Lobben boots – dog mushers’ favorite footwear
Norwegian Arctic explorers developed the lobben boots. Scandinavians have worn lobben boots since 1955. In recent years, their popularity increased among Alaskans because they are the first choice of many Iditarod and Yukon Quest mushers who have a sort of celebrity status.
When to wear or not to wear lobben boots
Originally, lodden boots stem from Nesna, Norway, but today a small family-owned company produces them in Tartu, Estonia. Lobben boots consist of boiled and pressed, felted wool, for which they are light. The thick and dense wool provides excellent insulation, and comfort at temperatures between -49F and 23F (-45oC and -5oC). The ¼ inch (6 mm) thick wool felt insoles provide extra insulation (and height). Lobben boots may have a cotton lining. Since the boiled wool breathes, your feet to stay dry, even if they are perspiring. The natural lanolin of the wool repels (melt) water. Lobben boots are unsuitable in cold rainy weather or in the melting season when puddles are all over the place.
Lobben boots come in various colors
Lobben boots come in black, gray or red sometimes with a quilted look. Typically, the lace of their front lace closure matches the sole and/or decorative braid colors along the top of the boots. The number of eyelets depends on the style. Some styles of lobben boots come with blue instead of black colored polyurethane soles. The soles’ deeply ridged profile provides excellent traction on snow and/or ice.
Lobben boots come in different styles
The upper part of the lobben boots can be round or sewn like a moccasin. When you are likely to walk in deep snow a lot, opt for the rounded top. The moccasin design lobben collect snow that withdraws heat from your feet by heat conduction. This means walking thru high snow with them is a recipe for cold feet. However, they are the more stylish choice when all you do is just walking on cleaned ways, or ice. Lobben boots look great in casual outfits with jeans.
What do you wear at freezing temperatures when you are outside for a longer amount of time? Do you own a pair of lobben boots? How do you style them? Send me an email, I love to hear from you.
When you are interested in fashion history you may also like to read about the origin of the pea coat.
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Photos: N. Mölders (2014)
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