EMUs New Water-Resistant Boots Make a Splash
I have nursed my faithful pair of tan sheepskin boots through three years of rain, visits to the snow and -- since I live in southern California where we wear our boots for reasons of style over substance most days -- blistering heat. And sadly, they are now of retirement age -- long ago losing their shape, their sheen, their very high coolness factor sacrificed to the elements. And at the risk of sounding like someone who casts aside an old friend in favor of the new kid on the block, I am doing precisely that: UGGs, begone. Make room for my new EMUs, which have already passed the -- get this -- water test.
A sheepskin boot, warm and cozy on the inside and covered with the smoothest suede-like leather on God's green Earth -- and they are waterproof?? OK, water-resistant, but the company has submerged them in water and out they came looking good as new, which makes them waterproof in my book. Bring on the El Ninos. Mammoth Mountain ski area, here we come. The leather didn't dry or crack. The color deepened, but in a weathery happy way. The shape kept. I'm sold.
Gallery: Emu Boots
What is this new magic boot? Made by EMU (named after Australia's national bird) with 100% Australian sheepskin (Grade A quality Borderlester/Merino cross from the famous Western District of Victoria Australia for those who crave such details), the boots "form to your feet" after a few wearings. The dense plush pile keeps your feet warm, dry and comfy. Sheepskin is a natural insulator and "wicks" away 70% of moisture -- hence, no smelly feet problem. The test pair were provided by the company's publicist.
EMU's technology blends fine and thick pile fleece with a thick strong pelt. The water repellent has been added through the tanning process, rather than the standard spray-on after that sits on the surface, washing away as the boot wears.
Several new styles are being introduced this year including an asymmetrical lace-up high boot, the Tundra, which retails for about $200. Boots are made for women, men and children. The line ranges from $180 and up. EMU also produces sweater coats, scarves and shrugs.