How Do I Clean These Moccasins?
Your moccasins are made of a high quality top-grain-leather. They are designed to breathe, allowing moisture to escape. They also are designed to shed water, due to their thickness and the natural oils in the leather. When they are worn, your feet perspire, and they get dirty. They also get weathered by the sun, heat, rain, wind and dirt. Your feet give off toxins and salt as they perspire, which builds up in the leather, and with the heat and moisture of your feet, start the rotting process. If unattended, in time they will become dry and crack or split, usually in the toe box region. To get the longest and most comfortable wear out of these moccasins, they need to be clean, oiled, and free of the toxins and salt buildup. If maintained properly, they should give you 10 - 20 years of wear. I recommend washing them a least a couple times a year, if you wear them for any appreciable time throughout the year. If you wear them most every day, they will need more washings. If your feet perspire more than average, again, they will need more washings.
They are designed to be hand washable, inside and out. They can also be spot cleaned on the outside as well. Remove the insoles and completely submerge them in a tub of lukewarm soapy water. It is important to use a non detergent agent, such as Woolite or Ivory Soap. Once they are completely saturated, lightly scrub with a wash cloth. The most important area is to get the inside toe box area. The idea is to rid the dirt and dust, but mainly to remove the toxins and salts that permeate the leather from the inside out. They need to be rinsed well to remove all the soap and then air dried in a warm area out of direct sunlight. I recommend placing a broom handle in them and hanging them upside down. It will take about 3 days for them to dry completely. Another excellent method is to use a boot dryer, which provides a low heat.
A simpler method is the Washing Machine, which will do a better job most likely! Use Woolite or a non-detergent soap on gentle cycle, with warm water. Be aware that leather colors can run, especially bright colored leathers which may need to be hand washed only in cold water. Because of the potential that colors may run, moccasins should be washed separately from other articles of clothing. It is best to place each in a separate pillow case when using a washing machine. Remove the insoles and wash by hand. Drying is the same as when hand washing.
If you just want to clean a spot or get the dirt or dust off the exterior only, they can be wiped with a washcloth with water, no soap. Leather will darken and leave a ring around and moistened area once it dries. To avoid this, after washing the area in need, slightly dampen the whole exterior with the damp washcloth - just enough to slightly darken the leather. This technique can also be used if they are dry and have a spot ring. Go over the whole Moc with a damp cloth, once dry the spot ring will be gone. Back To Top
Proper storage is very important. If they are placed in a bag or box after perspiring in them, especially if they are well oiled, they won't be able to breath or rid themselves of the moisture. This will cause them to mildew, and will destroy them in a very short time. So, don't throw them in the bottom of your closet, or stuff them somewhere in the garage etc. The best thing to do is hang them up to air dry in a cool-to-warm place, out of direct sunlight.
How do I oil these Moccasins?
When you first get the new Mocs, there is no need to do anything to them but break them in. See: “Lacing & Breaking In of Moccasins.” After a bit of use, they will lose a bit of their natural luster, especially in extreme weather conditions. They will need a bit of conditioning. If they are dirty and in need of washing, do that first, and wait till dry.
They should be clean and dry to start. Any good leather dressing that adds oils back into the leather will work. The oils in the dressing will darken the leather. Once dry, the natural color will still be slightly darkened. I do not recommend any product that has any silicone, such as Snow Seal. Silicone will seal the leather so that it will no longer breath, and will dry the leather and cause it to crack. I also don't recommend Saddle Soap, which is more of a cleaner than a conditioner. I sell a leather dressing which I have found to be unequaled by anything I have found on the market, it's called "Montana Pitch Blend" and can be purchased on the Order Page in the Accessories section. It is a unique blend of pine pitch, mink oil, and beeswax. Follow the leather dressing directions. Generally I recommend putting on a small amount and rubbing it in while wearing them till the oil soaks in well. You will want to avoid getting them dusty or dirty till the oils have been absorbed. If you get too much on, wait a while and wipe off the excess. Heating them will also help absorb the oils.
Remember, they don't usually need much!
Montana Pitch Blend's directions are as follows: Apply with hand or soft cloth. Melt wax with hair dryer or place in warm area until dressing is absorbed. Repeat with second coat.
One more note about general moccasin care, when off your feet, store in an area where they can breath. If they are thrown in a closet after use, they will start to mold because of the moisture in them.
