SUMMERTIME OBSESSION : ARROW MOCCASIN, HUDSON MA.


Remember when you first “discovered” Quoddy? Me too. Back in August of ’08, during the first few fledgling months of this here endeavor, I had a very similar feeling after coming across Arrow Moccasins, hand made in Hudson MA since 1951 by Ron Ouellette and now, son Paul. After a quick search, I thought, “why isn’t everyone talking about these?” Well, some years have passed and as Arrow now factors into the conversation for some alongside the likes of Quoddy, Russell, etc, I find myself coming back to them again and again, now wondering why in the world haven’t I just gotten myself a damn pair yet?




Results searching these now still mainly yields a high number of Japanese blogs with photos of various make-ups, double soled with a Vibram christy sole being a personal favorite. But while not every pair in Arrow’s catalog appeals to me personally, I’ve always had a real strong liking for the two eye moc and the ring boot, double soled and finished with that perfectly thin crepe sole (though unclear as to whether it’s an option presently offered by Arrow). Paired with Engineered Garments’ Olive Sateen Fatigue Shorts or my old 3Sixteen SL’s, this is a summertime obsession that should last for many seasons to come.


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13 Responses to "SUMMERTIME OBSESSION : ARROW MOCCASIN, HUDSON MA."

  1. Nico says:

    An Affordable Wardrobe also has a great post on these. They look great!

  2. Peter says:

    I lusted after them for a few years but after handling them I was actually scared off by the thickness of the leather. they looked like the break-in would be brutal, and then I’d have to own them for decades. I’m a weenie, I admit it.

  3. dintx says:

    yes – been wanting some ring boots for so long but i’m still trying to kill two pair of minnetonkas that wont die. i just can justify another pair of mocs that will last forever if i got two that keep on keeping on… but those ring boots are so nice and you know they will outlive us all…

  4. Francisco says:

    I purchased a pair of the two eye ties last summer and absolutely LOVE them. Due to Arrow’s antiquated web site, I scoured the internet for more information and pictures, and came across a few of those pics posted above. I really liked the double leather sole with an additional crepe sole also, but in a tan color. I called Arrow and it is indeed a one man operation: Paul. He was very nice and patient as I described what I wanted. I even emailed him pics that I found on the web to see what he could and couldn’t/wouldn’t do. Apparently a lot of the pics I saw, and those posted here, are altered. Paul will dye the leather to get a lighter brown/sandy color, though it does leave a very faint greenish tint. The process didn’t cost me any extra and didn’t really add to the overall wait time (about 3 weeks to Lawrence, KS, though he quoted 6-8). Unfortunately, Paul won’t do a double leather sole AND a crepe sole. Just won’t do it. I’ll also note that the crepe sole Paul puts on is somewhat thin, compared with the chunky versions I’ve seen in some pics. Keep in mind that Paul won’t repair the crepe sole. So once it’s worn through, you have to find a good cobbler in your area. I’ve seen some version of the two eye ties that are two-tone, with lighter colored leather used for the top piece (a la Oi Polloi). Again, ask Paul what you want and there’s a chance he can make it happen. I saw a post regarding their thickness and break-in time. It’s true that the leather is crazy thick. To me, that’s honestly a selling point, especially considering how supple the leather is. I can’t say there was any period of time I found them uncomfortable, but I also immediately treated them to keep them soft and protected from the elements. I personally use Montana Pitch Blend Leather Dressing. All natural, keeps the leather soft and protected. Also use it on my Wolverines; love it!

    As you can tell, I’ve become a big fan of my Arrow mocs, and I constantly receive compliments on their badassery. Plus, they really are a steal when compared to the prices of Quoddy and Yuketen. So pull the trigger, you won’t regret it.

    • mrforts says:

      Thanks so much for that. Awesome stuff.

