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Reviews > Footwear > Camp Shoes > Glerups Leather Slip On shoes > Test Report by Richard Lyon
GLERUPS SLIP-ON WITH LEATHER SOLE
Test Series by Richard Lyon
Initial Report - March 12, 2022
Field Report - April 24, 2022
Long Term Report June 4, 2022
PERSONAL DETAILS and BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
Male, 75 years old
Height: 6' 3" [1.91 m]
Weight: 205 lb [(91 kg]
Shoe size: 13 US, 47 EUR
Email address: Montana DOT angler AT gmail DOT com
Home: Outside Bozeman, Montana USA, in the Bridger Mountains
I've been backpacking for half a century, most often in the Rockies. I do at least one weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips. I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 10000 ft [1500 - 3000 m]. I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips from camp. Though always looking for ways to reduce my pack weight, I still tend to include my favorite camp conveniences. I always sleep in a floored tent and like hot meals. Backcountry trips are often planned around skiing or ski touring in the winter or fishing opportunities in warmer weather.
INITIAL REPORT - March 12, 2022
Glerups is a family-owned Danish manufacturer [not pastry maker] that offers boots, shoes, and slippers made of its proprietary blend of Gotland [Denmark] and New Zealand wool. All uppers are 100% wool and are available with either a rubber or soft calfskin leather sole. I shall be testing a pair of slippers, called The Slip-on, with leather soles. To my eye and hand the wool upper is akin to loden, a thick boiled wool often used in coats and jackets and one that happens to be a personal favorite. These are indeed slip-on slippers, as the upper is only one inch [2.5 cm] at the heel to allow easy on and off. They don't have a separate insole; instead the inner part of the sole - the part that comes in contact with the wearer's foot - is the same wool as the upper. Soft and comfortable, and a natural means of absorbing sweat. All footwear is offered as unisex.
Manufacturer: Glerups Inc., a unit of Aktieselskabet Glerups A/S, glerups.com
Designed in Denmark, manufactured in Romania
Size: 47 EUR. Available in sizes 35-51 EUR, roughly women's 5 to men's 16 in US sizes
Weight, measured, size 47: 6.5 oz/184 g per slipper
Color: Charcoal. Six other colors are available.
MSRP: $100 US
I've already said they're comfortable. Good fit with my regular size, soft underfoot, hardly any side-to-side movement, and the low heel is high enough to keep my foot from slipping out in several trial runs around the house. I live on a dirt road, with a long dirt driveway. Consequently it's my regular habit to swap shoes or boots for "house shoes," usually slippers, when I come in from outdoors, to limit dirt and debris inside as much as possible. This means that I wear slippers often. My current winter pair, which will be sidelined during this test, is shearling-lined, but I'm not too worried about getting cold feet in the Glerups. Heavy boiled wool insulates wonderfully, an observation based upon decades of use. That goes for slippers, as I have worn similar slippers from another manufacturer in the past. I like all seven understated colors that Glerups offers.
I do have a couple of initial reservations about the Glerups. I'm not used to slip-ons, in fact having deliberately avoided them in the past. I'll carefully monitor how well the low heels on the Glerups keep my feet inside. More importantly, I've always chosen slippers with hard rubber soles so that I could wear them during light outdoor chores such as blowing leaves or shoveling the front steps. The soft calfskin soles on the Glerups, which look like the soles on traditional moccasins, don't look to allow that. The leather may be waterproof, but the soft soles have no tread and offer no special gripping capability. That's a particular worry at my home, whose entrances face north and are prime spots for black ice.
The second reservation leads me to wonder about suitability for backpacking. I'm less worried about grip in the woods, but the Glerups are plainly unsuited for water crossings. That might mean they become a third pair of footwear in my pack, something this ever-older backpacker tries to avoid. Experience with wool slippers provides another reason to limit outdoor use - they're so comfortable at home I don't want to risk damage or undue wear and tear in the woods.
However for car camping and fishing, two activities I'm determined to increase in 2022, they should be ideal, both around camp and as driving shoes. I'll similarly try them out for day ski trips. All these pursuits require a change of footwear at the start, and usually a keen desire to get out of my boots when finished for the day.
FIELD REPORT - April 24, 2022
I have worn the Glerups Slip-Ons almost every day since filing my Initial Report. I love 'em! That said, these stout slippers have their limitations, particularly for outdoor use. Read on for details.
As noted in my Initial Report, I regularly switch footwear upon entering my home, partly for comfort and partly to reduce detritus indoors. The latter purpose is especially important in springtime - mud season in Montana. My home sits at the edge of the words and much of the front yard faces north. Melting snow runs downhill toward the driveway until finally gone - usually in May but a bit earlier this light-snow winter. Mud is a daily hazard for man [me] and beast [my cream-colored Golden Retriever]. I can towel the mud from the doggy paws but it's easier [and more comfortable] for me simply to swap shoes. Except for a couple of days when I wore chukka-type shearling-lined slippers, the Glerups were my daily house shoes, and their duties included occasional outdoor chores such as shoveling snow or splitting firewood.
