I'm a big guy. I wear a size 18 shoe. That's not a typo. 18. One-eight. In American sizes.
I'm also a very active performer. Spent a lot of time swinging a sword over the years. Which left me in a pickle. I never fit in anything that looked right off the rack. But I was never really able to go the custom route. Except once, about ten years ago. I took the plunge, got measured, had em made (by a different bootmaker).
They were made without wiggle room. And they crushed my feet. And a chunk of my heart.
Skip ahead to this year, I decided to try again, this time with Sodhoppers. I followed the instructions to the letter, double-checked everything, and sent off my tracings and cast. Unfortunately, once bitten, twice shy. I couldn't let myself anticipate how cool they would be. I was too busy being worried they they wouldn't fit either.
Well, they came in a month and a half ago. They feel incredible. My feet aren't cramped or pinched, not sliding around or being abraded. And even though I picked a simple design, they look great on me.
I'm probably not someone you'd imagine being in tears because my feet were too big for the world, but it happened.
I've dreamed about comfortably wearing a pair of boots like this for years, but was scared I'd never get the chance. I've already worn them to two events, and I'm looking forward to the next several years.
Paul, it's been quite a while since you've heard from me. I had intended to write you much sooner than this, better late than never. Anyhow...
I LOVE my Sodhoppers Stealth Moccasins!!! As you may recall I have really unfortunate feet. I'm in pain with every step, and haven't had a pair of shoes that fit for years. You seemed rather dubious about the Sodhoppers you sent me, even though they were based on the tracings and castings of my anatomically challenged feet. After following your instructions on how to break them in I can honestly say that I have worn them every single day since! I even followed your advice about not wearing socks! Incidentally, the inside of my moccasins smell the same as they did when they first arrived - high grade leather. And talk about comfort and how they grip the ground. My feet have never had it so good! I had optioned for the goop soles. Awesome!
Thank-you Paul! Thank-you Thank-you Thank-you! I have thanked God everyday for these moccasins (I call them boots). My only regret is that I hadn't written you sooner.
I wanted to let you know that the boots you made me are the best things ever! I've delayed sending a review of them to make sure that they stayed great- but the truth is that each day they feel even better. I haven't worn boots this comfortable in my entire life, and they have given me so much freedom. You know those places that are "off the path"? They are rocky, full of weeds and not typically walked on? I have no fear, and complete freedom to hike through the weeds, climb the rocks, and slip in the mud because my boots protect my feet so well. I have been able to do my photography in the muddy places and walk to the edge of the river because I have such good traction. These boots have changed my movement, my walking and my attitude toward "exercise" because it is now such a pleasure. Thank you so much. These were the best investment I've ever made in footwear. I'll be back in 10 years for a new pair.
Initial feedback = outstanding. The fit appears to be perfect. The distressed leather and the top trim are outstanding. These exceed the look and feel of my Catskills Mountain Moccasins that cost me twice as much. Bravo and Cheers to you. Excellent work and Thank You!!!
(Sir Robert of Jacksonshire)
I’ve received the moccasins, and have finally had a chance to begin breaking them in. I carefully followed the instructions the first day, and wore them for about an hour – just to get used to the feel.
On The second day, I wore them for several hours. (I have to admit I was checking them out in the mirror every time I passed). I’ve been wearing heavy leather boots since I was 15, in fact the heavier and stiffer the leather the better! I haven’t even owned sneakers in a few years, so for me to transition to moccasins is a giant leap. I have to admit, they weren’t immediately comfortable. I wasn’t feeling “pain” per se, but it wasn’t exactly comfortable. Walking around without that raised heel just felt weird, and I felt like I was goosestepping. I stuck it out and went about my house chores. After about the 3rd hour, there was a moment of “Ahhhhhh”. The mocs almost seemed to vacuum-pack onto my foot, and I suddenly “Got it”.
Today was the first whole day I wore them. We had some rain last night and I wore them briefly in the wet grass today. It seemed like it helped mold the toes a little as they dried. The leather is nice and thick! Durability is important to me. I have bought shoes (online) in the past and upon receiving them the leather felt about as thick as a wet paper bag. As thick as this is, its soft and comfortable! I am pleasantly surprised by the rigidity of the goop soles. I had imagined them to be a bit softer and rubber like. The only problem is that I don’t want to go back to wearing shoes tomorrow!
