The W.C. Russell Moccasin Company

Welcome to The Russell Moccasin E-Newsletter

Email has become the gold standard of communication in our computerized world. Russell Moccasin would like to ask your permission to send you an E-Newsletter from time to time. We promise not to cover you up with junk mail. We would like to utilize this lightening fast and cost effective method of communication to provide you with company news, product developments and to provide you with some valuable information.

A Straight Forward Discussion of Orthotics From Russell Moccasin

As stated in one of our earlier newsletters, Russell Moccasin is not a proponent of orthotics for a number of reasons. Chief amongst a myriad of reasons is... simply put... orthotics are not compatible with a true moccasin style boot or shoe.  The intrinsic design of a moccasin boot or shoe allows the boot or shoe to mold to your feet.

When an orthotic device is placed into the bottom of true moccasin style footwear it totally defeats the molding attributes of the moccasin design.

In other words... there is absolutely no way that you will ever experience the fit and comfort of a moccasin style boot or shoe while wearing orthotics in them. It just can’t be done!

Having made true moccasin style footwear for 114 years, Russell Moccasin knows the benefits of wearing moccasin style footwear. A moccasin cradles your foot in all leather, wrapping one, two or three layers of high quality leather around the foot. With wear your moccasin shoe or boot molds to the shape of your foot. Moccasin footwear allows the bones and muscles of your foot to “exercise” properly and grow stronger.

In most cases orthotics are a crutch for out of shape feet and the promised benefits are normally a “smoke and mirrors fix” to problems that can be corrected through exercise and properly fitting boots and shoes.

In the past 10 years or so, we have seen more and more people wearing orthotics. Russell feels orthotics are a compromise at best and does not recommend them unless medically necessary as they detract from the benefits of moccasin construction... they interfere with fit, feel, comfort and function of a true moccasin shoe or boot.


Russell will attempt to work with customers who insist on wearing medically prescribed orthotics and having specially made boots and shoes made. But...given the number of “remakes” we must go through each time we encounter an orthotic allowance, Russell will not guarantee the fit nor will we “remake” boots or shoes for free.

Russell loses money on nearly every pair of boots or shoes made for an orthotic wearer. We often have to “remake” shoes or boots several times to accommodate orthotics. At $400 or so per pair, Russell is losing money on every pair.

We do not believe in orthotics whatsoever and will no longer make special efforts to “remake” shoes and boots over orthotics two and three times at no cost to the customer.

If you order a pair of boots or shoes with an orthotic allowance requirement, we will make the first pair only for the listed price of that boot or shoe, plus the additional $30.00 upcharge for the orthotic fitting. If the first pair does not please you, you can order another pair but we can no longer continue taking back new pairs of boots and shoes made for orthotics wearers. You will henceforth be charged for each pair of boots or shoes we have to make for you to satisfy your orthotic use.

Russell will continue to accommodate customers requiring heel lifts built into the outside sole. Russell will also continue to offer custom buildup and buildout services for customers with bunions, hammertoes and other foot deformities.

Click here to read what several prominent doctors and sports medicine/trainers say about orthotics

New Kangaroo Russell Classics! (How we got there!)

Baseball and soccer players have always known the wisdom of wearing kangaroo athletic shoes. No leather is tougher, nor softer nor lighter weight. Kangaroo has the highest strength to weight ratio of any leather known to man.

Up until now it has just never been practical to make an entire Russell shoe or boot out of kangaroo as the kangaroo leather we saw here in the US was always so thin that we could not use it to make shoes or boots. It had very little structure or rigidity so we always had to line it with cowhide, which defeated the purpose of lightweight kangaroo leather. We have incorporated kangaroo tops and gussets in a number of our boots and shoes for many years but our customers wanted “lighter” boots so we went to work.

Russell Moccasin’s Production Manager, Joe Gonyo, an avid hunter and outdoorsman himself, began exploring kangaroo leather availabilities right at the source... in Australia.   After receiving several samples of kangaroo leather and then testing it for workability through the plant, testing for waterproofness and durability, Joe requested some adjustments in the tanning process and then ordered several newly-minted K-Roo hides to make some of our Russell Classics in kangaroo leather. Now thanks to the Packer Leather Company from Australia and their amazing K-Leather (kangaroo), Russell introduces five new styles of kangaroo boots and shoes fashioned from their incredible fine grained, lightweight, flexible and strong waterproofed Alabama K-Roo Leather.


Why Kangaroo?

For the following reasons:

  1. Substantial weight savings.  

  2. Superb water resistance. 

  3. Increased durability.

  4. Supreme comfort (soft, pliable leather... literally no breakin period)

Kangaroo leather is 20% lighter than cowhide from the outset. But when split before tanning (as all leathers are, including cow hide and goat hide must be for making boots and shoes), kangaroo retains more of its tensile strength... better than any other leather in the world.