Back To Top
The How To Videos Apprenticeship and Manual comes with 4 DVD’s or Blu-Ray discs with over 4 hours of video that takes you through the complete construction of a pair of kneehigh moccasins from the cast to the finished boot. It is comparable to an Apprentice Program, short of hands on training with a personal instructor. I instruct you in all aspects of the process as we go through each step. No step is excluded. All steps are well covered.
The steps in the process include: The Cast, Patterns, Leather Types, Tools & Materials, Cutting, Gluing & Sewing Leather, Soling, Buttons, and Finish Work.
In the “How To Manual” you will be able to read over the process, and more importantly, there are 60 photos of the moccasin making process to use as a visual guide while making your first few pair of boots. You will also have an extremely valuable Resource Guide in the back with Names, Addresses and Phone Numbers of Suppliers of all the needed Tools, Equipment, and Materials needed for completing the process, including leather, buttons, soles etc.
If you have ever wanted to make your own Moccasins/Boots, or go into business for yourself, you can with this "How To Video’s & Manual" Apprentice Program. If you are willing to apply yourself to the instruction as presented in this video, in a short time you could be making some fine custom footwear for yourself and others.
I would not try to mislead you, making this style of custom boot is hard work! It is also very rewarding work. When I am able to make a pair of custom fitted boots for someone with hard to fit feet, their joy to finally have a pair of boots that are comfortable to wear, is my reward. I have been able to make a comfortable living at this trade as well, and plan to continue making boots well into my retirement years.
This video is not professionally produced, you are purchasing my expertise and training in boot making, not my skills in cinematography. You are also purchasing Ongoing Consultation Support via e-mail or phone.
The Digitally Produced DVD’s are easy to navigate through and review the chapters, making the How To Video a great apprenticeship tool. The higher resolution Blu-ray version has additional footage as well for the same price.
Back To Top
Do I need Two Fittings?
This is fairly easy to determine when you compare the tracings you will make. You will be instructed to trace both feet on paper that when held up together to a light will reveal any differences in length or width in the sole of both feet. You are then instructed to cast the larger or longer foot. You will need to do casts of both feet if you choose to have two separate patterns made.
You may want to consider two fittings if: 1. There is more than a 1/3" (one standard shoe size) difference in length. 2. There is a difference in width in the toe box area or the heel.
You should have two fittings if: 1. You have differences in more than one area of either foot. 2. One foot is longer and the other is wider.
If a pair of boots is ordered using only one fitting for the final pattern and there is a major difference, such as noted above, there will be excess room in one or both boots in these areas. This will allow the foot to slide around and can cause discomfort or blistering. The additional cost is $50 and well worth it if needed. If there is only a slight difference in only one area of length or width, this is not needed. Some people choose to do this regardless, because they don't want any excess room in the smaller foot. The boots will be slightly different in shape as well, and some people choose to have only one cast because they want both boots to have the same shape. I can't make this choice for you, I can only give you my recommendations. The additional cost is $50.
Back To Top
Lacing & Breaking In of Moccasins?
It is crucial that you lace moccasins right, and break them in correctly.
When you receive your new moccasins they are already laced properly. The lacing process always starts by pulling the lace from the top of each tab tightly (not pulling around the button), and wrapping it over and around the top of the button above it. The lace will cross over and form an "X" between each button and tab (not a ladder).
The process for tying the slip knot at the top is not too unlike that used on your regular shoes, but with only one lace! The drawing shows a simple slip knot. Start just like the example, pulling at the top of the tab and going over the top and around the button, then form a loop and tuck it behind and through the hole, pulling the loop tight up to the button.
Back To Top
It is crucial that you lace moccasins right, and break them in correctly.
When you put your new moccasins on for the first time make sure the inserts are tucked under the inside seam all the way around the moccasins. Your feet need to be clean, dry, and bare, no socks of any kind. This is very important! If after breaking them in for a few days you decide you need socks, fine, although I don't suggest this, as your moccasins breath on their own and wick away the moisture from your feet without socks, and you won't tend to slide around in them as much either. Pull from the front of the moccasin, place the front of your foot on the floor, with your heel in the air, and wiggle your toes up to the front till your toes are touching the end. If you do not, Heel Bag will possibly take place requiring a costly repair. Also, you must lace them tightly, especially at the bottom to keep your feet placed forward in the moccasins to create a proper memory in the leather and stretch the right areas. You may feel uncomfortably cramped in them for a brief time, but if pain is encountered, take them off and stretch with a rounded stick, like a broom handle, and/or jam a golf ball into the big toe area for a few days. You may also have to remove the insoles and repeat the breaking in process. Once a proper fit and stretch has been established, Heel Bag should not be near the potential problem. The diagram below shows what Heel Bag look like and improper placement of foot in moccasin. It is very important to move the feet all the way to the front of the moccasins!