Thank you for your craftsmanship!
Here is a quick review of the Stealth Trackers which may help others or help you sell more of these wonderful boots. The buffalo hide takes some time to break them in. The first 5 hours of walking, it seemed I stopped every 20-30 min to tighten them up. There was no way I could run in them starting out. I just walked, made sure my toes were touching the end of the boot and snugging them up. The next 5 hours or so, they started to become comfortable enough that I wasn’t always thinking about them and was able to enjoy walking in the woods. Somewhere between 10-15 hours of wear, all of a sudden they became like a second skin. Running, jumping, climbing trees was all good. That is when I really "got it" as to why people loved them so much. Unlike normal stiff soles on boots & shoes, I can feel every twig, root and rock under my feet. Not only does it make one feel more attuned to the forest floor, it helps be much more quiet when one is trying to get close to wild animals & birds. The Goop soles provide great traction, plus the felt liner provides good padding when walking on concrete or running down the street. Another benefit is that unless I step in mud or clear sandy ground I don’t leave tracks. (Every other manufacture of moccasin’s have modern soles with repeating patterns in them, while the Goop soles are like sandpaper in texture.) I just wanted to say that your moccasins are absolutely awesome. Wonderful craftsmanship and well worth the cost. You make a great product.
Concerning the Goop Soled Stealth Trackers and the Wool Felt Insoles... I was looking at the felt liners on my original moccasins that you built for me three years ago. I was amazed at how they had conformed to my feet over time. They are my first choice for any kind of walking outdoors. I plan on wearing them while this on a week long desert hike out of Prescot Arizona this May. We are traveling very light, no tents , etc… I like the moccasins because of the way they make me walk…..I never role my ankle or twist it and I do not need socks!
I look forward to receiving my new set of Stealth Tracker Moccasins.
I just wanted to say that I love the new boots. They are beautiful, but that's just the beginning. They are, without question, the most comfortable footwear I've ever worn! They are simply perfect. In addition, I'm extremely impressed with your service and turn-around time. Thanks, and keep doing what you're doing! I wish I had discovered your website years ago.
I received my moccasins and I waited a full day to open the box because I was so excited. It was like waiting for Christmas Day, gazing upon a forbidden present. Then I opened the box and just looked at them for most of a day because they are so beautiful. Then I finally remembered that I'm supposed to wear them. It was like having received truly sacred items, sounds funny but it struck me as such. They feel sacred on my feet, like the first time I wore them was a rite of passage. I feel like I'm walking on sacred ground when I wear them -- close to the harmonizing spirit of Mother Earth. They feel like love and deep passion emanates from their handcrafting. They are utterly amazing and deeply comforting. They feel like home.
Today our package from SodHoppers arrived and the moccasins were beyond our expectations! They were everything we hoped them to be: Beautiful, well made, light, sturdy, comfortable, a perfect fit and a wonder to walk in. This is truly great craftmanship! We are extremely pleased with them and will do our best to "walk them in" properly. We are very grateful for the wonderful job you have done, you truly made us the shoes of our dreams. Thank you so very much.
Thank you again and keep up this wonderful work. We will recomend SodHoppers to everyone we know!
The first 24 hours was a breaking-in period which was delightfully pain free, but naturally a little snug. The first walk is a little "Neo-esque" as legs and feet get used to using muscles that have not been used in some time. And that's a real plus about these mocs: they allow the use of entire muscle-sets, such as allowing smooth standing from a cross-leged position with feet tucked. This amounts to real anticipation for the joy of motion in all of its desired flow. This, of course is better made possible by the ultra-silent Goop sole.
Fit and Finish:
Clean lines accompany the natural, full heel piece and shin. Also, there is enough of a cuff to personalize, as desired. Stitching is uniform and finished with great attention to function, detail, and durability.
After a naturally tight first 24 hours and a few lace-ups, full range of motion is garnered to include comfort in all
walking, running, standing, and sitting positions, for any period and on any surface. And yes, surprisingly protective and yet thin, the Goop sole provides for comfort on rocky, hot surfaces. Last, feet stay dry and cool even during extended wear in 100░F, full-sun, paved surfaces.
