During the icy cold winter snaps that we have been experiencing in South Africa of late, it's always nice to be able to keep your feet warm with a pair of cozy fluffy sheepskin slippers...

Benefits of sheepskin slippers

A bit of history as to the origin of slippers, the earliest known footwear that resemble slippers dates back to ancient civilizations.

In 4700 BC, they were worn in courts in China, and they were hand made out of silk or cotton, were lined with leather and adorned with symbols of power, such as dragons.

The Native American moccasins were also hand made in leather and embellished with beadwork, fringing, or hand painted with scenes from nature.

Aluet and Inuit (where  temperatures reach horrific lows), made their slippers from smoked hare hide to protect their feet from the frozen ground within their homes.

In Victorian times, the discerning gentlemen wore 'house shoes' in order to keep their lavish rugs and floors clean - Winter temperatures also plummet in what's currently known as the U.K.

Which brings us to the here and now... Although the textiles that are currently available to us are vast (a lot of which are synthetic), there are many reasons why slippers are still made out of leather and sheepskin.

Genuine Leather Sheepskin Slippers


1. Comfort
Sheepskin is naturally thermostatic (meaning it has temperature regulating properties, which plays a vital role in retaining the body heat naturally, as well as your feet staying cool during summer). The comfort and soft fluffy texture, means no blisters or pain sometimes caused by man-made textiles / plastic. It’s no wonder that sheepskin is one of the most suitable materials used for slippers, jackets, coats and gloves.

2. Durablity
Genuine Sheepskin is as nature intended - highly durable. Lasting for a long period of time without damage, unlike faux leathers and man-made fibres (which have a short life span), sheepskin withstands rigorous wear, lasting for years of winters. One major benefit to natural sheepskin slippers, is that they can absorb up to 33% of their weight in moisture without changing their form, or feeling.

3. Hypoallergenic & Antibacterial Properties
Sheepskin fibres naturally contain lanolin, which condition and protect sheep’s wool. (Lanolin is widely used in beauty products to help sooth dry, itchy skin). It is extremely breathable, keeping your feet fresh and odour free hour after hour, day after day, and is perfect for those with allergies, as sheepskin repels mildew and dust mites.

4. Self-Cleaning Properties
The lanolin content in sheepskin also means it has a great natural resistance to dirt and bacteria.

5. Moisture Wicking
Moisture wicking means when perspiration moves quickly to the fabric’s outer surface, and therefore dries / evaporates rapidly i.e. sweat does not saturate or stay within the fabric. Once again, unlike synthetic materials…
Note – over washing will deplete the natural lanolin oils.

Genuine Sheepskin Slipper Styles


They should snug but not tight. If your big toe is pushing out visibly at the front of the slipper when trying on, take a larger size as you do not want to put unnecessary strain on the stitching.


They most certainly are worth it, as they are the most durable, long term slipper investment you can make. Instead of replacing every year with fake leather, genuine sheepskin slippers last for many years.

The quality of the pelt is a key factor which determines the quality of a pair of sheepskin slippers. High quality pelt will have minimal scar tissue and is consequently much stronger. Another important factor is high quality stitching, which will have an influence on the comfort and durability of your slippers. The most durable sheepskin slippers are made from genuine Marino wool.


Generally you can machine wash genuine leather sheepskin slippers by placing them into a pillowcase or washing machine bag, on a cold gentle cycle with spin, using Woolite. To dry, place in the shade for roughly 2 good weather days. You will find that they will retake their original shape, like the day they were bought! Do not tumble dry or place in front of direct heat i.e. fireplace or a heater. To quicken the drying process you can stuff them with paper towel.

Slippers have come a long way since their humble functional beginnings, they have evolved to become an import fashion item and extremely functional necessity. Never has this been more apparent than since COVID, as it has become very common to see people out and about in public donning their favourite fluffy footwear.

Cinderella or no Cinderella, there’s a slipper out there for you, no matter what the style…

Sheepskin Slipper Styles

Do not tumble dry
Purchase from a trusted, reputable and reliable store
Dogs love to eat and play with them