REVIEW – Since I have been working from home since March of 2020, I have been wearing flip-flops or sneakers of some kind. Back in the 90s, when I worked in the corporate environment, I used to have to wear skirts or dresses and the dressy shoes that go with them. I hated it! I am a tomboy at heart and am all about being comfortable. I also like the idea of getting shoes and clothing that are made in an environmentally responsible way. The Baabuk company prides itself on being environmentally responsible, and now I get to see if their shoes are something I would want to wear regularly.
What is it?
The Baabuk Urban Woolers are sneakers built with wool from sheep in Portugal. The shoes are made with 100% Portuguese mulesing-free sheep wool, soft Merino inner lining, and a durable TPU Thermoplastic sole
What’s in the box?
- Yup, one pair of Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes in the Lily color
Design and features
The first thing I noticed about the Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes, besides being made from felted wool, is that the shoestrings are self-tightening. This is the first pair of tennis shoes I have owned where I do not have to tie the shoelaces. The stitching around the laces is solid, and so is the stitching that ties the felt to the sole of the shoe. It is a basic shoe in design, but the ability to get it in many different color schemes allows for a good look. I personally liked the orange and green combo of this shoe.
A very soft suede-type leather covers the back heel of the shoe.
The soles of the Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes are pretty basic. I would not go hiking in these shoes, but for walking about town, the sole was great. I walked on wet sidewalks and pavement and never felt them slip or skid. You can see I got them in the Euro size of 40, which perfectly fit my 9.5 US female size.
I pulled the insoles out so I could take a picture for you. These are nice and soft. They were designed so you can wear the shoes without socks. My biggest complaint with the Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes and any shoes in the basic simple style is that arch support is not there at all. Unfortunately, I have high arches, so I replaced the insoles with custom-formed inserts that I had made at a store here in town.
I took a closeup of the inside of the shoe. You can see the soft merino wool. It makes wearing these shoes without socks a great experience. I tried that for a bit, but I found the shoes to be a bit too loose without the socks.
I cut out this blurb from the Baabuk website describing how they make their shoes.
“We source the wool for our sneakers from Portugal, where the sheep are certified mulesing-free and live in Serra de Estela Natural Park, the largest protected area in the country.
We carefully selected Portugal’s historic Burel Factory to process wool for our sneakers because of its long wool-making tradition and because it is also in the Serra de Estela region, where our wool comes from.”
I wore the Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes as my everyday shoes for about a week. I even wore them to a volunteer event in a warehouse with temperatures of over 90 degrees and no AC. My feet never did get sweaty in these shoes. I am comfortable in them in 77-degree AC or 95-degree temps outside. I can’t speak to cold weather, but I am sure they will keep my feet toasty when the time comes.
I mentioned wearing the shoes to a volunteer event. Like a goober, I did not realize that I would be helping to stain wood! Of course, me being me, I got some stain to drip onto my sneaker. I swear I never get to have nice things LOL! Fortunately, all I had to do was spray some stain remover on the spot and scrub it in. I then removed the insoles and chunked the shoes in the wash. The stain did not come out 100%, but it was about 97% gone afterward. If I had noticed the stain when it fell, I could have blotted it off the shoe. I noticed that water tends to bead on the felt and sit there a bit before starting to soak in. I put the shoes in front of a fan, and they were dry by the next morning.
The Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes performed like a champ, and I never felt uncomfortable in them. Having another option of tennis shoes besides the athletic sneakers I normally wear was nice.
What I like
- The shoes are made in an environmentally protective way
- They make the shoes and support the local economy close to where the sheep graze.
- The shoes are very soft and comfortable to wear. No socks are needed.
- No more tying of shoe laces!
- They come in a plethora of color combinations.
- The insoles are removable, so you can replace them with your own.
What needs to be improved
- Maybe provide insoles with a bit more arch support.
I love wearing the Baabuk Urban Wooler shoes. I will probably see about buying some more elastic shoe strings so I can make a shorter version to wear the shoes without socks. I want to be able to wear socks in the winter. I also plan on buying at least one more pair in a different color scheme. If you are looking for some new shoes that are environmentally friendly, easy to wash, and comfortable, look no further than Baabuk!