Great respect for the artist and joy in motion. Great visual appeal and works with any chosen ensemble. Good for showing-off under shorts or when modestly worn under long pants. Cool and Comfortable, a Real source of Joy!
Came home to find a package yesterday. Was so excited to get my boots. Put them on and they fit like a glove. I really like them. Hated to take them off to go to bed!
Thanks so much! I will take some photos and earn my Pitch-blend. I'm gonna sell some boots for you too. These things rock.
I'm already thinking I need some sneakers, so I might be ordering another pair of low-riders pretty soon.
Hey Paul, just wanted to let you know I got my boots today. Man, they look great. Better still, they feel great. I 've waited a long time to get a pair of shoes that feel like this. After awhile you forget you have them on. They feel like socks after just awhile. I'm already telling my wife I may go ahead and get another pair soon. I have also thought about the apprenticeship video. I would really love to make some for people. That sense of helping someone would really be gratifying.
Scott Stewart - Memphis, TN
WOW! I will never wear shoes again! I received my moccasins two days ago and have been wearing them ever since, my feet have never been so happy! I will definitely be buying your how to video, if for no other reason than to make my own footwear for the rest of my life. Comfort aside I have to commend you on your artistry, they are truly works of art, thank you for making my feet so happy. I'll be contacting you as soon as I can afford the video and supplies for making me a second pair of mocs. Thanks again.
Mike Stennett - Saginaw Michigan.
I received the moccasins this morning. Wow! Well done my friend. Initially they felt a little odd. This was due to the fact that I had never worn moccasins before and that they were new. After wearing them around the house for a few hours, they feel like apart of my foot. Extremely lightweight and form fitting best describes them.
The craftsmanship, fit, and color is perfect. Ill be going hog hunting again next week. After a few days in the woods, ill have a more through review. But as of right now, they are better than anything I could have imagined.
You definitely will have all my future business. This fall I plan to order another pair. The color and height is unknown currently. It depends on what I learn this summer hunting & playing around with this pair
My hat is off to you. Great job,
Truth be told, I really do love your mocs; in fact I could probably be easily talked into ordering a 3rd set for myself. These really are the BEST hunting footwear, with the heavy leather uppers and over the calf tops they protect you from briars, thorns, cacti, and most likely even snakes (although I have not tested them against serpents myself) they are SUPER for field wear. All that and they are deadly quiet not to mention comfortable too! We are going on Safari in Africa and want time to properly break in the mocs before the trip.
Hunter A. Elam
Paul you are in every sense of the word an artist !!! I just received my sodhoppers 5 button moc's and they are truly a work of art and I should know , I'm an artist myself and these are unbelievable . They are everything I hoped for and then some ! I have to say You will be hearing from me again to place another order soon ... This kind of craftsmanship is unheard of now days ! My feet bless you and thanks for your great service. You did what you said and turn around time is remarkable just 2 1/2 weeks. For anyone who reads this , Paul is the real deal , buy Sodhoppers you will be amazed !!! Thanks so much Paul. You are the MAN !
Yours truly, Russell Wetzel
First of all, let me begin by telling you I purchased my boots from Sodhoppers over six months ago. Today, just as they were on the day I anxiously pulled them out of the package then, feel absolutely great! For any of you perspective buyers who may ponder about price, all I can tell you is that I have somewhere over $2000 worth of shoes and boots in my home that get little to no wear at all, since my sodhoppers invaded. Paul Wilson does more than an excellent job in making these shoes and boots. Now get this, THEY ARE MADE IN AMERICA.
The comfort is so immense, you almost forget to take them off before bed. These boots can even change your lifestyle. Before, I ran around in regular dress shoes or casual boots. These boots breathe! Not only are they comfortable during warm weather, but they keep my feet and legs warm in the winter. I have worn my sodhoppers outside with my kilt on when it was 22 degrees, and not feel the least bit of discomfort from the cold. Now I look for every excuse to wear my sodhoppers. I even changed jobs so that I could wear them at work.
Comfort ability is just one half of the sodhopper experience, looks are great too. Everywhere I go, people ask, "Where did you get those boots?" or "I love your boots!", etc. You'll find no more attentive company than Sodhoppers to make the boots to your desires. Mr. Wilson does a spectacular job and I could recommend no one else when it comes to fine foot wear.
