The Giesswein Merino Runners, super-lightweight, temperature-regulating wooden running shoes impress for travel
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A pair of ultra-lightweight shoes made from merino wool? While it sounds ideal for travel in theory, can the Giesswein Merino Runners shoes impress in practice? TravGear put a pair through its paces to see if they could withstand the rigors of travel.
Update March 2022 – still wearing these almost daily and they still look neat and tidy for the office. TravGear is very attached to the superlight, comfy design that feel like wearing slippers all day.
Giesswein Merino Runners: design
A pair of woolen shoes weighing just 200g, the Giesswein Merino Runners are not so lightweight they feel flimsy and the sole is thick and sturdy enough to protect even the most delicate feet. This is possible because it’s made from EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate), which is like rubber; it’s grippy and flexible, but more lightweight than rubber. So much better for travel. The thick sole aids warmth as it doesn’t conduct heat when standing on cold surfaces. Available in many colors, each pair of Giesswein Merino Runners comes with two pairs of different color laces so you can switch it up.
Giesswein Merino Runners: performance
So what are the Giesswein Runners like in the rain? Worn in light rain TravGear’s feet remained reasonably dry, and the shoes dried out quickly thanks to merino wool’s quick-drying properties. As travel shoes, it’s another property of merino wool – its antibacterial properties – that are just as, if not more, important. TravGear hasn’t been able to test this in truly hot climates due to COVID travel restrictions, but worn for a few days with bare feet there was zero whiff. Even if they do start to whiff they’re machine washable, providing you stick to a 30ºC cycle. That’s a nice option for when you accidentally get these woolen shoes muddy.
However, TravGear thinks it would be nice to have a lace pocket to stow close laces. After all, who wants big, loose bows?
Giesswein Runners: conclusion
Being super-lightweight and comfortable is why you might want a pair of Giesswein Runners in your travel pack. They kept TravGear’s feet warm in cold weather and didn’t leave feet super-sweaty in the warm. Suitable for running and for a full day’s sightseeing, but the design of the Giesswein Merino Runners make them just about smart enough to get away with wearing them to a conference or work trip.