What is a Moccasin Shoe?

Shop for Moccasins

This week’s blog from Donald Begg at Begg Shoes is about what is a moccasin… Some of you may have heard the phrase “moccasin” or “moccs” or often “loafer” but not know what it is and why it is called that. At Begg Shoes we have a significant moccasin business – why? Due the comfort and style that a moccasin offers vs.a pump.

Let’s start with the history of moccasin shoes…

The moccasin construction is believed to have originated in North America when hunters needed to protect their feet from cold and rugged surfaces and the best choice of material to do that was of course leather wrapped around the foot like a bag round the foot. The “bag” type construction is the enduring feature of the moccasin today and is what gives it such great comfort.

What does a moccasin shoe look like?

Visually you will not be able to see the leather bag that wraps around the foot but the key give-away of a moccasin is the seam that connects the apron (leather piece that covers the top of the foot) and the body (leather bag that wraps around the sides and sole of the foot). For those of you who like to cook you might imagine the finalisation in making a moccasin shoe as being similar to adding the pastry lid onto a pie! The diagram below illustrates this and the picture of a finalises moccasin shows the end result nicely. This style is one of our best-selling moccasin shoes and is


Ambition Moccasin

These beautiful navy moccasins are a stylish choice for the discerning woman. The upper is made from nubuck leather and is lined with a smooth leather for comfort next to your skin and a leather insole.


Brand: ARA

Ara Moccasin

Perfect for work or play, these moccasins will do it all. The subtle floral print of the upper is overlayed with an embossed mosaic effect giving these shoes the perfect summer tones.

2250137/20 ATLANTA 81


Ambition Moccasin

A classic women’s moccasin in a bold red colourway that works well with navy or white to make a striking outfit. The soft nubuck leather upper is lined with smooth leather for comfort next to your skin.


How are moccasin shoes made?

Once the “pie” is stitched together and sole unit attached, the moccasin will normally have a last pushed into it (see one of our earlier blogs for a full explanation of what a shoe last is). The last determines the shape of the moccasin. It is at this point the manufacturer can make a wide fitting moccasin or indeed a narrow fitting moccasin.

What makes a moccasin shoe so popular?

Typically, good quality moccasin shoes will always be made using leather as the upper material. For instance our Exclusive Ambition moccasins use a really high quality leather, suede or nubuck in the uppers which means the uppers are soft, flexible and mould to the foot. Leather is a breathable material so will allow for temperature regulation. Hot feet are often a major cause of discomfort in shoes. The “bag” like construction also means the sole of the foot is always in contact with the leather upper – the end result of this is that the shoes are much more flexible than other types of shoe construction (eg. standard pump with a cemented sole unit).
We can’t ignore the fact the moccasin style is key to it’s popularity, with various age groups wearing moccasin’s. In London the moccasin is a high-end fashion look which can be seen in the likes of Harvey Nicholls & Russell & Bromley.

Where do we buy our moccasin shoes from?

We are privileged to be the only independent business in Scotland to be buying moccasin’s from a world famous shoe manufacturer in Brazil. They specialise in making moccasin shoes and it is a key supplier for major shoe retailers like Kurt Geiger (Carvela), Russell & Bromley and John Lewis. We can select our own styles, colours and materials to suit our customers and offer the styles at the most competitive prices in the UK.

Ambition – 16649-00 Porschedia

Ambition Moccasin

What is my favourite moccasin style and why?

This is a style which is bang on trend with current fashion in the UK moccasin market. Likely you will see the same style in many other fashion retailers this summer. Why? The white EVA sole unit is light, soft and flexible but looks amazing with a pair of skinny jeans and will differentiate you from the crowd. It is a classic moccasin with a sparkle and big fashion play which for me is a definite winner.


This article was written by Donald Begg.