United by Blue and SOLE’s Jasper Wool Chukka is perhaps the most sustainable shoe ever made. I tested for a few weeks for this review.
Bison, algae, merino wool, recycled cork, and rice rubber: The ingredient list for a pair of SOLE x UBB Jasper Wool Eco Chukkas is impressive.
SOLE, maker of sustainably sourced insoles and footbeds, and United By Blue, a B-corp committed to ridding waterways of trash, teamed up to release a shoe. And because both companies place sustainability at top priority, the result is a (literally) wild shoe.
I’ve worn the Jasper Wool Eco Chukka for the past few weeks, and I’m impressed by the shoe’s comfort and looks. It’s warm and toes the line of slipper and shoe quite well. You bet I wear these slipper-like shoes to work.
The Jasper Wool Eco Chukka launched on Kickstarter on March 4. Read on to hear how the brands managed to make one of the most sustainable shoes out there.
Bison, Algae, and Cork Shoe: Jasper Wool Eco Chukka Review
United by Blue has slowly released more and more products over the past few years that use its proprietary BisonShield insulation.
The fill is from bison headed to traditional ends, like meat and leather. UBB takes the fur from the animal, which withstands brutal Canadian winters, repurposes it into insulation, and places it in jackets, blankets, and, now, shoes. The result is a fill that mirrors a lot of properties of wool and down.
For the Jasper Wool Eco Chukka, UBB places BisonShield insulation around your foot. My feet don’t overheat with the amount of insulation, and it keeps them toasty during the Colorado winter.
But that’s only the start. SOLE takes the shoe a step wilder.
For the footbed, SOLE uses BLOOM Algae Foam with natural cork topsheet. This foam uses 35 percent less energy to produce than regular EVA.
SOLE uses its new ReCORK recycled cork midsole for cushioning. The brand grinds down wine corks and recycles them into a new formula that’s more flexible, cushioning, and durable than industry-standard EVA.
And for grip, the brands use a natural rice rubber outsole. The rubber comprises rice husk material, a byproduct of rice production.
To top things off, surrounding the upper is ethically sourced merino wool.
How It Feels: Jasper Wool Eco Chukka Test
Beyond the eye-catching properties of the shoe, the ingredients are functional as well. These shoes are as comfy as they look.
It seems the use of experimental technologies didn’t compromise performance. BisonShield insulation is hypoallergenic, merino wool naturally defends against odors, and the ReCORK midsole is cushiony and durable.
The shoes aren’t performance-oriented, of course. To test, I walked around town, hit the bar, and lounged around the house just fine.
The shoes have yet to attract any funk, which is expected for most new shoes. But time will tell about its anti-odor properties.
Probably my favorite feature is how the BisonShield insulation and merino wool are “temperature-regulating.” At first glance, it’s just marketing fluff. Any material is temperature-regulating, be it a cotton T-shirt or down puffy.
But for some reason, the temperature of my feet feels more level in this shoe than in other shoes. I’m warm outside, and I don’t overheat inside.
In short, I approve of this shoe. The SOLE x UBB Jasper Wool Eco Chukka released today via Kickstarter. The MSRP is $150, but discounts start at $95.