Hobbit Socks

Shire-Dwellers and other Middle-earth rarities.

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jbook
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Hobbit Socks

Post by jbook »

I was recently working on revamping my Hobbit kit and writing an essay on my kit and the items I use. It is my belief that Hobbits traveling outside of the Shire would wear boots. I believe the Professor even mentioned that he intended for the Hobbits of the Fellowship to wear them while on their adventure. While searching through Fellowship for any and all references to hobbit clothing and accoutrements I stumbled across a possible reference to Hobbit socks!

"...his chief treasure, his cooking gear; and the little box of salt that he always carried and refilled when he could; a good supply of pipe-weed (but not near enough, I'll warrant); flint and tinder; woollen hose: linen; various small belongings of his master's that Frodo had forgotten and Sam had stowed to bring them out in triumph when they were called for. He went through them all."

These woollen-hose I imagine would be similar to "bag" hose, pieces of cloth sewn together in sort of boot sock. I'll post pictures of my pair of bag hose soon. Thoughts?
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Straelbora »

jbook wrote:I was recently working on revamping my Hobbit kit and writing an essay on my kit and the items I use. It is my belief that Hobbits traveling outside of the Shire would wear boots. I believe the Professor even mentioned that he intended for the Hobbits of the Fellowship to wear them while on their adventure. While searching through Fellowship for any and all references to hobbit clothing and accoutrements I stumbled across a possible reference to Hobbit socks!

"...his chief treasure, his cooking gear; and the little box of salt that he always carried and refilled when he could; a good supply of pipe-weed (but not near enough, I'll warrant); flint and tinder; woollen hose: linen; various small belongings of his master's that Frodo had forgotten and Sam had stowed to bring them out in triumph when they were called for. He went through them all."

These woollen-hose I imagine would be similar to "bag" hose, pieces of cloth sewn together in sort of boot sock. I'll post pictures of my pair of bag hose soon. Thoughts?
I remember boots being mentioned somewhere, too. As to woolen hose; they could be footless, like thermal underwear, or with feet. It's interesting that what we call socks are called 'medias' in Spanish- 'halfs,' as in 'half-stockings.'
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Kortoso
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Kortoso »

When I read "hose" I think of High Medieval hosen and braies, the former drawn over the latter and secured at the waist.
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by jbook »

Keep in mind that Tolkien imagined the Hobbits as Victorian era English Country folk.
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Straelbora »

jbook wrote:Keep in mind that Tolkien imagined the Hobbits as Victorian era English Country folk.
However, the barefoot aspect of Hobbits is said to come from a friend (roommate?) he had from Kentucky, who regaled him with tales of barefoot hillbilly cousins.
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Ringulf
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Ringulf »

There is a cosmetic item that is used as a trophy furniture item in LOTRO. It is a little pedestal with a pair of wide, short boots on it that are titled simply "Stoor Boots" as rare as hens teeth.
It is said that the Stoors, more than any other Hobbits, were said to wear boots and that more often.
Just as humans put on gloves for harsh weather or extremely tough going, Hobbits were said to have used shoes and boots occasionally. If you think about what they may feel like to them, think about what thick, non flexible leather gloves might feel like on your hands. (more so if your hands were rather caloused and tufted with fur) :wink:
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Greg »

Bear in mind that the term 'hose' has evolved over the course of time, to an extent. The reference in Sam's backpack would certainly not be a reference to high medieval 'chausses', but something far closer to colonial, which, in my mind, does quite strongly suggest at boots.

The trick is that, in one of his letters, Tolkien mentioned that he "forgot" to give the hobbits boots...can't recall if that was supposed to happen in the Shire or at Rivendell, but either way, there is a mention in the prologue of FOTR of hobbits wearing dwarven boots in muddy weather. If they booted up to keep mud out of their foot hair, they certainly would have for long travel.

Ringulf, it's nice to know that the makers of LOTRO threw in little bits like that. Makes it feel more like true tolkien fans made the game, rather than just a bunch of movie-fan programmers.
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by wulfgar »

If I recall correctly Tolkien also never described Hobbits as having huge feet. He just states in "Concerning Hobbits" that their feet have "tough leathery soles, and were clad in thick curling hair, much like the hair of their heads, which was commonly brown". Te big feet I think come from the Bakshi cartoons, and just went from there. My point being, if they had feet that were not out of proportion then shoes and boots would be more readily available from other races. Plus it makes it more acceptable for us tenderfoots to wear shoes as a Hobbit.
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by jbook »

Yes, in fact I think in Tolkien's original illustrations, Bilbo's feet are fairly proportionate to his size. Once I'm near my computer I'll post that image. (Posting from my phone)
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Ringulf »

Greg wrote:Bear in mind that the term 'hose' has evolved over the course of time, to an extent. The reference in Sam's backpack would certainly not be a reference to high medieval 'chausses', but something far closer to colonial, which, in my mind, does quite strongly suggest at boots.

