News / Winnipeg

Manitoba mukluks the must-have item this winter

A Manitoba staple for winter looks to be making a huge comeback this season.

Rosie Mukai, owner and manager of the family-owned Winnipeg Trading Post, said her store is selling four to five pairs of mukluks a day as well as having special orders, which is “very good.”

In addition to the sales, Mukai said last spring, her store started offering mukluks- and moccasins-making classes, and they’ve been well-attended.

“They’re unique and they’re different,” said Mukai when asked why she thinks mukluks are popular.

“It’s completely a fashion statement and they’re comfortable. They last a long time, as long as you take care of them.”

Mukai said magazine articles with celebrities sporting mukluks has fuelled its resurgence, and she’s received special order requests from as far away as Australia, Germany and England.

Mukluks are traditional aboriginal footwear for winter most often associated with the Inuit. They’re made of fur and credited with being both warm and comfortable.

Julie Pedersen, who started a mukluks business called Muckies in 2005, said she owned a pair and loved them “but they weren’t practical to wear in winters” in Winnipeg.

So she started making mukluks that were in brighter colours and warmer for a Prairie climate, with reinforced fur and a thermal sole between the shoe and the thicker sole.

“I do agree there are more out there than five years because five years ago there were more Uggs so now it seems to be balancing out,” said Pedersen, who grew up in Elm Creek and studied fashion design in Vancouver.

“When you have a pair of mukluks and see how comfortable they are, you just want to wear them all the time. I wear them all year.”

Pedersen said she introduced silk screen in a henna or a flower style for this season and continues to make the popular Spats, which are made with a zipper in the back to slip on any type of high-heeled shoes.

Stars such as Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Anna Paquin have worn Pedersen-designed Muckies and Spats.

Mukluks are available at Winnipeg Trading Post for $265-$300, while Julie Pedersen Muckies and Spats run from $140 to $440

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