For her, Valenki represented the ultimate footwear. I only knew that they were made of grey felt and warm but not so pretty. When I saw the designs on the Baabuk website, they seemed to have made the perfect blend of tradition with modern colour and style. I ordered Gus slippers for the girls and Jeremy for myself – and I can say they feel even better than they look.
I’m not a slippers person, I’m not even a pyjama person. I’m a barefoot human. I was that kid who was always being told to put her slippers or shoes or boots on. Whenever I could, I would kick them off and run barefoot. My girls are the same – they will happily walk outside barefoot and go in flip-flops to the forest. That all changed when we discovered Baabuk slippers .
However when I was asked to review Baabuk slippers, they rekindled some other more happy childhood memories for me, and I’m glad they did because I have discovered that I love them. According to their website Galina – cofounder of Baabuk was wearing traditional felt Valenki when she was a little girl, and she liked them. That gave her the idea to try to make them combining an old Russian tradition and with the new modern and comfortable design. I never had a pair of that traditional Valenki, but when I was small, every time I got new shoes, my Grandma used that word or the Polish equivalent. She would call to me. “Ania – Show me your new Walonki.”
It was love at first sight. Tania looked at them and screamed “Wow! “Elf shoes.” Her name for them matches the shoes perfectly – I think they should rename them as the Elf Shoes. Since that moment whenever they have been indoors then both girls have either been barefoot or in slippers. Other shoes seem to have lost their meaning a bit.
I love them. I didn’t expect to bring them to England but I’m so glad I did. When we arrived it was so cold that I wanted even to go to bed In slippers. Until the heating started working my Baabuk slippered feet were the only part of my body which wasn’t freezing. Even now after a month, I constantly have them on. They are so comfy that I want to go outside in them. And I did (shhh don’t tell my husband about it). They are extremely comfy for driving, both in the warm or the cold.
I invented a story for the girls about Baabuk the sheep who saw his shepherd’s cold feet, while she was sweating under her woolly fleece. She went to her master and said “Dude shear me. I’m feeling hot. You look like you are cold so take my wool and make yourself shoes.”
The shepherd hugged the sheep then took shears to cut the wool from the sheep and make happy shoes for himself. That was my story for the girls – the real story here is even better.
The only minus, though it could be plus as well, is that the shoes collect hair from the house. So every second day I need to pick the hair off them. But we can look at it as a vacuum cleaner replacement. Zoe has a very high ridge in her foot, so initially, she had problems with putting them on (I thought perhaps I had ordered too small a size) but once she got into them they reformed themselves around her feet and were a perfect fit.
I’m writing this after using Baabuk slippers for over a month and I am entirely in love with them. I have walked in them on wet grass, been to the shop, driven a car – they are extremely comfortable. I have spilt dishwater on them, I have washed them and they are still ok. My girls love them as well. Girls only complaint is that the soles aren’t slippery so they cannot slide around the house. For me, that’s a positive.
I say buy them and you can love them too.