Saturday, April 10, 2021



Mukluks or kamik are a soft boot, traditionally made of reindeer (caribou) skin or sealskin, and worn by Arctic aboriginal people.

Mukluks may be worn over an inner boot liner and under a protective overshoe.The term mukluk is often used for any soft boot designed for cold weather, and modern designs may use both traditional and modern materials. The word "mukluk" is of Iñupiat and Yupik origin, from maklak, the bearded seal, while "kamik" is an Inuit word. In the Inuipiaq language the "u" makes an "oo" sound, and so the spelling "maklak" is used with the same pronunciation.

As mukluks are soft-soled, and flex with the feet, they allow hunters to move very quietly. A wearer can run, tip-toe, and even dance in mukluks. They are also designed for use in the tundra.

Mukluks weigh little. While, for instance, U.S. Marine extreme-cold-weather boots weigh 3.6 kilograms (8 lb), soft-soled boots made using modern materials weigh less than a tenth of that. Because mukluks weigh little, there is no need for heavy lacing; friction is enough to hold them on the foot. Some mukluks are very lightly laced (through external loops sewn into the seams, so as not to leak). They may be laced over the arch of the foot, or around the top of the boot to stiffen it. Many, however, have no lacing to constrict the circulation and make the foot cold. The top of the boot stands up somewhat stiffly, and may be open at the top, which allows moisture to escape.

The design of the mukluk is used for the industrial manufacture of cold-weather boots, especially paired with a rugged contemporary sole. The key component of its success is its ability to breathe, that is, to allow air exchange. This is an advantage in extremely cold conditions where perspiration may become a factor in frostbite on one's feet. The bulkiness paired with their poor performance in slush makes them less ideal for the casual winter wearer.

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