Best Moccasins Reviewed & Rated
Elegance is a key point in every wardrobe. A great pair of moccasins should be an option no matter your style. They are exceptionally comfortable and you would be surprised by the variety of their make and style. We know it’s not easy finding a pair that suits your every need. In fact, buying them can even get to be complex and frustrating. As you probably know, these aren’t your average pair of sneakers or hang around shoes. You want to look at the way it is built, the material, and of course the style to make sure they will fit with a variety of outfits.
Picking a moccasin is no ordinary task. There are even experts dedicated to selecting them appropriately. You’ll even get in trouble if you tell an Italian theirs are no big deal. This type of footwear is the kind that you want to select carefully, and match with a tog outfit for the occasion. You might get away with wearing mocs for casual occasions, but you want to have the right ones when formality comes.
- UGG Dakota
- UGGpure Wool
- Durable Sole
- Sorel Manawan
- Great Grip
- Plush Lining
- BirdRock Baby
- Childrens' Moccasin
- Elastic Closure
Believe it or not, there’s actually quite a process behind making them and depending on the occasion there is a lot of rhyme and reason that go into their style and overall look. The issue with leather mocs is that anyone who knows a thing or two about them can spot a bad moccasin from a mile away.
Moccasins can lack support and stability from their loose-fitting design which can cause problems for some wearers. Taking the time to look at overall construction and the materials used can save your feet from pain and possible blisters, raw areas, and general foot pain. You should take into consideration things like arch support and the environment you will be wearing them in. Will waterproofing be necessary or will you be in a cold climate where you may need a heavy sock to keep you warm? These questions are just some of the examples of what we asked ourselves when putting this guide together to ensure we offer you the best options possible.
10 Best Moccasins
1. UGG Dakota
UGG has taken the time to make the upper of this moc water resistant and ridiculously soft. If you spend the time to maintain it, this upper will last quite some time all while looking and feeling great.
Molded Rubber Outsole
The sole of this shoe is part of what makes it great for indoor and outdoor use. In addition to the water-resistant upper, the outsole is made of rubber. Naturally, water will not penetrate rubber which is great if you intend on wearing these outside. The outsole will also give you better grip and traction than other mocs within our guide.
Cost and Value
UGG brand shoes have become a commonly known name and a powerhouse in the shoe market. With that comes an increase in price. These will cost you quite a bit and you may have to adjust your budget if you decide these are a must-have pair. They do offer superior comfort, great durability, and the option of wearing them inside and out. These reasons help make the price a little less shocking.
- Fast Break In Period
- Superior Comfort
- Good With or Without Socks
- Exceptional Durability
- Great Variety in Color
- Sizing Runs Small
- Stitching Issues
2. Sorel Manawan
Inside the Manawan, uppers are lined with a wool blend of faux-fur to wrap your feet and ankles in warmth and leave a luxe feeling on bare feet. Leather helps to keep warmth inside the bootie while still providing breathability. Whipstitching along the outsole gives the Manawan a genuine aesthetic, and helps to keep the integrity of the moccasin’s construction and durability.
As with many of Sorel’s other footwear, the Manawan has a removable EVA insole, should you prefer to instead use inserts. EVA helps give support to the shoe in areas needed most around the arch, so you’re able to wear these throughout the day without discomfort. Sturdy rubbery soles provide excellent traction if you venture out in the cold for short periods of time.
Cost and Value
Slightly more expensive than some on our top ten list, the Sorel Manawan is still a solid investment. Faux-fur helps keep insulation paramount, along with a luxurious foot feel during wear. Removable EVA insoles help give support, and bootie design keeps both feet and ankles warm in winter weather.
Faux Fur Lined
3. BirdRock Baby
For kids, it’s important their shoes allow for proper foot development, especially when they are little. The soft sole on the BirdRock Baby keeps the moccasin lightweight and flexible, helping to promote the natural movement of the foot, and proper development. It allows for some level of protection for those learning to take their first steps. An elastic band at the collar helps to keep these snugly in place, so you won’t be searching for a lost shoe when on the go.
Should for some reason you not be happy with the BirdRock Baby moccasin, the company will refund your money, or send a replacement pair, as this pair comes with a lifetime guarantee. In addition, for each pair sold, BirdRock will donate money to feed a needing child for a day through a partnering philanthropy.
Cost and Value
Easily the most budget friendly on our list, it still a great bargain when compared to other children’s’ shoes in price. A lifetime guarantee backs your purchase, and you can feel good knowing that your purchase will help feed needy children. If you’re in search of a cute, breathable moccasin for your infants or toddler, the BirdRock Baby is a great one to consider!