Thanks, Tim Lewis Batten, professional piper in Virginia
I received my custom moccasins from Sodhoppers today and am very pleased. Every area and portion of the moccasins are exactly as ordered and flawless in workmanship. I have been to Renaissance faires and seen high quality custom moccasin vendors and my ones from Sodhoppers are easily of equal quality, less than half the price. I highly recommend Sodhoppers. The casting process, with duct tape, resulted in a pair of moccasins that fit very well.
Clifton Park, New York"
Got the boots yesterday, and I love them!
One artisan to another, the quality of these is top-notch. I made saddles for several years and I know
quality leatherwork. Straight out of the box, these are the most comfortable things I've had on my feet.
Thanks a million!
Love the mocs. I wear them several times a week. I actually am teaching in them most days. I have knee that has been acting up and find when I wear them the knee does feel better. I read an article that said that going barefoot was good for an arthritic knee (don't know if mine is or not but I suspect it is). Your mocs are the closest thing to being barefoot and still have shoes. To tell you the truth I want another pair or two, but I have to pace myself and budget for them. Have a good week.
Don't know how long you plan on living, but since I plan to be around at least another 150 years or so, I'm gonna need you around to make mocs for quite a while...hope that fits your plans. These are the best...more than that is just superfluous blah blah. Next on my list is a pair for Gwynne, then a pair for my friend Scott, then a tall pair for myself for Winter, followed by a spare short pair for "Sunday best". Looking forward to talking with you again. Until then, if you ever make it East, don't leave without stopping in.
Michael Two Hawks
I've had my boots for about 10 years now and they're as good, if not better, than new.
Thanks for providing a quality product and excellent customer service.
Thank you very much for your skills and superb craftsmanship. The quality, detail, and fit are outstanding. The entire process of interacting with Sodhoppers was a pleasure. Lindsay had done quite a bit of research into footwear for her participation in Renaissance Faire and despite seeing some very fine products, your work is ahead of the pack and first-rate in every respect.
Best Regards, Lee Ferguson
Just a note to once again say thank you for the great pair of boots you made me about 5 years ago. They have been such a joy and delight to wear. They have stood up well over the years and haven't aged a day. I was very satisfied with my purchase and will buy another pair when these wear out (if they ever will). I am deeply grateful for the gracious way you conducted business with me and remain a faithful customer.
Pastor Pete Bertolero
Hello, Paul & Kathi!
I was very surprised to receive my order for the Montana Pitch Blend Leather Dressing today after only placing it on Wednesday. Thank you very much for your swift response. I truly appreciate your great customer service. By the way, the boots are great and I've been receiving compliments on them ever since I purchased them from you (about 3 years ago). I'm always telling people about your web site and the quick turnaround you have on your boots. This is in stark contrast to the up to 25 week wait people have when they buy them form our Renaissance Faire vendor. Thanks again for great products and even better service.
I have the boots on as I write this to you. The way I would describe your boots are ...
Wow! Wow! Wow!
The quality is awesome! Even my wife who is not into anything SCA commented that the boots were very nice and we were both impressed. The fit is perfect and the quality is just awesome.
Thank you very much... your talent, and your product are really top notch and your boots show that.
Robert the Brute
House Inverted/Kingdom of Aten.
When I was looking for footwear that would go with the theme of our Celtic/Medieval/Fantasy wedding, I researched my options quite thoroughly. My fiancÚ and I are having our costumes custom made, and what I wore on my feet had to have the same level of quality. There were other custom bootmakers that I considered, until I found the SodHopper website, and proceeded to drool all over my keyboard. I read through the procedures and Paul's attention to detail is what finally sold me. I knew that I would be getting a quality product that would have a lot of love put into it. I was not disappointed. Now, I am looking for excuses to wear this fantastic footwear, and I made sure to protect them with the leather dressing, since I am now drooling all over them every time I put them on.
I wanted to send you a note saying that I received my moccasins in the mail yesterday. I first want to say, Thank You! I spend a lot of time outdoors. This is everything from tracking to primitive living. I make a lot
of my own things including tools and clothes. I believe that it is a dying art. You have truly mastered the art of working w/ leather. The moccasins you made are exactly what I wanted. I don't think you could have hit the
mark any closer if you had been at my house making the cast. These moccasins are awesome. I have many friends in which you will be hearing from very soon. Thank you again.
