Testimonials


Patty, I was asked to join a lady friend at the “Carry the Load” conclusion here in Dallas.

http://www.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1047584

The “official” walk was supposed to be 6 miles. From where we started, turned around, and finished it was more like 7 miles.

When I got dressed to go I thought to myself, “Self, what shoes should I wear for this hike?” My choices were a couple of different pairs of sneakers or my Russell Short PHs. I decided Russell makes those shoes for walking so that’s what I wore! WHAT A GREAT CHOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!! My feet were comfortable the entire time (and I’m not used to such long walks – I don’t do that anymore!) and had I worn the 100% correct socks it would have been a perfect walk - but I can’t blame the shoes for the little annoyance the socks gave a toe or two. The soles of my feet were in perfect harmony with the day for the entire time – and I have suffered from plantar’s fasciitis in the past so there was a risk – NOT WITH THOSE SHOES THERE WASN’T!!!! And if it wasn’t for a little road dust the shoes would still look new so THANK YOU RUSSELL MOCCASINS!!!!

***Greg***

"The Thula Thula boots arrive a couple weeks ago. I haven't been this pleased with new footwear since my mother took me to the shoe store and bought my my first pair of high top sneakers. The Thula Thula boots feel as if they were made for me. But then, they WERE made for me" Thanks for all of these wonderful boots. Best to you always!"

Nelson Cauthen - Mississippi

"I received my Joe's PH last week and I just wanted to express how completely pleased I am with them. This is the first time in my life I've been able to slip my foot into a leather boot and feel like it's been broken in for years. Not a single pressure point or area of slippage. Everything is solid and feels exactly like it should, and the leather is beautiful. I've already given them a nice coat of Obenauf's and put about 10 miles on them through concrete, dirt, mud and sand, and they've been just perfect. Thank you so much for the work your company does and for answering all my questions, and thanks for giving me a pair of "new friends" which I'm sure will last me many years.

Rich Piotrowicz

These are the BEST DAMN'D BOOTS EVER!!!

It's summer here in Texas. That means fitness training sessions in temperatures over 100 degrees!

This morning my son Marshall and I went over to the gravel piles for a little "torture training"...The rough-out suede, canvas upper and flat profile sole on my Russells performed to perfection...How can I say this???...Easy! With my heart and lungs about to explode and my Oakleys stained with sweat the last thing on my mind was my feet...In other words, the boots are so comfortable (they breathe) and provide such good traction and stability, I don't even know I'm wearing them...that's how it is supposed to be!

Simply put - these are the best damn'd boots I've ever worn!!!

Pass it on!

Jeff Wemmer - Texas


"I received my Joe's PH last week, and I just wanted to express how completely pleased I am with them. This is the first time in my life I've been able to slip my foot into a leather boot and feel like it's been broken in for years. Not a single pressure point or area of slippage. Everything is solid and feels exactly like it should, and the leather is beautiful. I've already given them a nice coat of Obenauf's and put about 10 miles on them through concrete, dirt, mud and sand, and they've been just perfect. Thank you so much for the work your company does and for answering all my questions, and thanks for giving me a pair of "new friends" which I'm sure will last me many years."

Rich Piotrrowicz - New Jersey


"After making arrangements with Jofie Lamprecht last January for a safari in Oct, 2011 he made several suggestions about equipment and fitness level for a successful safari.
Jofie asked if I had heard of Russell boots - I told him I already had two pair and was more than satisfied with their quality and performance. He strongly suggested, maybe insisted is the better term, that I purchase a pair of ThulaThula boots for our hunt. I followed his recommendation and could not have been more pleased. The boots arrived several days earlier than the ship date, fit perfectly, and were comfortable from the start. I can attest to their comfort and durability since the first full day on safari with Jofie at Waterburg Park in Namibia we walked about 14 miles in pursuit of Cape Buffalo. Your product is the best. Having a PH like Jofie on your team can only enhance your status among the hunting community."

Rick Nordling


"My name is Nick Rudicle. I bought a pair of your boots before I went on a semester abroad in East Africa. I was in Tanzania for three months and Kenya for a month and a half. Without your boots I don’t think my feet would have survived the trip. We hiked, climbed mountains (not Kilimanjaro…thank goodness.) We tracked elephants on foot for research, and walked pretty much everywhere. My feet held up just fine to my amazement. Know the reason that this is so amazing is the fact that I was in a gnarly motorcycle accident in 2008 that shattered my left foot, 2 surgeries later and I was back on my feet, but unable to run or walk without a severe limp and pain. My surgeon told me that he didn’t think that I would ever run, or walk normally again. Knowing that Africa was going to be rough for me and my foot, I searched high and low for the best boots that I could find. Well I found them…the boots worked so well that I was walking with almost no limp, no foot pain ( first time in over 2 years since the accident), and eventually I was running in them… Yes running! While studying elephants in Tanzania I found myself running two miles a day. Simply incredible! My Joe’s Safari PH (Specials) got beat up in just about every way imaginable and they held up incredibly well. I loved them so much I am now buying a second pair of your shoe’s to see if they can help my feet out. Thanks for making such amazing boots.

