In Other Shoes – Icelandic Skin Socks

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Confused by the title?

According to S.L. Tuxen, these are supposedly a form of socks – however, we’ve had trouble understanding exactly how that would work. Could they be a form of shin guards? Or an extension for the shoe? We are not sure – but we do know that they are an example of old-fashioned Icelandic footwear:

Icelandic skin socks. Given to me on October 2nd 1957 by Mrs. Gudrun Bjørndottir, Reykjavik, who sewed them for me as they were sewn in the old days, and as they were worn up until the change of the century (1900, ed.). Mrs. Gudrun is a daughter of Vedramdt in Skagefjandsrysle, where old traditions are much honoured. Originally, skin socks were made from uncured lambskin and sewn by hand. These are made from cured sheepskin. with a thread at the top.

S.L. Tuxen

/ Ciara Coogan


Photo: © 2014 Jacob Due, Photo/Media Department of Moesgaard Museum.

Byline portrait: © 2015 Line Beck,


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