Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Minnetonka Moccasins

Minnetonka Women's Moosehide driving moc

I am obsessed with Minnetonka moccasins. Obsessed, I tell you. This burning love crept up slowly over a few years, and has developed into a long lasting relationship.

It all started back in 2006, when a very nice man, who worked next door to the idiot boy I was then dating, invited me to his office to have a squint at the shoes he imported from the US to the UK.

Being a fashion editor an’all, I was intrigued. In the small room were multiple shelves of moccasins. So far, so whatever.

Then I tried on the Moosehide Driving Mocs. Instant convert. The super thick cushioned inner sole is marshmallow soft; they were definitively the most comfortable shoe I had ever worn. (One of the reasons that they are so comfy is that traditional moccasins, unlike normal shoes, have their sides and sole constructed from one piece of leather which is then sewn to the upper, and which allows the shoe to flex and shape itself to your foot.)

The very nice man generously gifted me two pairs, the marshmallow-y driving shoes and a pair of classic beaded Thunderbirds, but I was busy being a high heel wearing fashion editor and, when I moved to New York a few months later, there just wasn't much call for flat shoes in my life.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year just after I left my US magazine. Running around on assignment in New York and driving nearly 5000 miles around California, I needed comfortable everyday shoes. I dug out both pairs and I've pretty much worn them to the exclusion of anything else. It doesn't hurt that they suddenly look right with everything from bare legs & shorts to skirts & opaque tights.

Minnetonka Thunderbird LLG
(My feet in Santa Barbara back in April)

They also make those suede moccasin boots that are always being photographed on Kate Moss et al. (Minnetonkas are the ur-moccasins in the American commercial market: they've been making them since 1946.)

UK: (official website, every style available)
US: Net a Porter (ankle & knee boots only)
Zappos (Neither style pictured above but a pretty wide selection nonetheless) (very wide selection including the ones above)

They are substantially cheaper in the US, but I don't advise UK purchasers to order them from US websites: by the time customs, taxes & postage are paid, the difference often evaporates.