The short answer is “Yes!" (But be sensible!)
Good quality boots made from the highest grade real sheepskin have many fantastically unique qualities that lend themselves well to wear in the apres-ski environment.
They are comfortable!
The sheepskin wool inside the boots is soft, flexible and extremely cosy making them the perfect place for your tired toes to uncurl and relax after a day of being crammed tightly inside your ski or snowboard boots. You know how it is - you've spent the day cruising down the slopes, every muscle in your body aches, your shins feel bruised, your socks have got wet, and as for your feet - well they are throbbing so much you wish someone would carry you home! It is at times like this that you simply will not find a more welcoming pair of boots to slip your feet into than a pair of good quality sheepskin boots. They have no stiff leather to press against your bruised shins, the fit is loose and snuggly around your sore toes and to top it all they are very comfortable and very trendy!
They are warm!
The sheepskin inner is naturally thermostatic with the hollow wool fibres being capable of absorbing up to 30% of their own weight in moisture without feeling wet to the touch. During cold weather the sheepskin fibres trap the heat of your body inside the boot thereby providing excellent insulation whilst at the same time the free flow of air between your feet and the sheepskin's natural leather outer eliminates any clamminess from perspiration. They can be worn either bare foot or with socks but if you do wear socks make sure that they are natural wool or cotton ones otherwise they may interfere with the air flow - and you don't want to end up with smelly feet do you?
They are naturally water resistant!
Sheepskin leather is naturally water resistant, however your boots should always be well protected with a waterproofing spray before first being worn and at regular intervals thereafter, as this will enhance their water resistant properties. They will cope admirably with a light dusting of powder snow whilst transporting you from hotel to bar in warmth and comfort.
But they are not water proof!
Sheepskin boots are not designed as technical waterproof walking boots - they are not suitable for trudging through deep snow or wet slush - your feet will get wet! They are essentially a “dress" boot and should be treated as such, especially if you want them to stay looking as good as new.
They are fine for “in resort" wear!
Sheepskin boots are fine for wearing “in resort" on your forays to the apres-ski bars, provided they have been properly protected. As with all suede footwear, common sense should be exercised when wearing sheepskin boots - if you have bought light coloured boots then don't wear them in dirty, muddy conditions and expect them to stay looking as good as new!
I speak from experience!
I have personally worn my sheepskin boots as apres-ski boots in the resort of Val D'Isere in France during a week's snowboarding holiday. I did wear socks with mine because I really suffer with cold feet, but I can honestly say that my feet did not feel cold all week - even when we were standing outside one evening watching a ski jumping competition for about an hour. My feet stayed warm and dry even though there was a lot of snow on the pavements - the outside of the boots sometimes looked quite wet but because I had protected them several times the dampness did not make it into my toes. I will never go snowboarding again without a pair - in fact I take two pairs - one for indoors and one for out!
So give them a try - you won't be disappointed!
(c)2006. Sue Madelin is the owner of The Snug Stop , purveyor of finest quality Australian Merino sheepskin boots, and a huge fan of her many pairs of Warmbat sheepskin boots.