10 Best Looking Moccasins Reviewed & Rated
Elegance is a key point in every gentleman’s wardrobe, and what is a men’s wardrobe without a pair of decent moccasins? It’s almost as bad as lacking a perfume. We know it’s not easy to find that one (or multiple) pairs that suit you just fine. In fact, buying moccasins can even get to be complex and annoying. As you probably know, these aren’t your average pair of sneakers or hang around shoes.
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 their moccasins are no big deal. This type of footwear is the kind that you want to select carefully, and match with an according 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.
Believe it or not, there’s actually quite a process behind using the adequate moccasins for a specific occasion. 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. If they do, you’ll receive the “what are you wearing?” look.
10 Best Moccasins
1. 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.
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
Not good for standing too long
2. 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.
This suede moc stands around the average cost of our list. Considering it beats many other moccasins, that’s a point to their favor. Not the cheapest ones you’ll find, but guaranteed one of the best.
Perfect for female feet
Easy slip-on design
Decorative laces may be too long
3. Gucci Leather Horsebit
The polished leather design is unquestionably Italian authentic. The classy leather moccasin needs no socks to wear them; they offer a barefoot slipper-like feeling with great comfort.
You can rock this pair of moccasins with a wide variety of dressing codes. The leather build is presentable for both formal events and occasional outdoor use. You can use them with jeans, shorts, and dress pants.
When it comes to luxury brands like Gucci, you know two things for sure; their products are luxurious, and so are their price tags. Unquestionably the costliest element of our list, and the most luxurious as well.
Barefoot slip-on design
No color variety
4. Minnetonka Pile Lined Hardsole
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 hardsole design even allows you to take it outside. The comfort of a slipper, with the outsole of a moccasin combined in one element.
The cost for 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 good for hot climates
5. L.B. Evans Atlin Terry
Terry cloth lining give this shoe the inner structure support it needs for walking. In combination with the dense outsole, this pair becomes an adequate option for outdoor use. Additionally, memory foam makes it much more comfortable and makes barefoot use possible.
The outsole of the moccasin is not only dense, but also flexible to support outdoor use. Additionally, the simple slip-on closure and padding on the footbed makes walking much simpler.
Not too far off the average cost of the list. But, considering it fits multiple styles and occasions, they might save you from buying two different pairs. Regardless, their quality is worth the purchase.
Terry cloth lining
Some found the outsole to be too thick for a moccasin
6. Dockers Sinclair Kiltie
A suregrip outsole makes your moccasin experience much more functional than ever. Walk on 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.
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
The hanging decoration on the upper build degrades easily
7. Cole Haan Pinch Tassel
Every leather element, from the upper build to the sock lining, is guaranteed to be not only stylish, but also durable. The leather from all around the shoe is properly polished and ready to wear.
Full leather sole
The sole along with the stacked heel of the Cole Haan’s Pinch Tassel Loafer are fully composed by leather. This feature makes the pair much more adaptive to different occasions.
Cole Haan products are of very high quality; thus, their price tag is considerably greater than most other elements in this list. Though, the classy fully brushed leather and style compensate for it.
Great polished leather
Classic stacked heel design
Daily wear moccasin
The sole of this shoe can’t really get any better. The application of two layers of suede on both the insole and the outsole make it very comfortable and supportive for walking.
The double-layered design makes this moccasin suitable for walking. But, it’s also a very lightweight moc. It provides a barefoot experience, and of course, can be used sockless.
A bit costlier than the average moccasin, but not too expensive. Considering it includes double sole reinforcement, the durability of the moc is certainly worth the cost.
Good driving sole
Not good for extensive outdoor wear
Sole isn't too protective
9. Minnetonka Leather Softsole
A suede leather cushioning on the insole makes this moccasin adequate for daily wear. The soft materials allow it to flex naturally, remaining comfortable when walking.
As for the outsole, the soft suede acts as a very comfy pillow for your feet. Substantial enough to walk, yet soft enough to cushion. It feels like you’re stepping on clouds when wearing these.
