African professional hunter and Russell customer, Paul Stones, Paul Stones Safaris Africa, approached Russell Moccasin in 2007 and asked that we build him a special "PH" boot without our signature molded wraparound outer sole.
Could we and would we do this? Of course! But why?
Paul explained to us that in the tough conditions in which he hunts the rocks, heavy thornbush and tree stumps tend to wear the stitching around the outside molded sole through rather quickly so he suggested that we leave the molded sole off, making the outside of the boot one smooth, continuous piece of leather.
Paul Stones is a youngish PH who covers a lot of ground each year while guiding hunters in Africa, much like another professional hunter and Russell boot tester by the name of Ivan Carter. Both of these men walk over 2,000 kilometers, or 1,240 miles per year. So when professional hunters make suggestions as to how to improve our product, we listen intently.
The outside molded sole was originally specified to provide added side to side support and foot stabilization and to provide another layer of leather under foot for walking comfort.
Russell went to work on a new design to test Paul's concept.
At Paul's suggestion, Russell designed a shoe without the outside molded sole but built it with a double vamp of leather, (meaning a second layer of leather wraps completely around the foot). The double vamp construction provides the extra foot support and stabilization to firmly support the foot plus provides an extra layer of leather under foot for comfort for long treks in the African bush.
The new test boot was made in green waterproofed WeatherTuff® Leather with brown cotton duck uppers. It features a Poron slipsole, a technical foam layer built in between the two layers of leather on the bottom of the shoe for improved walking comfort. Poron will not compress as less costly foam inserts do so the protection and comfort will always be there. Back pull straps were added to ease pulling the boots on, brass lacing studs in the top three eyelets for quick lacing, a padded cushion collar top for comfort around the ankle. The sole is a tough Vibram® Air Bob sole that features a mildly aggressive tread pattern but is still super quiet. All seams on the bottom of the boot are sealed with Water-Loc tape for improved water resistance. When the test boots were finished we shipped them to Paul in Africa for a test drive.
"The new double vamp boot you made for me to test is without a doubt the most perfect PH boot I have worn. Since my first pair four years ago they have just gotten better and better. This is the best boot for professional hunters in Africa," Paul reported.
Custom Made Only.