Interestingly, felt boots, a primordially Russian footwear that appeared at the beginning of the 18th century and are warm felt boots made of felted wool, are gradually returning to the counters of shoe stores. This is due not only to fashion trends, in connection with which models of felt boots with trim and embroidery, with natural and artificial fur, with rhinestones and appliqués acquire the status of fashionable and modern footwear, but also with an increased interest in their useful properties.
Not many people know that in addition to the fact that wonderful felt boots save feet from frost in winter, they are able to heal: natural sheep wool has a unique ability to absorb and evaporate moisture, while remaining dry, so wearing felt boots helps to quickly cope with colds. Lanolin or animal fat contained in wool effectively relieves muscle, joint and rheumatic pain, and the dry heat of sheep wool not only relieves nervous tension, but also promotes rapid healing of wounds and fractures, and prevents the development of inflammatory processes.
Only four states are engaged in the industrial production of felt boots - Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia, although small workshops exist all over the world. Every year in Russia alone, 4.5 million pairs of felt boots are produced. The largest Russian manufacturers are the Kukmorsk felted-felt plant and the Yaroslavl felted footwear factory.
The main material for felt boots is sheep's wool, however, felted shoes are produced from goat wool, and camel felt boots are considered the most elite and original.
Among a pair of new boots there is no difference between the "left" and "right", each of them is formed when worn, taking the shape of the owner's foot. The size of the felt boot is indicated in centimeters, so it is very easy to find out the required size by measuring the length of the foot and adding 2 cm "for shrinkage".
There are felt boots museums in Moscow and Myshkin.
The giant felt boot of the 130th size was made by a resident of Bashkiria and the master spent 8 months and 50 kg of sheep wool on it.
At the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City (USA) in 2002, the Russian team staged an unforgettable patriotic fashion show in felt boots with galoshes.
The Italian firm “Judari” has been producing popular and stylish felt boots under the brand name “Russy Valenki” for several years.
Valenki are the basis of winter overalls for gas workers, oil workers and railway workers.
To prevent felt boots from slipping on the ice, they "put on" ice galoshes: the sole is slightly doused with water, which, having not had time to seep through the felt, freezes, forming an icy matte film. The operation is repeated several times, which significantly increases the thickness and strength of ice galoshes. For the formation of a braking surface in the formed ice galoshes, it is necessary to walk on the snow.