Origin of felted bootsThe tradition of felting shoes from wool has it’s roots in Eurasia, but many associate it with Russia and it’s traditional boot called Valenki. Progenitor of Valenki was shoe of nomads, called Pima, whose history is going back over 1.5 thousand years.During the period of the Golden Horde, felt boots began to penetrate the territory of Russia through the Mongolian tribes, some of their shoes were made in the form of warm felt stockings, over which they wore boots.In Russia the felted shoe started becoming more popular in 18th century and changed his appearance and technology over years. It was not just a shoe of rustic peasants, it was also worn by Russian aristocracy and were quite expensive. The peasant’s family, which was able to afford more than one pair of Valenki were considered to be well-off.Illustrations to the story of L.Tolstoy “Filipok.” Artist G. SpirinHistory of felted boots in RussiaIn Russia, felt boots became widespread only in the first half of the 19th century, when they began to be manufactured in more industrial way.In some villages of Siberia, with very tough, cold, but dry winter, layers of felted soles were added to keep the feet warm.To make Valenki more resistant to wet weather galoshes and resin soles were used.In the 40th Valenki were refined and got a new more exquisite appearance through leather finishes and leather sole. The privilege of wearing them were granted to Russian high military officer circles and those boots were called “Burka”.