In 1948, WWII veteran Earl Shaffer set out from Mt. Oglethorpe, Georgia, to attempt what many considered impossible: an end to end through-hike of the Appalachian trail. A little more than 4 months later in August of 1948, Earl aka "The Crazy One" had walked over 2050 miles to reach Mt. Katahdin in Maine, becoming the first person ever to complete the trail. The footwear that bore him all the way there was none other than a pair of Russell Moccasin Bird Shooter boots. The following excerpt is from an article written by Abigail Tucker for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.
"He was so picky about gear that he ditched his own cumbersome tent, sleeping in a poncho for months instead. He was particularly enamored of his Russell Moccasin Company “Birdshooter” boots, which bore him all the way from Georgia to Maine. (By contrast, modern through hikers may chew through two or three pairs of newfangled Gortex contraptions.) He paused often to sew, grease and patch his footwear, and twice had the soles replaced at shops along the route." Click to read the full article
In honor of the 75th Anniversary of Earl's historic hike, we have taken the 9" Bird Shooter model he wore on the trail, and decked it out in our best features for long distance hiking.
Here are a few noteworthy specs:
- Highly water-resistant full-grain Cedar Timberjack exterior
- Double Vamp construction
- Poron slip sole for comfort and shock protection
- Hand-molded oak leather heel counters
- A Vibram Roccia lug sole on our "Double Stack" midsole.
As with all our Special Edition projects, you get more than the boots. Also included in the package is:
- A copy of Earl's book about the seminal thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail: "Walking With Spring"
- A pair of Pisgah Range Emerald Green Laces
- A freshly roasted bag of DAYSOL Coffee's Russell Moccasin Appalachian Trail blend.
Pre-orders will be taken until June 19th. Production will begin after orders close and the boots will be delivered in October. As these boots are Made-To-Order, they are not returnable or exchangeable.