Comment from: Jeepman [Visitor]

Those are very nice shoes. I wonder if Birthday Shoes could put together a group buy? Hummm...

02/05/10 @ 12:20
Michael @badassdadblog

Hey, Tuck! Great to see you over here on birthdayshoes. Thanks for the great write-up. I'll definitely be checking out Russell's line-up to see what style options they offer. I have several pair of Vivos, and while I like them, I find some of the same issues with them you do. Cold weather is less a problem for me here in S. California, but their fit is a bit loose and I also find they haven't held up all that well (stitching coming out, glue separating, etc). I'm guessing these would be much more durable, and it sounds like Russell would service them if there were any issues. Vivo? Not so much.

Thanks again!

02/05/10 @ 15:56
Comment from: hinogi [Visitor]

They remind me a lot of the Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot Oak. Don't know if they work in ice and snow but they sure have some similarities.

02/05/10 @ 19:19
Comment from: Dave [Visitor]

Hey Tuck,
Apologizes if there is a writeup on this elsewhere. You had mentioned you found some passable minimalist solutions for wear in office situations prior to these shoes, was wondering what you recommend. Tx.

02/07/10 @ 06:50
Comment from: Noah [Visitor]

I'd be in for a pair of these.

02/07/10 @ 11:55
Comment from: Ben [Visitor]  

Yeah, it would be nice to get some more information about that shoe that he made you.

How much does it cost?
If we wanted to buy something simliar to that, but maybe in a different size, what would we have to do?

02/12/10 @ 11:02
Comment from: James Eilers [Visitor]
James Eilers

Is the 1915 Army study posted online anywhere?

02/16/10 @ 13:29
Comment from: Allen [Visitor]  

Any word on how much they cost? If they feel as good as they look then I'd certainly be in.

02/20/10 @ 22:36
Comment from: Tuck [Visitor]

@Michael: Russell will service them. See this page on their site: 15 year-old Russells are apparently not unusual, and my experience with other well-made leather boots backs that up.

@hinogi, @Dave: I've got a pair of Vivo Barefoot Dharmas, and a pair of Terra Plana (same company as Vivo) Hamiltons. I've mostly been wearing the Russells since I got them. I think Terra Plana has nice products, I just think the Russells are nicer, for my needs.

If you're interested in Russells, please speak to Doug Herge, their production manager. Mention my name and he'll know what you're looking for.

As mentioned, these are prototypes, but they're very eager to make this a product line, and want to do right by their new customers.

02/23/10 @ 17:57
Comment from: TeeNutts [Visitor]

is this possibly the 1915 study from the Army? (click link above)

03/02/10 @ 23:17
Comment from: Tim [Visitor]

Problems with that shoe:

Buying shoes online is just not practical. Maybe buying a pair of somehting you have already owned, but not something untried. What a hassle shipping and being home to recieve shipments and finding the right size or model...

They might pass muster for office wear, but just barely.

You mention the area around the ball of the foot being tight. That is a HUGE problem with most shoes for me.

If they are warm enough for Vermont, they are most likely way too hot for the South. Espcially for folks with sweaty feet.

I've been wearing Nike Free Sparq trainers to work and everywhere for almost a year and as far as I'm concerned they are almost the perfect shoe for everyday wear. The heel might be a bit too thick and overall too cushiony for the purists, but I don't believe that's a big issue when walking, and when running my heels don't start touching the ground until I'm almost exhausted. And then they also pick up lots of pebbles in the grooves in the sole.

But the flexibility of the soles is amazing, and the way the uppers are constructed is perfect for people who find the balls of their feet constantly being crushed by leather uppers that crease in the wrong place.

My office has cracked down on sneakers and I'm at the end of my rope!! It makes me angrier than hell that not one shoe company on the face of the earth even tries to make practical foot friendly shoes for work. [Don't even get me started about the lame, cynical and extremely expensive attempts at "unstructured" shoes by Clarks and others!!]

Why can't someone just adapt a Nike Sparqs to make the appearance suitable for work???!! It's been one week back at work in crappy conventional shoes (those cursed Clarks) and all of my old foot problems are coming back already.

07/16/10 @ 16:00
Comment from: m [Visitor]

Please tell me how much the shoes would/did cost?

I'm looking for a work boot, but after the vibrams my spine, knees, and feet are rebelling against some of the "better" brands.

I can't find anything like what I am looking for ready made.

Thank you.