To give this Test as much outdoor use as possible, I've worn the Glerups around the homestead for a variety of outdoor chores in a variety of conditions - hardpacked ground, hardpacked and fresh snow of assorted densities, and - at the start - in some mud. Temperatures from 5-50 F [-14 to 10 C], in fair weather and in light snow, but no rain yet. I have also worn them at the beginning and end of four fishing days, for driving and scouting the water and, at the end of the day, for a cup of coffee or a nip of something stronger before departing for home. The Glerups served as driving shoes on a number of trips to the local Nordic ski center. As the center's lodge and booting-up area were closed as a Covid precaution, I changed into ski boots at my SUV, walking no further than from the driver's seat to the tailgate.
I also packed the slippers on an overnight trip to a Forest Service cabin in early April, temperatures from 40 F [5 C] during the day to 18 F [-11C] at night, overcast skies, strong winds, and a couple of minor snow flurries. Upon arrival at the cabin I changed from hiking boots to the Glerups, The usual camp chores and bathroom trips took me outside from time to time, on snow or hardpacked ground.
All outdoor and almost all indoor use has been when wearing heavy wool socks.
Fit has been better than expected. As long as I make sure that my heels are seated inside the slippers' low cuffs when putting them on, I've had no incidents of losing one when walking around, even in six inches [15 cm] of fresh snow. I attribute this to an almost perfect foot-to-shoe fit.
I'll go through the slippers' handling various conditions by trail medium rather than trip-by-trip, as I believe that's a better illustration of their strengths and weaknesses.
Around the house the Glerups are terrific - warm, functional, and extraordinarily comfortable.
After considerable use the Glerups have no loose threads, no noticeable wear and tear, and no loss of fit or comfort. Neither durability nor odor has been an issue.
Glerups' cleaning instructions are simple - vacuum or blow out dust regularly, air out after use, clean leather soles with a leather brush, and remove stains on the wool with a solution of warm water and wool-specific soap applied with a soft cloth. I've added two other procedures. As noted I've used a towel immediately after outdoor use to remove any dirt or leaves adhering to the slippers. Twice during the past two months I've treated the soles with leather cleaning lotion. No stains so far, notwithstanding several incidents in the mud.
WHAT I LIKE
As house slippers they are perfect.
Suitable for light chores outside except in muddy conditions.
WHAT I DON'T
The leather soles, while considerably stouter than I anticipated, still lack the grip of rubber soles with a tread. And they're more difficult to clean.
For outdoor use I'd prefer a full upper and full heel. [Several other Glerups models have one or both.] This is more than personal preference; I believe either feature would improve utility.
LONG TERM REPORT - JUNE 4, 2022
Not too much new to report from the past two months. I've continued to wear the Glerups at home daily except for a few days when I was traveling. They have kept my feet as comfortable as ever inside and during brief outdoor chores and dog training. They've been my driving shoes to the parking lot on half a dozen fishing days and about the same number of day hiking trips, and "camp" shoes on an overnight car camping trip in early May. Indoor temperatures have been about 65 F [18 C] except first thing in the morning, when it's been a few degrees cooler. Outdoor temperatures anywhere from freezing to 72 F [22 C], in fair weather about half the time and mist to heavy rain the other half - it's been wet this spring in Montana. [Thank goodness - should reduce the fire danger come summer.]
With the rain came the mud, limiting outdoor use and increasing attention to cleanup after exposure. Cleaning isn't difficult - wipe [if wet] or scrape [if dry] off the mud, spot clean with a damp cloth, and let dry on their own. This process works on both uppers and soles, though as noted in my Field Report I'll apply leather cleaner to the soles if they're really soaked. Prompt attention to mud or leaves has had no apparent deterioration to the integrity or functionality of the Glerups as slippers. They of course don't look like new, particularly the soles, but nothing serious. Around the house they do pick up white hair that's been shed by my Golden Retriever, but so do all other footwear, shoes and socks alike, that I own.
Full-time use has caused a couple of minor insignificant issues. As shown in the photo below, there is a loose thread on each heel and a third on the upper cuff of the right slipper. The cuffs at both heels have flattened a bit, no doubt from repeated ons and offs. Again not serious; these are slip-ons, after all.
I'll start with the bad [perhaps not-so-good?] news. I cannot recommend these slip-ons as camp shoes. My personal preferences for a full upper and heel and rubber sole no doubt influence this comment. There are, however, some more practical concerns. The Glerups obviously won't double as water shoes, in no small part because with their low heels they would be prone to slipping off in the current but also because they're made of wool. I find them not effective in muddy conditions and not great in the snow. There are always muddy conditions in or around camp. In the back of my mind I worry about outdoor use's wrecking a super-comfortable pair of house slippers.
Now the good news. For indoor and light outdoor use I have nothing but praise for the Glerups. They've kept my feet warm all winter, with no odor buildup. They are easy to slip on and off. The inner soles are so comfortable that I purchased a pair of insoles to try with hiking shoes and boots. Their slip-on style allows better ventilation as temperatures warm. They are easy to care for.
Would I buy another pair? Perhaps as driving shoes. I'll certainly look at other Glerups models for my next pair of slippers.
My Test Report ends here, with thanks to Glerups and BackpackGearTest.org for the testing opportunity.
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