PS not all of my time in Africa was spent trekking. Photos of Ruaha Hill top Lodge, Tanzania"

Nick Rudicle Indiana


“Just want to tell you that I love your wonderful Safari “PH” boots.    I wore them once before leaving for Africa and every day for 16 days over there.    They were outstanding - comfortable, great support and a great fit for me.   Many Thanks”

Anita Thakur - Wisconsin


“Need to send you photos of my original Russell Safari “PH”s...they've been around the world several times, from Argentina to Alaska..  Need to send them back to be resoled.  Would like to wear them the 1st week of July in Namibia for plains game then to another country for lion.  Love my Russell’s... don't go on a hunt without them!  I wore my tall Russell boots EVERY DAY for the TV shows and photos on a recent bear hunt.  Love 'em.”

Larry Weishuhn, “Mr. Whitetail”


Retired Marine Lt. Col. Fred Cale, New Orleans, LA, started buying our custom made boots in 2006 when he was still on active duty with the U.S. Marines, stationed in Iraq. Fred is now retired and working for a private contractor in Afghanistan. This is his favorite pair of Mountain PH boots that he wore all over Iraq and Afghanistan, made for him in 2006. He sent them back to us for resoling – the first resoling they have needed. Fred had us design these so they were as close to “military” issue as we could get. Since then we have also made other pairs for him with the strap diagonally across the quarters which looks even more like “military” issue. This pair is his absolute favorite and he hated to give them up for resoling. "I absolutely love your Chukka Hikers."

"The Thula Thula's continue to be a joy to hunt in. I recently slipped into a herd of pigs, "silently, silently," and arrowed a nice pig with my recurve bow. They never knew I was there,partly because I could move so quietly in your Thula Thula moccasin boots. The remaining pigs continued to feed in front of me for another 15 minutes. Thula Thula's a great shoes!

Mike Pimentel


Several months ago, when I ordered another pair of Kalahari PH, I talked to Mr. Fabricius about putting on a set of thin soles like what you are doing with the Thula Thula series. Mr. Fabricius would not take payment for the additional expense but just asked that I try them and let him know how they worked. They work Great! The original KPH are a delight to wear. Only issues were bottoms were slippery on wet grass and almost dangerous on wet metal surfaces such a dew on bumper or dew on metal truck bed. Also, we do have some rocks and much walking on rocky soil (for which the KPH is not recommended) is uncomfortable. KPH do fit like a sock, are very light, and still probably my favorite shoe if the conditions permit. Soled KPH solved all slipping problems. Walking on the rocks is not uncomfortable. Very comfortable shoe. Obviously “feels” much heavier that the non soled KPH. Soled KPH appears to have more “structure” and ankle support compare to the non-soled. Ground feel not quite as good as non-soled KPH but still good and much better than a standard or short PH series. You still can feel the ground much better than any shoes or boot, just not quite as good as the KPH. Thanks very much for another great product."

Don Stevens - VA

"We met at Reno at SCI where you measured me for a pair of PH II boots and then rushed a pair through to me as I was leaving for a buffalo hunt on Feb. 11th. Your PH II boots are fantastic, easily the best pair of hunting boots I have ever owned. They enabled me to stalk up to 30 yards from a superb Cape Buffalo."

John Hipwell


"Just returned from a safari with Jofie Lamprecht (I think he will share photos of our boots), and cannot tell you how great my PH boots were. Many thanks for such careful boot crafting."

Anne Smith

"First I would like to say what an awesome product your company produces. Your boots are by far the most comfortable and urbane pair of shoes that my feet have had the pleasure of wearing. I purchased my boots almost six years ago and they are still giving me first class service. I can't be certain, but I would guess these boots have well over 500 miles on them. They have been on my feet from Virginia to Hawaii to Canada and many places in between. They have even made two trips to Africa. I can honestly say that I have put these boots through just about everything and they are still holding up like the day I received them with the exception of the worn soles. I wish I could get that kind of milage out of my car tires. If you would resole them for me I would greatly appreciate it."

Rob Burnham - VA


"Great talking night. Called to upgrade the order for the chocolate brown Mountain PH to include a double vamp? FYI attached is the picture of my old boots -- worn daily for three years and have covered 1,000s of miles across a range of terrain -- city streets of Singapore and Hong Kong, the red desert of the Pilbara in Western Australia, jungle in Malaysia, volcanoes in Bali, the granite tors of Dartmoor, southwest England, the peat bogs of the Western Isles of Scotland and snowy forests in Canada. All in perfect comfort with nary a chafe nor blister. I just love my boots."

Nick Trevethan


"Dear Russell Boot Team:

This past February I was the successful bidder at the Kansas City Chapter, Safari Club International annual fund raiser for a certificate you donated for a pair of your fine boots. You were kind enough to let me pick and choose features for a truly custom boot that I thought would meet my needs. I prefer to hunt in leather and my 40+ year old Imperials are not insulated. The new boots arrived and while I have not had a chance to throughly test them in the Southeast summer, I am looking forward to cooler weather to put them to good use. Beautiful pair of boots, excellent attention to detail! Since I don't expect to wear them out, will pass to my son and grandson.

My first Russells were off-the-shelf Birdhunters. They served well many years. The aforementioned Imperials were a gift from my wife on our first Christmas. They have been hunted in many places and continue to serve with a third pair of soles.

When planning for our first trip to Africa, my son gave be a certificate for a new pair of Russells. I chose the PH model which has served me well on the plains of Namibia and the rough terrain of the Eastern Cape and in the Karoo, Republic of South Africa. When the weather is warm and hunting/shooting is on the agenda, the PHs are first on the essentials list. Another fine pair of Russells.

