Buy & Sell Muk Luks Boots / Muk Luk Slippers / Mukluk Boots
What it is
Mukluks slipper socks are very popular as you have probably noticed. They usually have a hard leather bottom and the part that slips up over your ankle and calf is usually a woven wool material. It’s a sort of funny-sounding name due to the fact that it derives from an old Eskimo language name. And this can lead to some confusion with the spelling, but Mukluks, or Muk Luks, are the most common spellings. Some people spell them as Muc Lucs, Muclucs, Muklucs, and Muk Lucs. I've seriously seen people use all these variations.
The term Mukluk is used to describe any soft boot, for outside use; or slipper sock for inside use.
1/ In the Americas
The term mukluk comes from the Intuit Yupik word maklak, meaning “bearded seal” a key animal source for aboriginal people of these regions. They continue to be worn by these original Canadians for pragmatic reasons of maneuverability and warmth in the frigid cold weather.
See the Canadian Encyclopedia and Wikipedia articles for more interesting details on the history of use in Aboriginal culture.
2/ In Asia
This blog post was inspired by the style that originated in Afghani culture. They traditionally made them with a hard material for the bottom such as leather, and this was sewn over a woven thick wool slipper sock. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, they were many Afghanis making them in refugee camps in the Pakistan border area. And today most of the ones for export are made by Pakistanis who have learned the skill of making them. This version is made in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Hindu kush mountain region and they are traditionally made and worn by women who live here, and they are often called slipper socks and they have a soft leather sole; however, the upper part is normally knitted out of 70% wool 30% rayon blend.
When to wear them
Sometimes, all you want is to be able to walk around comfortably without having to worry about getting your feet cold. A lot of people think they are only for the winter, but many people wear them around the house all year long, especially in the more northern areas. There is a plethora of styles available on the internet if you google Mukluk. But this article is about where to find these high-quality hand-knit hippyish-looking wool slipper socks.
People went to Afghanistan in the 1960s following the so-called hippie trail across Europe and Asia. They were able to find Muklucs in the markets there and buy them from the people who sold them in the markets. From the other people who made them in small rural villages in their homes. And they brought them back to their countries to feed the growing appetite as the counter-culture movement of the 60s got into gear. Mukluks were and are, a natural fit into the tapestry of things that appeal to hippie tastes.
This was a time when the current travel risks and dangers didn’t exist in the way they do now in these regions. Since the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, all this has changed and there are just a couple of key people that have connections with the women in Pakistan who still make them in their homes.
During the ’90s Mukluks were super hot sellers. There was a kind of retro-60s trend that started to unfold in the later 80s which linked up with the popularity of Mukluks. However, their fashionability ebbs and flows as the years and decades roll along, but they remain a "classic item" that people are always interested in. They will always be a practical and fun thing to wear at home. Wearing them outside isn't recommended since it puts a lot of wear and tear on them and can scuff up the bottoms. Although they are unisex, women wear them a lot more than men.
Where to buy them
This is no comparison like going to your local hippy store and soaking up the peaceful vibes as you sift through a stack of one-of-a-kind mukluks, trying on a bunch and finding the perfect that fits and looks just right for you. They are all slightly different. But if that's not an option just find some on Amazon, Etsy, etc. However, this style that I am blogging about are kind of hard to find and you might have to spend some time searching around.
You can find a great selection of colors and sizes at https://www.ebay.com/str/rainbowridersales.
Even though you can return them if you aren't happy, it still may be preferable to go to a local shop and try a bunch on before you find the perfect one for you - if you can find one. This is because everyone is one of a kind. They are made by hand. It is not an exacting scientific process.
They come in huge color variations. They are made by hand, and the sizing isn't perfect. It’s great if you can try a few on before you pick one that you like. Search around on Google maps to track down a local retailer.
If you look on Amazon or if you do a Google search, you can find all kinds of variations that have contemporary looks. Other regions of the world known for hand-knit wool knit accessories, like South American and Nepal, have done a large-scale adoption of these items.
Ecuadorian artists are renowned for their skills in weaving wool products such as sweaters and accessories out of local llama wool.