I travel a lot, all over the world, and – regardless of where I’m going, there is one item of clothing that goes on every single trip – a pair of ankle-length snug sheepskin boots.
Why? Firstly, they are simply the best for travelling – comfortable and cosy for flights. Secondly, they are a sort of halfway house between slippers and shoes, so are perfect for popping down for breakfasts, or for cool evenings. Thirdly, they are just ideal for shuffling to and from yoga classes.
I have worked through quite a few brands. I loved UGG but, sadly, UGG didn’t love me – their boots were too flat and caused Achilles’ strain if I wore them too much. For the last few years I’ve been mainlining Fitflips. I do like these a lot but the downside is that you don’t have a furry insole, so they aren’t so great for bare feet. So, when I came across Po-Zu, my ears and toes perked up.
Po-Zu was launched in 2006 with a very firm ecological remit. ‘Our purpose is to provide maximum comfort and pleasure for the people who use our products, while ensuring the shoes are ethically sourced and manufactured with the lowest impact possible to our environment.’ Okay, so I was half-sold already. I read on and found that they use a coconut fibre ‘foot mattress’ – as you wear them, air pockets in the ‘mattress’ react to your body heat, weight and movement, gradually moulding to the shape of your foot. It’s like memory mattresses for feet – seriously smart. I really liked the idea of that. But, above all, the designs were just seriously cool. I fell in love with the PEP grey boots (£125) and begged a pair to take on my recent trip to Mongolia. I was heading into the Gobi for the fist ever yoga retreat to be held there (with Reclaim Your Self) and wanted some boots that would support me through a long, loooong journey – two flights, one long train trip on the trans-Mongolian railway and several further hours by jeep. I also wanted something I could slip on at night (yes, it’s the desert, and the temperature drops come evening) and use for pottering up and down rocks and for midnight loo breaks.
Po-Zu came up trumps. They’re supremely comfortable and, yes, they really do seem to mold themselves to the shape of your feet. I loved the design – the funky butterfly motif on the soles (see below) not only gives good grip but also looks majorly cool. Sheepskin regulates the temperature of your feet, so they felt blissfully cosy at night, yet didn’t make my feet sweat during the day. The only slight design flaw (for me) is that they are quite a struggle to get on.
Don’t like the idea of sheepskin or leather? No worries. Po-Zu have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Don’t share my fetish for little furry ankle boots? No bother. They do a big range of sandals, shoes and trainers. You can even custom-design your own pair – there’s a total of 21,600 possible combinations; all of which are vegetarian and most of which are vegan.
I love this company, I really do. They are totally passionate about what they do and have such a clear mission. Wondering about the name? ‘Po-Zu’ stems from the Japanese ポーズ, meaning to pause. ‘It is our mission to provide your feet with unique respite from the frantic pace of busy lives, and to halt the damage that modern footwear manufacturing often causes to people and planet,’ they say. Nice, huh? Plus, they also give a percentage of their sales to a variety of charities which is even nicer. I just love this kind of business, I really do.
Go on, give your feet and your conscience a treat and check them out.