Thought you folks might be interested in the attached photo...note the lower left corner. You will see the PHs made for me and my son put to good use. After two safaris, the boots are just coming into their own.

Thanks for the great work you do and the fine products that Russell boots are."

Cone S. Underwood, LTC, USA, RET -Georgia

"Just finished a great South African hunt wearing a pair of your boots. They did not disappoint me. A great product. A special thanks to Doug for expediting the order. I got them just in time. Many thanks."

Mike Brown - MO


"I just returned home from a guided spot-and-stalk hunt for blackbuck in South Texas - in the mesquite thorn country. We must have walked at least 25 miles over four days, and my guide will probably be limping for weeks after the seven seperate thorn penetrations that he experienced - the thorns penetrated the soles on his sneaker-based hunting boots as if they were butter. On the other hand, my Russell Turtleskin ThornArmor Safari "PH" boots never even noticed the thorns. Not only did thorns never get to my feet, but they never even penetrated into the Vibram AirBob soles. Another great result from your fabulous boots. You can see the fine boots that you made, to the left of the blackbuck in the attached photo."

Charles Rogers - Michigan


"Thanks for the new boots. Everyone who sees that we use Russell Boots asks about them. We have only the highest praise for the quality and comfort of your boots.
For me, no other boot comes close for comfort. Comfort is so important when doing a lot of walking. I look forward to wearing the new boots."

Garry Kelly, Professional Hunter, South Africa, Garry Kelly Safaris


" I am sending you this e;mail to congratulate you on the superb quality of your Thula Thula "PH" moccasin. I recently returnED from an 8-day elk hunt in Colorado. I originally stopped the the store earlier this summer to buy a pair of Mountain "PH" bppts for the elk hunt. Once I saw the Thula Thula I later left with two pairs of boots on order. I have worn several types of boots, from leather moccasins, tennis shoes and heavy boots while bowhunting for elk. I have always liked the feel of the moccasin for stalking and hiking but until I wore a pair of Thula Thula’s I was always worried about the lack of ankle support and lack of arch support. When we arrived in Colorado I wore the Thula Thula's to climb up the side of the mountain to glass for elk the night before the season opener. They were so comfortable and quiet that I never took the Mountain "PH'" out of the truck and never took the Thula Thula’s off. Every morning I was climbing 1000-1200’ feet and elevation...over a 1.5 mile walk to where I wanted to start hunting. Not one time on the eight-day hunt did I have sore feet or any blisters. These are by far the quietest and most comfortable hunting boot or regular shoe that I have ever worn. I attached a picture to give you a better perspective of the area and terrain that I was hunting in"

Jim Rocole


“I depend on Russell boots for the 200 plus days of my hunting season to work for me every year . The boots I wear are one of the most important tools in daily use. They withstand miles of thorny and rocky Africa better than any other boot, and fit better than any other boot ever could.”

Jofie Lamprecht, Professional Hunter, Hunters Namibia Safaris

"I have been hunting in my current pair Laramie PH's all this year and have to say that they are the most comfortable pair of boots I have ever owned and could not be happier. Off to chase some buff next week, the last for 2009."

John Oosthuizen, Professional Hunter, Hunters & Guides


"The Thula Thula PH boots you sent me are extraordinarily comfortable and were very useful when I was in Africa. I was able to wear them all day without any foot pair or discomfort."

Christopher Micaud


"My new Russell boots arrive two days before I left for Botswana and fit very well. I was concerned my old Russell boots, which I have worn on my previous five safaris might not hold up. I was wading in the Okavango Delta so the new boots got a real workout. As it turned out, I gave the old Russell boots to my tracker because they were still in such good condition."

David Israel


"I am sending these boots back to have them resoled. These boots have been on three African Safaris and numerous other hunting trips in North America. I'm leaving again for South Africa at the end of May and I don't want to go on the hunt without these boots--they truly are great."

Dan Merchant - Texas

Dick Scorzafava with a fine Saskatchewan whitetail buck that scored 186 5/8 as a straight up
5 x 5, 2008
"We stalked for hours each day on my recent Sable hunt in Africa and my feet were never so comfortable thanks to my Russell Safari PH boots. I have finally found a boot that meets my needs and will be a loyal customer for life".
Dick Scorzafava
www.radicalbowhunter.com
www.spiesinthedeerwoods.com
Knight Born to Hunt Television Show
Outdoor Writer and National Seminar Speaker

"It is always a pleasure to slip on a pair of Russell Moccasin boots. They are very comfortable as well as quiet. When filming for our television show, Engel's Outdoor Experience, we typically are in the field for extended periods of time. Wearing proper footwear that is comfortable, protective and well constructed makes for an even better outdoor experience."

Jeff Engel - Engel's Outdoor Experience TV Show

"I cannot tell you how much I love my Russell Moccasins - all of the girls were so jealous that I had such comfortable and durable boots. They're now all planning to get a pair! I was hunting in the Cape Midland Highlands near Somerset East in South Africa with PH Andri Fox with Tollie's African Safaris. I spent 6 days hunting with four other women in South Africa. The terrain was mountainous and rocky, with the highest area in the region of 6000 ft above sea level. I took 6 animals: Kudu, Common Springbuck,White Springbuck, Impala, Warthog and Burchell Zebra. It was the best time of my life and I can't wait to go back! I wanted to thank you for the wonderful boots!"