An average cost for a quality product. Definitely not a bad purchase, as the leather is guaranteed to be quality one and durable.
Leather softsole for comfort
Easy slip-on wear
Around-the-collar lace support
Restricted to indoor use only or very limited outdoor wear
10. Delli Aldo M-19231
With the exception of the outsole, everything about this shoe is related to leather. A leather lining keeps the structure of the shoe firm, while delivering more comfort in the inner area of the moccasin.
The stacked heel and curve lifted toe point resemble Italian quality moccasins. The tongue has two openings to the sides, ensuring you get the best fit and an easy wear. The stacked heel and lifted point reduce stress off your toe box when walking.
Very accessible dressing moc. It’s hard to get a durable dressing shoe for such a low price, but Delli Aldo’s moccasin manages to deliver efficiency at an affordable price.
Hand-made upper build
Italian style design
Leather inner build
How to Choose the Best Moccasins
In conclusion, unless you’re looking for moccasin slippers, moccasins 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? (Yes, there’s people who do that–please don’t)
Well, wearing the wrong footwear for a moccasin occasion is similar (except it may be a little less radical than our example). That’s why, apart from helping you find the best mocs, we’ll also tell you what you need to look for when shopping for them. As for the moccasin slippers, there’s no need to get too style-picky. It’s hard to look bad indoors when you own a pair of moccasin-looking slippers (which is pretty cool if you ask us).
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Moccasins
Type of Sole
Depending on the type of moccasin you’re looking for, you want to make sure the sole features (or lacks) 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 moccasins 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 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 moccasins 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 on the best dressing moccasins 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 moccs, or you’ll end up with a caked upper.
Anyone who has owned at least 2 pairs of moccasins and dressing shoes can instantly note the difference between cheap leather and 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 moccasins.
Full-grain leather is the top-quality cut of leather used for the best moccasins. It’s arguably the classiest material for moccasins, 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 (the less-prized portion).
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.
There exist multiple types of leather, but the most suitable for moccasins are cowhide, moose hide, and deerskin. The most commonly used one is cowhide, which is a full-grain leather that’s been processed with multiple treatments. Moose hide is softer and gives a buttery feeling. A genuine quality moosehide moccasin should have some natural scars from the moose skin.
Moccasins 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 maintenance to your moccasins. We recommend leather-specific cleaning products for this process, following our shoe cleaning guide.
Occasions & Settings
Not every moccasin is meant for every dressing code and occasion. There’s a moment to wear those super-comfy softsole moccasins, and there’s a moment to wear elegant loafer moccasins. We’re not saying elegant moccasins shouldn’t be comfortable–just that they won’t be like pillows to your feet, which is the case of softsole moccasins.
Formal moccasins usually have a stacked heel; though this is not always the case. Additionally, not all stacked heel moccasins 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 tend to 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 of moccasins that are suitable for multiple occasions. Their elements adapt to whatever you’re wearing, as long as the colors are right. For instance, a pair of moccasins can sit well with shorts just like it would with dressing pants. On 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.
On the other hand, there are casual moccasins that would certainly not fit a dressing outfit. A dressing Moccasin is more about the materials and design (stitching and style) rather than decoration. Moccs with multiple strings, laces, and decorative elements going around the shoe aren’t fit for formal occasions. However, this doesn’t mean they’re not elegant–it’s a matter of the occasion. They’ll sure make up for a good-looking casual wear, for example.
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 mocc 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 leather moccasins.
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 moccasin 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 moccs. These styles often represent certain regions and have specific characteristics that represent them. One of these features is the stitching style. Italian moccasins, 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 moccasins 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 hell. 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 moccasins 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 when looking for moccasins. 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 leather moccasins. 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 mocc and the surface you’re using them on. For instance, a softsoled 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. Moccasins 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.
Know Your Moccasin
As you probably can tell by now, moccasins are a pretty extensive topic. There are many styles, designs, soles, leathers, and occasions for them. Because of this, we’ve decided to provide you some more insight on the different kinds and elements of moccasins. We’ll also add some complementing information to help you know your moccasins.
