Hiroki Nakamura and his brand visvim are first to mind when it comes to the modern moccasin. His ‘FBT’ design has become an icon in casual footwear, continually improved upon since it first debuted 10 years ago. They’re the paramount in comfort, durability and quality, and remain true to the Native American designs which inspired them – and which Hiroki continues to reference in his visvim line. Hiroki recently wrote at length about his love affair with the moccasin and explained in detail what it is he finds quite so appealing about them. Check out an extract below and head over here for the full read.
“Despite the seemingly primitive construction, these shoes are highly utilitarian, and helped Native Americans keep their feet from freezing during the harsh North American winters. The ankle flaps seen on some moccasins that at first glance seem superfluous can actually be flipped up and wrapped around the ankle for additional warmth. For tribes living in the coldest regions, rabbit fur or sheep skin was added as an insular lining. Although moccasins do not possess typical outsoles, tribes that lived in desert areas often used thick pieces of hardened leather on the bottom of their moccasins to protect from rocks or cacti, while tribes located near forested areas were able to wear soft-soled moccasins for use on the primarily grassy terrain.
Vamps (an additional piece of leather on top of the instep) allowed for even more design freedom. Beading, embroidery, and porcupine quillwork were common techniques used for decorating moccasins, and by looking at a pair of moccasins, one could tell what tribe someone was from, a person’s economic status, and even the gods that a person worshiped.”