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Customer Testimonials

I returned home from work travel today to find the box with my new moccasins. BEST SHOES EVER!! My feet love them...and I'll be reaching out to order this year's Christmas style. Thank you for your outstanding craftsmanship & Happy Thanksgiving! ... Read More

Lori K.

I LOVE my pair! I have been wearing them a lot. They fit great, are super-cute, and are so comfortable. I put them on my Instagram page and my old boss already wants to buy some. ... Read More

Theresa M.

I received my moccasins and I love them. The craftsmanship is superb and I love the colors. I am sure I will be ordering more. ... Read More

Nancy B.

My mocs came a few days ago. I love them. To have footwear that fits both feet, of very unequal size, is a luxury I never thought I would experience. Love the orange hide with the blue laces. I just don't ever want to take them off! ... Read More

Ginger K.

Hello any potential customers out there. I want to tell you that I am so impressed with the service this company has given to me. If 5 stars were the highest rating, they would be a 10. A difficult foot to fit, the pair were too small, they were HAPPY to make me another pair, no charge at all. Got back to me quickly in emails, The owner is PAUL KIRKMAN. A gem. complete gem. ... Read More

Carol M.

The Itasca Company is a pleasure to work with and The Hatchie Moccasins are perfect - Thank You for Your Service - I will reccomend Your Products and Service as Superior Premium. ... Read More

Jay S.

Awesome toebox fit first try. I've tried two other custom fit moccasin companies and this is the best first pair fit. Very neat stitching, with a good stiffener in the seam. ... Read More

Denise S

I want to talk about the amazing customer service, follow up and problem resolution from Sam, who is the manager of the retail store. She spent two hours trying to help with a shipping issue from a mail order I had made. Bottom line, Sam went far above what any other company would do to make sure the gift of moccasins arrived. Give her a raise or at least buy her lunch! ... Read More

Greg M

I ordered a pair of men’s leitner Mocs last week. They came in the mail today. I needed to let people know just how amazing these shoe really are. I am a very picky individual. I absolutely hate the throw away society that we have become were inexpensive goods are the norm and cheap materials and craftsmanship is acceptable. I know these shoes are expensive however ...... Read More


The shoes are astounding. It is wonderful to see that American craftmanship is still alive. The fit is wonderful and ordering was easy. The stitching is excellent and far beyond what I expected! And talk about comfort! Many thanks to Sam for his attention to detail. This is a superb shoe in all aspects and I would give it an 11 on a scale of 1-10. The only thing I think ...... Read More

scott stengel

Leather, leather, leather. It’s all about the leather. Let’s summarize: Great leather makes the best moccasins.

Leather, leather, leather. It’s all about the leather. Let’s summarize: Great leather makes the best moccasins.

Over the years, Itasca Leathergoods’ moccasins have developed a great base of fans because of their great colors and incredible fit.  What most people really don’t realize, though, is that the credit for both of those traits lies solely in the leathers we use.

If a company’s primary focus is being the cheapest provider in the footwear category, they will search out lower quality leathers and cheap mass production in overseas factories – both of which ultimately lead to uncomfortable footwear and poor wear (and potentially a poorly feeling conscience for supporting those principles). 

On the other hand, Itasca Leathergoods has purposely invested a great deal of time and effort into the exact opposite:  Let’s find (or develop our own) amazing leathers that result in the most comfortable fit possible, great appearance, unmatched comfort, and long-lasting wear.  And then let’s do our manufacturing in rural small-town America, providing good, stable jobs to the best group of workers you’ll ever find. 

Digging a bit deeper

When you hear works like tanning, dyeing, ounces, temper, milling and finish you might be tempted to think about lying on the sand at the beach, coloring one’s hair, weighing out food portions, a toddler’s terrible twos, making flour, or how a fine wine goes down … but once again, it’s all about the leather.  It’s always about the leather. 

In simplest terms, tanning refers to the act of preserving an animal’s hide for long-term use.  Without being tanned, the animal’s skins would simply harden and then decompose just like any other organic matter.  Throughout the millennia (evidence of tanning goes back to about 8000 BC!) there have been many ways to preserve leather, but today the two most common methods are chrome tanning and vegetable tanning.

For chrome tanned leathers, the animal hides have their flesh, fat and hair removed and then they’re preserved in baths of chromium sulfate and other chromium salts.  When complete, the resultant leather is a light bluish-grey color, no matter the species or the original color of the animal.  From there, the hides are retanned using pigments for color and are then finished using a special combination of oils and waxes to give it a unique texture or “hand.”  By comparison, vegetable tanned leathers are preserved with tannins and other matter from organic matter such as tree bark, leaves, wood, fruit and roots.   

Chrome tanning tends to result in softer, more supple leathers that take dyes beautifully for bold, vibrant colors.  When wet, chrome tanned leathers don’t discolor or lose their shape as severely as vegetable tanned leathers, and they don’t get hard and brittle when they dry out.  From these traits, it’s fairly easy to guess that we always use chrome-tanned leather for moccasins. 

Animal hides are quite variable in terms of thickness (thicker on the shoulder and thinner on the belly) and thus it’s necessary to run them through a splitting machine to shave off layers to achieve a uniform thickness.  The top layer is called the top grain or full grain, while each subsequent lower layer is called a split, also known as suede.  The thickness of leather is typically measured in ounces, measured with a gauge.  Over the years, Itasca Leathergoods has slowly evolved from using a 4-ounce leather (1/16th inch) as it’s thickest to now using 5.5-ounce (5/64th inch) for uppers and up to 7-ounce (7/64th inch) on the soles.  Not only does the thicker leather make a better-looking moccasin, they feel more substantial on the feet and provide noticeably better wear over time, especially with outdoor use.

As we’ve sought out thicker leathers, we’re aware that they could start feeling too thick or stiff, so we’ve worked with tanneries to soften the temper of the leather, making them super soft and super supple.  The softness is achieved with milling, a process in which the fibers of the leather are broken by running them through a peg-and-hole system (think lawn aerator) without lessening the integrity or strength of the leather.  Interestingly, it’s this process that gives our leathers a natural grain pattern (spectacular!) and the milling also results in a moccasin that breaks in easily.  Our customers often comment that they’re a “better-than-barefoot” feel and that they’re soft and supple right from the first wearing.

And of course, all leather stretches to conform to the shape of your feet – so we recommend that you start with a snug (but not tight) fit. 

What we’re up to, leather-wise….

Over time, Itasca Leathergoods has significantly diminished use of in-stock general purpose leathers, instead working with its primary leather distributor in California to develop custom leathers that are best suited for our moccasins.  We’re exceptionally proud of the progress we’ve made over a few short years.  We get to dictate the tanning methods, the thickness of the leather, how supple they are, their color (often color-matched to Pantone colors), how they feel in terms of waxes and oils.  We know that we’re doing things with leather that haven’t been done before and we’re excited to share them with you. 

I know that I get excited when I’m talking about our leather program, and I also know that our employees always tear into deliveries of new leather with infectious enthusiasm.  I think we’re on the right path based on the customers’ reactions when they venture into one of our retail stores and exclaim with glee over the assortment of colors and styles.

New blog!

This blog is new for us.  Come along, stay tuned, get updates of important stuff by email, and (of course) order your own pair of wonderful handcrafted mocs from time to time.

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