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Giesswein makes sustainable everyday sneakers perfect for running errands, getting coffee, or going on city walks. Light enough to let your feet breathe for hours on end, but supportive enough to keep you comfortable. You can dress them up or down thanks to the minimalist styling and color options.
|✔ Ethically sourced merino wool|
✔ Zero-waste production policy
✔ Comfortable and lightweight
✔ Natural waterproof coating
|❌ Not vegan because they use wool|
❌ Not made for sports
Giesswein is a historic shoe brand making a range of versatile, comfortable shoes, all using their signature merino wool.
Today, Giesswein is Europe’s largest producer of virgin merino wool clothing, and we’re happy to see that they’re finding ways to produce their products sustainably.
For example, they use up to 90% recycled water in their production process, have zero scraps or material wastage, and power their production process using 100% renewable resources.
We were sent a pair of Giesswein’s to write an honest review. We received these shoes for free, but, we weren’t asked to write anything specific in this review by the company.
We’ll highlight what we like, what we don’t, and give you our overall impression of whether the Giesswein Merino Runners are right for you.
If you’re interested in a pair of Giesswein’s, you can click here to check out all of their color and style options on their website.
Sounds good? Let’s jump in.
First impressions and unboxing
Our Giesswein’s Merino Wool sneakers arrived promptly and were sent in a minimal amount of packaging — which is a great start.
The shoe box is entirely made of paper, and everything included can be fully recycled.
The care instructions are on a small piece of paper, which can be recycled too.
That said, there was no indication that Giesswein uses any eco-friendly shipping solutions, and they don’t offset the carbon created during the delivery process.
How do Giesswein’s fit?
Giesswein have a helpful size chart on their website based on their customer reviews.
I used a combination of this and the sizing charts and ended up going with my usual shoe size.
Before choosing a pair, make sure to review the size charts on their website.
How comfortable are Giessweins?
Giesswein’s are very comfortable. There’s no denying it.
The sole is firm and provides good support, but has enough flexibility and bounce to be comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
Inside the shoes, there’s medium arch support. You can also swap out the insole for your own pair, if you prefer.
The shoes are super-light, and if you don’t look down, it almost feels like there’s nothing there.
Because of the merino wool construction, they’re soft, and slide on easily. They’re a good mixture of snug and supportive, but relaxed and breathable. Your feet don’t feel trapped in and you can wiggle your toes easily.
Are Giesswein shoes waterproof?
The upper part of the shoe is made of Merino Wool. Merino wool contains natural fats called Lanolin, which means the wool has natural water repellent properties.
Instead of absorbing water like you might expect, the water will slide off.
If you want to waterproof them with your own treatment, make sure you use a wool-friendly nano-spray.
Can you run in the Merino Runners?
Despite the name, we wouldn’t recommend running in these.
If you’re in the market for a running shoe, Giesswein has created their very own running shoe designed for performance in the form of the Wool Cross X.
The Merino Runners that we’re looking at here are better suited as an everyday shoe, ideal for walking around the city or countryside. You could go for short runs in them, but it’s not recommended.
How do you wash Giesswein’s?
You can wash them on a delicate washing cycle at 30 degrees Celsius, with a wool detergent.
Make sure to air dry them — there’s a note on the care tag that says you should avoid putting them in the dryer.
Giesswein are great shoes, but, they’re not the only brand making minimalist sneakers.
Here are some great alternatives if you don’t think Giesswein’s are for you, but you still like the idea of a sustainable sneaker:
- Allbirds Wool Runner: one of our favorite casual wool sneakers. Our readers have told us how much they like Allbirds, and our editors own several pairs of Allbirds themselves. Personally we found these more comfortable and stylish than the Giesswein’s, but that’s also down to personal preference. Check out Allbirds here. You can also read our full brand comparison on Giesswein vs Allbirds.
- Babuuk Urban Wooler: a more structured sneaker than the Giesswein’s, made from 100% Portuguese mulesing-free sheep wool. Check out Babuuk here.
- 8000 Kicks: These aren’t made from wool, but from eco-friendly hemp. They’re a great everyday sneaker as they’re durable, waterproof, and importantly, comfortable. Check out 8000 Kicks here.
Are Giesswein’s worth the money?
We didn’t pay for these shoes because Giesswein sent them to us to try out. Due to that, it’s hard for us to accurately tell you if you should spend $139 of your own money on these.
However, let’s break it down:
The shoes will be worth it to you if you’re looking for a pair of versatile, comfortable, and minimalist shoes in town or city settings. The quality feels good, and they’re easy to wash.
They won’t be worth it if you’re looking for a running or hiking shoe, as they’re not designed to be one.
Giesswein have a free returns policy, so if you receive them and they’re not for you, no worries — send them back for free and you’ll get a free refund.
If you have any specific questions about the shoes, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to let you know our thoughts!
Where To Buy Giesswein Sneakers?
We’ve listed different retailers below, simply click the link to shop Giesswein sneakers.
Thank you for the detailed review. You gave far more information than the Giesswein website. Question about the soles: how “grippy” are they? They look like they won’t provide much traction.
Glad you found our review useful Debra! We haven’t tested them in particularly slippery or wet conditions, but in the dry for everyday wear, they do provide good enough traction — grip isn’t an issue we’ve noticed yet. If there’s any other questions you have, just let us know!
How do the Giesswein rubber soles do on snow and ice?
We haven’t tested them on snow and ice as haven’t had the weather, but we’ve tested them on the wet on pavement and tarmac and they had good grip, there was no slipping underfoot and felt safe walking. However, I wouldn’t say they are the most grippy soles so may not be suitable for snow and ice. If you’re looking specifically for shoes with good grip in snow, I recommend having a look at our hiking boot post here, as shoes we recommend there have good solid soles.
All the best,
Bethany @ Ecothes