We sat down with our VP of Product Development, Roger Huard, who has a past life in the moccasin industry, and has been instrumental in the design and production of our limited edition Wolverine 1000 Mile Lodge Moc Slipper. He talked about the moccasin world, how he was inspired to create the shoe, and the unique, time tested construction of moccasins.
Question: What inspired you to create the Wolverine 1000 Mile Lodge Moc Slipper?
Roger: I was in the moccasin industry for a long time prior to working for the Wolverine brand, and there are a lot of similarities between moccasins and 1000 Mile boots. The boot is a traditional and timeless design and is handcrafted using only the finest materials. It felt natural to take classic 1000 Mile materials and craftsmanship, and use them in a moccasin design.
Question: How did the design and material process work?
Roger: Carrie Hill, our senior design manager, designed a classic moccasin, using the traditional pattern with a canoe bottom. I worked with Horween to find the best leathers for the moccasin, a soft tan leather for the upper, and a bottom leather that is rugged with some traction. I knew that I wanted to use 100% shearling, as that’s the highest quality material that you can use for lining for a slipper. Truly, the best slippers in the world are made out of shearling as they provide warmth without getting overly hot.
Question: What’s the process of making a moccasin?
Roger: We did research to find a handsewn factory and were able to find one of the few left in the USA. They’ve been making slippers there for three generations. There is a small moccasin community that still supports American factories like these and we were so excited to partner with them. The process of making a handsewn slipper is not complicated but it requires some unique time-tested skills when it comes to handsewing the moc together. They do this sewing right on the last in order to provide a true fit and wraps the foot in leather and shearling. From beginning to end the process can take fewer than 10 craftsmen. The moccasin construction remarkably has not changed in well over a 1000 years; it’s a classic process that really can’t be automated making it extremely unique. Generally speaking a moc is the best fitting shoe that you can buy.
Question: Tell us about your past in the moccasin industry and how you ended up at Wolverine?
Roger: I started in the moccasin/slipper business well over thirty years ago. As my career developed with Wolverine I eventually moved away from slippers and moccasins and into the Wolverine boots and shoes that I work on now. The principles of good shoemaking, whether you are talking about boots or slippers are the same and as I approach the end on my career it was nice to come full circle and do another slipper but this time in a Wolverine Brand kind of way.
Roger is retiring at the end of the year, but we are so thankful for the 10 years that we had with him at Wolverine brand and Wolverine World Wide. Check out the Wolverine 1000 Mile Lodge Moc Slipper here.