4. L.B. Evans Atlin Terry
Inside the Atlin is an acrylic boa lining, which helsp repel moisture, is non-allergenic, and also has the feel of real sheepskin so you have a great foot feel when wearing. Uppers are made from insulating genuine suede leather, with a leather collar, and rawhide laces to give it an aire of sophistication. You’ll be warm and cozy in them, no matter what the weather brings.
Comfort and Traction
At the base of the Atlin is a durable rubber sole, allowing for both indoor and outdoor use should you need to quickly run out in nasty weather. In addition to the faux fur lining of the Atlin, a full-length memory foam insole helps to cushion the foot during every step. Memory foam is moldable over time, so these will feel more and more comfortable over the course of wear.
Cost and Value
Slightly less expensive than some on our list, it’s a solid option for considering when purchasing your next pair. The rugged outsole and quality construction makes it durable and wearable in and outside the home. Faux fur lining helps keep insulated warmth inside, and memory foam insole helps cushion your steps.
- Multi-purpose shoe
- Rubber outsole
- Faux Fur lining
- Memory foam
- Thick Outsole
5. Tamarac 7161 Camper
A fluffy material is placed around the inner neck of the shoe, providing even more comfort. This synthetic component is all around the inner shoe, keeping your feet warm regardless of the weather conditions.
Indoor & Outdoor
The synthetic insole is soft enough to be comfortable around the house, yet strong enough for outdoor use without any obstacles. The Tamarac performs perfectly on hard surfaces such as hardwood or tiles.
Cost and Value
Tamarac moccasins are cheaper, yet more efficient than your average moccasin. Their quality matches most of the best moccasins (excluding luxury ones), and their price definitely beats them. One of the best values of our list.
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Very comfortable
- Supports walking
- Synthetic outsole
- Not Great for Long Wear
6. Minnetonka Kilty Suede
The Kilty moccasin has a modern plush lining with a variety of decorative elements on the upper. The suede build along the leather components come in a wide span of colors to suit every user.
The sole is composed of resistant fabrics working in combination with the outsole patterns. Thanks to this, the suede moccasin remains comfortable on any plain surface and avoids slipping.
Cost and Value
This suede moc stands around the average cost of our list. Considering it beats many other moccasins, that’s a point in their favor. Not the cheapest ones you’ll find, but guaranteed one of the best.
- Excellent traction
- Easy slip-on design
- Comfortable leather
- Plush lining
- Very Long Laces
7. Dockers Sinclair Kiltie
A suregrip outsole makes your moccasin experience much more functional than ever. Walk on the pavement, hardwood, concrete, and any tough surface in total comfort. Additionally, it supports the walking motion thanks to reduced sole stiffness.
The smooth leather materials that compose the upper work in combination with classic tassels. Paddings located on the shoe collar and around the whole insole deliver a sensitive fit, helping you remain in comfort when going outdoors.
Cost and Value
A bit more than what people like to pay for moccasins, but not unaffordable. One thing is for sure; their durability stays true to their price tag. These are no generic shoes.
- Super comfortable upper
- Cushioned footbed
- Reinforced sole
- Walking flexibility
- Durability of Decoration
8. Minnetonka Thunderbird
Atop of Minnetonka’s already prominent moccasin quality construction, the Thunderbird highlights decorative beading atop the shoe, giving it an individual flair. Fringed tongue adds to the style for an authentic feel, while quality stitching helps keep integrity of the shoe as well as adding some stylish elements.
Nothing feels quite as good as going barefoot, and with the Thunderbird’s softsole design, you’ll feel as if nothing is between you and the rest of the world. Softsoles can be treated with a suede protectant before you head out into the elements to help keep the moccasin’s integrity. Padded insoles help give an extra feel of cushion for each step.
Cost and Value
Similarly priced to other Minnetonka brand moccasins, the Thunderbird is a great option to consider if you’re looking for something with a bit of individual flair. Its decorative beading and fringe give it an eye-catching appeal, and softsole and padded insole give it an ’on-foot’ feel unlike any other. If you’re a fan of barefoot, you certain should give a softsole moccasin like the Thunderbird a good look!
Run Narrow and Small
9. Bearpaw Moc II
Leather suede uppers help keep durability and comfort on your feet, while a sheepskin fur lining wraps your feet in warmth and give a plush rich feel. Some adjustability can be made with the tie found across the top of the moccasin. Each step will feel light and cushioned in the Bearpaw Moc II, and they’re ideal for lounging or running a quick errand.
