I was an odd child. All through grade school, my favorite ensemble consisted of denim overalls, a T-shirt and cowboy boots – or moccasins. We were, after all, living next to a Cherokee reservation.
It is truly a miracle that I reproduced.
During the last two years I’ve experienced a retrograde in the way I dress. No matter the occasion, I wear carpenter’s jeans, a T-shirt and moccasin boots or shoes. Of these three fashion accoutrements, the moccasins are the most interesting and endearing.
They are, in essence, the equivalent of hand tools for your feet.
For years, I’ve worn all manner of hard-soled boots at work and play. My favorites – Gokey snake-proof boots I’ve owned for nearly 20 years, protected me from all sorts of nastiness. But protection comes at a price. I can wear these boots for only short periods.
As I’ve slipped back into my grade-school ways, I’ve rediscovered moccasins and moccasin boots. These are the only shoes that I regret removing at the end of the day. Like hand tools, these shoes transmit every detail of the ground I’m covering – instead of homogenizing it.
They mold to the shape of my feet, instead of twisting my toes to their shape.
Also a bonus: Many of these boots are stitched by hand, are re-soleable (a money-saving miracle) and are definitely not disposable footwear.
There are lots of shoe-makers out there who can provide you with boots that will ease your long days in the shop. I have become fond of Quoddy boots, which are made in Maine. They are expensive, but I can guarantee you that they are worth every penny. I saved for many months to buy Grizzly Boots from Quoddy and have beaten them into the ground. I’ve stomped all over the Western world. I’ve stood on my feet all day in them and regretted removing them at the end of the day. I’ve kept them oiled so that they last as long as their owner.
— Christopher Schwarz