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What Are Mukluk Boots

Updated on May 11, 2015

What are Mukluks

Mukluks sometimes called kamik are warm and soft footwear originally created by the Inuit and Yupik tribes of the Arctic areas of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia. They look very much like traditional moccasins with high boot tops. Mukluks were traditionally made from the skin of reindeer, seals, moose or bear. Today they are made of suede and other natural and man made materials.

Fur Mukluk

Vintage Mukluks

Mukluks

You’re out in the woods, and hiking the snow covered trails what feels better than a pair of warm dry feet. When your feet are wet and cold your whole body gets cold. Nothing beats a pair of warm boots to keep your feet nice and toasty. I have tried several different types of boots but either they leaked or they made my feet sweat until I tried a pair of Mukluks.

Many people have never heard of the word Mukluk and then there are some that never venture out in the cold and snow without putting on a pair of these wonderful boots.

So to those that have never heard of these boots we will now introduce you to this winter footwear that came from the Arctic areas of Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.

The History of Mukluks

The mukluks are soft, warm and dry foot apparel that has been used in the northern part of the United States since the seventeenth century. The word “mukluk” originated from the word “maklak” which was a Yupik word.

There were two groups of people that wore the mukluks before the Western explorers found out about them; this was the Inuit and Yupik groups from the Arctic. When the Western explorers arrived and were scouting out the territories in the north and Canada they too adopted the mukluk footwear to keep their feet dry and warm.

The mukluks back in those days were made of deer, seal, moose, or caribou hide and the boots were lined with fur from beavers, squirrel, bear, rabbit, or some other form of wildlife. The boots came up to the top of the ankle or up to the mid-calf range. Mukluks back in the day of the explorers were good footwear for the harsh environments but they did wear out fast. And with using all natural material it was not an easy task and took several hours to make a pair to replace the worn out ones.

Today with modern machines and new versions of leather goods and the addition of rubber soles mukluks are easier to make and last much longer than the traditional mukluk. Also today you can purchase mukluks in a variety of colors and styles. You can also add decorative items like beading, tassels and pom-poms. Traditional mukluks and moccasins are still made today and people from all walks of life and people and from all over the world are wearing this awesome footwear.

With traditional boots like snow mobile boots or other winter boots the material does not breathe. When the boots don’t breathe or allow air to circulate around the feet the feet will perspire and this can become a factor of frostbite of ones feet. With mukluks the material does breathe and this allows for good ventilation in order to keep the feet dry of perspiration. This has been a huge factor to make mukluks a huge success.

Today many boot manufactures often use the style and design of mukluks in making their own modern footwear Uggs are being designed and manufactured to resemble the warmth and strength of todays mukluk.

Care for your mukluts.

With so many styles of mukluks to choose from make sure you do your homework and research to figure out which type will work best for you before purchasing them. Mukluks have become so popular over the years with so many actors, actresses, and now royalty wearing them out in public and in front of the camera.

Mukluks do take some care and maintenance to help them last longer with normal wear. First purchase a bottle of clear leather and suede protector, apply the protector only to the leather parts of the mukluk according to directions on the bottle. Apply to dry overnight, then apply a second coat of leather protector and let dry overnight again and then they will be ready to be worn outdoors. Make sure that if your mukluks have real animal fur on the inside or at the top of the boots do not allow the leather protector to get onto the fur. The fur has natural oil protectants built in and does not need any additional chemicals applied to the fur. Also if your mukluks get wet, let them dry naturally and do not dry them with any source of heat like furnace vents or dryers, this could cause damage to the leather. Reapply leather protector to your mukluks weekly, it won’t hurt to have too much protector to protect them against the winter elements.

Steger Mukluks - How To Clean & Care For Your Mukluks

Manitobah Mukluks

I hope you enjoyed this hub about mukluks, we would love to hear from you.

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    • isharkbait profile image

      Alex 

      3 years ago from Virginia Beach, VA

      I can honestly say I had never heard about these boot before. Surprisingly they seem to be rather affordable. I may not live in a northern state, but its already feeling like winter here in Virginia. I think I may need to give these boots a try.

    • Tom the traveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom 

      3 years ago from Inverness, Florida

      Thank you for your comments.

    • prepperguide profile image

      prepperguide 

      3 years ago from United States

      This is a really interesting article. I've never heard or seen of mukluks before so it's quite a discovery. Voted up and interesting.

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