With the arrival of the coldest months of winter, you may be realizing that the outdoor boots and indoor slippers you thought would keep your feet toasty warm all winter long are just not living up to your hopes. Or they may be keeping your feet too warm and causing them to sweat, which cannot only feel uncomfortable, since no one likes wearing damp shoes, but also turn your feet and shoes into bacterial and fungal breeding grounds. 

How can you choose new footwear that keeps your feet warm, yet is unlikely to cause your feet to sweat excessively and won't begin to feel damp even if your feet do sweat while you are wearing them? One great option is to choose footwear made of shearling. Just what does shearling footwear have to offer that footwear made of other materials often don't? Read on to learn 3 facts about shearling you may not already know and why it is such a popular footwear and outwear material. 

3 Facts About Shearling Footwear

1. Shearling is Made Up of Sheepskin and Wool

Even if you have owned products made of shearling in the past, you may have been under the common misconception that shearling is just another name for wool and that those shearling items were simply lined with wool. You weren't completely wrong, because half of shearling is wool, but shearling items are not simply leather items with wool liners. 

When shearling is produced, the wool is never removed from the sheepskin. So shearling is actually sheepskin that has never been stripped of its wool. Once removed from from the sheep, the skin and its wool are tanned to produce an all-in-one sheepskin/wool material that is used to produce shearling footwear, outerwear, and other clothing items. 

2. Shearling Keeps Your Feet Warm While Also Keeping Them Sweat-Free

Now that you know exactly what shearling is, you can more easily understand why shearling footwear is a great option if you want to keep your feet warmer this winter or continue keeping them warm, yet eliminate the sweating your current winter footwear is causing. 

The combined wool interior and sheepskin leather exterior keeps your feet toasty warm, because that wool and sheepskin combination helps lock in the natural heat your feet produce very well. Wool fibers are not straight, but instead have natural crimps or curls in them that, when in large numbers, create pockets of air that become warm and toasty as the heat from your feet warm them up. 

However, even though they warm your feet well, shearling doesn't cause excessive foot sweat to accumulate in your shoes due to the natural makeup of the fibers.The inner core of each wool fiber is absorbent and can easily absorb any sweat your feet do create while wearing shearling footwear. However, the outer lining of each wool fiber is actually water-resistant; that means that once each wool fiber absorbs your sweat, the sweat is "locked into" the fiber and doesn't make your feet or shoes feel damp while you are wearing them. 

Thankfully, wool is also naturally odor-resistant, so you don't have to worry about your shearling footwear developing an odor over time, as many other types of footwear can. 

3. Shearling is an Ethical By-Product of the Meat Industry

Many people who have taken vows to never wear fur due to the cruelty involved in the fur trade wear shearling without guilt. Even animal rights organizations who promote helping animals by not wearing fur often state that wearing shearling is not as "bad" as they perceive wearing fur is. 

Why? Shearling is only taken from sheep who are already on their way to being eaten. The material is considered a by-product of the meat industry, so no sheep are slain just to obtain their shearling. 

This means that even if you don't wear fur for ethical reasons, you can wear shearling with a clear conscious knowing that you are not contributing to animal cruelty. 

Remember these three facts about shearling to aid you in your future footwear and outerwear shopping experiences. If your "warm" outdoor winter boots or indoor slippers just don't seem warm enough now that the coldest winter temperatures have struck or your footwear is keeping your feet warm, yet making them sweat, then a great footwear option to try is shearling footwear.