Moccasins -- Hand Made in America

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For years I had longed to own a pair of hand made custom moccasins. I've gotten by on Minnetonkas, which are very nice, but when I'd see the hand made custom ones, Minnetonkas just didn't compare.

Click Thumbnails

Soft canoe sole moc, side view.
Soft canoe sole moc, frontal view.
Soft canoe sole mocs, rear view.
Street shoe mocs with crepe sole, side view.
Street shoe mocs with crepe sole, frontal view.
Street shoe mocs with crepe sole, rear view.

The day came when my old Minnetonkas were crying out to be replaced. Over the years, I had found that a nice pair of mocs would tend to last around ten years; therefore, I felt justified in spending the extra money needed to get custom mocs. And, being custom, I could choose materials for durability.

I began my hunt online, figuring I'd find the best prices there. A web search for hand made moccasins didn't actually yield many options. I found two places offering approximately what I wanted. One was in Maine, the other in Minnesota. Several large retailers were offering "made in China," but I emphatically did not want Chinese goods. As for the two U.S. manufacturers, they were small, private businesses that were making and selling hand made leather moccassins. There were things about each that I liked and disliked.

The Maine store's mocs were much more costly than any moc I had ever admired before. They were also very beautiful, having deerskin linings and some impressive detailing. As for the Minnesota store, the mocs were more basic, unlined, cost significantly less. Frankly, it was becoming a very difficult decision.

Then it occurred to me to check out a more local place. I often head to Door County because it's close and beautiful -- a tourist wonderland. Though the land- and water-scapes were the original big draws, commercialism soon followed, and many unique businesses call Door County home, among them a moccasin maker. I wondered why this moccasin maker hadn't turned up in my web search. Of course there was the possibility that there was no web site. I searched around, and came upon a web site via a roundabout, trial and error route. It was lacking both a shopping cart and decent search engine optimization, but it had photos and contact information. I contacted. I drove up, hoping to take something home off the shelf. The latter did not work out, as what I really wanted was not available in my size or specifics. I ordered.

I ordered two pairs of deerskin lined bull hide mocs, one with pigskin canoe soles and one with crepe soles, the former to be used around the house and the latter for street shoes. I had them shipped to me upon completion, which took only a day and cost under $7.00. Both pairs are so gorgeous! The price for each was somewhere between the prices for the Maine and Minnesota mocs, but closer to the Minnesota pricing. I could live with that. The detailing isn't quite as fancy as that of the Maine mocs, but I could live with that also.

Fish Creek Moccasin Works - Fish Creek and Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin.


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