Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quoddy: Boat Shoes and Dawson Mocs

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When one looks at the Quoddy Dawson Mocs one is struck by two things:  how heavy they are and how extraordinary beautifully and toughly constructed they seem.  Just feeling the weight alone might make one think that it would take a month or two to break in.



In fact, it takes less than five minutes.  Almost immediately the seemingly unbendable leather becomes pliant.

They are true to size.
They have a leather sole....


...and some incredible hand stitching.


 


 


 These shoes are made in Maine and it shows.


The Quoddy Men's Boat Shoe is a classic model with three eyelets.  But that is where the comparisons to ordinary boat shoes end.

So many shoes currently available, either because of the mass production techniques, cheap materials, or unskilled workers, stop fighting the feet they sheathe only when they are near death.  But these hearty boat shoes seemingly live to serve.




The only challenge of breaking in these shoes is to slightly dull their lustrous glow.  

These have completely replaced the Sperrys.

Maine-made Quoddy shoes are exported and sold all over the world.  They are a perfect ambassador of New England. 





39 comments:

Michael Rowe said...

Gorgeous shoes! Seriously, it's time to replace my crippling, non-arch-supporting Bean blucher moccasins--bought this summer and already past their shelf-date--with some new, well-constructed Maine-made shoes. These Quoddy mocs are beautiful. If Bean wants to pander to God know who their new customers are, and ditch those of us who've been loyal for 30 years or more, then I'm up for supporting the news classic clothing and footwear leaders.

T said...

I bought a pair of their Bluchers 3 years ago and a pair of their Boat Shoes a year after that, and they're both holding up wonderfully after regular heavy wear—the lined Boat Shoes a bit better than the unlined Bluchers. They are seemingly bomb-proof.

Speaking of proof, their Organic waterproofer smells like distilled awesomeness in a waxy puck-form...so much so that the terriers took to trying to open the can to eat the stuff. I'd recommend keeping it away from the dogs.

Anonymous said...

After a quick look at the website, I couldn't tell much difference between the Grizzly and the Dawson. Is there a particular reason you chose the Dawson instead of the Grizzly?

*sara*

DT Chase said...

Muffy and others, I highly recommend the shoes made by Rancourt, also in Maine (I am not affiliated with the company whatsoever-- other than ownership of three pairs of their shoes!)

Cubanchem said...

Welcome to the club. Wonderful, aren't they? Enjoy them.

Cubanchem said...

@ Sara, the Grizzly has a decorative piece under the laces on the top of the vamp and are made of a different leather.

Brian said...

Muffy, I appreciate the review, but with so many other great choices of high-quality, "made in Maine" handsewn shoes, I'm surprised you chose Quoddy. They were once a great value but are now known more for their hit-and-miss quality, shady customer service and inflated prices.
Townveiw Leather out of Dexter, Maine, delivers an almost identical unlined, triple-soled moc for less than a third the price.
Wassookeag Moccasins, also out of Dexter, offers the same in a wider variety of leathers for half the Quoddy price.
As for a decent replacement for any of Beans handsewns (which are all garbage, nowadays), I would direct anyone to Rancourt & Co., out of Lewiston, Maine. They custom-made an exact replica of the old Bean Bluchers for me (now it's a regular offering) that surpass anything else I've ever tried. Cheaper than Quoddy, made to my specs down to the thread color and hardware type, and delivered in less than two weeks.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "replacing the Sperrys". I have a pair of Sperry's I bought close to 20 years ago, and they have finally given up the ghost. I went to replace them with a new pair and was disturbed at the light weight and change in hardware. I know I won't get even 10 years out of this new pair of cheaply built Sperrys...I am seriously looking at the Quoddys now. Thanks Muffy!

Anonymous said...

I think there is room for both Quoddy and Rancourt. The more companies that are making shoes in Maine the better. As an FYI, I don't think Muffy could shop at Rancourt. They don't make shoes for women.

j.mosby said...

Muffy,

You're going to get a lot of wear out of those Quoddy Bad boys! :-)

RR said...

I bought my first pair of Quoddy boat shoes at the beginning of this season, and love them. I suspect they will be in use for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Slightly less refined than Quoddy, but half the price (Made in Massachusetts), Arrow uses ridiculously thick leather (it took more than a year for the leather smell to diminish):

http://www.arrowmoc.com/2.html

Anonymous said...

