Australian Sheepskin Boots - Australia's Gift to the World!
Parallel Worlds: The Boots of Another Wild West
Ranching and Western settlements . . . gold rushes and boom towns – these things are as central to the story of Australia’s frontier days as they are to the lore of America’s Wild West. And the Australian Sheepskin Boot is as much a part of that Australian history as the cowboy boot is to America's Western heritage. In both countries the early settlers who moved out West, raised what their land would support. In the U.S., that was mostly cattle ranching: in the Aussie outback, it was sheep. The rugged frontier people of both countries made their own boots and shoes out of the materials that were available to them. In the American West, that material was cowhide, but on the vast sheep ranches of Australia, which are called "stations," it was sheepskin. And not just any sheepskin either.
Merino: The Golden Fleece
The Aussie ranchers made their boots from the skins of Merino sheep, which are renown for producing the finest wool in the world. From the 1820s on, this highly valued wool was Australia’s primary export product. The Merino sheepskin is perhaps nature’s most perfect material for footwear, strong, yet extremely supple and lightweight, it creates a boot that has a buttery suede texture on the outside and the plush, cushy fleece lining of the world’s most coveted wool on the inside.
The Boots That Feet Dream Of
The softness of the Australian Merino sheepskin produces a boot with a snug, cozy, form-fitting feel that’s more like a sock than a shoe, yet it’s rugged enough for outdoor wear. The fleece lining has the astonishing property of providing year-round comfort. In cold weather, the plush fleece provides an insulating layer of warmth by trapping your body heat, much like goose down does. But in the heat of summer, the natural fibers of the fleece actually cool your feet by wicking away perspiration.
Growing Up in Sheepskin Boots
By the late 1960s, in Perth, the largest city on Australia’s West Coast, Australian Sheepskin Boots were being manufactured by several small companies in the area. Perth has much the same climate as Southern California and is also a haven for surfers, whom Aussies call "surfies." And it was the community of surfies at the great surfing beaches at Margaret River near Perth in the 1960s who first adopted Australian Sheepskin Boots as their footwear of choice and made them a symbol of the Aussie surfing lifestyle.
Aussie Sheepskin Boot Fever Spreads
From the beaches of Western Australia, Australian Sheepskin Boots were soon seen on the feet of East Coast surfers from Brisbane to Sydney. And it wasn’t long before some of these surfers, the ones who traded their surfboards for skis in the winter, found that their Sheepskin Boots were just as at home in the ski resort areas of the Snowy Mountains as they were on the warm sands of Sydney’s Bondi Beach. It was Aussie surfers, traveling the world in search of the perfect wave, who first introduced their mates in Southern California to the pleasures of the Australian Sheepskin Boot. Sheepskin Boots soon became a cult fashion among those L.A. surfers who could depend on a mate "down under" to send them a pair of boots.
Sheepskin Boot Essentials
Today the Australian Sheepskin Boot "secret" is out. You’ll find these versatile boots to be in fashion on beaches from San Diego to Santa Cruz and in ski resorts from Tahoe to Vail. And today, you don’t have to "know someone" in Australia who will send you a pair, since there are now many companies manufacturing boots of this type. But, if you want the genuine article, you do have to know what you’re looking for because, no matter where you buy them, there are several importers with look-alike products that fall short of being the real thing.
If you want genuine Australian Sheepskin Boots, well-made boots with all the qualities that made the originals so desirable, you’ll want to make sure of two things:
1. Make sure the boots are actually "Twin Faced or double faced Sheepskin",
meaning they are made from the actual sheepskin with the wool still on the skin. This type of sheepskin is also commonly known as shearling
2. Make sure the boots are Made of Genuine Australian Merino Sheepskin, because no other fleece comes close to the quality and comfort of Australian Merino.
We always use these two guidelines when we are developing new products we would be proud to offer to our customers. When you compare our Australian Sheepskin Boots to others for quality and value, we are confident you will choose our boots, too. And, more importantly, when you slip them on and experience their comfort, we believe you will know you have made the right choice.