Central Asian countries take pride in their traditional footwear, and rightfully so because these shoes are so ornate, decorative, and comfy. Most people around the world know little to nothing about the folk costume of Tajikistan, including Tajik traditional shoes. It’s time to fix this, as Tajik folk footwear looks really unusual and curious. Here are the 3 most popular and offbeat Tajik folk shoes for any occasion.
Makhsi moccasins – soft inner shoes made from fine thin leather. They are always worn outside the house with leather overshoes called “kavush” or “kolosh” to protect the leather from dirt and moisture, and also because the sole is too soft for the harsh terrain. This footwear is among the most common Tajik shoes, used every day for chores. But the design of makhsi is diverse – there are even high-heeled makhsi boots for a more festive occasion. Winter makhsi have a layer of sheepskin inside for warmth.
Female makhsi boots
Ichigi boots – extremely durable high leather boots. They are typically made from goat skin. These shoes are comfortable and durable, which makes the local men and women favor them over other footwear. Ichigi boots can be simple and unadorned when they’re made for work, but festive ichigi look lovely, embellished with embroidery, colorful applique, painted patterns, etc. They can be really vivid and bright. Sometimes, ichigi are made from soft leather and worn with leather overshoes, just like makhsi moccasins.
Male ichigi worn with kolosh overshoes
Kafshi chubin – elaborate wooden clogs on 3 legs. These shoes were traditionally used by Tajik villagers for everyday chores, but they look rather unique and extraordinary. They are made fully from wood, the toes are up-turned (which is typical for Asian folk shoes), and the sole has not one but three sort of heels – 1 at the back and 2 at the front of the foot. This is made to raise the feet above the dirt and to let people travel the mountainous paths easier. The kafshi chubin shoes are something in between the Scandinavian clogs and Lebanese kabkabs. Very extravagant folk footwear. These shoes could be worn over woolen stockings, bare feet, or soft leather boots.
Wooden kafshi chubin shoes