When kangaroo is split to only 20% of its original thickness it retains 30% to 60% of its original tensile strength. This is significant! Cow or calf hides, when split to 20% of their original thickness, (which is a necessity to make the leather usable for boots, shoes, gloves or garment manufacturing), retain only 1% to 4% of their original strength.

Kangaroo has 10 times (10X) the tensile strength of cowhide and is 50% stronger than goat hide... while being 20% lighter in weight!

What is the price penalty you pay as a customer?  

Negligible! The cost of kangaroo is nearly identical to many of the premium leathers we utilize in making Russell boots and shoes. Less expensive actually, than our famous French Veal leather, so there is no tradeoff between performance and price.   This is a win/win situation for everyone.

Russell’s  Joe Gonyo, also reports that the new K-Roo leather from Packer Leather sews up beautifully, pulls up over our wood lasts easily, allowing finished kangaroo products to flow smoothly through the production facility. (Joe has a big smile on his face these days!).

Why is kangaroo so strong?

Without launching into a long and dull scientific explanation riddled with words that none of us can pronounce, much less understand, allow us to give you the basic information... kangaroo vs. cowhide.

In the words of an Australian kangaroo leather expert, (are you ready for some science?)

“The molecular composition of kangaroo skin differs significantly compared to cow or goat skin. The collagen fiber bundles in cow and goat skin are arranged in a complex weaving pattern, often at angles of 90 degrees to the skin surface.   Kangaroo fiber structure is formed from long uniform, threadlike molecules of collagen twisted together parallel with the skin surface like a rope.”

This same expert also points out that the diet of the kangaroo is usually poor as they live in a harsh environment which results in virtually no fat within the fiber or skin structure. There in lies one of the important differences between kangaroo and cow or goat hides. Because a kangaroo carries not fat on its body, there are no “voids” in the hide (empty areas where fat is cooked out of the raw hides during tanning).   “Voids” in cowhide and goat further hide reduce the tensile strength of the leather.

Translated, kangaroo hide grows linearly to the body. Cow and goat hide grow up, or vertically, meaning that when the leather is split many of the connecting tissues within the original thickness of the hide are cut or broken, which then causes inherent weakness in the structural strength of the leather. Throw in the the “voids”, caused by removal of fats in cowhides and goat hides during tanning... plus the vertical vs. linear growth of the cowhide vs. kangaroo hide... and there is the simple answer as to why kangaroo is so incredibly strong and durable.

Ecological Note:  There is no shortage of kangaroo leather... nor kangaroos.  Only about 2 million kangaroos are harvested each year in  Australia. The average population is 25 million. The kangaroo leather industry employs more than 4,000 Australians and accounts for more than a $270 million contribution to the Australian economy every year.

Click here for New Kangaroo Russell Classics

Russell Customer Writes:  “First Season Hunting in My Mohican Stalkers”

“Thanks guys! My Mohican Stalkers look great after 120 miles. Definitely the most comfortable boot I have ever worn. Gonna order another pair of boots for cold weather for next year.

Have a healthy winter and may your freezer always be full.”

Kenevan McConnon

Minimalist Country Squire Signature South 40 Birdshooter Prototype History

Richard Sanders’ first prototype pair.

• 5 months use in 2011 -- more than 200 miles 

• 8 months use in 2012 -- more than 240 miles of rough hunting... woodlands, brush, cat tail swamps, CRP, corn fields, slough bottoms

In two seasons this pair of boots has covered 440 + miles!



  1. They were made from the finest, high grade leather in the world --- waterproofed WeatherTuff.

  2. They were handmade, handsewn with meticulous care.

  3. Richard takes care of his boots and shoes. These were recently cleaned to remove 8 months of field dirt with Fiebing’s Saddle Soap, allowed to dry naturally and then retreated with two coats of Obenauf’s Heavy Duty Leather Preservative.

  4. They had been treated with Obenauf’s 2X before the season.


Russell Winter and Spring Show Schedule

Get a first hand look at all the Russell Moccasin products at one of these great shows. There is not a better place to touch and feel and learn about our outdoor gear than one of the spectacular shows listed below.

Dallas Safari Club
Dallas Convention Center
Dallas, Texas
Booths #2120 & 2121
January 3-6, 2013

Houston Safari Club
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Houston, TX
January 11-13, 2013

Safari Club International
Reno Sparks Convention Center
Reno, Neveda
January 23-26, 2013

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition
Gaillard Auditorium
Charleston, SC
February 15-17, 2013

National Pheasant Fest
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN
February 15-17, 2013

Brays Island 2013 Outdoor and Shooting Sports Exposition
Sheldon, SC
April, 2013
BY INVITATION ONLY: Contact Russell Moccasin Company at 920-361-2252 if interested in attending

Southern Side By Side
Deep River Sporting Clays and Shooting School
Sanford, NC
April 26-28, 2013

NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits
George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, TX
May 3-5, 2013

Give us your feedback. Did you find this newsletter to be useful? What other subjects would you like to see discussed in the future? Let us know!

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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