Nicole Capossela, Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations Office of Advancement, NRA Headquarters--Virgina


"We returned last night from Kenya, and had a fantastic safari. Quite an adventure - lots of backcountry where we were the only people, lots of wildlife (including elephants around our tent one night), and wonderful visits with communities. Here is an image of me visiting with the director of a Maasai-owned lodge - sampling local botany. And on my feet, Russell PHs. I hope you have some good trips planned. Fingers crossed that we can pull off a Montana wingshoot - we've been invited to a nice ranch there, and it will be an Overland Journal story as well."

Roseann Hanson, Conservation Editor, Overland Journal - Arizona


"I was in the store last Dec. to order a pair of custom hunting boots. While I was there, I also bought a pair of Safari boots off the shelf. Well, I would like to tell you that I wore the Safari boots for the first time yesterday. I had to write and tell you that they were the most comfortable boots I have ever worn! I cannot wait until Fall to wear the new custom hunting boots that arrived earlier this week! Thank you for saving these old feet and making my retired years in the field much more comfortable."

Your new dedicated customer ", Walter A. Klukas - Wisconsin

Dear folks...

"At the 2008 Dallas Safari Club show I visited your booth and ended up ordering a pair of Russell Safari PH boots. They have arrived within the past few days and I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am. They are just what I had in mind. It's always nice to find a company that builds things the old way, as in quality & craftsmanship. Thanks for doing it right."

Jim Wilson - Texas

Gentlemen,

"Had a great time in the Yucatan jungle. I managed to get some turkeys, crested guan, coati, and great curassow. My new Russell PH’s did an outstanding job down there in the muck of Campeche. I wish I could say that my 39 year old buddy held up as well, but I can’t.
Attached are a few pictures. Thanks again."

Gayne Young - Texas


"Dear Russell Team
I am a professional hunter in Tanzania. I used to wear normal shoes before a client offered me a pair of PH boots at the end of his safari two years ago. It was a revelation! I still now wear them during all the hunting season, and have ordered a second pair of Joe's PH, just to have two pairs in the bush. The Russell Mocassins are strong, light, and so quiete.. I don't make any more noise than my bare foot trackers!. I am sending you a safari picture of me with client and his elephant, (hunted last November in Selous game reserve, Tanzania), and my Russell Moccasins."

Best regards,

François Lyonnet


I just returned from my first safari in South Africa. I called you in May and asked for your recommendation on what boot to buy. You suggested the  Safari “PH” II .   The boots exceeded my expectations and were twice as quite as the PH's boots. He bragged on my boots daily as to the quality and "silence". I appreciate your recommendation and commend you on your quality!”

Ralph Thomas -- Georgia


“Just to let you know I received my pair of “PH's in Laramie brushed boulder leather. They are great and very comfortable. Thanks so much. See you at the DSC Convention.”

John Oosthuizen, Professional Hunter, South Africa


“I have just now completed the first hunt with my new “PH” boots.  It was a week long hunt for fallow and sambar deer at Kingham Ranch in Queensland and Mary River Safaris in the Northern Territories of Australia.  The boots were as comfortable as any I have worn, and quiet!  The quietest I have ever used. I am looking forward to using my Bowhunter boots next season here in Alberta.”

David Little - Alberta


“Just got my new Mbogo boots that I ordered at SCI in Reno.  WOW!  They fit perfect.  Now just to put them to the test in Australia for three months.  I can hardly wait.  Thanks for a great  job!!”

Dan O’Sullivan


“I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the “PH” boots ya'll made for me. I used them in the East Cape area for South Africa and they were great. The thorns and rocks were unbelievable and the boots were very comfortable and gave me plenty of ankle support. The padded collar helped on the long steep trails. I only had them for a few days before the trip and they were broke in out of the box. Keep up the good work.”

Andy Jones


“Received my Joe’s “PH” Special boots -- they are everything you said and then some.  I’ve never had such comfortable shoes.  The quality is great.”

Cecil Miller


“Ralph,

I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how very much I appreciate your hard work in getting my Joe’s “PH” boots finished in time for my Africa trip.  I know with my weird-sized and shaped feet it was quite a chore but you really came through for me. They worked great and they fit perfectly.  I cannot begin to express how much I appreciate this effort by yourself and the Russell Moccasin Company.”

Joe Graham - Executive Director, NRA Publications


“I just received my Mountain “PH” boots.  They are even better than I expected!!  I wore them right out of the box and they were perfect.  I have never had any boot that I could do that with.  I have worm them the last two days.  We are going Mule Deer hunting in the mountains of New Mexico tomorrow and I will wear these boots.   No break in period.  Incredible!!! Thank you for your personal attention and thank you for making this incredible pair of boots.   I hope to see you at the safari convention in Dallas this year.”

Jerry Cass - New Mexico


“I have just returned from a fabulous 14-day hunting safari in Zimbabwe, and I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my experiences with your wonderful Mountain Safari “PH" hunting boot, which I wore exclusively on this safari.  Actually, this is my second safari season with the same pair of Russell Mountain Safari “PH's, which I wore every hunting day during the course of a safari last year in Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve.  I have been an extremely satisfied Russell customer for many years, and I have worn your boots on every African safari I have undertaken during the last 11 years, from Tanzania to Namibia. To say that my experiences with your fine products have been anything less than fabulous would be a gross understatement.

