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The story of the Aurland shoe


The shoemaker's craft has long traditions in Aurland, and the history of the legendary Aurland shoe stretches back in time.

The shoemaker tradition in idyllic Aurland has roots dating back to the 1880s. Where it is claimed that the British Salmon Words who then came to Aurland to fish, needed help to have their shoes repaired, and for that reason have been an important reason for the flourishing of the shoemaker profession in Aurland. One of the Salmon Words - Lord Buxton - is said to have come to the shoemakers in Aurland, and asked for a shoe that was both comfortable to wear, but which was also elegant enough to wear in the hotel he stayed in. We have therefore chosen to name our updated model after him, namely «Buxton».

The moccasin - inspired by the Indians

The originator behind the legendary Aurland shoe was Nils Tveranger, who in the early twenties went to the USA and trained as a shoemaker. It is claimed that he found inspiration from the Native American moccasins of the Iroquois people, at the same time as he was inspired by the Thesis shoes of the "indigenous people of Norway". These two sources of inspiration were probably used when Tveranger established itself as a shoemaker in Aurland, and developed the first edition of the Aurland shoe, which at the time had laces and islands, and went by the name "National shoes".


Nils Tveranger - the first Aurland shoe

Although the 1930s were marked by economic downturns, there was optimism in Aurland. Nils Tveranger developed the Aurlands moccasin, which had similarities to the Norwegian Thesis shoe, and which was later named the Aurland shoe. It was highly sought after in the decades after World War II, and was exported to Britain, Canada and the United States, at the same time as it became very popular in Svalbard.

Hard times and downturn
Towards the end of the 1960s, times became harder for the shoe industry in Norway. Increased competition led to the closure of shoe factories throughout the country, which also affected shoe production in Aurland. From a time with as many as 19 shoe factories and 100 employees, there were few factories left in a short time. One who tried to continue the tradition was Ansgar Wangen, together with his wife Eldbjørg and son Svein Odar. Since 1989, Aurland shoe factory has been the only manufacturer of the Aurland shoe.

Aurlandskoen today
Today, there is a trend to preserve heritage and traditions, which also applies to the traditional Aurland shoe. Aurland shoe factory collaborates with well-known Norwegian designers and fashion houses for the development of new collections, which will bring our heritage forward. The small factory deep in the Sognefjord, today produces more than just shoes, such as bags and other additional products.

The Aurland shoe, which was the original "penny loafer", is enlightened among the population and is an important part of our cultural heritage.