08/11/10 @ 08:05
Comment from: Jared [Visitor]

They have several models available now. The prices are a little hard to swallow though.

08/17/10 @ 13:22
Comment from: DizzyT [Visitor]

Many thanks to Tuck and Russell Moccasin for all of their hard work in bringing forth another minimalist option. Compared to other high end shoes, the prices are not unreasonable, particularly given that every shoe is custom made.

Although they are marketing certain models as minimalist, they can put a minimalist sole on many of their shoes. I'm opting get the Camp Moccasin with a minimalist sole to wear at the office.

Overall price isn't too bad. And if the fit and quality is good, I'll probably order a few other models. Lead time is currently 16-18 weeks.

10/08/10 @ 19:19
Comment from: David [Visitor]

I want to thank Tuck for taking the initiative, the mods of the site for posting this up, and Jared for posting the new minimalist line. I recently got some VFF KSOs and am absolutely sold on minimalist shoes. Unfortunately I live in Minnesota and the KSOs are not going to cut it in subzero temperatures. I don't know if I can justify those prices on a student's budget, but it may end up worthwhile if they last me 10+ years and give me a worthwhile option that won't make senior partners or clients eye me suspiciously.

10/25/10 @ 01:39
Comment from: annie versa [Visitor]
annie versa

Are you certain that these shoes are to be classified in minimalist footwear? It seems the term is widly used these days but is it relavant to the products! Always interested in what's happening, so thanks for sharing.

Have been reading up the subject of barefeet and minimalism from pionneer in the field: Dr. Steven Robbins:

11/03/10 @ 09:43
Comment from: Gary [Visitor]  

As a minimalist shoe wearer for going on 4 years, I have more VFF's and Vivo Barefoots (Barefeets?) than I want my wife to count. I had been eyeing Russell Moc's products for quite awhile when I saw Tuck's review. I took the plunge and ordered a pair of Mohican Stalkers; I needed work boots, with the Newporter sole and no heel wedge. That was in May 8th, 2010. Here it is Nov. and still no boots. The invoice estimated the boots would be ready on Sept. 29th. I called. two weeks ago, and was told the boots would be shipped by the end of the week. Still no boots, or any indication of shipment. I'm actually looking for reviews on Russell to get an idea if this is all an elaborate scam. Give the length of time since the charge on my card, the credit card company would not have to refund my $'s. I know, I know, patience Grasshopper.

11/09/10 @ 19:02
Comment from: Dan [Visitor]

I watched ebay for three years and finally got some Russell boots in my size. I ended up with 7"
"Turtleskin turkey hunters" which have a snakeproof membrane that to me is overkill, even in the Australian bush where the snakes are deadly. It makes the boots quite hot, stiff and heavy.

I cut the heels off the Vibram 2060 soles and though they are slippery on some surfaces they are now pretty close to what I want in a boot. They are built on a regular last and I can feel the need for more room in the toe box. I'll be ordering a pair of Munson last Mohican stalkers with newporter soles.

01/11/11 @ 07:58
Comment from: Steve Weinshel [Visitor]
Steve Weinshel

For those of you concerned about the quality or integrity of Russell Moccasin--relax. They make high quality products out of the best components and stand by anything they make. I bought my first pair of Russell's in 1974 when I was in college. I was fitted by the owner, who is still the owner now. I think the founding family is now on their fourth generation of management of the company. They can custom make any moccasin style, out of any material, in any height, lined or unlined etc. They may be at their height of recognition so sadly, they take a while to find your front door, but don't despair... they will arrive! If you are in the habit of buying the best in footwear you will find Russell Moccasins to be a good value.

01/28/11 @ 09:31
Comment from: Raymond Kuntz [Visitor]
Raymond Kuntz

Thanks for the well researched article, on your dime to.
I live in the area and ordered the same shoe that Tuck did in the store. Ralph personally measured my feet and confirmed, what the Army told so many years ago that my left foot is a full size bigger than my right, (usually it's the other way around).
Ralph said 4 months delivery and was off by 10 days, so no complaints. $300 seems a bit steep but splitting pairs like the Army did would have been equivalent to buying two different sized pairs of $150 shoes then combining the best fit from each pair into a set and throwing the worst pair set in the trash, netting out a properly fit pair of $150 shoes for $300. I've now got a properly fit $300 pair of shoes, something I've not had since my Army days.
Full Grain leather, with no cardboard or plastic heel counters, I can easily expect years of service.
Russell boots for me, shoes for my wife and boots for the kids when they stop growing are now in the budget. Couldn't be happier.
Note: These are fine looking casual shoes, but they also make them in smooth leather Black or Brown for a little dressier look.

