Boat Shoes - A History
UTILITY & PURPOSE
G.H. Bass & Co. have been pioneers in a host of footwear styles since George Henry Bass set up the brand in 1876, with one defining goal : ‘To make the best possible shoe for the purpose for which it was intended.’
Behind this was the need to design shoes with a sense of utility and purpose. It is what defined the development of our first pioneering style: The Camp Moccasin.
THE CAMP MOCCASIN
The G.H. Bass & Co. Boat Shoes sit firmly in the Camp Moc family of shoes originally brought into fashion in 1906. The first Bass moccasin called the “Bass Moccasin Cruiser”, was designed to be worn by woodsmen. The range quickly grew to a catalog catering to River Drivers, Guides, Cruisers and Sportsmen, embracing the “For Hard Service” moto. By 1910 the “Rangeley” style moccasin became the standard moccasin for campers and outdoorsmen. All these styles bore G.H. Bass & Co’s hand-sewn tubular moccasin construction, an age old technique where the moccasin is constructed with a single piece of leather wrapped around the bottom of the last (this is the mould of the foot). This creates “hammock” (imagine the leather coming from the bottom up). This offers unparalleled comfort as a a design that has remained a defining feature of our moccasins and loafers to this day.
A LEISURE SHOE
By the 1960s we adapted the Camp Moccasin - a shoe built for service, into a shoe designed for leisure. By the 80s we trademarked our "Boaters" range. Adapting our hand-sewn tubular moccasin design, we applied a rubber deck sole designed to grip against slippery surfaces and premium raw hide leathers laces to create a new casual shoe with a hand-sewn heritage.
THE NEW COLLECTION
For SS20 we've taken it one step further with a contemporary design and supreme comfort. Handmade from beautiful pull-up leather rich in natural waxes for a subtle colour shading that gains character over time, soft, breathable suedes and supple nubuck, these are casual staples with a premium finish. Innovative flourishes like a cushioned deck sole and a gentle stack heel, brings an ease of a sneaker in the collection.
This traditional boat shoe style is perfect for summer and adds a distinguished look to holiday or weekend wardrobes. Unlined for comfort with and without socks, it features an anti-slip design for performance on deck and on the street and is finished with leather laces, brass eyelets and the woven trademark Bass originals label.