Our History

Russell History

made-usa.jpgbillgustin.gifAvid outdoorsman, Bill Gustin purchased the W.C. Russell Moccasin Company in 1928 and directed its fortunes for 55 of its 108 years. During his tenure, Gustin designed and introduced the famous Russell Birdshooter and a host of oxfords, loafers and casual shoes, many of which are still made today.

The name W.C. Russell Moccasin has been synonymous with "quality" for more than 108 years. Gustin often displayed his company's handmade product at the largest sports shows in the country.

Russell's gifted craftsmen tend to stay a long time at Russell, says company president Ralph Fabricius, "which is how we maintain our quality and satisfaction level with our customers... you don't just teach somebody off the street how to become a master boot maker overnight... it takes time."

The Advantages of Being a Small Company

Russell has never grown into a large multinational marketer of theme-type footwear... preferring to remain small and turn out the finest handmade product possible for a unique group of outdoorsmen and women... those who recognize the quality of a handmade product. If we were larger in size and scope, we simply could not do the kinds of things we do. In order to respond to specialized demands, we must maintain a close knit group of highly skilled craftsmen. Mass production techniques are simply not possible.

Who is a Russell Customer?

bucks.gifYou... if you recognize quality. So is your wife. Hard to fit outdoorsmen who sport very narrow, very wide, very large or very small feet are too. Add too, the outdoorsman who wants the very best money can buy. Luminaries like President George H.W. Bush, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Norman Schwarzkopf, the King of Nepal, Harrison Ford and Robert Redford are customers. Avid hunters, professional hunters and guides who demand the best in mountain footwear, safari shoes, birdhunting boots are... as are men and women of all walks of life who know the value of high quality, comfortable, custom fitted shoes and boots.

What Happens if You Try a Pair of Russells?

This is the dangerous part.  Many an outdoorsman and woman has tried a pair of Russell’s... but once having tried a Russell boot or shoe, nothing else willl do. It's a problem to be sure, because once you've worn Russells and put them to a true test... hunting the high country... playing 1,008 holes of golf... birdhunting endless miles of tall grass prairie... or wearing them on a 28-day African safari... there is nothing else. There are no other choices.