What is the approximate translation into English of "Haferlschuh" and what are the shoe's defining characteristics?
The raised and overhanging toe part, called: "˜Schiffchen' (little boat) and the raised heel.
The shoe was designed for mountain-walking (not climbing), for example driving your cow herd
to high-lying pastures. The toe was to prevent the foot becoming wedged while going downhill,
while the raised heel gave support while going uphill.
The entire shoe was modelled on the hoof of the chamois.
The shoe became fashionable in the 1920s/30s. That's when English tourists coined
the name: 'Haferl' comes from the English 'half shoe' (as opposed to boots).
There is a pair of Haferl-shoes in the Offenburg Shoe-Museum,
which was made for Marlene Dietrich while holidaying in the Salzburg region.
Of course, what was once a utility shoe for mountain farmers and hunters
has these days, become an accessory for beer festivals.