Your Mountain Safari “PH” is, beyond question, the finest safari boot that I have ever worn in Africa, and every aspect of this boot represents the very zenith of quality in terms of thoughtful, considerate design; materials, fit, finish, and true best-quality craftsmanship. In my opinion, it simply cannot be improved upon.  I require footwear that offers a bit more support than many of the more traditional safari boots, and the Mountain Safari “PH” fulfills these requirements perfectly. Everything about it, from the Vibram Sierra sole, to the triple-vamp, Weather-Tuff leather construction and padded collar contributes to it's superb functionality, durability, and comfortable it.  It is the finest African big game hunting boot I have ever worn, and I look forward to many years of service from this pair of Russell Mountain Safari “PH's in the future.”

Allen E. Day - Oregon


“G’day from Down Under;

It was to my great relief, when finally my new pair of Russell Joe’s “PH” Special boots arrived in the post early this hunting season gone.  Since my faithful old pair of Russell’s finally expired midway through last year season, after many years of service (purchased SCI 1997) I have tried several brands of hunting boots. However none of these have come anywhere near the hard wearing ability and comfort I’ve come to expect from my Russell’s. The swamps, volcanic rocks and all-round harsh conditions I hunt in every day really take their toll on a pair of boots, but once again the Russell’s have come up trumps.   

Best regards and good hunting.”

Peter Mayall
Professional Hunter
Northern Territory
Australia

P.S. please find photo attachments of my Russell boots in action with Asiatic Buffalo.


“Your Safari PH II worked GREAT!  Quiet, Minimal track left.   Several seasoned SF vets said they never heard me approach prior to their capture.”

Chuck Mellette
S.C. State Constable
CallSign “SILVERBACK”

P.S.  Mr. Mellette requested a quiet boot for stalking to help in a survival training class for U.S. Marines


“I used the Mountain PH boots you made for me on my first safari to South Africa last year.  I wore them before the trip around town while running chores, but quite frankly, the boots never needed more than a couple hours of breaking in before they fit like socks.   We hunted the Orange River and Little Karoo areas.  Both are rough, thorny, rocky & at times steep.  The boots were an excellent choice for the terrain and allowed me to walk comfortably all day while keeping my feet rested and in excellent condition throughout the 10 days of a very successful safari.  Hope you can turn the eland I shot while wearing my first pair of Russell's into my next pair of PHs, for the next safari.  Rarely have I received more than I expected from an outdoor product, but these boots delivered beyond expectations.  Thanks from a very satisfied customer.”

Anselmo Nuñez, MD - Wisconsin


U.S. Marine, SSGT Joseph A. Tormala, USA, Retired, who was wounded in action December 25, 2003, in Baqubah, Iraq, while serving with the 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, had his reasons for entering Safari Club International's “Operation Freedom Safari” contest.

“I have always wanted to go on safari in Africa because I have advocated and enjoyed hunting. Since being wounded in action on Christmas day 2003 in Iraq, I resolved to live life to its fullest and hunting is the chief means I find in accomplishing this. I lost two close friends the day I was wounded in Iraq. Our dream upon returning home was to hunt together. Winning the SCI contest will allow me to dedicate the hunt to them and honor them by doing what they loved to do.”

The “Operation Freedom Safari” contest was created by Safari Club International to honor those in the U.S. military. One deserving enlisted person would be chosen to participate in an all expense paid, fully outfitted African safari with hunting legend Jim Zumbo and an SCI member who made the winning bid at auction, on Eric and Oksana Sparks' Matlou and Sukses Ranches in Southeast Botswana in August of 2006.

Tormala's entry was chosen by SCI Publications Director, Steve Comus, and Jim Zumbo from hundreds of submissions. Tormala, who is a life member of the National Rifle Association plus a firearms instructor, is a highly decorated 21-year veteran of the Marines, having served in Lebanon, Libya, the Persian Gulf, Central American, Southwest Asia, the Philippines, Kuwait and Iraq. Following his retirement from active service in 2004, Tormala returned to his native Michigan where he lives with his wife Sheila and daughter Katrina.

Russell Moccasin company was asked by SCI to help outfit SSGT Tormla and build a special pair of Joe's Safari “PH” boots for his hunt. We were honored to do so. A measuring form was sent to SSGT Tormala, followed up by phone calls to inquire about special requirements stemming from his wounds. We learned that SSGT Tormala now had to wear special orthotics following his injuries. We asked him to send the orthotics to us to allow us to build the boots to accommodate them.

SCI Life Member, Fred Bowlin of Louisiana, was the winning bidder at the SCI auction, paying $25,000 for the privilege of accompanying SSGT Tormala on his safari. Proceeds from the SCI auction were earmarked to help fight AIDS in Botswana. All of the meat taken went to feed local villagers.
SSGT Tormala's successful SCI “Operation Freedom Safari” , began August 1, 2006. Following his return to Michigan, SSGT. Tormala sent us the following letter.

Dear Russell Moccasin:

“Mere words can hardly express my gratitude for the efforts Russell Moccasin Company went through to make my Joe's “PH” Special boots for me to make my Operation Freedom Safari” possible. The trip to Botswana was the greatest experience of my life and would not have been possible without your generous support. Your Joe's “PH” Special boots saw major use and were vital for my success on the safari and I'll remain eternally in your debt for your heartfelt support.

