Valenki are traditional Russian winter footwear, made of wool felt and often worn for walking on dry snow during frosty weather. Valenki were once the popular choice of footwear for many Russians, but in the second half of the 20th century they lost most of their appeal in cities, due to their association with rustic dress.
Valenki boots wear out most quickly from the bottom and are often soled with leather or other durable material to prevent this. In order to protect them from getting wet – they use a rubber sole, there are alternatives with glue-sewn and molded soles. The first prototype was found by archaologists in the Altai Mountains of Siberia dating as far back as 4 BC.