I received my boots about 3 weeks ago. They looked great, but I'm not one to give praise until I am convinced that the shoe fits. I was really amazed that it only took two days to break them in. Actually it was only in the toe area that need to be stretched out a little. Since then I have been wearing them daily as these are the only shoes that aren't killing my feet by noon. Not only do they not hurt but seem to reduce the fatigue in my feet and legs as I am on them all day. I thank you very much not only for the speed in which you produced my boots, but also the craftsmanship and comfort you have given me. I will be in touch before to long to place another order. You have put me in a comfort zone I don't want to leave. Thanks again.
I just wanted you to know that I have worn my boots to 2 NERO events so far and they are great. Several times in the middle of the night I have run through thorn shrubs and just knew that I had scared and torn up the front of my boots. However every time I check them I can't even tell where the thorns hit. They are super comfortable and at times I have worn them almost 24 hours straight. My feet, like the rest of me, were tired but they didn't hurt and weren't sore at all. Before with the boots I wore after about 3-4 hours my feet would be really tired and soon after started hurting and staying sore for a couple of days. I love your boots!
Yours is the ninth pair of moccasins I've had made for me by five different moccasin makers. All factors
considered, yours is the best yet, and I don't see room for improvement." The craftsmanship and attention to
detail is excellent. Don't move away or change professions; I'll eventually want more.
Joe La Fleur
Thank you for the fast service on both my pair of boots. They both fit perfectly! They are
so warm and cozy. The quality and craftsmanship of the boots are top of the line, and the
speed in which I got them is unprecedented! Huzzah for that!
Lynda Cline, OR
I am now in Happy Feet! These guys are wonderful, awesome, beautiful and warm! Almost like
walking barefoot, only warmer! Thank you so much Paul. You did a great job and I can feel it.
AK My boots have arrived, and look beautiful! Thank you very much, for the boots, and the very
fast turnaround. If I had known it was so easy, I would have ordered them a long time ago.
Kathy Barker, WA
I purchased my boots almost a year ago. I have worn them to the Charlotte Fairs in NC, Scarborough
in TX, and Southern Faire in CA.
I have received nothing but compliments. Thank you ever so much
for your professionalism, craftsmanship, and good faith in people. Be ready for my next order!
Karl Schmid, GA
They're fantastic and more than what I envisioned! I got a lot of Ooohs and Aaahs from
everyone. They were one of the last things I ordered and one of the first things I received!
They are extremely comfortable and fit perfectly.
Tim Sullivan, PA
I just opened my new SodHoppers --- WOW!!!! Not only are they a perfect fit, but
they are extra super comfy. Thanks a million times over. I am a totally satisfied customer!!!
Margarette Allen, WI
After receiving my lovely new feet, I was moved immediately to assist a very dear friend to have some made for herself. These moccasins are a very professionally accomplished piece of art. I have endured a life long problem of chronic imbalance on uneven turf . I now am finding a sure-footedness never before experienced. How might perfect be improved upon???
Ann Clifton "Your service couldn't get much better!! - unless you start making house calls!"
T.J. Swain, Madisonville, TN
I wish to express my appreciation and praise to you for the creation of my moccasins...
I cannot put these moccasins on without being asked where I got them.
CPT Clifford D. Cope, AK
After waiting several years to purchase a pair of custom made moccasins for myself I have been very pleased with mine. They are the most comfortable footwear I've owned, the service of SodHoppers was fast and done with quality workmanship.
Dee Dee Willett, Longview, WA
I totally love my moccasins...My feet love them also.
Royanne Reed, Ahwahnee, CA
These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever had. Being a teacher,
and on my feet all day, these shoes are a pleasure to wear.
B. Brown, Niagara Falls, Ontario, CANADA
They are gorgeous, my very favorite, in fact. People always comment on how beautiful and original they are.
My son happened to be visiting when we opened the shoe box. I kept chanting, "I hope I like them" over and over, which soon changed to "I love them," also over and over.
