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Sheepskin Boot FAQ's

There is a crazy amount of misinformation and poorly informed opinions on sheepskin boots, so much so that we needed to address the problem. We've put together the following answers to the most common questions with links to further reading.

 

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What makes a good quality boot?
The quality of a sheepskin boot is mostly dependent upon the quality of leathers used in its construction. A good quality boot will have a thick, spongy and dense inner fleece. The quality of the inner fleece is responsible for both the warmth and comfort of the boot. The boot must be constructed with twin-face sheepskin. The outer leathers should be soft and consistent in finish. Stitching should be consistent, tight and durable. The sole should be light weight, flexible and durable.
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What label is on the heel of Ozalia boots?
You will find a quality metal logo plate on the heel of Ozalia Australia boots. We use stylish metal to reflect the overall quality of our boots. No fabric patch here!Every single element of our boots are top quality. The label on the heel is not a reliable way to detect counterfeits. Read our top 3 tips on counterfeits which may save you money.
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What materials are sheepskin boots made from?
A sheepskin boot is made with twin faced merino sheepskin leather. Twin-face sheepskin is a leather in which the fleece (fluffy inner part of the boot) and the backing (which forms the outer part) are one piece. Twin-face sheepskin leather is unmatched by any synthetic or natural substance in its ability to insulate which is why sheepskin boots are much warmer than other types of footwear. The leather is also renowned for its ability to breathe, which means sheepskin boots rarely overheat causing sweating. The sole is made from EVA (Ethylene vinyl acetate). EVA makes an ideal sole because of its durability, flexibility and light weight.
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How are Ozalia Australia boots made?

We believe in quality and so have opted to use many traditional techniques to produce the highest quality boots possible. Due to the variations in twin-face leathers the majority of construction is performed by hand.

  1. The highest grade Australian Merino sheepskin hides are purchased from tanneries that use the most environmentally friendly tanning technique called "eco-tanning". Eco Tanning uses Chrome tanning techniques. Chrome tanning is the most colour fast method of dying sheepskin boots and ensures the leathers remain soft. Chrome tanning is an environmentally friendly method of tanning.
  2. Leathers are cut out using a press and templates of each style in each particular size.
    • If the hide contains leather which does not meet minimum quality guidelines it will not be used and will be returned to the tannery.
  3. The leathers are double stitched by hand to form the upper part of the boot.
  4. The sole is pressed to the upper and cemented in place.

 

Why do sheepskin boots cost so much?
  1. Sheepskin boots must be constructed by hand and cannot be mass produced like other types of footwear.
  2. Twin-face sheepskin in its raw form is very expensive and has more than doubled in price in recent years.
  3. Fuel prices have resulted in high freight costs. Sheepskin boots travel a long way before finding your feet.
  4. Import duties and taxes.
How long should my Ozalia boots last?
Sheepskin boots are constructed from materials that are not commonly used in other types of footwear. In order to make your boots last you need to be sure to treat them correctly. The leathers are soft and soak up moisture which can cause staining. People often mistakenly assume their boots should stretch into the correct fit which weakens the leather. Follow our tips and you'll greatly extend the life of your boots.
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How long should my soles last?
There are ISO (International Standards Organization) tests which are designed to ensure that footwear is capable of withstanding long term abrasive conditions by mimicking the conditions of rough, long term wear. ISO4649 is a test in which a large cylindrical drum with a rough abrasive surface is spun against the sole of a shoe. At the end of the test the thickness of the sole is measured. In order to pass the test the sole must not lose too much volume. Our boots are independently tested and have met the requirements of ISO4649 certification.
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Will my Ozalia boots fade?
A few factors will affect the likelihood that your boots will fade over time, firstly the colour of the boot. The closer the colour is to the natural state of chrome tanned leather the less likely it is to fade. Colours which require larger amounts of dye are more likely to fade. These colours include black, violet, chocolate and darker hues. Lighter colours like chestnut, sand and pink tend to retain colour longer. The amount of time your boots spend in the sun will also impact fading. Keep them out of the sun to prevent fading.
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Can I have my boots resoled?
Unfortunately the costs involved in resoling are quite expensive. With shipping costs both too and from a repair agent the cost of resoling is approximately 60% the price of a new pair. Keep in mind while your boots may have new soles the leathers will still be worn and you won't have the warranty that a new pair provides. If new boots falling outside of warranty require resoling your best bet is to visit a local shoe repairer for a quotation.
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Are sheepskin boots bad for your feet?
Sheepskin boots are made from twin-face sheepskin leather, which is also used in Australian hospitals as a bed liner. In 2010 research published in the Medical Journal of Australia investigated if sheepskin bed liners used in Australian hospitals improved the health of patients. The results? The sheepskin bed liner resulted in a dramatic reduction of pressure ulcers. Far from being bad for your feet, sheepskin boots when worn correctly will improve the health of your feet.

Twin-face sheepskin contains a natural oil called Lanolin which studies have demonstrated promotes circulation, helps wounds to repair faster and is an extremely effective moisturizer for dry skin. Keep in mind synthetic and low grade boots do not contain lanolin. If you’re suffering from swollen feet, dry skin or have difficulty warming your feet, sheepskin boots are perfect. Diabetes sufferers and pregnant women both report great benefits.

When are sheepskin boots bad for the health of your feet? Many people wear sheepskin boots walking or standing for hours and hours upon end. Sheepskin boots lack the support for this type of use and will damage your feet. Use your boots as a slipper while sitting or a moderate amount of walking and your feet will be fine for everyday use and many hours of wear.
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When and where were sheepskin boots invented?
Early Australian settlers quickly discovered the Australian climate and landscape was perfectly suited to sheep farming. The quality of wool produced by Australian sheep was regarded as the best in the world but the sheep were initially farmed for meat production.
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Soon sheep farms began popping up all over New South Wales. Contrary to popular opinion the Australian climate can become quite cold with temperatures often falling well below zero. Sometime during the early boom in Australian sheep farming, farmers wrapped sheepskin around their feet. While many believe this occurred sometime during the early 1900’s there are no exact records to reference. Sheep were often farmed in colder regions like Tasmania and Western New South Wales so it is likely the first sheepskin boots were invented in these regions.
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Fast forward to the early 1960’s and Australian surfers began wearing sheepskin boots after leaving the cold surf. During this time the boots became increasingly popular with their use spreading to the wider Australian population.
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AUTHOR
Aaron Robbins

LAST UPDATED
1st November 2016

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1. How To Clean Your Boots

2. Size Guide

3. Sheepskin Boot FAQ's

4. Top 15 Sheepskin Boot Tricks

5. 5 Brand Comparison

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