger of spring. Pink-framed tinted sunglasses add an extra touch of sophistication.
Classic UGGs-style boots are the most popular example of mid-calf-length shearling boots. Renowned for their warmth and comfort, they have become an icon of casual style paired with thick leggings or skinny-leg jeans and a bulky sweater.
Tan calf-length boots with skinny-leg jeans and a windbreaker create a classic country look. Faded and/or ripped jeans pair well with these casual boots.
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Shearling boots with leggings, slouchy socks, and a baggy shirt add up to a super-casual vibe.
The coordinated layers give this outfit its panache, with the scarf, hat, and clunky boots in counterpoint to the thinness of the tights. She has chosen multiple coordinated shades of brown; the hat matches the color of the boots, pulling the whole outfit together.
For a classic girl-next-door look, pair traditional UGGs-type boots with jeans and a light sweater.
In addition to the classic look, lace-up shearling-lined boots are surging in popularity. They are typically waterproof and designed to look like mukluks. These boots are intended for walking in deep winter snow and create a more rugged, outdoorsy fashion statement.
Knee- and Thigh-Length Boots
The major purpose of knee-high and thigh-high shearling boots is to make a dramatic fashion statement. While they certainly keep the legs warm, they are all about creating a sophisticated, even sexy, image that is typically not associated with shearlings.
Knee-length boots pair with thick leggings and a long cardigan for a comfortable early-winter look. A mint-green blouse adds a splash of color to this black-and-gray outfit; sunglasses add a touch of sophistication.
Combat and Moto Boots
Shearling-lined combat and motorcycle boots are also all about creating a dramatic look. Styles range from an urban-guerrilla look -- traditional black lace-up boots with buckles, zippers, and a touch of black shearling peeking out the tops -- to less radical versions in which white shearling is used to lend a feminine touch.
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The shearling strip on the tongue of these combat boots softens the look. Combined with black leggings, a bulky sweater, and coordinated black accessories, they make a dramatic urban-chic statement.
No longer are your options limited by the traditional color palette of shearling boots: tan, black, and dark brown. Now shearlings come in a wide range of hues, from white to hot pink to metallic gold. You can coordinate colored boots with leggings, blouses, and sweaters in complementary hues.
Light blue shearling boots with a coordinated holiday sweatshirt make a great combination for a holiday party or family get-together.
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Pair white shearling boots with an all-white outfit. The heft of the boots helps to make this outfit substantial enough to be appropriate for winter.
Heeled And/Or Embellished Boots
The latest fashion trend in shearling is adapting the warm, soft wool lining to shoes and boots with a distinctly feminine look. High heels, pointed toes, sparkly embellishments, and shiny leather uppers, offering discreet glimpses of the shearling lining, are all the rage this year. If you want to be a trend-setter in your circle, build an outfit around one of these:
How Warm Are Shearling Boots?
Warmth and comfort are the two hallmarks of shearling boots. That said, you should expect to find a range of warmth in various brands, depending on the quality of the shearling lining. UGGs, for example, features some of the softest and warmest shearling available.
In shearling lining, the old adage is true: you get what you pay for. If you are buying a pair of boots just for their fashionable look, you can afford to go with a less expensive knockoff brand. If you're looking for long-lasting warmth and comfort, it pays to invest in high-quality shearling.
Do You Wear Socks With Shearling Boots?
Manufacturers of high-quality boots with genuine sheepskin lining recommend that you do not wear socks with their products. This is because the lining is made of top-grade Merino wool, which has insulative and wicking properties that keep your feet warm and dry. Going sockless also allows your feet to experience the softness and support of the wool fully. And the natural ventilation of the wool fiber will keep your boots smelling naturally fresh and clean.
Boots with lower-quality shearling or synthetic faux-shearling linings do best with socks. In these boots, the lining does not have the same wicking and ventilating properties found in top-grade Merino wool, so going without socks can lead to damp feet and the buildup of foot odor in the boots.
If you decide to wear socks with your shearling boots, it's best to choose natural fibers, such as wool, that wick away moisture and allow your feet to breathe.
How Long Do Shearling Boots Last?
High-quality shearling boots can last up to ten years... provided you don't wear them every day or use them in muddy or wet conditions. You may need to replace the insoles if they become flat and lose their cushion. Lower-quality boots will not hold up as well. For example, the seams may rip, the soles may wear out, or low-quality lining may tear or flatten. As is true for most footwear, if you invest in quality and take good care of your shearling boots, they will continue to look and feel great for years!
Shearling boots have come a long way over the past decade. While the traditional clunky UGGs are still highly popular, shearling's look and feel have inspired a host of new styles, colors, and vibes. This allows you to choose the shearling boots that best express your unique personality and build fabulous outfits around them!
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