What is the Fitting Process?
You might wonder what makes these so special or different, and what is the fitting process. Most of the shoe industry uses a hard molded last of a standard foot shape which is then used to create a shoe out of a hardened and molded material to remain close to that shape with wear. This assumes that your foot is similar to the shape of a standard last, most feet can accommodate these with a pretty good degree of comfort and satisfaction. For those with two different shaped feet, or for those who have any extremes in their foot shape or size, a custom fit shoe is necessary to achieve any degree of comfort.
I custom fit these boots to your feet by means of a soft last cast pattern of your exact foot and leg shape, so if you desire a different toe area shape you will need to let me know. This is done by means of a casting video which is sent to you when you order. It takes you through the complete process of making this cast, which is made out of strips of duct tape placed over a sock.
I use this cast, along with tracings of both feet to make the final pattern used in the construction of your custom fit boots. I mail out the pattern with the boots to you. When you want more boots, simply order and return the pattern. I can also use this pattern to make any changes that might be needed, or for making new insoles, resoling, or different height boots.
Back To Top
If I do this cast for you I charge $50.
What is the Contract/Refund Policy?
A contract is established between you the customer, and SodHoppers, once moneys have exchanged hands in expectation for goods - moccasins. This contract binds me, SodHoppers, to make you the customer, a custom pair of moccasins as written on your order form/receipt, in a timely manner, usually within 3-5 weeks of my receiving your cast and payment in full. Orders can be changed at any time prior to the actual start of the order.
I do not make cancellations or refunds.
Once a contract has been made by placing an order, and making a deposit, customers have one year to complete their end of the contract, to pay in full and to get their cast and/or video back to me. If this period lapses without completion of payment in full, or return of the cast and video, the contract is voided and all payments are forfeited. Orders that have been placed, paid for, and not acted upon within one year from the date of order, are considered in default of contract. SodHoppers is under no obligation after this one year time period has elapsed.
SodHoppers Guarantees all it's moccasins for a period of one year, as stated in the Guarantee section above. I stand by all my work. I do not however offer a refund. If you are not satisfied with your moccasins in any way, I will do most anything to try and make you a happy customer. My business survives on good customer relations. Please read the customer comments section to see how other's feel about SodHoppers product and customer relations.
Back To Top
Repairs & Replacement Questions?
If a repair or replacement becomes necessary after the guarantee has expired, I will gladly do either for you at a cost that represents the materials and time of labor. My minimum charge for repairs is $50.
My Moccasins are too tight in the toe box area, what can I do?
Did you attempt to stretch the toe box area with a broom handle? Have you tried leaving a golf ball jammed into the areas of tightness when they are off your feet? If you've tried both these methods without success there is another sure method that will work... Lace them up on your feet and step in a tub of warm water past the tops of the moccasins till they are completely soaked, then wear them till they loosen up to where they are comfortable. Remove them before they overstretch and let them dry with the insoles removed to dry separately. When the insoles are dry and the moccasins are almost completely dry, put the insoles back in and lace them up. Apply leather dressing and wear them. They should have stretched to fully conform to your feet.
How much does it cost for resoling & can I change to a different sole?
Resoling costs $75 plus the the cost of shipping both ways. You can choose any sole you want, with one exception. If you have a Goop sole and want a different one, it will cost $175, plus the shipping costs. This is because I have to take them completely apart and make a whole new set of bottoms, like the photos below, and new insoles. The same procedure and charges apply to a change from a standard sole to a Goop sole, or anytime I have to replace the complete bottoms, soles and insoles.
How can I get a broken button replaced?
That is a simple matter of notifying me. I will mail out standard buttons, at $2ea. or whatever the optional buttons cost, plus shipping. I will include a free needle, waxed string, and written & visual instructions for you to make this easy repair at home.
Can I have arches added, or taken out, how about new insoles?
