A moccasin is a shoe traditionally made of deerskin or other soft leather, consisting of a sole and sides made of one piece of leather, stitched together at the top, and sometimes with a vamp (additional panel of leather). The sole is soft and flexible and the upper part often is adorned with embroidery or beading, et cetera. Historically, it is the footwear of many Native American tribes; moreover, hunters, traders, and European settlers wore them. Etymologically, the moccasin derives from the Algonquian language Powhatan word makasin and from the Proto-Algonquian word maxkeseni.
Moccasins protect the foot while allowing the wearer to feel the ground. The Plains Indians wore hard-sole moccasins, given that their territorial geography featured rock and cacti. The eastern Indian tribes wore soft-sole moccasins, for walking in leaf-covered forest ground. Moccasins were usually all brown, the same color.
Today, moccasins usually are part of a Native American regalia, e.g. a powwow suit of clothes. The most common style is that of the Plains Indian moccasin. In New Zealand and Australia sheep shearers' moccasins are constructed of a synthetic, cream-coloured felt, with a back seam and gathered at the top of the rounded toe. These moccasins are laced in the front, and the lacing is covered with a flap fastened with a buckle at the shoe's outer side. The fastener arrangement prevents the shearer's handpiece comb from catching in the laces. Shearers' moccasins protect the feet, grip wooden floors well, and absorb sweat.
The moccasin shoe has resurged as a popular form of recreational shoe for both men and women. The name Sebago shoes is now synonimous with the 'Dockside' deck shoe made using the traditional moccasin construction and is ideal for all boating activities.
Visit www.bradshawandlloyd.com to view the vast range of moccasins available from Sebago.
The Northampton shoe industry has also embrased the moccasin form of shoe for shoes required to be soft and highly flexible. Loake shoes in particular offer a good range of slip-ons of a moccasin construction