We speak to one of the minds behind New England Outerwear about why the moccasin is the casual shoe you need - not just this summer, but every summer to come.
Few styles of shoe have the history or heritage that the moccasin has. One of the oldest footwear designs still in use today, the moccasin’s roots lie in the leather footwear used by the indigenous people of North America, and was later adopted by European settlers, leading to its eventual adoption in Europe. This season we’re very pleased to be partnering with New England Outerwear to offer their Four Eye Cataumet Moccasin; one of the most beautiful and authentic takes on this iconic shoe.
True moccasin construction is unique in that it is the only shoe construction technique which sees the leather upper completely cover the foot, including the sole. This creates essentially a sock for the foot; molding to it’s shape over time and improving with wear. “This specific shoe is steeped in history” says New England Outerwear’s Dan Heselton of the Four Eye Cataumet Moccasin. “It’s going all the way back to the 1930s, when companies began offering a more dressed-up take on a Maine staple, the moccasin.” New England Outerwear are one of the only makers in the world who cut using their own cutting dies. “Ours is completely designed, developed, and created by us. We made this pattern from start to finish, and it’s fitted to the last extremely well. Our lasts are actually modeled from a 1940s handsewn last we happened to find in a basement of an old factory in Lewiston, Maine.” The eye stays Dan uses are also unique to his design. Cut at a 90-degree angle, they keep the shoe’s lacing more evenly spaced and help keep the fit snug whilst avoiding any distortion.
“Aside from being one of the most iconic styles ever”, says Dan, “this shoe is extremely versatile. It's often worn very casually, but it’s smart enough to be a mid-level dress shoe for nights out or low key meetings. It's unique enough that not every other person in the room will be wearing it and it captures a great sense of nostalgia.”