    • Martin says:

      Agree with everything you said there. I found Paul to be extremely helpful. Having initially bought a pair 2nd hand off ebay, I found the standard fit to be WAY to wide for my skinny feet and also i’m generally in-between sizes. Paul made me a pair that fit perfectly and have been a pleasure to wear. Despite the leather being super thick, it is also very soft & pliable to i’ve had virtually no pain whilst wearing them.

      Being in the UK, I assumed that oi polloi woould be the only place to get them but buying them direct made perfect sense from both a financial and fit viewpoint.

      Will definitely be getting another pair in due course.

  5. t. funk says:

    Like you, I “discovered” Quoddy around 07/08 while searching for Bluchers made in the USA. I wanted a pair like the old eastland or Bean camp mocs (i don’t think either company were producing them at the time). I found Quoddy and fell in love, The Shorey’s took great care of me, and were very responsive to my every crazy question. I wasn’t sure what kind of quality I was going to get for my $68 pair of handsewn mocs, but I was not very optimistic. I was shocked when I opened the box and saw a Beautiful pair of shoes. In the next few months, I ordered two more pairs (I’m a shoe guy, and knew handsewns this nice at under $70 per was not going to hold). Glad I did, because within a year, the shoes were no longer in my price range. My only regret was that I didn’t get a pair of the ring boots. So, I decided to see what else was out there… That brings me to the Arrows. I’d found them like pretty much everyone else does, by looking at what the Japanese “made in America” aficionados were carrying. I saw the low ring mocs, and fell in lust. But these were not sold in America (until nepenthes started carrying them (and if you cant afford the Quoddys, don’t even think about Nepenthes). So, I settled my heart on the two eye tie moc… Well, after about 3 years of watching, and lurking, I finally invested (yes, 4 pairs of moccasins is excessive), but I don’t regret it one bit. The Arrows showed up a few days ago, and I have a new favorite shoe. The leather is THICK, but for me that is a selling point. The double sole feels just fine on sidewalks, and grass alike. I wore them out for the day, with NO blisters, NO pain whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I think they might be the most comfortable shoe I own. I’ve heard other people complain that they smell. They are correct, they STINK. They stink like LEATHER! and in my book, that is a good stink. I don’t wan’t to take sides, but I’m glad that Arrow ring mocs are still affordable. On the other hand, I don’t think they could pull off boat shoes or camp mocs. End of the day, it’s like comparing a barbecue to a clambake… I love both.

  6. Twicehorn says:

    I’ve had a pair of two eyelet boots for a couple of years. Double leather soles. They’re great. I wear em every where except prolonged walking on concrete. Soles are no more worn than say dress shoes. I expect soles to last a decade. Thickness is such that it’s ample protection but still get the moccasin fit and feel. Great product!

    • Ak says:

      Do you (or anyone) wear the arrow moccasins with a leather sole in the rain? What’s the traction like?

  7. marilyn mahoney says:

    Where is the nearest store near Marlboro, Mass where i can purchase these moccasins?

    • mrforts says:

      Don’t think Arrow has many, if any, retail accounts in the US. Oi Polloi in the UK carries them from time to time.
      Contact Arrow directly to order. Very easy to work with.

  8. I just came from Arrow this morning. It was amazing. I walk in this old building and I get the smell of leather. There’s a work room and a little show room. I tried some on but I have high instep and my feet are a little wide so they were too tight. So the owner/shoemaker traced my feet and is going to make them custom.
    I hope this place stay around forever. I wish I knew web design because I’d love to see him have an amazing update to his site.

  9. Dave Webb says:

    I moved to Massachusetts just last year from the UK and stumbled across them while trawling through web sites. I couldn’t believe they are just in the next town from me in Hudson. I Found their place yesterday just before they closed for the day and could not believe what I found. For an old show dog It’s like finding Aladin’s cave! The mocc’s are made from 1/4″ thick oiled European hide that feels so amazing! Something I have never seen before. As Rebecca says the website and shop don’t look like they have changes since the early 90′s but their honest and unique product allow you to look past this.
    I can’t wait to go back and will definitely be making the investment in a pair soon.
    Long live Arrow Moccasins!

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