Monday, September 06, 2010

Camp Moc Review

Unlined, oiled leather camp mocs are my favorite shoes for summer. I wear several pairs in rotation from June to August. Where one would normally sport tennis shoes (for cycling, dog walking or skateboarding), I wear mocs. As the catalog patter goes: "these shoes have the snappy appearance of a moccasin with the support of a shoe." Once the weather chills, I revert back to loafers since I have a personal ethos against wearing camp mocs with socks. I wanted to document my collection before I clean and archive them for the winter.

The L.L. Bean original (actual camp dust in evidence)

Quoddy update (customized w/red brick soles a la all plaidout)

MacRostie Leathers Moccasins (recently restored by the maker)

Letter from Elaine and Bud

Catch and release: Russell Camp Mocs

Shopping from the past: J.L. Coombs

If you must wear socks with your camp mocs


Peter Wilborn said...

As always, excellent work. Love the MacRosties! Do you love them? I have been eyeing a pair of Town and Country Shoes for a long while.

BTW, small fight this morning at home. The kids were fighting over the Archival Clothing rucksack.

Anonymous said...

Why were the Russells catch and release?

Andrew said...

thanks, LL -- brings back memories. I had a pair of Bean's double-soled mocassins back in the late '60s - early 70s and they were great. I'm pretty sure they were made by Quoddy in those days, and they used the really heavy ChromePak-type leather. See Quoddy Dawson for modern-day equivalent.
FYI there's a good thread here with more photos of old L. L. bean styles through the years. said...

Standard uniform when I was in college: turtleneck+fair isle cardigan+denim skirt+navy knee socks+bluchers. The socks could be replaced with navy blue tights. A pea coat was added when the weather got really cold.

I love/loved my bluchers!

trip said...

I did a comparison of a pair of old Bean mocs to the new version on my blog a couple of months back

JRS said...

Great post. I did a piece on Red Clay Soul a while back:

I'm leaning towards pulling the trigger on the Russell's.

Anonymous said...

Great looking shoes. It's amazing how some companies stay around forever and still adhere to a strict code of quality, like MacRostie. I actually just saw a pair of those Sperry Topsiders, probably from the same time that ad was printed, on Etsy. Check them out:

Lesli Larson said...

Thanks for the comments and reference links. Amazing to see how much LL Bean shoes have changed in the last few decades. I absolutely want to shop from the past for all future Bean camp mocs. I still don't understand why Bean doesn't release a true heritage/signature collection that brings back historical patterns, original quality material and US based manufacturing practices. Makes sense, right?

I nearly ordered the Russells but opted for Quoddy instead. Quoddy sizes down for women and children. I worried about accurate sizing using the Russell paper tracing method.

MacRosties is the best camp shoe you can buy. Quality is stunning. My feet will wither before my refurbished shoes give out. But I know Bud and Elaine will be retiring at some point so don't delay in placing an order. Wait time is around 6 months.

Solomander said...

I admire the MacRosties and Quoddys, but I am very happy with my LL Bean camp mocs. A pair lasts me 10 years of aggressive wear. My current pair is about 6 years old. Just put a coat of Obenauf's on them and they are looking good.

Solomander said...


Just out of curiosity, how did you determine your sizing for the MacRosties?


Lesli Larson said...


I sent the MacRostie folks a detailed tracing of my foot plus requested measurements. Ideally, you'd meet up with Bud and Elaine during one of their trade show visits for custom sizing. I'm very happy with the fit on my shoes.

carl auböck architekt said...

these mocs show time in the open worth remembering all your life.
ll bean changed towards the sorry.

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