October 25, 2019

Mukluks: Everything You Need to Know About Canadian Indigenous Footwear

There is no preferred way to keep your feet dry than a pair of comfy warm boots. There are plenty of kicks in the market you can choose from. If you want fur, embellishments, or designer boots, you can quickly get one. Then again, if you wish to boots that have profound meaning behind it, go for mukluks.

If you search online for mukluk Canada, you will be introduced to Canadian footwear that transcends fashion. This footwear is a statement of Canadian tradition and heritage. A closer look into the mukluk will make you see that it’s design has not significantly changed for a long time.

Moccasins and mukluks: Popular choices for indoor and outdoor activities

Even up to this day, moccasins and mukluks remain to be popular choices for indoor leisure and winter conditions. The functionality of these footwear has expanded to accommodate all kinds of environmental conditions and surroundings. Despite these changes in functionality, the mukluk culture remained the same.

What are mukluks?

Mukluks are fur-lined boots that get traditionally made from caribou or seal skin. They remain to be a fundamental component of the Lakotan, Inuit, and other North American tribes’ everyday attire.

The term mukluk came from “maklak,” a Yupik term for “bearded seal.” Then again, the Inuits also coined their term for mukluks, and this is the birth of the word “kamik.”

If you explore for mukluk Canada, you will know that mukluks are intentionally designed to be lightweight, allowing hunters to quickly and quietly move.

Those do not hunt end up decorating their mukluks with colored beads and pompons. From being the first functional boot, mukluk has evolved   and now features intricate and beautiful beadings to its design.

In colder temperatures, a bit of moisture can cause severe frostbite. Mukluk’s main feature is its ability to avoid moisture, especially in the areas near the foot and ankle. To make mukluks warmer, they are lined with raccoons, foxes, rabbits, and other Arctic animal’s fur. The fur enables the mukluk to be breathable even in cold weather.

Also, the animal skin used to make the mukluk provided the boot with a thin, second layer of skin. Since animal skin is water-resistant, mukluks kept snow and water out as the hunting natives walk on foot across the Arctic.

Contemporary Mukluks

Mukluks made from caribou hide and seal skin rarely cause damp conditions to make the wearer uncomfortable. Contemporary mukluks, however, needs to be worn in less cold weather. Its leather boot-like quality and sturdy sole can cause damp conditions if worn in colder weather.

Today, mukluks refer to any soft boots that are made for cold weather. Some modern mukluks even look like high-top sneakers. Contemporary boots like Uggs got its inspiration from the strength and warmth of traditional mukluks.

Slipper socks, another contemporary footwear piece, also got inspiration from mukluks. However, instead of mukluk’s animal skin, it uses wool attached to the soft leather insole.

From being the hunter’s footwear, mukluks evolved into fashionable and sturdy footwear for cold climate. Indeed, mukluks have come a very long way from its indigenous form and structure. It is fascinating to note that regardless of the change in design and purpose, mukluks retained its cultural value.

Buying Canadian mukluks will not only make your feet comfortable in colder weather, but it can also help you appreciate the profundity of the Canadian culture.

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