The hard sole construction of the Moc II makes them wearable inside and out, and Bearpaw’s grippy and sticky rubber sole helps prevent slipping in poor snowing or damp weather. Thicker than some other moccasin hard soles, it helps give durability to the shoe, and some elevation to avoid getting the uppers wet. Definitely a characteristic to look for if you plan to wear your new moccasins about town!
Cost and Value
Slightly less than some options on our list, it’s quite budget friendly. Perfect for those looking for their first pair of moccasins or those who plan to wear them outside in the elements on a regular basis, the Bearpaw Moc II won’t let you down. It’s hard sole will help maintain durability and prevent slippage, while sheepskin fur will keep you insulated and cozy.
Sheepskin Fur Lined
Outdoor and Indoor Use
Top Tie Adjustability
10. Minnetonka Pile Lined
The inner faux fur covering not only makes the slipper much more comfortable; it also makes it an ideal barefoot wear. The fur is also located around the neck of the shoe, maintaining all parts of your foot warm.
A synthetic rubber outsole guarantees a firm, yet comfortable wear around all parts of the house. In fact, the hard sole design even allows you to take it outside. The comfort of a slipper, with the outsole of a moccasin combined in one element.
Cost and Value
The cost of this product meets the average price of the list. They’re not a reliable outdoor wear, but they sure meet their purpose indoors.
Great barefoot experience
Not for hot climates
In conclusion, unless you’re looking for moccasin slippers, they are a delicate topic. No matter how good-looking they are, they simply might not be ideal for every occasion. You might own the best pair of sandals available in the world, but that doesn’t mean you’ll wear them for the gym, right? So, make sure you think about your event and if mocs will be appropriate or not. Overall they are a great casual shoe that is awesome for many occasions. We also feel they are a must-have for every shoe collection out there.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Moccasins
Type of Sole
Depending on the type of moccasin you’re looking for, you want to make sure the sole features some things. Not all mocs are meant for the same purpose, thus the soles should be designed accordingly. At first sight, this factor doesn’t seem too relevant to the functionality of a moccasin. In fact, some people don’t know their outsoles should have a specific design according to their use.
For instance, the sole on a driving moccasin is completely different from a plain moccasin. Driving ones should include patterns on the outsole that provide a good grasp of the pedals. While may already have gripping patterns, smooth outsoles are still likely to slip on them. Outsole patterns, on the other hand, guarantee a much better contact with the pedals. These patterns should be just dense enough to grasp the pedals, and shouldn’t stand out too much.
For an indoor moccasin, things are completely different. When you’re walking around your house, you want a sole that goes soft but dense. The main quality of a slipper-moc is the comfort; if the sole fails to comfort, then it’s no good for indoor use. Look for something light, but substantial enough to walk around your home. Double-bottom soles are good choices for indoor uses, especially on surfaces like hardwood.
Dressing ones usually don’t have any kind of patterns on the outsole. They’re meant for formal occasions, and thus should look as elegant as possible. The soles of the best dressing ones are generally made of leather and rubber. When polishing their dressing shoes, most users also polish their soles–especially when it features fine leather.
Regardless of the type of moccasin, you’re wearing, you’ll want some flexibility and walking support. We’re not talking about running-shoe-level flexibility, you want just enough to walk comfortably. At the end of the day, you don’t want to over-flex your steps when wearing mocs, or you’ll end up with a caked upper.
Anyone who has owned at least 2 pairs can instantly note the difference between cheap leather and a quality one. Though, this doesn’t mean you have to wear the most exclusive Italian leathers on your feet. You just want to make sure your feet don’t look like they’re wrapped in plastic.
Full-grain leather is the top-quality cut of leather used for the best models. It’s arguably the classiest material, and trust us, there’s a huge visual difference between that and non-authentic leather. Suede, on the other hand, is made from the interior split of a leather hide and can look and feel great.
Don’t get us wrong though–you don’t have to wear full-grain leather, nor does that make suede a low-quality material. In fact, there’s quality suede just like there’s cheap suede. Though more commonly used for casual occasions, suede can also fit a dress occasion. Each kind of leather varies in quality, regardless of its type. The choice of your look is really up to you and each style has pros and cons.
There exist multiple types of leather used when making mocs among other types of shoes. Let’s take a look at the most commonly used leather for this type of shoe and what it adds to it.