The one thing that the Sperry Topsider has that other deck shoes don't have is their patented razor-cut siped sole. If you are sailing and walking on decks that are awash, you want as good a grip to the deck as you can get. That said, even Sperry has modified their original razor cut sole in recent years and, in my opinion, have made it less effective on a wet deck.

Anonymous said...

Hey Muffy, have you tried their Bluchers yet? If so, how do they compare to L.L. Bean? I just ordered a pair from L. L. Bean but now I'm nervous that they will be uncomfortable. Is it even worth bothering with shoes from Bean now?

Brian said...

@ anon 9:52 - Rancourt's website is just a smattering of their offerings. They do make shoes in women's sizes (all handsewns are unisex, IMO) and there are photos and testimonials floating around on the web. Since all of their shoes are made to order, it's simply a matter of providing them with the required measurements to fit any foot, male or female.

Cubanchem said...

Brian, I would have to disagree with you. Rancourt is an awful company that is run by a snot of a kid. Their customer service is atrocious. They don't stand behind their products at all. They are only interested in making a buck. This is, of course, my personal experience, but I've been dealing with Quoddy for years and have never had a bad experience. Are they expensive, yes, are they worth it, absolutely. Quoddy stands behind their product. Any problems and they will get fixed. Not so with Rancourt.

Anonymous said...

My Quoddy shoes are the most comfortable pair of shoes I own.

Anonymous said...

Great shoes! I so agree with your last sentence. Expensive, USA- and well-made goods with top quality materials are like nothing else. To buy anything else would be to downgrade. I love things that will last for 20 years because each time I wear or use them, they evoke great memories from the years past. They become like an old, familiar friend.

Patsy said...

My father's Quoddy mocs (what he calls his Quoddy boat shoes) have to be at least 30 years old. Maybe more.....

Anonymous said...

Although these shoes are indeed enviable, the price points to why more people don't buy U.S. made. $300? Really? For a pair of moccasins? I try hard to buy U.S. made, but cannot justify the outlandish prices of some products.
P.S. Sperry makes a woman's boat shoe made in Maine.

Pete said...

@cubanchem surprised to hear about your experiences with Rancourt. I have had nothing but great interactions with all members of customer service staff (including the so called snot nosed kid) and have loved the finished products. Would you mind giving more detail on your problems?

Amory said...

Aren't you concerned, Muffy, about the leather soles eventually wearing through? They look pretty worn already in one of the photos.

Cubanchem said...

@ Pete, feel free to email me for details. Cubanchem@gmail.com

nutrivore said...

Talking of Barbour waxed jackets, google "Hunter Outdoor Horseman Wax Jacket". You get it on Amazon UK (they don't ship to the U.S.) and on ebay (in the U.S.) for under $100. They even have an XS for the gals.

I know people who own both that and the Barbour and claim the Hunter Outdoor quality is as good, maybe better.

I also like the cotton duck Sherpa-lined jackets (made in the U.S.) by Carhartt.

If one looks, one can always find a cheaper, often better alternative.

Well-built things don't have to be pricey.

BlueTrain said...

There are other American producers of similiar products, some nearly as expensive, some much less so, but from other places. So I guess in Maine, they'd be considered imports. Russell Moccasins are probably best known and are as dear as Quoddy mocs. There's also Minnetonka Moccasins, which are really more representative of ordinary American-made products of the pre-China era. Their styling is decidedly dated but you can find them where ever cedar salt and pepper shakers are sold.

By the way, I know that Quoddy has their own leather dressing for sale but I've been using Obernauf's oils on my own boat shoes when they begin to look a little dried out and scuffed. One light application is usually good for a year unless you are wearing them everyday.

Cranky Yankee said...

Along with Quoddy and Rancourt, I would add Eastland's 'Made in Maine' Falmouth and Yarmouth camp mocs.

Brian said...

@ Cubanchem, I'd also like to hear a little more about your experiences with Rancourt. I know that Kyle runs Rancourt along with his father, and I've dealt with him exclusively on all orders and inquiries. He has been nothing but patient and helpful, despite my endless questions. The only negative I've ever heard was from someone who complained about Kyle not returning his emails (it turns out that person was trying to score a free pair of Rancourts to review on his blog and Kyle refused).
Granted, Quoddy has been doing their thing for a lot longer than Rancourt (selling direct to the consumer, at least) and this may be why there are so many more complaints about Quoddy.

BlueTrain said...