“I found hunting in Botswana very challenging and I am happy to report I harvested some fine animals, including a Warthog, Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu and a coupe of Impalas. All of which were taken wearing your exceptional Russell Moccasin Joe's “PH” Special boots. I served as my own PH with a tracker assigned to me and he and the other staff would often look back wondering if I was still following. Not that is a quiet boot! I've found a trusted name in Russell Moccasin as an international hunter in Africa. I can't think of another hunting boot I would trust my hunt success to, other an a Russell Moccasin.

“You truly helped me achieve a hunter's dream some true, to hunt the free ranging -- fair chase -- plains game of Africa and to honor the memory of two dear friends! Thank you for what you do in promoting hunting and the great outdoors and for your role in making the “Operation Freedom Safari” possible. God Bless you and your company.”

Sincerely Yours,

Joseph A. Tormala, SSGT, USMC/USA (Ret.)

“Just a note to say my gloves, I meant boots arrived yesterday. They do fit like a glove and I took them out for a good four miles this morning to test them out. Wow! I'm impressed with the fit and quality of workmanship. Big thanks to Ralph for getting them to me in such a quick
turnaround. And Patty, I thank you to for all the fun on the phone talking about your trip and the way you talk up there. Ha-ha. Okay, it's off to Africa next week for a trip of a lifetime, just hope I live thru it!”

Tom Butler

“I just received my first pair of Russell Safari Boots, (Joe's PH), and I am thrilled! Not only are they the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn (right out of the box), they are beautiful! I wanted to wear them to sleep last night but my husband made me take them off. Thank you for doing a double rush so that I could have these boots for our Safari next week in Tanzania.
Everyone I dealt with at your company was helpful and caring - a rare treat these days! Thank you again and know that you have a customer for life!”

Chris Relf

“I just received my new PH boots and they are the most comfortable boots I have ever had on -- right out of the box. Wish I had gotten a pair years ago.”

Stuart McKenzie, Southern Sporting Safaris

“As I said, I would inform you how these boots performed on their first hike. These all leather Mountain “PH” boots were made for me specifically for hiking and backpacking. Let me just say that they are like nothing I have ever used before. The support on the ankles was perfect, the soles had great traction even on wet surfaces, and while packing supplies for 5 days I never had any problem with foot fatigue, or ankle roll-overs. Over the years I have tried various boots for this purpose, and finally I now own the only pair I will ever need. I did not encounter any rain on this trip but I did have a few creek crossings and the morning dew was heavy no problems with getting the inside wet, this trip. If anyone ever requests boots for backpacking these are top of the line for my money, (and my kids say I am tighter than a bull's backside at fly time), when it comes to money, So there you go. I gave them a good test for there first trip and your boots held up as you figured they would. Great workmanship and a quality product. Furthermore would you please fill another order for me Oneida 1278-C. These will be the perfect match after a long day on the trail, and loafing around the fire in the evening. Hoping to hear from you soon and once again thank you for making such a well thought out product.”
A customer for life

Tom Corbett

“Dear Ralph and Staff,

My “PH” II boots arrived later than scheduled, but before my wife and I left on our trip to Namibia. Everyone says you have to take well-worn and broken-in boots to Africa, but I was only able to wear the boots around the house a few days before we left. My wife also has a pair of Russell “PH” boots, but she has had them for a while and always finds them to be comfortable. Part of our trip to Namibia was sightseeing and I found the boots to be helpful and comfortable when walking over the dunes to Sandwich Bay. The first time I wore them all day I probably walked five miles and was hit by a wave, so they did get drenched with sea water without any apparent detrimental effect.

“When we arrived at the hunting camp I wore the boots all day for 10 days in a row and I probably walked at least five miles a day. They were totally comfortable and performed well.

“You will be happy to know that three professional hunters in camp admired the boots and are planning to order a pair at the Dallas Safari Club Convention next year. The same is true of the three other hunters in camp. After my experience with your excellent boots, I can’t say I am surprised. Thanks again.”

Frank Stanley, III, New Jersey
Russell Moccasin customer Kip Kerr of Ohio, bow hunting with Dries Visser, Jr., in South Africa, 2005, took several outstanding trophies including the pending new #1 Archery SCI Cape Buffalo, (132 6/8 SCI).   Kerr's 16 inch leopard, was also taken with his 88 lb. bow.

Kerr's footwear:  Russell Moccasin's cat quiet Safari "PH" II, equipped with plantation crepe gum rubber soles.

"I recently returned from Zimbabwe.  I was on safari with Roger Whitall Safari's.  I wore your Safari "PH" II with the crepe soles.  My PH, Guy Whittall, said I walked like a cat.  I have been hunting for over 45 years and have not had a more comfortable boot in all those years.  I would recommend them to anyone that is a serious hunter.  When my Cape Buffalo hide arrives in the U.S., will you make me a pair of moccasins out of it?"

- Keith Gjestson, Montana

Please note the enclosed two pairs of shoes which appear to be in need of resoling.  They've been to Africa nine times so far, not to mention frequent bird, dove and turkey hunts here on the East coast.  They are great shoes and I can't imagine going back to Africa without them.  Please resole and return ASAP.  Keep up the good work."