This is the most commonly used material for this type of shoe. It is typically processed with multiple treatments coving a variety of issues such as waterproofing and stain resistance. Full-grain Cowhide leather is exceptionally durable and will stick with you through the toughest situations.
- Moose Hide
This type of material is softer and more flexible than other types of moc uppers. Often showing natural scarring these offer a look that is unmatched by others in its class. The excellent feel and natural look are other reasons people truly love those made of Moose Hide.
This is arguably the most comfortable leather for these shoes. Deerskin is known for its utter softness, used a lot around the inner side of the shoe. Deerskin should also display natural marks on the leather, similar to that of moosehide.
Sheepskin is rarely used as the main material for a moccasin build, though there are some cases. The good thing about sheepskin is that wool fur is very hard to beat when it comes to comfort. Though, wool isn’t enough to provide structure to a moccasin. That’s why it’s used in combination with leather. Wool is usually used as fur around the moccasin’s collar and the inner side of the shoe.
They are usually judged by the quality of the leather they’re made of. Aging and care also take a part in the state of leather. Though you can still tell apart an old authentic piece of leather from a new fake one, the difference is clearer by giving them good maintenance. We recommend leather-specific cleaning products for this process, following our shoe cleaning guide.
Occasions & Settings
Not every moccasin is meant for every dress code and occasion. There’s a moment to wear those super-comfy soft sole ones, and there’s a moment to wear elegant loafer ones. We’re not saying elegant ones shouldn’t be comfortable–just that they won’t be like pillows to your feet, which is the case of soft sole ones.
- Formal Moccasins
These usually have a stacked heel; though this is not always the case. Additionally, not all stacked heel ones are meant for formal occasions. The formality or ideal occasion for a moccasin is determined by multiple elements, not just one. From the leather arrangement to the quality of the leather, the design, and the style are all elements that have an impact.
- Casual Moccasins
Typically, these expose more skin of the foot, while formal ones usually go up to the ankle. Decorative elements such as laces on the upper build are generally signals of casual wear. Though, like we said, many other elements can make it a formal one even with decorative elements present.
There’s also a variation that’s suitable for multiple occasions. Their elements adapt to whatever you’re wearing, as long as the colors are right. For instance, they can sit well with shorts just as they would with dressing pants. In this case, it’s your dressing code that determines the aspect of the moccasin rather than its features. Multi-occasion mocs just adapt to what you’re wearing, in most cases.
Stitching and Design
Though the stitching is not something many users appreciate, it often marks the difference between a quality moccasin and a soon-to-be-trashed one. Machines are better than humans in many aspects, but there’s nothing like a proper hand-stitched moccasin when it comes to elegant wear.
Ultra-polished full-grain leather will be of no use if it comes right off the sole due to poor stitching. You’d normally think that the stitching of your moc is something hard to notice. But in reality, it’s quite visible for anyone who knows what they’re dealing with. This is why it’s important to deal with professionals for any kind of modifications or fixes on your favorite pair.
Regardless, stitching is quite an open topic. There’s not an exact list of steps to stitch a leather moccasin; because there are plenty. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a specific one which is the best, they’re simply different. Some manufacturers prefer the double toebox stitch, some prefer the whipstitch, and there’s the simple stitch too. They may look very different from one another, but at the end of the day, they will all hold your shoes together.
However, stitching should always go hand in hand with the design of the moccasin. Just like watches and suits, there are different styles of mocs. These styles often represent certain regions and have specific characteristics that represent them. One of these features is the stitching style. Italian ones, for example, tend to be more open around the upper area and traditionally use the slip-on closure. French ones, on the other hand, traditionally go ankle-high and use a lace closure. Once again, it’s not a matter of quality, but rather a matter of taste. Both French-style and Italian-style ones can meet the same quality if the materials and other elements are right.
Style / Fashion
What’s a moccasin without style? It’s pretty much the same as a running shoe without flexibility. If you’ve ever owned a pair of sneakers, and chances are you have, you know how bad of a statement that is.
Well, style is to a moccasin-like flexibility is to a running shoe; crucial. Let’s face it; the main purpose of this kind of shoe is not comfort, and certainly not performance. Though you keep comfort in consideration, you get a moccasin because it’s stylish as can be. If they lack style why would anyone be getting them in the first place?
The element that has the most impact on how stylish is a moccasin, is unquestionably the leather. We mentioned that they are judged by the quality of their leather. Well, it ultimately comes down to that. Though, more expensive leather doesn’t necessarily translate to greater style. Once again, both occasion and taste play a vital role in the styling of a moccasin.
