Let's be honest, there is only one thing worse in winter than cold feet – wet, cold feet! Those wanting to keep their tootsies warm and dry throughout the cold months of the year should invest in a pair of "Doggln" such as the ones produced by the Hartl family in the village of Stumm in the Zillertal Valley.
"Doggln" are hard-wearing slippers with a rubber sole which residents of the the Zillertal Valley have worn for many centuries not only at home but also out and about on the farm. In fact, the Hartl family has now even come up with a special model designed to be used in the snow – the ideal footwear for a day of toboggan fun with all the family.
The upper comprises several layers of pure broadcloth, a hard-wearing woollen material which is both water-resistand and breathable, to keep the feet warm and ventilated. Over the course of time, this material moulds itself to the shape of the wearer's foot. The top layer is made of Loden and often decorated with stitching, names, colours, etc.
The luxury of simplicity
Doggln were originally the result of recycling or upcycling (long before either of these words were used as they are today). Old pieces of used cloth from worn-out clothing such as trousers and jackets would be mixed together with a paste made from rye flour and water to create this footwear typical of the Zillertal Valley. The modern technique for making Doggln has changed very little. In fact, the main difference is that these robust slippers, which were born out of a need to provide cheap and durable footwear in a poor farming region, are today in our globalised age of mass industry considered luxury items to be admired and cherished.