- D.C. Huston, Jr., New Jersey


"I received my boots this week and they are the best fitting things I have ever put on my feet.  I need to order another pair made with Thorn Armor all the way up.  Thanks."

- Drew Castleberry


"I am on my feet at least 16 hours a day, so a bad shoe can be a disaster for me. When breaking in a new pair of shoes I typically carry along an old comfortable pair so that when my dogs cry uncle I can soothe them. I got my MBOGO's the other day and put them on in the morning. That night I realized they were still on my feet, never once did my feet object. Wow that's never happened before. I can't wait till I am out in the field to give them a real work out. I have already ordered 2 more pairs of different styles and can't wait for their arrival. Will probably break down and buy a 4th pair before next hunting season so as to treat my feet right when I am out hunting."

- George Tershakovec, M.D., F.A.C.S. Miami, Fl."


"This Safari "PH" ad reminded me of the good service you gave me when I ordered by first of "PH"'s in 1999. Your boots fit like a pair of gloves. I am using them on my fourth safari in May. I would highly recommend these boots to anyone going to Africa."

- Terry Anderson, Michigan


"I am very satisfied with the new boots I just received. When I took them out of the box I could not believe how good they looked. As I hurried to put the boots on they were absolutely the right size and fit perfectly. I am so satisfied I am sending you an order for another pair with some additional modifications and options."

- Mark Emken - Texas


Hi Ralph,

"Just a short note of thanks.   I received my Russell boots in the Luangwa while on safari. A client from Wisconsin brought them out with him . They are serving me well and it was a good suggestion to get the heavier and more sturdy new PH Mountain pair.  Thank you very much. Will keep you posted. Right now I am using them here in Saudi. Do not know how many pairs of Russel Boots are walking around in Saudi Arabia.

Attached a photo of my son, me and Bob Neu the client (and a roan). My son took over my old pair the moment the new pair arrived. So three guys and three great pairs of boots".

Regards,
- Derick van Staden, PH

"Praises:
I just wanted to contact you and say what a wonderful product you have!  I ordered a pair of Safari PH boots this year and used them in Zimbabwe on a 14 day safari.  I have used small men’s boots with extra socks, special moleskin and duct tape to prevent blisters for hunting and hiking for years.  These PH’s( with the great crepe soles) are extremely comfortable and I could wear them with just socks from the very beginning.  Your custom measuring was easy and apparently accurate from the instant comfort I noticed in the boots. You have a customer for life!  Thank you,"

- Vicki Winegar

"My wife and I just returned from a 14-day safari to Zimbabwe and I wanted to comment on how your boots made the trip a wonderful experience.  I had left my 6-month old PH's at our home in North Carolina and as a result, stopped in Berlin two days before leaving on the trip and bought a new pair...off the shelf.  The first steps I took in these boots were to walk onto the plane in Miami and fly to London and then on to Harare, Zimbabwe.

Many days we walked up to nine hours over varied terrain, through rivers, mud and thorny brush.  I am here to say those boots are the best ever. There was never a moment of discomfort.  I dare say if I had not had experience with your boots in the past I never would have taken an absolutely new pair of boots on a trip like this.

My wife also wore a pair of PH's which she had only worn for about 30 minutes prior to the trip.  She would like to know why her tennis shoes are not as comfortable.  Good question.  Thanks for continuing to make a wonderful product."

- Dick & Nancy Freund, WI

"I wanted to let you know I've never been more satisfied with a product as I am with yours. The comfort of the MBOGO right out of the box was unbelievable. I told the boot craftsman that made my boots what problems I normally have with boots and he made the corrections needed and I have the best, more comfortable boots I've ever had. Again, thank you."

- Stephen Griffin


Fast forward about 40 years and I must tell you that I am now the proud owner of a pair of your boots (MBOGOs) that I purchased recently from your sale rack. Although I no longer hunt or live in Kansas, I manage to walk/hike at least 1,500 miles a year. I must tell you how impressed I am with the quality, stability and comfort of your boots - so much so that I have ordered another pair, this time a pair of custom made Safari PHs'!

Words don't do justice when it comes to expressing how pleased and impressed I am by your product. When the day is done, the night is still, and I am laying in bed I can almost hear my lower legs and feet whispering to me, "What took you so damn long???. Good Job!"

- Sincerely, John Day

“Please find enclosed a picture of the Elephant I hunted in Zimbabwe. I contribute my success on this hunt in large part to the fact that I was wearing Russell PH boots. The daytime temperatures ranged from 110 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the country very rugged, rocky. This Elephant was hunted the proper old fashioned way, using porters, on foot, camping with only a blanket for warmth during the cool nights and miles away from the vehicle. As we traveled fast and light, only one pair of boots could be taken. The choice for me was the Russell PH model. Unfortunately my professional hunter and hunting companions did not have Russell’s. Blisters, sore feet, cuts and bruises were the order of the day for these gentlemen as a result of falls and slips that occurred from selecting poorly designed boots. Again thank you for a great product and great service.”"Three years ago we purchased the Mountain "PH" professional hunting boots from Russell. We have worn them in every type of terrain from the Okavango Delta to the Waterburg Mountains and not once have we regretted our choice of Russell boots over all the outdoor boots and shoes available.

- Bob Merkley, Alberta


Steve Williamson and his son, Jack, of New Orleans, who just returned from a South African safari, stopped by the Russell Moccasin booth at the 2003 Dallas Safari Club Convention to tell Russell how much they liked their Russell Safari "PH" boots. Steve said, "We just wanted you to know how well these boots worked out for Jack and me."