02/13/11 @ 11:31
Comment from: Lala [Visitor]

How much did they cost? And do you think they would keep someones feet warm if normal winter snow boots don't?

03/04/11 @ 14:22
Comment from: Dean [Visitor]  

I live in Minnesota and am in need of an indoor/outdoor minimalist shoe, suitable for winter, that will also pass as an office shoe. Slip-ons won't cut it because they are likely to come off in the slush, ice and snow.

l am having difficulty justifying the $280 price for a pair of Russell Hurons. However, while pricing semi-comparable Terra Plana shoes—that don't looks as long lasting, or like they will serve me well in the winter—I see they are $225.

I wear through a shoe sole in a pair of work shoes in about a year. If the Russells can be resoled, so I may wear them for several years, that might tip the scale for me.

03/22/11 @ 12:44
Comment from: Dean [Visitor]  

P. S. I called Russell Moccasin Co. They can be resoled.

03/22/11 @ 12:48
Comment from: Nori [Visitor]  

I was incredibly disappointed in the boots I got from Russell Moccasin. Despite sending very careful measurements including pictures and tracings, I got boots I could not comfortably wear. I wasted $275. Apparently whoever adjusts lasts to match measurements needs remedial training.

03/24/11 @ 16:58
Comment from: Aaron [Visitor]  

I don't understand why you would want to use the Munson last? It still tapers in at the toe and does not look like a typical foot where the big toe is straight.

05/26/11 @ 07:40
Comment from: Magnus Hoelvold [Visitor]
Magnus Hoelvold

I love the look of the 7" Thula Thula boots on their Minimalist Footwear page ( ) and would absolutely LOVE an all-leather version of them. Probably my new dream boot for winter. I have to add this to my christmas list post-haste!

06/11/11 @ 12:31
Comment from: sandra [Visitor]  

am new to the minimalist shoe movement and am wondering if anyone has some feedback about the russel thula thula minimalist 4"boot? will be doing a long hike in september and want to wear a minimalist shoe. the russels seem like a good match, but am wondering about heel brusing in them? also, have never spent this kind of money without first trying them on. any advise? thanks

02/08/12 @ 13:59
Comment from: mapom [Visitor]

Sandra, I work at russell and if you go to their website, you will find a salelist. You will not wear the same size as what you wear in normal street shoe sizes, it will be much smaller in Russell sizes. If you find anything about a size to size and a half smaller that what you wear, you could order it from the list, try it on and if it didn't fit, you could return it for full refund except shpg or return it with an order, along with measurements stating how the pair fit or didn't fit and they can make you a pair. We are out to September right now for shipping. We are very busy at the present time.

04/17/12 @ 20:15
Comment from: MILongWalk [Visitor]

I want these...

10/23/14 @ 23:02
Comment from: Mike H [Visitor]
Mike H

Sorry to resurrect a old thread, but I'm interesting in buying a pair of Russell Hurons, and I'm wondering how long is the build time now in 2016?

(If I ordered at the start of October 2016,how long would it take my new custom Hurons to arrive at my door?)

Hopefully someone from Russell Moccasins will be able to find me an answer.


09/14/16 @ 09:42
Comment from: Mike H [Visitor]
Mike H


My new Russell Huron moccasins just arrived fresh from the UPS truck.

(after a extra-long wait,since the elkhide version I had originally ordered wasn't in stock- I switched to the suede option.)

(they're the Laramie Suede version.)

I've got them on right now,and these are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn in my life.

How weatherproof is suede vs normal leather?

02/09/17 @ 16:13
Comment from: Tuck [Visitor]

Suede's not really weatherproof. The outer layer, which keeps the animal dry, has been removed. Advantages are flexibility and breathability.

See here:


02/13/17 @ 09:00
Comment from: Mike H [Visitor]
Mike H

Is it normal for my Hurons to be showing fairly bad(IMO) tread wear after less than a year?

The traction isn't too bad yet,but the tread is worn down faster than I had expected.

01/23/18 @ 09:34
Comment from: Mike H [Visitor]
Mike H

Just ordered my second pair of Hurons,this time in French veal leather.
(Actually,I bought them about 10 days ago...)

This is my second custom-built pair,and I'm looking forward to getting them after the wonderful experience I've had with my first suede pair of Hurons.

10/12/18 @ 09:36

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