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The Timeless Aurland Shoe: “The Original Pennyloafer”


Aurlandskoen is known for its iconic (and original) penny loafer design. This shoe style has a rich history dating back to 1926 and shoemaker Nils Tveranger. He received his training in the USA and was inspired by the indigenous moccasins, to create a comfortable and stylish shoe suitable for both formal and informal occasions.

The characteristic feature of the shoe is the small "pocket" that goes over the top of the shoe, originally with a Norwegian 10-øring inside, for important phone calls or the bus home after a long evening.

Aurland Skofabrikk, the oldest shoe factory in Norway, continues to produce these original "penny loafers", maintaining traditions and craftsmanship that have been passed down through generations. Each pair of Aurlandsko is a testament to the quality and timeless appeal of these classics.

In this article, we delve a little deeper into the heritage of Aurlandskoen, and how you can explore this heritage today!

The Roots of the Craft

In the charming village of Aurland, where the spectacular Sognefjord is formed, we meet a rich history stitched together by leather, tradition and time. This is the story of the Aurlandskoen, the original penny loafer.

Aurlandskoen's pedigree goes back to the 1880s when the village's shoemaking adventure began. But it was Nils Tveranger, a shoemaker who trained in the United States in the early 1920s, who created what would become the iconic shoe. Inspired by the indigenous people's moccasins, Tveranger developed a sleek, classic design that quickly became popular.

After the end of the Second World War, the demand for these practical shoes was also great internationally. The Aurland shoe came into vogue in Great Britain, Canada and the United States, with the term "penny loafer" appearing in many fashionistas ' vocabularies.

Fun fact : in the US today, people still refer to penny loafers as "Weejuns", a term that comes from the former nickname "Norwegians".

The shoe from Aurland has not only left a strong mark on Norwegian heritage, but has also garnered international recognition. The elegant design has inspired designers all over the world and has characterized several fashion collections, symbolizing a mixture of comfort, style and history.

Heritage meets modernity

In recent years, the world has gone back to putting a spotlight on old traditions and their protection, and as a result, Aurlandskoen has gone through a revival. The shoe continues to be an important part of our cultural heritage. The 10-øring, even though the coin is no longer in use (or production) in Norway, is still worn as an important part of the shoe.

Visitors to Western Norway have the opportunity to explore the last shoe factory in Aurland, just a short drive from the famous Flåmsbana.

In modern times, Aurland Skofabrikk has not stuck exclusively to the classics. Together with well-known Norwegian designers and fashion houses, the factory breathes new life into collections that take our heritage forward into modern waters.

While the simple elegance of Aurlandskoen as a loafer - without laces or zips - is being embraced, the factory's scope now extends to popular bags and other leather goods, all of which reflect the quality and tradition of their famous shoes. Aurlands also makes bunad shoes.

Explore further

Aurland Skofabrikk offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about the craftsmanship behind the iconic shoe. The factory is located on the pier in Aurland, and provides insight into the detailed process of making penny loafers and the history of the shoe factory along the fjord.

In addition, the factory has been recognized as an Economusée , a working museum dedicated to preserving traditional crafts and practices.

For those interested in owning a part of this rich heritage, the Aurland shoe is available in several different styles and colors to suit all occasions. Whether you gravitate towards the classic black Wang or the more colorful options, each pair promises the same high quality and craftsmanship that has been maintained for nearly a century.

For all loafer lovers and cultural heritage enthusiasts, a trip to the Aurland shoe factory is more than a visit – it's a pilgrimage into the heart of Norwegian craftsmanship.

There you will witness the enduring allure of the original penny loafer, a shoe that is as much at home on today's catwalks as it was on the country roads of the past.

Keeping the legacy alive

The Aurland shoe's influence and adaptability are part of the history sewn into every seam of the shoe. When you wear a pair of Aurland shoes, you are wearing a seamless blend of history and elegance.

In short, Aurlandskoen represents more than just footwear; it is a piece of cultural history, and it is the spirit of innovation, tradition and craftsmanship that has propelled this Norwegian icon onto the world stage.


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