Product Review: Giesswein Shoes

*This post has been updated to remove the affiliate link as I am no longer an affiliate. 05/31/24

I’m excited to share with you all about Giesswein shoes. Giesswein is a sustainable shoe and apparel wool-based brand out of Austria. They are launching their American affiliate program and contacted me, which is how I discovered them. The shoes I review below I ordered myself when Giesswein approached me about becoming an affiliate, and prior to getting approved as an affiliate. I needed new sneakers anyway so I decided the timing was perfect and that I should try these out. It was after the amazing first time that I agreed to start the affiliate process. Let’s check these out!

My German feet have been difficult to shoe my entire life. My big toe sticks up and rubs the top of shoes so I need a high toe box. My gait also reguires my toes space to spread out as I walk. I have a high arch so a lot of shoes press down on or squeeze the top of my foot. I have a narrow heel so a lot of shoes are loose or dig into the back of my heel when I accommodate the rest of my foot. It’s been a blessing in that I have fewer shoes as a result of this hardship but I wear and repair shoes until they basically fall apart. The brands also tend to change styles and fit by the time I need to replace my shoes, so it’s kind of a one and done deal unfortunately.

These are Giesswein Women’s Merino Runners. I wear an 8 wide in most shoes and their 8 fits perfectly. Wool is supposed to stretch a bit and if it is doing that, I can’t feel or see it so I’m happy. I went with the black on black (BLACK-022) as it looked cool. My last sneakers ended up being mostly black due to size and fit availability in the model I needed, and it grew on me. I’m also working on a capsule wardrobe that will mostly be black and red, which are the colors I wear in photos of myself that I like the most. Giesswein has a ton of amazing colors though so check them all out. Some of the colors are going away soon to make room for a new set of colors so make sure to get the colors you want now.

The packaging is green. Recycled paper boxes with minimal tape. The tape and sticker that were included seemed like plastic so they could use paper tape here and it would be greener. I’m not a fan of the plant-based plastic-looking tape because it can interfere with the recycling stream. Paper tape on paper boxes makes recycling cleaner in single-stream systems. The boxes are super sturdy and I could totally reuse these for a long time if I wanted.

Lace Box Classic

At the time I placed my order, Giesswein had a special for a free lace box with the Wool Runners so I added those in in my color scheme. There have several color options. My husband and son can always use additional laces for their shoes I figure or I can craft with them. I don’t recall actually needing to ever replace laces on shoes, but I appreciate the ability to change colors as I do like to color coordinate for events, especially red. The laces are polyester but perhaps that allows them to hold up to the wear and tear of daily use. Something to be aware of if you’re going for all natural materials.

I put these on and no joke I felt like I was almost not wearing shoes. They’re light and nothing hurt or felt weird. Nothing was tight, poking me, digging, etc. They were perfect, my feet were so happy!

As you can see from the comparison to my old New Balance Foam Fresh sneakers, the Giesswein Wool Runners are a little lighter and less chunky. I honestly didn’t intend to weigh the shoes but when I was comparing them during the initial walk through: I go back and forth between my current and the newbie, the Giesswein were so much lighter I had to weigh them! I don’t run, but I jog to the mailbox, chase after a toddler, bike and weight lift in these and I’ve had no issues or concerns and good support.

These shoes are made of merino wool and they do breath as Giesswein claims. I live in Texas and we’ve been hitting our mid 80s and I have no complaints. They live with terriers and go through crushed granite and greenway preserves. Everything brushes off well and the dog hair does not weave it’s way into the shoes, unlike my Allbirds which I have to pluck dog hair out of. The tight weave of the wool helps repel dog hair. They haven’t been soaked in rain yet but they seem like they’ll handle anything. If you’ve tried Allbirds or done research on both of these shoes, you may have seen some discussion on “toe bump.” That’s your big toe showing up as a visible bump in the shoe. I do not have toe bump in Giesswein Wool Runners. I do have toe bump in my Allbirds Tree Loungers.

As part of being an affiliate I’ve asked if I can try out a pair of their recycled ocean plastic ballet shoes to try. I’ll post on those if that happens or when I purchase a pair. I did ask Giesswein how they are closing the loop on their product since they market a sustainable brand. I like to see shoe and apparel companies that take back their product to recycle or reuse. Giesswein responded within three minutes of my inquiry that they are researching how to close the loop on their products. They’re in active discussions with a vendor to discuss this.

I’ll remind you all, or let you know if you’re new (welcome!), that this is the same cradle-to-crave/closed-loop question I asked Allbirds and it’s a question I try to ask all companies claiming sustainability who do not address online or in media a clear and easy end-of-life/recycling/repair/reuse process for their products. I always encourage companies to include what they are currently researching and working on, like a recycling or take-back program to close the loop, on their websites rather than leaving that gap in the life cycle. Even if the process isn’t ready, sharing with your customers your plans and where you are in the process can bring in new customers and increase customer loyalty. Our efforts as individual or family consumers are to be a little more green which means we will create less waste or zero waste. So what happens to our items when they can no longer be used in their original form is important.

I’ll remind you all that while it’s important to research and purchase responsibly, it’s equally if not more important to learn about how you will be disposing of your purchases. The burden and cost of “waste” is on the consumer, not the manufacturers. We pay to purchase the product and we pay to dispose of it. Any way that cost can be reduced or removed, and in a way that benefits both the consumer and the manufacturer, that should be made aware of to all parties.

Giesswein also has other products besides shoes. They make shoes for women, men and kids. Giesswein has replaceable insoles, including an orthopedic option, which will prolong the life of your shoes. They also have sportwear and apparel like vests and shawls. I totally have my eye on those for the fall as I’ve had a vest on my to-acquire list for two years. Most vests are polyester, and virgin polyester at that, which sheds microplastics and holds smell (polyester holds smell when I wear it), so I’ll be looking into these wool options later in the year.

*This post has been updated to remove the affiliate link as I am no longer an affiliate. 05/31/24

Also, please share about your experience and what your favorite Giesswein product is, or what you’re putting on your wish list!

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