Another great fall Quoddy is back in stock. These, in a classic combination of dark brown “Rowdy” cowhide and brick Vibram soles, are distinctive and sharp. Wear these casually with a t-shirt and jeans or a tweed jacket for a dressier look. You won’t have to fuss over these durable and comfortable shoes. They’ll be a stand-by from the moment you first put them on.
These mocs are the ultimate in casual comfort and feature handsewn moccasin construction with padded deerskin insoles and arch supports on lightweight and flexible rubber camp soles. They’re best worn barefoot.
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Brown Chromexcel, Charcoal Camp Soles
We can’t saw for a fact that these boots take their name from Grizzly Adams, but we can easily imagine the big guy wearing a pair. Nonetheless the Quoddy Grizzly boot is an excellent boot to keep your feet warm and cozy. These boots like all Quoddy’s are handsewn moccasin constructed made with Horween Chromexcel leather. Our Grizzly’s are fully lined in sheepskin with crepe wrapped soles. They’re incredibly light, soft and warm, ideal for stalking the urban wilderness.
Quoddy Grizzly Boot in Brown Chromexcel, Sheepskin Lined with Crepe Wrap Soles
“What’s a moccasin?” It’s a type of shoe construction, not a style or design statement. Simply put, handsewn moccasin construction surrounds your foot in leather. It enables the shoe to conform to your foot naturally. Quoddy footwear is made with very few pieces of leather that are sewn together by hand there are no glue, staples, plastic molding, or other more “advanced” processes involved. Quoddy shoes are fully leather lined and adapt to your foot, rather than the other way around. These shoes are incredibly comfortable, and a classic American casual.
Canoe Moccasin in Horween Black Chromexcel Leather
Quoddy harkens back to the time when hand-made was the norm, when output was measured in dozens, not thousands. At Quoddy, one person handsews your shoes at their bench – the quality of that pair is a testament to the individual skill that went into making them.
Masleet Blucher in Horween Navy Chromexcel Leather
The Americana shoe trend couldn’t have come at a better time for Quoddy.
Now in its 100th year, the U.S.-made moccasin company is experiencing a renaissance with its handmade styles (which also include lace-up boots, boat shoes and oxfords, in addition to the classic moc). In fact, the company has recently added several retail accounts (i.e. Leffot) and has seen a boost in sales of about 100 percent for the year.
“We’ve had a lot of fortitude to keep going for that many years through thick and thin,” said John Andreliunas, president of the Perry, Maine-based brand.
Quoddy takes its name from Maine’s Passamaquoddy native tribe, which was known for crafting canoes, baskets and especially moccasins. Harry Smith Shorey, a handsewer for L.L. Bean, founded the company in 1909 to produce shoes with the same techniques “” using a full leather wrap around the foot, stitched together by hand.
Our New Quoddy Masleet Oxford, Horween Navy Chromexcel on Red Brick Soles
Over the years, though, the company has changed hands several times. R.G. Barry purchased it in 1971 as part of an effort to diversify, and it expanded Quoddy’s retail locations. But after financial problems in the early 1980s, R.G. Barry sold it to Wolverine World Wide in 1983. Then in 1987, Dunham bought 15 of its stores, as well as domestic and certain international rights. Despite some success in Japan in the 1990s, Quoddy saw a steady decline.
“The brand had basically gone fallow,” said Andreliunas. “The last company that owned it had virtually abandoned it.”
100% Moccasin Constructed Hand Sewn Shoes, No Cement or Glue Used
In 1998, Kevin Shorey, a descendant of the founder, acquired the struggling brand. And over the last decade, Shorey has worked to bring the company back to its original mission of manufacturing traditional, handsewn shoes. (Standalone retail locations are no longer a focus.)
“[We’ve] fallen under different brands over the years, but it started with moccasin footwear, and it’s been the same ever since,” said Andreliunas. “And there are a lot of great companies in Maine, such as L.L. Bean, that have given “˜made in Maine’ a special connotation.
“It may seem like a liability to be made in Maine, but it has become a real advantage. It differentiates us from so many other companies that have gone that other route [abroad].”
More Quoddy Styles Coming Soon to Leffot
No matter how popular the brand becomes, Andreliunas said Quoddy is still a small company in terms of revenue, and will have to grow slowly. With a business model established around handwork, and with only about a dozen craftsmen, the wait time for the $200-to-$400 shoes is generally eight weeks.
Though no big celebrations have been planned for Quoddy’s golden anniversary, the company is happy with its evolution over the years “” and where it is headed.
“The one thing I’m confident in is that [we] are delivering quality, and it’s not a passing thing,” said Andreliunas. “The business advantages, responsiveness and uniqueness [we offer] will become part of the overall market as we go forward.”
* From Footwear News Issue 11/16/2009; Quoddy Marks 100th Anniversary, by Jocelyn Anderson