The W.C. Russell Moccasin Company

Welcome to The Russell Moccasin E-Newsletter - July 2011

Email has become the gold standard of communication in our computerized world. Russell Moccasin would like to ask your permission to send you an E-Newsletter from time to time. We promise not to cover you up with junk mail. We would like to utilize this lightening fast and cost effective method of communication to provide you with company news, product developments and to provide you with some valuable information.

Susie Fabricius, Plant Manager
Susie Fabricius in action, on the Production Floor, discussing a new boot design with outdoor writer Gayne Young, right, and 41-year Russell employee, Wayne Schmidt.

Russell Welcomes Sue Fabricius As Plant Manager

You could say “leather was in her blood.”   Sue Fabricius, daughter of  Russell President, Ralph Fabricius, represents the third generation of Russell ownership by her family.  After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics and business, Sue worked in sales for four years until her entrepreneurial aspirations guided to her starting her own personal training business.  After a little time out for motherhood, Sue took up the Russell torch and worked alongside the Russell Show Crew at SCI and Dallas from 2003 to 2009.   Sue took over as Russell Plant Manager in October 2010 and now manages 30 plus employees, oversees factory operations and production.  She also handles customer service calls on a daily basis plus works the winter show circuit with the guys.

The “leather in her blood” shows!  If you need to talk to a person on the phone, (rare these days at most companies), Sue will be there to guide you in the right direction and to help you with the perfect boot or shoe for your applications. 

So how’s all that going for you Sue?

“ all I can say.   I am so busy all day and there is just so much to do. But I love it.   We have the best customers in the world!”

How Important Are Socks?

Most people give very little thought to socks.   Socks are just another clothing item more often selected on color than not.   In everyday life, that would seem to make sense.    But for serious outdoor activity, be it hunting, jogging, running, golfing, backpacking, rock climbing...socks are vitally important to your overall foot health, performance and enjoyment of the outdoors.    Proper high performance socks, featuring blends of wool and polypropylene, nylon, elastic and lycra wick moisture away from your foot, preventing hotspots and blisters.  Some socks are designed to help cool while others are designed to keep you warm.  As shoe and boot people Russell has always been well aware of just how important proper socks...matched to the activity you pursue...truly are.

About four years ago, unable to find the blends and weights and heights we wanted in commercially available sock lines, Russell enlisted the input of America’s premier sock manufacturer.   We had samples made up to our specifications and then tested them around the world under dozens of different circumstances, climates and levels of activity.    We finally landed on two sock lines, Russell Premium Branded Safari Socks and Russell Premium Branded North American Socks.

Click on the links below to learn more.

Premium Branded Premium Branded

Safari Socks North American Socks

Waterproof American Bison leather shown in Saddle, Mocha and Sand.

Scrumptious New Waterproof American Bison Leather!

As America’s premier maker of custom measured handmade leather footwear, Russell sees a lot of leather come through the shop.  We currently stock more than 100 different types and colors of leather.  As you might expect, leather suppliers send us samples for consideration all of the time.  Recently, one in particular, grabbed our attention.   We received samples of a new waterproof American Bison leather that had the “feel” and the “hand” and the colors that make even the most callous old shoe dog sit up and take notice.  So we ordered several sides and are currently making up samples in this wonderfully soft leather.

Are You A Minimalist Runner/Walker/Trekker?

If so, Russell has a new product line you may be interested in.    We freely admit, we knew very little bout the minimalist footwear craze that has been sweeping the country for the past few years...knowledge of it was brought to us by a customer.  Minimalist footwear, loosely translated means wearing the least amount of shoe you can possibly wear.   It’s next to walking barefoot.  As we researched this growing segment of runners, trekkers and outdoorsmen and women, we learned that minimalist footwear has no heel, no lift at the back of the shoe, no arch supports and it must be “roomy in the toe box to allow your toes, muscles and bones to move independently.

The theory behind minimalist footwear is simple...the less restriction to the foot...the better workout your feet will get when exercising which translates into stronger feet.   Millions of runners embrace the move to the minimalist movement. 

For more information about minimalist footwear, click here.

How Do You Know Which Sole To Choose?

Sole selection is a moving target.  Russell customers continually ask, “What is the best sole?”

The answer lies with the buyer -- the best sole is the sole best suited to the type of activity and terrain in which you will be wearing the shoes or boots.    There is no such thing as an extremely light weight sole that has lots of grip, doesn’t track in mud and is also the longest wearing.   Our rules of thumb:  Long wearing normally equates to heavier.   Great grip means deeper lugs and tracking a bit of dirt and mud into the house.  Super lightweight equates to shorter sole life.  There is no one clear cut answer to which is the “best sole.”   The best sole for you is the one that is going to allow you to do the things you want to do.

The sole matrix on the link below will help you select the perfect sole for you.   Have a look.

Click here for Sole Selection and Recommendations Matrix.

What It Takes To Make A Pair of Handmade Boots Or Shoes:

Unlike buying a pair of production line shoes or boots made by machine, making a pair of custom fitted handmade Russell boots or shoes takes time because there are no automatic machines at Russell.   Everything is made by hand, the old fashioned way. 

From the time your order hits the production floor more than 19 individual operations must be performed,  including hand cutting the leather, hand skiving, attaching the vamps to the quarters, hand fitting, pullover (pulling the leather over the last and tacking it down, again, by hand), sewing and attaching molded soles to the vamps, hand sewing by a shoemaker, hand trimming, installing the gusset and eyelets, sole attachment, trimming the sole, finishing and finally shipping. 

An average pair of triple vamp boots requires 19 hand operations over the course of 20 weeks.

Russell Pro-Staff Spotlight

Ivan Carter -- Wildlife Photographer, PH, Conservationist

Widely considered one of the preeminent Professional Hunters (PH), of the modern safari era...Ivan Carter, is not only the “Dangerous Game” expert he is also one of the world’s leading wildlife photographers and tireless contributor to numerous conservation organizations including AFRICAT...which rehabilitates injured African cats and raises orphaned cats and returns them to the wild.  Ivan inspired the recently introduced Russell Thula Thula dangerous game hunting boot, conducting beta testing and working closely with our designers.   Born in the bush in Zimbabwe, Ivan’s experiences and knowledge in all things wild are unparalleled in today’s world.

Russell is proud to have Ivan on the Pro Staff.   His feedback is invaluable.

To learn more about Ivan Carter, take a look at his website. 

Click here for

Give us your feedback.   Did you find this newsletter to be useful?   What other subjects would you like to see discussed in the future?    Let us know!

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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