Current location: Russia
Russia is wild.
... but not the dashboard-cam-videos, Oligarchs and Supervillains wild you see on the internet.
The Russia we love is naturally wild – home to limitless swaths of untamed wilderness on the doorsteps of modern cities brimming with cosmopolitan, cultured, and way-cooler-than-you-probably-expect inhabitants. And while we are less extreme than the internet would have you believe, our weather certainly is. From frozen winters to scorching summers, we need products that will support us year round.
That's why we dreamed up VOYLOK.
VOYLOK was created by city dwellers with a serious love for Mother Nature. We are passionate about the benefits that come with (re)connecting to the wild. From trying to improve our surfing, to jumping into a freezing cold lake, to just putting our bins out and pausing to take a breath – it doesn't have to be extreme to be effective.
Regardless of how you get into Nature, you can count on the fact that we Russians know a thing (or three) about protecting ourselves from the elements. That's why we took traditional felt wool boots called valenki and evolved them for the lives of modern urbanites around the world.
Valenki can keep your feet warm anywhere (and will keep them cool in the summer too). Crafted using just wool and hot water at our workshops, they make spending time with Mother Nature as joyful and easy as sliding into the most comfortable boot.
Fancy giving Voyloks a try? We will be dropping our first batch on the 15th February 2022, but in the meantime you can sign up to be the first to shop below.
A history of Valenki
Before valenki were worn by Russians, they were brought to our absurdly large federation by Eurasian nomads centuries ago. They shared techniques for felting wool, which requires just wool, hot water, pressure, and fire. When your country is buried under snow half the year, you need to keep things simple.
Made from natural and biodegradable materials, the felted wool boots were beloved for their ease of slipping into and gliding across dry snow.
Fun fact: Voylok actually means felt in Russian.
During the 18th Century, valenki became the footwear of choice for most people – from army officers to farmers, Tolstoy to Trotsky.
As Russians moved from the country to the city in the 20th Century, they began to see valenki as rural. Alas, though they remained warm, they were no longer cool. (Spoiler: we're changing that.)
As we all crave a deeper connection with our environment as well as for responsible craftsmanship, we know Voyloks can bridge the city and country everywhere.