10th C. Viking Shoes

January 5, 2010 - Often times, I will barter for clothing, embroidery, or both in return for shoes. In this case, these lovely Viking shoes were made in exchange for a fantastic embroidered wool Viking tunic! Although I'd made turn shoes in the past, I was excited to get the chance to try and do some ornamentation. Note that many Viking shoes have a "triangular" sole back which continues up the quarters, but I chose to leave it normal in this instance since time was of the essence.

This image, from Goubitz' Stepping Through Time, shoes a detail of a 10th Century Viking shoe from Schleswig, Denmark (not Gdansk, Poland, as I previously had thought - thanks Mel! =). There is evidence for a variety of ornamentation types on Viking shoes like embroidery, vamp stripes, and the like. Additionally, Goubitz also shows several other shoes of this type with varying embroidery patterns.

The cutting pattern used for the ankle boots. Note that we did not use the extra wide top band and instead settle for a narrow binding.

A close up of the embroidered vamp. A paper pattern was made and the design was drawn on the paper pattern. Then, the pattern was laid on top of the vamp and awl holes were made to indicate where the thread would emerge and then go back into the vamp. The paper pattern was then flipped over and done for the other vamp. Note that the vamps were dyed before the embroidery was carried out.

You will also note that a thin leather strip was whip stitched to the top of the quarters as an additional visual point of interest.

A close up of the embroidery on the vamp of the shoe. Pretty sweet, hm? =)

The finished shoes! If you look at Goubitz for shoes of this style, you will notice that the overlapping piece is actually inserted into the vertical seam of the shoe, so you need to get your fit just right. This is much harder to explain in text, so I suggest you go back to Goubitz where it better detailed.

Shortcut Bar

Shoe Source.
The embroidered vamp.
The finished shoes.

Comments on: 10th C. Viking Shoes

By: raisedheels

In reply to Elif Wilkins. Hi Elif! I posted the pattern here: http://aands.org/raisedheels/Other/Viking/viking.php. Hopefully, that will help get you going in the right direction. In terms of attachment of the sole to the upper, this is a basic stich for shoemaking, though I don't tend to document it much. Perhaps I should! But, here is a diagram of the stitch construction. https://www.larp.com/midgard/shoes.htm. If you do searches for "edge-flesh stitch" it may help clarify the construction process!

By: Elif Wilkins

Hello, I am very new to leatherworking. I am trying to surprise my husband with a full Viking outfit. He is of Danish decent. I love this shoe, but I can't find the pattern. How do you put on the bottom of the shoe? I've tried looking through your site for instructions, but unfortunately I am having trouble finding anything. Thank you, Elif

By: raisedheels

In reply to Danny. Danny, I uploaded the pattern for your reference. Enjoy, and sorry for the delay!

By: raisedheels

In reply to Danny. Sure, I’ll see if I can’t dig it up and post it :)

By: Danny

Hey, these look great! I was wondering if you could send me the pattern though? I'm keen on making a few pairs of my own. Thanks!

By: raisedheels

In reply to Joanna. Hi Joanna, I'm always keen to barter with fellow artisans! Feel free to send me an email with what you were thinking, and we can talk details. =) Francis

By: Joanna

hi mate, are you still willing to barter? I have been waiting for someone to make me slav embroidered shoes for a year now, no luck, no info etc.I make clothes, naalbinding generally Viking and slavic stuff but not shoes so i'm looking to trade. let me know, thanks! Joanna

By: raisedheels

In reply to Marcin. Thank you, and I would be happy to - I'll send it to your email later tonight.

By: Marcin

Very nice work!!! Can I have a scan of page with pattern?

By: raisedheels

In reply to Magdalena. Thank you! Sure, I will send it on over to you - it will have to wait until I get back home, though, since I'm away for the weekend.

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