Dressing as per the occasion andfinding exclusive, superior quality accessories that not only match well butgive excellent results has become mandatory. This holds true especially in caseof shoes. In consideration of this, the significance of sports shoe increases manifold,as these are not only aesthetically vital, but also, necessary with regard tokeeping feet healthy. Thus, wearing sports shoes that are uncomfortable or givethe wearer smelly feet are a big no-no. Thanks to the innovations in textilesector that the shoes manufactured today are comfortable and give splendidresults including little or no sweat, flexibility and are aestheticallypleasing. The addition to the distinguished qualities of sports shoes are everexpanding, as the textile sector goes through changes at every step. The mostrecent addition to the sports shoes is woollen running sneakers.

This new entrant in sports shoesgives an assurance of being gentle on feet throughout the running or jogging orhiking. The list of improvements that the woollen running sneakers carry isinfinite. The company from New Zealand that has given a shape to the idea ofmaking sneakers with wool is the first company to do so. And as it appears,wool has proven to be an immaculate fabric choice to make running shoes. Thesesneakers are endowed with all the qualities that wool fabric has. These shoeshave utilised mid-micron New Zealand sheep wool that keeps away sweat, controlsodour, regulates temperature and is stain resistant. Wool is also a sustainableand eco-friendly material. Another plus point is that the wearer does not needto wear socks with the woollen running sneakers. Apart from being light weight,these shoes can easily be washed in the washing machine like regular woollenproducts as well.

It is pertinent to note that woolis not a very sturdy material to be used for a task as rough as running. But,the recently made woollen running shoes have been created with double-layeredwool knit. This product weaves together wool fibres, melt-bond fibres, andmultifilament yarn to form a knitted fabric. This wool knit is soft enough towear against skin on the inside, and it is also resistant to dirt from the outersurface. The upper layer is extremely enduring and it is also seamless, whichgives the same feeling and comfort as wearing socks. These sneakers are nothighly priced and a single pair costs only $ 98. These shoes have been styledto look casual, following which, these sneakers can be worn not only for thepurpose of running, but also as part of a causal hangout.

It is being estimated that thisnew product will also benefit the farmers i.e. the sheep rearing farmers of theNew Zealand. With the initial demand of wool runners taking the shoe industryby storm, New Zealand farmers will have enough work to provide the raw materialto the manufacturers. The global footwear industry is not very sustainable andunfortunately, even though approximately 230 billion pairs of shoes are soldannually, most of the running shoes tend to be uncomfortable. The woollenrunning sneakers are a solution to the problems that have not been addressed asyet. The initial campaign launched for woollen sneakers registered hugesuccess. The shoes are custom designed and have been given a reflective tonguepanel, these properties make these sneakers unique.


Nevertheless, the debate regarding these sneakers doing what they claim with regard to comfort to feet is going on. The final word would come only when these sneakers are sold out all over the world including developing countries. The eco-friendly nature, attractive design and properties of wool have imparted these sneakers a characteristic that is unique, thus, the demand will escalate once the good word goes out regarding these sneakers.

The shoes are currently being produced in Portugal, as the cost of production is much reasonable in Portugal in comparison to New Zealand. Portugal is also a lot closer to the major potential markets of European Union. Unlike research and development, which has been undertaken in New Zealand, the manufacturing of these sneakers is a mechanical process, and thanks to global economy that this process can be completed at lower cost in Portugal.

Meanwhile, the research and development team of the woollen running sneakers is also working on a concept that would allow customers to scan their feet using their mobile phones. This scan will be used as a 3D model that would help the manufacturers provide the customers better fitting shoes. Eco-friendly, odour proof, washable, comfortable, sockless, dirt and water resistant, all these properties are available in a single product, thus making it extra special. And considering these properties it is nothing less than a surprise that wool was never considered as an option make sockless, stain proof and smell proof sports shoes!

The textile world is constantly evolving and this progress has been a boon for not only garment industry, but also footwear industry. The woollen running sneakers have paved way for fresh ideas that can improve the customer satisfaction to multiple degrees.


1. Runoregonblog.com

2. Stuff.co.nz

3. Ecouterre.com

4. Fashionunited.co.uk