Sheepskin boots are footwear made from the tanned hide of sheep, with or without, though most commonly with, the fleece. Sheepskin boots are often desired because of their warmth, comfort, and durability. Australian sheepskin is highly desired and most often comes from a breed of sheep called the Australian Merino. These sheep also produce nearly one-third of the world's supply of wool.
Sheepskin is a naturally thermostatic material, which is why sheepskin boots are popular in all climates. While it stands to reason that sheepskin boots would be particularly cozy in cold weather, they can also be comfortably worn in warmer climates as the inner fleece lining naturally cools the foot by pulling moisture away from the skin. In fact, in Australia, the most popular way to wear sheepskin boots and other footwear is over bare feet.
Comfort is another reason sheepskin boots are popular. If you've ever seen a dog curled up in comfort in a sheepskin bed with fluffy fleece lining, you can imagine how comfortable your feet would be surrounded by that same soft, fluffy fleece. This makes the sheepskin boot a good choice for outdoor activities like hiking and skiing in which comfort is a priority.
As a fashion statement, sheepskin boots weren't always a top pick. However, when Hollywood celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and of course Pamela Anderson began donning sheepskin boots, their fashion popularity skyrocketed. Sheepskin boots strangely began appearing in every fashion color imaginable, from baby blue to fuchsia.
Some manufacturers sell sheepskin boots made with fleece attached to tanned cowhide, which is cheaper to make and to sell. If you want to own a pair of sheepskin boots and are insistent on genuine sheepskin, be sure to check what you are buying. On the other hand, if you are only interested in the look and comfort of sheepskin, most any brand will do. Because of the material's popularity, sheepskin boots aren't the only footwear you can easily find. Slippers and even clogs are also readily available in sheepskin comfort.