Our understanding of Viking-era clothing is incomplete, much like many other facets of its material culture. Few pictures and scant textual accounts of the Vikings' clothing have survived. The evidence from archaeology is fragmentary and scant. As a result, after reviewing the facts, many researchers reach diverse conclusions.
In northern Europe, all Germanic peoples dressed similarly. While there were some variances, overall, the Viking Age and the Viking territories had surprisingly uniform clothes.
To gather the surplus fabric of their baggy pants, some Germanic people (including the Saxons and the Franks) are reported to have worn puttee like leg wrappings that extended from the knee to the foot. There is little evidence for their usage in western Norse territory, but there is more evidence from eastern Norse areas.
Shoes were often constructed simply utilizing the turnshoe method. With the completed side in (blue) and the rough side out (red), the uppers were sewed to the sole (upper drawing to the right) (red). The footwear was then turned inside out. This placed the seam within the shoe, where it was less likely to wear (see bottom drawing to the right). Additionally, it concealed the stitching-related holes inside the shoe, reducing the likelihood that the shoe would leak on damp ground.
To gather the surplus fabric of their baggy pants, some Germanic people (including the Saxons and the Franks) are reported to have worn puttee-like leg wrappings that extended from the knee to the foot. There is little evidence for their usage in western Norse territory, but there is more evidence from eastern Norse areas.
The stitching is placed on the inside after the heavier sole is stitched to the lighter uppers. It could seem unpleasant to have the seam on the inside, but it isn't. The seam doesn't contact the foot and is out of the way.
The average lifespan of shoes during the Viking era was probably only a few months to half a year before they needed to be changed. As a result, worn-out shoes are a frequent discovery in Viking-era garbage dumps. The apparent wear in the sole of the imitation shoes to the right indicates that they are nearing the end of their useful life.
Numerous complete examples of numerous distinct shoe types have been discovered in areas where leather endures well. The right-hand picture depicts a variety of shoe designs from the Viking-age trading center of Hedeby.
Although a few specimens of taller boots have been discovered, the majority of shoes were ankle height. In-use shoe fasteners occasionally malfunctioned. As he sprinted into an ambush, Skarpheinn Njálsson's shoe lace (skóvengr) snapped, requiring him to halt and fix it. Shoe laces were routed through the upper of the shoe to avoid putting pressure on sensitive areas of the foot. As a result, the lace ran below the ankle bone on the sides, and above the heel in the back.