Moccasin: What is it and where did it come from?
Some people have a hard time telling a moccasin apart from similar types of shoes. By definition, a moccasin is “a shoe made of soft leather the sole of which may be hard or soft and flexible; in soft-soled moccasins, the sole is brought up the sides of the foot and over the toes, where it is joined by a puckered seam to a U-shaped piece lying on top of the foot. The upper part of the moccasin is often adorned with embroidery, beading, or other ornament.”
There’s a lot of controversy regarding the traditional forms of a moccasin. This is because they were invented by Native American tribes a long time ago. Since then, our needs have changed quite a bit. For instance, the very first moccasins had no sole, as a soft leather bottom was better for woodland environments. On the other hand, tribes who lived in the mountains had a thick leather sole attached for protection.
Since then, many variations of the moccasin have surged. Stacked heel shoes and loafers are traditionally not a moccasin, but rather a leather shoe that resembles the moccasin shape. Though, they’re commonly considered (and advertised) as a modern version of moccasins.
Since their early invention, moccasins are to be made only from leather or synthetic materials that resemble leather. Unlike most people think, there’s often more than a single type of leather involved in the build of a decent moccasin. The leather used the most in the build is the one that will “represent” the moccasin. For instance, manufacturers advertise their moccs as “cowhide moccasins”, because they’re mostly composed by it. However, the inner build and other elements usually feature other leathers.
Below, we’ll list the most common moccasin materials with a brief description of their appliances and differences.
Suede is a very comfortable material. It comes from the inner layer of a leather hide (the inferior-quality cut of the hide). Because of this, suede moccasins are considerably less expensive than other leather moccs. They’re more suitable for casual occasions and are not a good option for formal events. Suede-only moccasins are a good option during the whole year, though it’s important to prevent them from getting wet.
This is the preferred material for moccasins. However, there are multiple types of leather. Regardless of the type, leather gets softer with time and thus more comfortable. Being leather a type of skin, this is completely normal and doesn’t mean your moccasin is cheap. As it grows older, the moccasin will be more adaptive to the shape of your feet. This makes the fit much more natural and comfortable.
These are some types of leathers used for moccasin builds:
Cowhide: This is the most widely used type of leather. As you can probably guess from the name, it’s a leather that comes from the cow. This full-grain leather is treated consistently with tanning methods. This leather is rigid but soft enough to be comfortable; it’s not the thickest in the world, but one of the thickest normally used for moccasins. Cowhide usually composes the external part of the moccasin, including the upper build.
Moosehide: Moose skin is much softer than cowhide. Authentic moosehide gives some type of creamy feeling, making them very comfortable (and a big seller). Genuine moosehide generally have natural scars; which is a main characteristic of the wild moose. These marks confirm the authenticity of moosehide.
Deerskin: This is arguably the most comfortable leather for moccasins. 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: 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.
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 moccasins. Additionally, Canada and the U.S. are also known for great moccasin work.
Q: How often should I polish my moccasins?
A: If they’re a formal moccasin, once a month or when the last polish has faded, whichever comes first. Casual ones don’t necessarily need polishing, but once a month does the trick too.
Q: Are loafers moccasins?
A: Some people claim they are and some don’t. By the very traditional definition of moccasin, loafers aren’t moccs. However, on the modern day fashion they are considered moccasines by most people.
Q: Where to buy the best moccasins?
A: Both retail stores and online sales paltforms are good option. Our recommendation, Amazon, usually has the best prices. Though, for expensive leathers you should buy directly from the manufacturer’s Amazon page if buying online.
A: It’s basically a moccasin that features a second layer of sole. This serves both comfort and protection purposes. It can be two layers of leather, two layers of rubber, or a combination of both.
Q: When should I wear moccasins?
A: There are moccasins for every occasion, from casual ones to wear with jeans, shorts, and regular wear to formal dressing moccasins. Casual ones are usually suitable for everyday wear.
Q: Are synthetic moccasins 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.
Q: How often should I replace my moccasins?
A: Leather moccasins 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.