The trick is that, in one of his letters, Tolkien mentioned that he "forgot" to give the hobbits boots...can't recall if that was supposed to happen in the Shire or at Rivendell, but either way, there is a mention in the prologue of FOTR of hobbits wearing dwarven boots in muddy weather. If they booted up to keep mud out of their foot hair, they certainly would have for long travel.

Ringulf, it's nice to know that the makers of LOTRO threw in little bits like that. Makes it feel more like true tolkien fans made the game, rather than just a bunch of movie-fan programmers.
There are many of those little surprises in the game Greg and it warms my heart whenever I play it. They are also very good at maintaining the original storyline even if they add copious amounts of peripheral filler for adventure sake. I love the fact that when I first started exploring the game I had a distinct advantage of going where I wanted just because I knew Tolkiens maps! :mrgreen:
I am Ringulf the Dwarven Ranger, I craft leather, wood, metal, and clay,
I throw axes, seaxes, and pointy sticks, And I fire my bow through the day.
Come be my ally, lift up your mead! We'll search out our foes and the Eagles we'll feed! :mrgreen:
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Ringulf »

wulfgar wrote:If I recall correctly Tolkien also never described Hobbits as having huge feet. He just states in "Concerning Hobbits" that their feet have "tough leathery soles, and were clad in thick curling hair, much like the hair of their heads, which was commonly brown". Te big feet I think come from the Bakshi cartoons, and just went from there. My point being, if they had feet that were not out of proportion then shoes and boots would be more readily available from other races. Plus it makes it more acceptable for us tenderfoots to wear shoes as a Hobbit.
I have been meaning to try two methods of making Hobbit Feet" for those who might wish to explore that type of persona without having to resort to the five toe type sneakers. (not that there is anything wrong with them)
The first is a barefoot sandle type "foot glove" that I saw online that leaves the toes exposed to grip the ground but protects somewhat the soles.

Image

The other is the use of a Larp technique using a seperate toe sock and plastadip, flexseal (for the sole) and fur to give a very realistic looking foot all the way up to were the knickers would come down. Nails can be made of plastic or "press on" false nails but they might be a bit small for toenails. :mrgreen:
Both methods would give a more realistic preportion and give a bit of warmth or protection. the Sandle ones lace up the bridge of the foot but leave enough room to put a pad of fur inder the lacings for realism.
Last edited by Ringulf on Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
I am Ringulf the Dwarven Ranger, I craft leather, wood, metal, and clay,
I throw axes, seaxes, and pointy sticks, And I fire my bow through the day.
Come be my ally, lift up your mead! We'll search out our foes and the Eagles we'll feed! :mrgreen:
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Udwin »

Yes! Stoorish hobbits (and/or those of the Eastfarthing) would wear “dwarf-boots in muddy weather”(FotR 7), and in Letter No.27 Tolkien laments his omission of Bilbo acquiring boots:
"There is in the text no mention of his acquiring of boots. There should be! It has dropped out somehow or other in the various revisions - the bootings occurred at Rivendell; and he was again bootless after leaving Rivendell on the way home. But since leathery soles, and well-brushed furry feet are a feature of essential hobbitness, he ought really to appear unbooted, except in special illustrations of episodes." Letters, p35.
For additional visual proof, look no further than Tolkien’s own depictions here of Bilbo in post-Rivendell episodes of the Quest of Erebor:
And yes, hobbits' feet (while furry) were normally-proportioned:
Attachments
details from ‘Bilbo woke up with the early Sun in his eyes’ , ‘Bilbo comes to the huts of the raft-elves’, and 'The Hall at Bag-End'
details from ‘Bilbo woke up with the early Sun in his eyes’ , ‘Bilbo comes to the huts of the raft-elves’, and 'The Hall at Bag-End'
Bilbo_feet.jpg (77.87 KiB) Viewed 14645 times
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jbook
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by jbook »

Excellent Udwin, thank you!

Also recently uncovered these images of 18th century bag hose. These could easily be made to fit right into the boot. In the images above the boots on Bilbo seem to reach to just above the middle of the thigh. Broadcloth wool sewn up would also proved a nice layer of warmth from the "muddy weather" described by Tolkien.
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10943504_10155000031320538_2010976240_n.jpg (18.03 KiB) Viewed 14639 times
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10947687_10155000031595538_1374126464_n.jpg (21.8 KiB) Viewed 14639 times
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by Aethelfirth »

Bag hose are positively ancient in design. Sewn cloth tends to last longer, be warmer and wear harder than knit hose do. For myself, I couldn't think of anything better for a LOTR impression of just about any kind. I think to a great degree Professor Tolkien based his Shire folk on the late 18th early 19th century styles with some 17th century thrown in. At any rate, cloth sewn hose are, in my opinion, IDEAL!
Slight correction Jake, those are 17th century hose. Probably at one time meant for boot wear considering their slanted cut at the top.
Last edited by Aethelfirth on Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Post by jbook »

Thanks Hunter. I stand corrected. Thought they were 18th c.
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