Regardless of taste, occasion, and type of moccasin, there are some things you want to avoid. Over-decorated designs are one of those things. It’s fine to have some ornamenting on your mocs; some fake laces on the top, whipstitching, collar fur, etc. However, too much of it takes the formality away. Even if your Moccasin is not a formal one, you don’t want to have a bunch of strips and things hanging off like your feet were Christmas trees.
The most important feature of a moccasin’s aspect is the state of the leather. There’s a huge difference between old, caked leather mocs and ones that are constantly polished and cared. Cleaning your moccasin is important, as it’s no ordinary shoe. At the end of the day, leather is similar to ours except it has been treated.
It’s important to consistently clean and polish the leather. If the leather never gets hydrated or treated, it will start to develop notable degrading signs. You want to treat them at least once every month, depending on the use you give them.
As we mentioned before, comfort isn’t necessarily the most important aspect of a moccasin. But, that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice all comfort to look good. A proper moccasin should allow you to walk naturally without any disturbances. For this, it should feature some flexibility on the sole. The leather is generally never a problem when it comes to flexibility; authentic leather (or quality synthetic one) will flex as you need it.
The hardness of the sole also determines your ability to walk. Though, this feature ultimately depends on the type of moc and the surface you’re using them on. For instance, a soft-soled slipper-moc is as comfortable as you’ll be able to get. But, the softer you go, the less protection you’ll have on your feet. That being said, ultra-soft soles might not be your best shot at hard floors.
The materials that compose the soles also have an impact on your walking comfortability. Moccasin soles are generally always made of rubber, leather, or a combination of both. These materials have no flexibility issues, allowing you to walk naturally without bothering your feet. They’re also good materials for all-day wear.
Keep in mind that leather, just like skin, grows softer as it matures. Repeated wear softens them out making them more comfortable, but they don’t look as rigid as new ones, of course. They are generally stiff during the first uses, especially full-grain leather ones. This doesn’t mean they fit is wrong, you just need to give some time to the leather.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who makes the best moccasins?
A: Though Italy is very famous for their treatment and design with leather, other European countries also make splendid ones. Additionally, Canada and the U.S. are also known for great moccasin work. This type of shoe is popular among many which mean there are many great brands out there that offer high-quality mocs. Personal preference plays a big role in deciding which pair is the best.
Q: How often should I clean them?
A: The answer to this question really depends on the material of your mocs. In addition, how much you wear them and where you wear them will play their part. If your shoes are made of leather and they are not worn often you may only need to clean them once a month. On the other hand, if you wear them frequently you may need to do it weekly. Keeping Leather goods clean will not only make them look good but it will prolong the wear you will get out of them.
Q: Are loafers moccasins?
A: Some people claim they are and some don’t. By the very traditional definition of moccasin, loafers aren’t mocs. However, in the modern day fashion world, they are considered such by most people.
Q: What is a double-bottom moccasin?
A: It’s basically a moccasin that features a second layer of material on the sole. This serves both comfort and protection purposes. It can be two layers of leather, two layers of rubber, or a combination of both. This also adds to the longevity of use because of increased durability.
Q: When should I wear them?
A: There are models for every occasion, from casual ones to wear with jeans, shorts, and regular wear to formal dressing ones. Casual ones are usually suitable for everyday wear. Really the choice is up to you when to wear your mocs. Keep in mind if they have not been waterproofed and the weather goes south you may end up with wet feet and ruined shoes. You may also find your feet uncomfortable if wearing them for an extended period of time due to the lack of support.
Q: Are synthetic ones are good as leather ones?
A: Synthetic leathers are regarded by some as unauthentic, and thus inferior. However, synthetic materials can be as good as leather. They’re specially synthesized for that, after all. In addition, synthetic leather is easier to clean and maintain. If you are looking for a shoe that doesn’t need a lot of care a synthetic leather might be just for you.
Q: How often should I replace them?
A: Leather shoes in general are very durable, though it all comes down to the use you give them. You should replace them once the leather is visually degraded when it has lost all its rigidness and structure. If you find that your once comfortable mocs are not so comfortable this is also a good sign it’s time to replace them. Lastly, if you notice splitting seams or extensive wearing of the sole you may want to consider buying a new pair. Keep in mind, if your shoes are made of genuine leather, then correct care of the material will extend the life of your shoes exponentially.