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Featured article from: Issue #2, 2016

SOUVENIR: Nokia Rubber Boots

The wellie means one thing for a Finn: the black Nokian Kontio rubber boot.

SOUVENIR: Nokia Rubber Boots

Bruin's wellies

Nokia? Nokia Tyres? Nokia phones? Yes, the sturdy Finnish rubber boots are of the same origin as the tyres and mobile phones.

In 1898 the Suomen Gummitehdas (Finnish Gum Factory Ltd) was founded to produce galoshes. Soon the company expanded and moved from Helsinki to Nokia after larger expanses. At the same time the name was changed to a less of a mouthful, and as time has proven, a very international one, the company became Nokia.

Yet, another 75 years had to be waited for the classic to be born. The first pair of Kontio saw the light of the day in 1973, after which more than four million pairs have been sold.

Kontio is one of the secret names of the bear, such as the king of the forest and the golden apple. The bear is a strong and steady strider, it is the king after all. The Kontio is water proof, has a rigid body, the heel provides for comfort in rough terrain, the inner sole doesn’t budge too much and most of all: the outer sole holds on like a winter tyre, while it doesn’t gather mud.

The Kontio was made for men originally but that hasn’t kept women from using the boot.

Every household has at least one pair of Kontio’s. They are needed in bear’s work: in fishing, in the forest while picking mushrooms or wandering in the cloudberry swamps up north.

The Nokian Jalkine Kontio Classics rubber boots are available in most shoe shops. The original colour is black. Sizes range from 34 to 50. The price is around 50 euros. The weight is 2 kilograms.