To nutrivore, I agree there are usually cheaper and better alternatives. I would even go so far as to say there sometimes seems to be no connection between price and quality. I say that based on having quickly wearing out a very nice pair of dress shoes from a nice store (but which is no longer in business!). Unfortunately, for many things, there will be no cheap alternative. There is no such thing as a good suit that is cheap. But no one but my boss here at work wears a suit and tie. I don't wear a suit but I feel compelled to wear a tie. However, I am known for dress ecentricities.

Carhartt makes heavy duty things but anyone's canvas or duck clothing is too stiff for comfort for some activities, although I am devoted to Filson (imported from Seattle), which are known for their "tin" pants. Waxed cotton garments are okay for some things, though I passed up a new Barbour jacket as too expensive when we were in London a year ago, although we could somehow afford to travel there and paw through their goods.

nutrivore said...

@BlueTrain:

I agree that a good wool suit is not cheap. Try finding one for women, fitted for you. Not only are they not cheap, they are hard to find.

I love sports coats and blazers and being a petite gal, finding one in 100% wool is ten times harder.

Ebay is my friend. I look for vintage suits - Forstmann, Mark Shale, etc. and I have had great luck. I rarely pay more than 30$ for a piece and maybe another $20 for alterations, if any and I love the quality of the woollen blazers and suits in my closet. I buy jackets from thrift stores that don't fit me to use the beautiful buttons.

I prefer vintage 'cos the tailoring and quality are excellent. There are a couple of ebay vendors who specialise in this.


I recently bought a Brooks Brothers navy blazer (at least 10 years old and in wonderful shape) for my husband (he's Mr. Thrifty) and added some nice buttons. All for $35.

My husband has a gorgeous collection of Italian silk ties that we collected over the years - mostly Ebay - no more than $10 each.

But yes, it takes work and patience. I can say I'm truly happy with what's in my closet and don't need to shop for a while.

I love Filson - nice quality.

Cubanchem said...

@Brian, feel free to email me as well. I'm happy to share my experience. Cubanchem@gmail.com

Bitsy said...

@Cranky Yankee -- I have a pair of the Eastland Falmouths (Maine-made) that I've worn since college. They have held up all these years with only a recent re-stitching at the toe by my local cobbler. When he returned them to me, all polished up, they looked like new!

Cobre said...

My customer experience with Rancourt has been better than with Quoddy. Both shoes are equally good, though I have a preference for the Rancourt because Kyle gets things done more quickly by miles. From what I understand, they're having some customer service issues as they expand their MTO business. I've got several pairs and they're all great.

And yes, Rancourt will make women's shoes if you ask. Also worth noting that Rancourt is making the most recent Made-in-Maine collection for Eastland.

Having had both a pair of Grizzly's from Quoddy and the standard Townview moc, I'd note that the Townview isn't quite as robust, but literally cost me less than a third of the Quoddy. If you like the glove leather lining, the Quoddy is better, though Townview might be able to do one. Great house shoe.



Skyler said...

Sorry to stray from the topic of the post, but what kind of chinos are those you're wearing with the boat shoes? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Muffy,

Do you care for the cross (x) stiching at the front of some quoddy, or do you only like the traditional stitching

Anonymous said...

May I ask a dumb question and make a suggestion?When you waterproof your Quoddy Dawson Mocs do you treat the sole?
I just reread your October 4, 2010 posting; I think it was great. You might suggest that current readers might enjoy reviewing it.
THANKS

John Haley said...

I'm trying to decided between the Dawson Moc and the Boat Moc. Anyone had experience with both? I'm interested in both comfort and ease of on/off.

Ted Cohen... said...

When it comes to boat mox, I am a huge fans of the Timberland Classic for one important reason:

They have no exposed stitching in the bottom of the sole.

My only complaint is that the brown TC comes only with a brown sole, not a white one.

I once had Quoddy mox with white soles and no sole stitching - in the early 1990s - but they no longer are made that way.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Aldrich,
Per your recommendation, I purchased a pair of women's Quoddy Dawson mocs about two months ago. After anxiously awaiting their arrival, I finally received them about a week ago and I am in love!! I have not stopped wearing my mocs since I took them out of the box. They are well made and so comfortable with and without socks. I cannot thank you enough for your recommendation!
Sincerely,
Lindsey

Kev F said...

Hello, I am going to be visiting the States in the next week or two and want to acquire a pair of (probably) Quoddy's. I will be very happy with a pair of the boat shoes but I'm wondering how a pair of the Grizzly or Dawson mocs would stand up to our somewhat damper climate in the UK?