Maurice H. Decker, who served as Camping Editor for Outdoor Life, writes this amazing guide on how to make your own leather moccasins in a 1937 issue of Popular Science. He writes: “This Objibwa type, two-piece moccasin fits like a shoe and is splendid for still hunting and hiking, for camp use, for canoeing and yachting, and to wear as a house slipper.” To make these, you’ll need one piece of heavy oil-tan leather (12″ x 22″), three yards of 1/8″ lacing, and a pair of 3/16″ thongs for ties. Decker estimates the cost to be between $1.25 and $1.50, which would be roughly $20 to $25 in today’s dollars. Seems about right when you check out the options for moccasin kits.*
Of course, if you’re lazy (like me), you can just buy ready-made moccasins from any number of well-respected labels. Try Oak Street Bootmakers, New England Outerwear, Rancourt, and Quoddy on the high-end of the price scale, or Arrow Moccasins, Wassookeag, and Town View Leather for something more affordable. I use a pair of Town Views for house slippers and absolutely love them (just wait till the footbed forms).
* Update: One of our readers, Jack, recommends The Art of Hand Sewing Leather and Native American Moccasins if you’re interested in taking up these projects. He tells us the first is really a leatherwork 101 bible, while the second is specific to various types of Native American moccasin designs. Thanks for the tip, Jack!