Stepping back into the changing room after a good gym session, sweat dripping from every pore, you know you’ve done a good workout when your clothes are soaked. And of course, for your next session you’ll be able to bring a whole new wardrobe while you clean todays sweaty gym gear. But what about your shoes?
Let’s be honest, smelly gym shoes are the worst. They stink out your shoe rack and if you’re working out several days a week they can get ripe pretty quickly. If only there was a way to keep your shoes as fresh as your clothes….
Never mind fragrant insoles, forget about anti-bacterial spray. If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that will keep the stink to a minimum then wool is the way to go.
Sweat? What Sweat?
That stink in your smelly shoes is actually the bacteria from multiple layers of sweat that has been allowed to fester over time. Sweat itself is mostly odorless, but the process of bacteria breaking down the sweat is what creates that wiffy odor.
Wool is naturally antibacterial meaning that those odors never get a chance. The hairs in wool are coated in lanolin, which is a waxy substance secreted by wool bearing animals. And if you’ve ever gotten close to a sheep you’ll notice that they don’t smell sweaty!
What this means for you is that wool shoes are naturally antibacterial and therefore will not smell after repeated exposure to your sweaty feet.
Stay Cool Hot Stuff
When you’re doing your 50th burpee of the day (go on you can do it!) you’ll be feeling the heat. But with wool sneakers your feet won’t be. How is that?
Another magical property of wool is that it is naturally temperature regulating,with the fabric being both breathable and insulating. So when you’ve been doing ten sets of mountain climbers and burpees you’ll be able to count on the fact that your hot feet won’t be causing you a problem.
In its natural environment wool needs to keep that wooly sheep nice and warm in the cold, yet cool in the sun and it does that by being ‘hollow fibre’. What this means is that air can pass easily through the material allowing warm air to escape. But if you’re in the cold the same fibre keeps the heat in. The genius of nature!
Wool is also moisture wicking, and is able to hold around a third of its own weight in liquid. This can be both external moisture such as rain but also sweat. So no matter how far you’ve run, or how many reps you’ve done, in wool shoes your feet are going to be both dry and fresh…
Being the natural fibre found on mountain dwelling sheep, of course wool is also a very durable and hard wearing material making it perfect for your gym sessions. The wool fiber is built to withstand a bit of adversity and is known to be able to withstand impacts or flexing up to around 30,000 times. Compare that to cotton which can resist up to 3,000 times and you can easily see which is the hardier material.
Although wool shoes are good at holding moisture, combating the stink and are super durable, like all shoes they’ll need a clean from time to time. Thankfully cleaning wool shoes is as simple as cleaning the rest of your gym gear. A good quality wool sneaker like the Baabuk Urban Wooler can be put in the wash on a low temperature and will be as good as new.
Wool doesn’t need regular cleaning, but an occasional freshening up will work wonders.
Good for the Environment
On a different note, many fibers and materials have quite an impact on our planet. Cotton for example is responsible for using huge amounts of water and chemicals in it’s process, and leather of course requires that the animal be slaughtered for the material.
Wool is actually biodegradable, is long lasting and, if sourced responsibly causes no harm to the sheep. Look for wool products that are mulesing free to be sure that your wool comes from a happy and healthy sheep.
So, the next time you go looking for footwear that will work as hard as you in the gym, pick up a pair of wool sneakers.