Viking Age footwear

Two pairs of shoes, a few fragments of soles and other remnants of shoes were found in the Oseberg ship. Three of the shoes have been restored. The sole and upper leather of the best-preserved shoe were cut from single parts of leather. The shoe was 24 cm long, the equivalent of EU size 38 today. The other pair equals size 40. One of the pairs´ laces are more than 1 meter long.

The Oseberg shoes, being sown from multiple pieces of leather and with separate soles, resemble modern shoes. The seams are on the inside. This is a distinct feature, making the shoes´ exterior appear smooth and seamless. Shoes from Central and Southern Europe at the time resemble a flat canvas shoe, not unlike those worn by many of todays Norwegians during summer.

Northern European Viking shoes mirror modern winter shoes in shape and style. This might indicate how the Vikings adapted to a cold climate.