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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 4:49 am    Post subject: Viking boots?         Reply with quote

I just got a double paycheck after the first month at my new job and the money is burning a hole in my pocket.
Wondering what to spend it on I happened across these lovely viking baltic boots on the Bohemond site http://www.bootsbybohemond.net/index.php?opti...uct_id=48.

Anyway, these sure look nice as boots go.

http://www.bootsbybohemond.net/index.php?opti...duct_id=48

Bohemond states they're derived from finds from Groningen depicted in the book Stepping through time and similar to York and Hedeby (Haithabu for you non-scandinavians) finds.
I have the excellent book Purses in pieces, got it when it was first published an hot off the presses years ago and was aware Olaf Goubitz had made a shoe book too but never got around to buying it, so being curious about the finds Bohemond refers to for the boots above I went ahead and ordered "Stepping through time" from Oxbow to read up on it before I buy the boots.

http://www.oxbowbooks.com/bookinfo.cfm/ID/32550/OnlyResult/Yes

Why I wanted to do that is because I remember from earlier discsssions here and among my local re-enactor friends that there is no such thing as "sea boots", or "viking boots" and calf lenght on shoes is a re-enactorism. So I really want to make sure I get this right before spending $125 on the boots and that they can be backed by reliable sources before my friends start to give me a hard time about them.

So, has anyone here read the book or know about the boot finds? Is this the real deal or not?

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's another baltic viking boot from the same vendor.



They look really well made and aesthetically pleasing at least to me. The leather is thick (much thicker than a normal turn shoe would be) and high quality and seams are hand made with strong linen thread, both of which I need for SCA heavy combat all year round through mud, rain and snow and heavy torque against the ground and fighting in broken field brushland. -But are they reasonably authetic for a Rus viking or eastern route trader?
I'll get the book in a few days to check it out but if anyone here is already familiar with finds please let me know.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Arne Focke
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Location: near Munich, Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First the bad news, this is no medieval shoe.
Notice the seam between the upper and the sole? That one wouldn't be visible on a medieval shoe, since medieval shoes are turn-shoes. Meaning they were sewn together while being turned inside out and turned after they were finished.

The book the vendor mentions should be the shoe bible for all reenacators. Alas, since Olaf Goubitz died a few years ago, it is not in print anymore.

The vendor mentions several shoes similar to his version and that his version doesn't exist.
Totally correct, the upper of his shoe is mainly based on finds from Deventer and Groningen and to some extent one from Haithabu. It is a mix up of all these shoes, but not a reconstruction of either one of them.

The stitching around the upper is also pretty crude. The medieval shoemakers did nicer jobs.

On a personal note: I really don't like "medieval" shoes with modern rubber soles. True, they last longer, but the whole "I am wearing turn shoes" feeling is killed by that.

They look sturdy at least. I'd prefer to feel the leather first to determine if they are worth the price.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Frank at Viking Leather Crafts has a nice selection of boots, that are sturdy, affordable and period:

Viking Leather Crafts

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lloyd Clark wrote:
Frank at Viking Leather Crafts has a nice selection of boots, that are sturdy, affordable and period:

Viking Leather Crafts


Lloyd...

Where are these folks located? There is a fox fur sporran on their site at what I consider to be a ridiculously low price. I want one. I could not find an address for them in the contact information.

Thanks...

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Wilhelm S.





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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is the web site of

Viking Leathercrafts

We can be reached via e-mail at

sales@vikingleathercrafts.com

Or Our Physical address is:

Viking Leathercrafts

3556 Crest Road

Kingsport, TN. 37664


My wife has a pair of Bohemod boots and is pleased with them. She also has a pair of Viking Leathercrafts. She prefers the bohemod over the VL. I do believe that is because Bohemod measured her foot and made to size as the VL are off the shelf.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks so much. You are not far from here. I will be placing an order in early May. I hope the formal fox fur sporran is in stock. Heck...I went ahead and ordered a few minutes ago.

Thanks again.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Viking boots         Reply with quote

Johan

I appreciate that you really like the boots that you've shown but Arne is offering you sound advice, at best they are 'in the style of' if not a bit high then any finds indicate and in no way could they be described as a turn shoe which was the method the craftsmen of this period employed. There are a number of European craftsfolk who make exceptional shoes.


best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys, this has given me a lot to think about.

The Jorvik shoe style is obviously the one that is easiest to find historical basis for and was used all over europe for a fairly long timeframe.
It would suit a viking, a Normal and early medieval persona all in one. So very versatile for SCA and re-enactment, while the boots just aren't. One of my squire brothers and my knight both have the Jorvik from Viking Lethercrafts and they swear by them. And I've heard they're good enough for Hastings if I shoud ever get the urge to go there.
To Bohemonds defense he makes this type of shoe too, basically identical to the one Viking Leathercrafts have. Same oz top leather, same rubber sole that I want, but they cost a bit more.

Still, I've always liked boots, which is why I wanted to bounce the idea around some.

Some things to consider are that turn shoes are not the only type of shoe around in viking times, seveal of the Haithabu types are top sewn and this enables them to be made with thicker leather that wouldn't be turned over the toe. Though none of them look exactly the same as the Baltic boots.

