Whenever winter comes in Sweden, I wear my Yeti boots. Without fail, I am stopped at least once a day by people asking me where I bought them.
Ironically it was not in a snowy country that I bought them, but in South Africa. Like Ugg boots, they were originally created for surfers to wear on sand, not in snow. But unlike Uggs, they love slush and snow – They take as much as nature throws at them and come up smiling.
They are incredibly warm (South Africa is so cold in winter that you ache and there is no central heating), waterproof and non-slip. Yet the most expensive boots cost a reasonable $126 without beading. Dael will repair every boot for free for the lifetime of the leather.
Here are my two pairs. The ones on the left are about 8 years old and the ones on the right are about three years old. They are worn daily in snow and slush for up to 7 months of each year. The pale ones cost me $72 and the darker ones cost me $108.
So, here come the details:
The boots are made by hand by Dael Lithgow of Yeti Leather. Dael and several families live at Zuvuya – a totally self-sustaining community in the Kwazulu-Natal region of South Africa. The ethos of Yeti Leather is:
Yeti Leather is a community based enterprise where old world techniques are combined with top quality materials. We fashion a product which is an art piece, yet can be used and enjoyed daily. All products in our range are meticulously hand-crafted, every stitch is pulled by a needle, every bead is individually strung. Our off the grid workshop in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal is peaceful and quiet compared to a modern assembly factory.
Yeti Leather is a family business, and when you buy Yeti you invest not only in outstanding quality and comfort, but in South Africa and its people as well. All our products are designed to last, are easy to repair and resole, and come with the unique Yeti workmanship guarantee:
Here is their website
Here is their catalogue
Here is how to place an order (they ship worldwide)
Here are some examples of their wares:
You can choose the colour and shape of the Zulu beadwork you wish to have on your product. The beads are fastened with strong fishing line and they never drop off. In 8 years I have never lost a bead.