Pampooties are rawhide shoes, which were formerly made and worn on the Aran Islands of County Galway, Ireland.


They are formed of a single piece of untanned hide folded around the foot and stitched with twine or a leather strap.[1]

Hide from the buttocks was most often used. The hair was usually left and this improved the shoe's grip.[2] The raw hide is kept flexible by use and the constant damp conditions of Western Ireland. However the shoes are not made to last. They are prone to rot and were usually kept for as little as a month or less.[3]

Pampooties are similar to the Scottish cuaran shoes, and are the precursors to ghillies, Celtic dance shoes. They are also similar in appearance to American moccasins.[2] Ancient shoes found preserved from Stone Age Europe have a similar design.[4]

The name "pampootie" is of unclear origin; it may be related to Turkish papoosh, a kind of slipper. The Aran Islanders simply called them brógaí úrleathair, "shoes of undressed leather."[5][6]


  1. ^ "Pampootie". Thinkquest. Archived from the original on 2011-02-27. Retrieved 2010-10-27. This is probably the earliest type of footwear made from a single piece of rawhide folded around the foot. It was stitched with twine or leather thong. The shoe was cut so the hair lay with the roots toward the heel and the ends at the toe to help grip the ground.
  2. ^ a b "Pampooties". Appin Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-10-27. "Pampooties" or "cuarans" were made from the raw skin of a freshly killed deer or stag, whilst the skin was still soft. The hair was retained on the outer side, perhaps to aid in traction, as it is usually found laying towards the rear or heel-end of the shoe. Once flayed, the wearer-to-be placed his feet upon the skin, on the flesh side, traced round with a knife, cut a series of slits around the edges, and laced the whole affair, draw-string like, up around the foot. Both wear and ever-present sodden state of the walking surfaces maintained the "pampootie" in a semi-flexible condition.
  3. ^ Lucas, AT (1956). "Footwear in Ireland". County Louth Archaeological Journal. 13 (4): 309–394. doi:10.2307/27728900. JSTOR 27728900. quoted in Pinhasi, R; Gasparian, B; Areshian, G; et al. (2010). "First direct evidence of chalcolithic footwear from the near eastern highlands". PLOS ONE. 5 (6): e10984. Bibcode:2010PLoSO...510984P. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010984. PMC 2882957. PMID 20543959.
  4. ^ "5,500-year leather mocassin world's oldest shoe". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 'the shoe is very similar to the 'pampooties' worn on the Aran Islands (in the west of Ireland) up to the 1950s,' said Pinhasi.
  5. ^ Stitches In Time: exhibition of traditional clothing on Inis Oírr
  6. ^ "Definition of PAMPOOTIE".