On the Street. Street Credible HAI Rubber Boots, Vallila, Helsinki.

Street Credible Hai Rubber Boots. Hai-saappaat.

I spotted this lady in Vallila Emmaus Thrift Store. It was a refreshing change to see some colour, when the majority of the people in Helsinki dress in dark shades. In her feet she had the very street credible bright yellow Hai rubber boots.

It’s nice that in these days of globalization, when almost same products can be found in every big city around the world, there is still some islands of national style icons. Finland one such iconic piece of clothing is HAI rubber boots (HAI-saappaat) made by Nokian Footwear. Designed in 1967 by architect Esko Lahesmaa the model has stayed true to the original design ever since.

Lahesmaa was challenged to design a rubber boot that would be perfect for boating. As a sailor himself he knew the properties that a rubber boot should have in sailing circumstances. Quick-drying polyester lining, firm grip of the outsole (ideal for yachting), light-coloured rubber outsole leaves no traces to the deck of a boat. Low and wide stem makes it easy to move around the boat and – if knocked overboard – allow easily get rid of the boots.

The name of the boot came after a certain boat model called Hai, which Lahesmaa had sailed a lot of his youth. Hai means Shark in english.

If you want to try out Instagram photos for tag #haisaappaat you will notice the huge love that Finns feel about HAI rubber boots.

Now I’d like to know if you have some similar style icon in your country. Like HAI rubber boots are in Finland. Time after time super popular item and not necessarily very well known abroad. Share your ideas on comment box below.

Links and sources:
Nokian Footwear, since 1898, story
Hai rubber boots
Hai-saapas, Wikipedia
Hai (keelboat),Wikipedia

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