Postoly (morshni, khodaky) also known as Hutusl slippers – was a type of footwear, common in Ukraine in the early twentieth century, made of a single piece of thick but soft, cow or pigskin rawhide. Depending on the configuration of the toe box and the method of levying, such footwear was divided into several types.
In the Hutsul land postoly were worn over ‘onuchi’ – a special kind of socks. The shoes were made either exclusively from leather (without wool) , these were called ‘vyrobyaky’, or from raw leather and wool, called ‘syrivtsi’. Hutsul slippers were either puckered on both sides, in which case each shoe could fit either foot (right and left), or puckered just on one side, with a distinction between the left and the right.
Postoly had a typical feature – a, more or less, curled up ‘nose’ and holes, into which one would place leather straps or woolen laces for tying the shoes. The straps or laces were wound around the ankle several times; for men - over the trousers.
In Hutsulshchyna postoly were worn both in the summer and the winter. In the winter time one would wear a ‘napersnytsia’ – a soft woolen ‘onucha’ (sock), then a ‘poverkhnytsia’ – a thick rough woolen sock, on top of it all yet another one – big, slightly damp woolen sock, and only then the postoly. The top sock, being slightly damp would freeze instantly, providing great thermo protection.
Photo source: www.hutsul.museum, pinterest.com