Jack and his Dad were both measured for a custom fit at the Dallas Safari Club Convention in 2002. Jack is a fine example of a second generation hunter... well behaved and appreciative of the experiences and opportunities his father has provided him. It is always a pleasure to greet Jack and Steve in our booth. We commend Steve for including Jack in his outdoor endeavors


"I have used Russell boots, in particular the PH boot, and have found them to be the most comfortable and best boots I have ever worn. I can highly reccomend them to anyone who want to wear a comfortable and long lasting boot, for all terrains. Russell take care of every client personally and being avid hunters themselves, they understand the need for good quallity, comfortable and protective hunting boots."

- Garry & Sean Kelly
Professional Hunters
Bonwa Phala Safaris
South Africa


“Thank you again for the awesome Mountain PH Safari boots. They fit like a glove. They are light, have awesome grip on rocks. The first time I wore them I did a four hour hike in the rugged mountains of Pilanesberg National Park and despite the fact that they were brand new boots, I never blistered or came close to blistering. The ankle support is fantastic and above all, they are the quietest boots when stalking game in the bush. Anyone going to Africa will not be disappointed with the Mountain PH boot. They are the only way to go.”

- Hans Vermaak
Coenraad Vermaak Safaris
South Africa


“Enclosed are my safari boots to be resoled. I have hunted in them from Tanzania to New Zealand and they remain the best footwear I have ever purchased. The soft gum rubber soles are quieter than anything I have ever worn. More than one professional hunter commented that it was originally a little disconcerting not to be able to hear the hunter walking behind him. Please replace the worn sole with the same gum rubber.”

- Vern Kuipers


“The Russell Chukka shoe is my standard go-to-work footwear and strangers in offices, malls restaurants and shooting ranges are forever tapping me on the shoulder and asking, ‘Hey mister, where do you get those good looking shoes?’ If you have a Russell Hall of Fame, I can donate a well-worn pair of your Safari boots, the soles of which are embedded with the thorns of many African adventures.”

-Jim Carmichel, Shooting Editor, Outdoor Life


“Being a foot doctor I am well schooled in shoe gear and the manufacture of shoes. I highly recommend your entire line of shoes and specifically the Safari PH series. As you know I now have two pairs--the first still serves me well but I always have that second pair as a backup. Not only am I a practicing podiatrist but I am also an avid hunter, having hunted all over the world. And I must say your shoes have been along on almost every trip I’ve made. Your shoes are excellent, a fine product. I will recommended them to our American Medical Association, (APMA), for acceptance by the committee on podiatric materials and equipment.”

- Dr. D. Michael Irvin


“In September I hunted Cape Buffalo and Lion in Zimbabwe for 18 days. I wore my Russell Safari “PH” series every hour I was awake. They were very comfortable and a perfect boot for that particular hunt.”

- Mike McFerran


“My wife Alice had never worn your boots before she went to Zimbabwe with me. She wore them when we walked for miles in search of Cape Buffalo. She said her Russell boots were the most comfortable she has ever had. She finds it difficult to get comfortable boots and shoes because of her narrow foot. Thank you for making such an excellent product. Please send Alice's new chukkas, when finished, to the address on the form.”

- Walter Winget


“You may remember that I faxed you recently regarding sending over to Australia, a pair of Safari PH’s that I had ordered so that I would have them for a trip to Africa. The boots arrived three days prior to departure. I was worried about hunting in boots that I hadn't broken in. However, for the whole 15 days hunting I wore nothing else. They are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned and quieter than the guides and trackers whilst hunting.”

- Geoff Bontoft, Australia


“Just a note of thanks for the excellent quality in my Safari PH boots. In previous hot weather hunts, foot blisters have always been a problem. However, I just returned from such a venue in the Australian Outback. Your PH’s felt broken in when I first put them on and were very comfortable during my buffalo hunt. I credit overhearing two hunters at the SCI Convention discussing how good your boots are for my placing an order. Thanks again for a quality product.”

- Wayne Dixon


"It was with great care that I chose my footwear for Africa for I was not going on a 10-day safari but a 6-month extended trip that would take me through five different types of terrain. I chose the Russell Safari "PH" for its light weight, breathable design, combined with its rugged construction. The super quiet crepe soles worked perfectly allowing me to creep within bow range of several unsuspecting animals, yet provided enough cushion to keep me energized throughout the day, no matter how far I walked or how steep the terrain. From day one, (no break-in required), I did not get a blister, nor a sore foot, as they were molded to my particular foot. Over the course of the summer I stalked, walked and sometimes ran countless miles and was never let down by my "PH's". Thanks for a great boot."

- Mike Schoby, outdoor writer


"I just wanted to let you know that I love the Mountain "PH" boots you made for me. They're a whole new experience in footwear. They feel like slippers, yet they're the most rugged boots I've ever worn. I put them to the extreme test a couple of weeks ago when I wore them mountain lion
hunting and they still look brand new. Any other boot would look pretty bad after that. I've never had a lot of money but I had wanted to try a pair of your boots for years, but felt I couldn't afford them. The money was well spent. In fact, I'm thinking of ordering another pair. They feel so good I hate to take them off. I'd wear them to bed if my wife would let me."