That said, the Viking leathercrafts Jorvik toggle shoes are cheap enough I'll just order two pairs, one for me and one for my brother. I can always get boots later if I feel I really need them.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Viking boots         Reply with quote

Johan

You should this site out if you want quality accurate period footwear.

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&a...bedarf.de/

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&a...bedarf.de/

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&a...bedarf.de/

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&a...bedarf.de/

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&a...bedarf.de/

best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 10:33 pm    Post subject: Viking boots         Reply with quote

Eek!

My apologies, the last post links where meant to take you to each page of footwear, not to the same opening page!

best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Mick Jarvis




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 12:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bohemond also makes the shoes without the rubber soul. i have been using a pair for years and they are great (not the boots but the jorvik)
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 3:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Last night I ordered two pairs of the Viking leathercraft Jorvik toggle shoes, with vibram soles. I want the rubber soles and thick oz top leather for durability and grip for fighting. I have plenty of other historical shoes I made myself, or bougt from craftmen friends for ordinary less stressful use.

David, the site shows some neat looking shoes, but again, this is not the only way a viking age shoe can look and some details I see on these appear derived from a later age to me.


I wasn't really looking for info on turn shoes, though the replies I got here demonstrates just the kind of difficulty with preconceptions most have about shoes from this age, and sure, the Jorvik shoes will just be accepted without comment as authentic making my life so much easier. But I already know several variants of what I don't call turn shoes but top of foot seam shoes existed. I.e. look at several of the Haithabu finds. I'll dig up some photos of actual finds to demonstrate this. Looking like the boots in question? Probably not though.

I was looking for info on viking age long necks on boots in general though and was willing to accept some discrepancies in modern production technique. I guess I'll just have to wait a couple of days for that book I ordered to see what exactly they were based on and exactly how far off they actually are.
The jorviks I ordered will turn out very nicely regardless.

In the mean time, let's gross out on some find photos. "From York" is all the info attached to them though.

This one looks a lot like the Jorvik toggle shoe but uses buckles. Didn't know they used buckles that early. Perhaps it's early medieval rather than true Viking age. Norwegian viking age (up to mid 1200s) perhaps?


These look interesting too. Notice the top of foot seam on the one in the back?

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Tue 01 May, 2012 4:34 am; edited 4 times in total
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 4:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing worth keeping in mind is that while we find boots seem very cool to our modern aesthetics, they where considered lowly and workmanlike in the middle ages.
All the cool kids, including high status warriors, wore low cut shoes.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 4:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
One thing worth keeping in mind is that while we find boots seem very cool to our modern aesthetics, they where considered lowly and workmanlike in the middle ages.
All the cool kids, including high status warriors, wore low cut shoes.


True that. I guess it's the Pirate within. Harr.. Wink

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 4:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More from York. One of these is kind of a boot.


"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Viking boots         Reply with quote

Johan

I understand that not all period shoes where two part 'turn shoes' some are made from one piece, some with the upper vamp or 'top seam' as you call it but most if not all appear to be turned. The footwear indicated on the link I posted is made by a craftsmen who employs infinitely scrupulous research and I would suggest the welted sole depicted on the boot by Bohemond is a later development rather then a facsimile representation of footwear of the period under discussion.

You may also find this pdf link of interest
http://www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk/resources/AY...orking.pdf

best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, David, I think we're simply focusing on different details. I was willing to overlook that the inner sole connection isn't turned but on the outside. And you're right I shouldn't put up with that if I want an authetic looking shoe.

That's a great link. I already had the same material downloaded (legally from the find report publisher of course) but the material is so vast from York you never really grasp it all at any one given time. Thousands of finds literally and all with a wealth of information. I've concentrated on the York finds of sword scabbards and tools mostly.


Speaking of York, I found this one, a proper toggle boot (boot in this case refering to heavy leather top I suppose) but only one toggle.


Link to origin webpage: http://www.historyofyork.org.uk/themes/viking...iking-boot


Here's another one, with no toggle, a shoe from the Oslo ship museum. I had a pair just like these abut 10 years ago that I eventually wore out, fixed up reasonably and gave to a friend who had no shoes to wear to an event.


http://my-guide-oslo.com/2011/07/17/viking-ship-museum-oslo-2/
The problem with these is that with my wide scandinavian monkey feet the inside of the heel slips out the side and you get an ugly fold there that drags on the ground and eventually wears a hole beyond the sole. Might work perfectly for an italian foot, but then what kind of feet did they really have back in the day here in the North?
The toggle fastening on the one above would prevent this from happening and heavier top leather helps a lot also since it won't stretch there as much.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 7:15 am    Post subject: Viking boots         Reply with quote

Hi Johan,

Skandi-Monkeys..troll foot surely! I think the problem you describe is an inherent one with turn shoes, invariably however well manufactured they are they have a tendency to roll laterally one way or the other which would explain the repairs often seen,

Turned shoes that have the extended sole raising up the back of the heel tend to prevent your problem a bit, but you could always perhaps consider putting within the inside a hidden reinforcing piece to help the problem without compromising the external appearance. Just a thought.

best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Wilhelm S.





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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David what do you use for a pair of shoes? Being earlier period then viking, I am about to be in the market for a new pair of shoes my self.
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