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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Circumpolar Shoe Fetish - Arctic Style and Function

Two days ago, I posted a roundup of warm boots for sale for those stuck in the blizzards.  Today, I bring you a few selections native to polar regions around the world.  The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto celebrates the style and function of footwear.  The following boots are from their collection:
This is a pair of boots from the Saami people of Finland.   Made of white reindeer hide, the curled up toes are a signature detail for Saami footwear.   This pair was made in Finland by Helena Naakkaalaajaarvi.  White reindeer is considered rare.  Boots like these, while cozy would also be worn for important ceremonies and weddings.

These boots are from the Russian Nanai people.  They were made and intricately appliqu├ęd by Anna Michailovna Beldi of Sakhalin Island - which is just between Japan and mainland Russia.  The boots are lightweight and waterproof.  The soles are made of fish skin.

These Kamik boots from Injivik, Canada were made of furry seal skin.  Seal skin was used by the Inuit people for its warmth and waterproof quality.  The triangle motifs indicate that the footwear was made for a female wearer.  

It seems no matter how far up north you go, there is someone perfectly capable of keeping you toasty and stylish... Are we ready for an igloo runway show yet?
Photos from Bata Shoe Museum Blog

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