Reindeer Boots for $2500?!

June 10, 2013 • Philip BurgessBlog, Reindeer

Tenzing on EverestIt is one of the 20th century’s most memorable photos: the one Edmund Hillary took of Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953, standing at the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on earth. You might not know that he was wearing boots made from reindeer. Tenzing obviously had learned what peoples in the Arctic have always known, that if you want warm feet, wear footwear made from reindeer. Style and fashion blogs have just alighted on these boots in the last week, because Bally, the Swiss company that in the ’40s began custom-making boots for serious mountaineers, among them the pair that Tenzing wore for his storied ascent are making reindeer boots again. In honor of the anniversary of that climb — and the fact that the old-fashioned mountaineer has become a style model in men’s fashion — Bally is issuing a new version of the boots. The sole is lighter in weight and they lace more easily. But like the originals, they are available only by order, and they are still made of reindeer fur. They may never help you get to the top of a mountain, but, at $2,495 (USD), they will certainly help you scale your credit limit.

Doubtless these boots are designed for a cold day in New York’s Central Park. Peoples in the North though are still wearing boots made from reindeer made by local people, also to order. Some are for everyday usage, others are for festive occasions. but all will cost considerably less than these ones made by Bally. You could expect to pay around $400-$5o0 (USD) for a handmade pair of winter reindeer boots in Norway, a bit less in Finland and a bit less than that again in Sakha (Yakutia). Great post here from Yakutsk on the making of Unty.

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