Arches are $15 if ordered with the Mocs. They can not be added later, I would have to make you a new pair of insoles, at the cost of $30, with arches the cost is $45. If you have insoles with arches and you want to remove them, it is fairly easy. They are only glued in and stitched around the outside, just rip them out. You may choose to re-glue the unattached area and trim off the excess felt.
How do I re-Goop my soles and the edges that have peeled away, and can you do this for me?
I sell the Goop mixture, it comes with the necessary instructions, available on the Order Page in the Accessories section.
When you are ready to goop the edges and/or areas of thinning on the bottoms, first wash the moccasins and dry them completely. This will remove dirt and oils. Goop them up using a pallet knife or regular dinnerware knife, let them cure for about a week, then lace them up, apply leather dressing and wear. Allow one hour drying time between a minimum of three layers. To remove excess glue and Goop from knife or on leather, wait till dry and rub off.
If you choose to have me do them, the cost is dependent on the need and time to do the job plus shipping costs.
Before & After
Although this person waited a bit too long to re apply the Goop to the bottoms of her moccasins, this particular pair is still repairable. I just had to replace the entire bottoms.
My Goop soles are coming detached along the outside seams, should I trim them and re-Goop
Yes go ahead and trim off the overlapping goop, just be careful to not cut into the leather at the same time. You will want to fill in these gaps with Goop in time so that dirt particles don't lodge in and start to wear away and cut the threads, and to prevent the leather strip from becoming brittle and tearing. Nothing to concern yourself with for several months of wear or until areas of wear on the bottoms are showing leather, at which time much of the initial pealing away will stop.
When you are ready to goop the edges and areas of thinning on the bottoms, first wash the moccasins and dry them completely. This will remove dirt and oils. Goop them up, let them cure for about a week, then lace them up, apply leather dressing and wear.
If you seem to be walking off your heels or rolling off the front, what can be done?
This is do to the nature of the Moccasin and a tendency of certain people's feet to pronate out or supinate inward when walking. When the tracings and cast are done, walking tendency is not taken into account, nor is it in any other footwear. The difference between this style of footwear and any other is that it is made out of a pliable top-grain-leather, which as in all true moccasins, gives you the ultimate in comfort, especially when custom fit, but also allows the foots tendencies to determine their path and therefore, their final shape after being broke in and stretched. Most other footwear is made from a last of a standard foot shape and are made of harder materials which are molded over these lasts. Standard shoes most often come with a stiffened heel counter to hinder individuals from walking off the heels. They might even incorporate some strengthening in the front area as well. Moccasins do not have this, and because they are sewn inside out and then turned, it is impossible to sew something like this in. There are tradeoffs to anything, in this case the trade off is choosing the ultimate in fit and comfort of a custom moccasin, verses a one size fits all standard hardened and molded shoe.
There is no perfect fix to this problem. For those who tend to walk off the heels, I recommend placing an insole with a well fit cupped heel in place of the standard one. This will help hold the heel in place.
The term I use for the experience of walking off the heels is, Heel Bag. This can be experienced by some who are heavy, or their natural gait (the tendency to walk on the inside or outside of their feet or heels), or by improper wearing. Proper wearing can be addressed. One of the important things to remember when wearing moccasins is that they are made of top-grain-leather, which is supple enough to allow your feet to move where they want. This being said, it is important to discontinue wearing them if they become soaking wet, because they will over stretch, often causing you feet to slide back over the heel. Another very important thing to consider is proper break in and lacing of moccasins. Lacing & Breaking In of Moccasins.
Back To Top
What is SodHoppers Guarantee?
SodHoppers Guarantees your moccasins, materials, and craftsmanship to stand up for a period of one full year. If anything goes wrong with them in that period of time, outside of neglect or abuse, notify me. I will make any necessary repairs or replacements free of charge.
Occasionally there are fit issues. If it is determined that this was caused by my craftsmanship, I will make the repairs free of charge. All I ask is that you follow the Casting DVD instructions when making your cast and tracings, and let me know right away if there is a fit issue.
I stand by all my work. I do not however offer a refund. If you are not satisfied with your moccasins in any way, I will do most anything to try and make you a happy customer. My business survives on good customer relations. Please read the customer comments section to see how others feel about SodHoppers product and customer relations. Although 100% customer satisfaction is my goal, I am not able to fully please everyone all of the time.
The longevity of these top-grain-leather moccasins depends on their upkeep. With proper care, they should give you 10 - 20 years of comfortable wear. Refer to Care Instructions on the Q&A page.
Back To Top