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Russian History > Soviet Union > Soviet shoes

Soviet shoes

At present there is a large market for collectable items from the Soviet era and Soviet shoes and boots can trade for large sums of money. In addition, there are new makes of shoes branded as ‘Soviet’, that come with a retro feel.

Nostalgia

The rise of the internet has meant that trading in memorabilia of any kind is easier than ever before and there is now a market for anything you can think of and that includes all types of military equipment. Soviet shoes and boots from all era’s trade for high prices on internet auction sites and anyone versed in collecting Soviet memorabilia will be aware of the interest that these items can spark.

Footwear with a military history will always reach the highest prices and Soviet boots from World War II through to the end of the Communist era are highly sought after. Every day shoes and basic Soviet footwear can also be purchased online however and there remains a healthy market for this style.

Retro

If you’re looking for something modern that gives an acknowledgement to Soviet shoes then you could look at the new brands that have made their way onto the market.

One of the most famous of these is branded as ‘Soviet’ and first made its way into shops in the early days of the new Russia. Its range is based on heavy, durable boots and footwear and the company is open about the nostalgic theme that runs through all of their products.

Valenki

In addition, it’s also possible to buy new versions of Valenki, the traditional Russian felt boot that was designed to last through the harshest of Soviet winters.

Valenki are traditionally made from wool felt and are designed for walking on dry snow as they are not waterproof. They have been in existence for centuries but their use has died out in recent times as the climate in certain parts of Russia has changed and slush has appeared where once there was nothing but ice.

Table thumping

Perhaps the most famous Soviet shoe of all belonged to Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party from 1958 to 1964.

At a meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York in 1960, Khrushchev became visibly agitated at a speech made by Lorenzo Sumulong of the Philippines. In the speech, the Soviet Union was accused of ‘swallowing up’ Eastern Europe and depriving its citizens of “the free exercise of their civil and political rights”.

Khrushchev was furious but there are conflicting reports as to what happened next. Some eye witnesses suggested he removed a shoe and pounded the table with it but apart from one clearly doctored photograph, there is no real evidence to support an alleged incident that is commonly held as a ‘fact’.

Matt Harris

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