shoes

Yesterday I met up with Kiki to for a walk on Hampstead Heath. Unwittingly we chose the same footwear. When I posted this photo on Twitter I was deluged with queries about our footwear, so I am re-publishing this post from 2009.

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I am obsessed with Minnetonka moccasins. Obsessed, I tell you. This burning love crept up slowly over a few years, and has developed into a long lasting relationship.

It all started back in 2006, when a very nice man, who worked next door to the idiot boy I was then dating, invited me to his office to have a squint at the shoes he imported from the US to the UK.

Being a fashion editor an’all, I was intrigued. In the small room were multiple shelves of moccasins. So far, so whatever.

Then I tried on the Moosehide Driving Mocs.

Minnetonka Women's Moosehide driving moc

Instant convert. The super thick cushioned inner sole is marshmallow soft; they were definitively the most comfortable shoe I had ever worn. (One of the reasons that they are so comfy is that traditional moccasins, unlike normal shoes, have their sides and sole constructed from one piece of leather which is then sewn to the upper, and which allows the shoe to flex and shape itself to your foot.)

The very nice man generously gifted me two pairs, the marshmallow-y driving shoes and a pair of classic beaded Thunderbirds, but I was busy being a high heel wearing fashion editor and, when I moved to New York a few months later, there just wasn’t much call for flat shoes in my life.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year just after I left my US magazine. Running around on assignment in New York and driving nearly 5000 miles around California, I needed comfortable everyday shoes. I dug out both pairs and I’ve pretty much worn them to the exclusion of anything else. It doesn’t hurt that they suddenly look right with everything from bare legs & shorts to skirts & opaque tights.

Minnetonka Thunderbird LLG
(My feet in Santa Barbara back in April)

They also make those suede moccasin boots that are always being photographed on Kate Moss et al. (Minnetonkas are the ur-moccasins in the American commercial market: they’ve been making them since 1946.)

UK: www.minnetonka.co.uk (official website, every style available)
US: Net a Porter (ankle & knee boots only)
Zappos (Neither style pictured above but a pretty wide selection nonetheless)
Minnetonkasales.com (very wide selection including the ones above)

They are substantially cheaper in the US, but I don’t advise UK purchasers to order them from US websites: by the time customs, taxes & postage are paid, the difference often evaporates.

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13 comments

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Haven’t seen those in YEARS. Used to be so popular in the mid-80’s here in the states. [we were pre-teens and teens at the time..we knew what was cool]. They were uber-comfortable. Glad to see them back! [guess they never really went anywhere..but you know what I mean]

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so funny – everyone in the US keeps telling me they wore them in their teens…x

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I have the exact same pair that you are sporting, except in blue. I love these shoes so much, they are so incredibly comfortable and stylish (a duo which can be hard to find in many shoes). I’ve worn my pair so much that the sole is starting to wear down, so this post reminds me I ought to order another pair! 🙂

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Mine are too! New ones for me as well x

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i love them. I was trying to buy them through their international website but the shipping is too expensive for me to justify. $80 is just for shipping for 2 pairs!

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@trang ouch! Have you tried Net a porter?

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Got a pair of the ankle boots on hol in San Fran last year. They were a good price (ÂŁ35ish) are are really comfy. Have worn them loads and they still look great. x

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@Sarah I think they are the perfect ting to buy in the US cos of the price difference if you are on holiday

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ooh i loveeee them. topshop did a similar version but were never as nice. i think i might have to go on the website because they would be perfect with bare legs at festivals.

ade

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They look brilliant with denim shorts. I wear them with my J Brands all the time x

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Yep, used to wear them as a kid,mostly at camp and then again in the Eighties. I had a white leather pair and a brown suede pair like yours. Also a driving pair bought in the early Nineties. Found a pink pair in one of those discount shoe outlets in the States a few years ago. You can tighten them up up with the lace cord as they get looser.

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I know it’s a little bit late, but I wanna get these moccasins. You said it was classic Thunderbirds, but what sole is it ? I guess it’s not soft sole, but there are still the classic sole and the ‘crepe’ sole…x_x

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