Maxima McLauchlan, Bainbridge Island, WA
In over 40 years of walking on this planet, my SodHoppers are by far the most comfortable and beautiful footwear I've experienced. These magnificent boots are like second skin. They are as soft and warm as fuzzy slippers, and durable as hiking boots. I don't need to wear socks with my boots, yet inside it feels as if I'm wearing soft silk...This is truly footwear for the new millennium! Thank you for bringing this wearable art to us.
Ginger Blakely, Cave Creek, AZ
The health and comfort of your body is directly related to the health & comfort of your feet, and although the style and craftsmanship of my SodHoppers is outstanding, I view them more as an investment in my overall well being.
Jason Habalar, Tempe, AZ
This past weekend our Renaissance Faire opened and I finally put my boots to the test. They are GREAT! They are comfortable and easy to get on! The heavy sole has held up with all the Rocks!, too.
Rose M. Kahn, San Rafael, CA
I was expecting to have to break my boots in, but they fit perfectly the first time I put them on. I decided to wear them full time for a few days to see if any soreness developed, but it never did. I wear them without any socks and my feet stay dry and very comfortable!
Janet Lehey, Tempe, AZ
The moccasins were comfortable from the minute I put them on till I took them
off... except I never take them off!
The more I wear the SodHoppers the more I love them. They feel great and are so comfortable. I'm really glad I got them. Thanks.
Since we can't live barefooted, we'll just live in our SodHoppers! Thank you guys.
You've made the only shoes that have ever FIT my husbands feet. He loves them. Me too!
The moc's I purchased felt good from when I first slipped them on. I wish I would have ran across your booth earlier in life. Thanks.
Frederick H. Carter
Our country would not be in the sad financial shape it's in if more businesses
paid as much attention to their products and customers as SodHoppers does.
John Holt, Parowan, UT
Just had to let you know how happy I am with my Sodhoppers. Thank you, Paul. Once I got them back, they basically haven't been off my feet. I never would have thought that the simple act of taking step after step could bring such happiness. I have this constant pleasant awareness of my feet and for someone who has struggled with footwear for their entire life, this is beyond great. Thank you, Paul. Usually when I am home I am barefoot but since I got my Sodhoppers I wear them morning till night. It's just amazing how good they let me feel.
Thank you, Gail Krenecki
I just got the boots, and they're magnificent. I've been waiting for years to finally get a pair of top-notch faire boots, and am ecstatic at how they've turned out. Thanks so much for your artistry, professionalism, and for the speed in which you produced these works of art. As soon as I can get a good picture taken, Ill be sure to email you a photo of me in full costume and footwear. Ill make sure I keep your business cards in my pouch come Faire day, for the inevitable inquiries as to who made my boots.
Many, many thanks,
Well we went to our first Event. John and I love the boots. It made a big difference. Our tootsies were no where near as sore as they were the last event when we didn't have the custom boots. It was raining the whole weekend and at times I was up to my ankles in water and not once did my socks even get wet! They just washed off and are good as new. I tore through bushes and briars and tripped over rocks and not a mark on them! I got many compliments on the boots. They really liked the design and colors used in my boots. I can't tell you how very happy I am with them.
I just picked up the boots from the post office today (I was at work when they came in the mail yesterday) they are awesome. They fit perfectly and are so comfortable it's almost like not wearing shoes at all. I am very happy
and quite impressed at the quality of your craftsmanship and the speed of delivery as well. (despite the delay on my part) I actually have a pair I got from "Bald Mountain" some years ago when I used to work Ren-Fairs, and yours are more comfortable and seem better made. If I wore a hat it would be off to you.
Thanks allot Valentino
Paul- I am going into my third season with the boots you made for me and I still am very much impressed by everything about them - they are more comfortable now than the day I received them - I was so impressed by the buffalo leather's qualities that now I am using buffalo on my projects - all around good things came with these boots!! Thanks very much!!
Ason aka Rick Cottontree
Well, it's been several weeks now since I received my new moccasins and the short and sweet of it is that my feet have never been so happy. I call my moccasins my happy feet and that's all I wear since I received them. In fact, I'm saving up the money so I can buy me a second pair. Thanks again for your craftsmanship and going the extra mile to modify the moccasins you made for me......Charles from Oklahoma