A week or so before Christmas, this box arrived from a company originating in Maine! Up for review are Acorn’s Rambler Mule Shoe, a sort of hybrid slipper shoe in my own words. Read on for what the company claims and my initial thoughts.
Now the website’s timeline is a little confusing, as I am still not sure whether David Quinn’s first slipper sock was sewn up in 1973 or 1976 as it states both. But regardless, when I was but a toddler, Mr Quinn (was/is his wife a medicine woman?) married soft leather to wool socks and made Christmas presents for folks in Maine. That started this company and it supported the shoe industry in Maine and retail markets first at Kittery Trading Post and then to the general retail market and continues on to this day. I love that this is a Maine company, despite my Rambler Mule Shoes being made in China. After plowing through their website I am not sure what of the Acorn brand is made in Maine or the USA still, but for sure their corporate offices are in Brunswick, ME in an old cotton mill space. As a whole, from what they claim, they are an environmentally sound company using sustainable resources for their products. And they donate frequently to support those less fortunate and local animal shelters get some of their surplus fleece. It sounds like a decent company trying to make it responsibly in this day and age.
Below is what the company advertises on their website pertaining directly to the Rambler Mule Shoe:
- Rambler Mule Shoes for Men
- Meet Rambler, a bit of style while still being rugged
- This shoe mixes suede and tweed and doesn’t look back
- Lined with 100% wool fleece for ultimate barefoot comfort, no socks needed here
- Enjoy the fully contoured, removable footbed and the unique EarthRoamer® cupsole of rubber that is hand-pressed with natural jute
- This guy will relax for a little while, but still wants to explore the trail behind camp
Care:Clean with damp cloth and air dry; brush leather or suede with soft brush to revive.
Now for my own initial thoughts. These are sort of a hybrid slipper/shoe as I stated above, in my own words. Upon donning them for the first time with bare feet, as suggested, they seemed a bit small. The fleece was piled high and they felt a little tight, but I figured they would stretch some with wear and the fleece would compress.
This was the case and at first I thought I rather would have had the next size up, but I fear I would be kicking them off by mistake if I did have a bigger size. The sole is very grippy and I would be comfortable bringing the trash out or taking the dog out to do his stuff, unless the weather was too inclement.
I have had those deerskin and fleece lined slippers and I was never terribly impressed as they lose their shape very quickly and are a pain to get on. As well, I had a pair of those suede slip on sneakers with the high back. I typically wore those by folding the back down and sliding my feet in. These fix both problems by being a rugged type shoe, but a slip on configuration that fits tight enough to stay on your foot without flying off. As I noted above, I think ordering the size you normally wear is a good idea, as ordering a size larger could cause “kickoff” issues. I look forward to seeing how these hold up around the house as my go to slippers. Timing was perfect as we are cat sitting two extra Maine Coon Cats for a month in addition to our own cat, so early morning stepping in barf incidents are probable. I will certainly keep track of how difficult it is to clean cat barf out of the soles of these Acorn Rambler Mule Shoes!!
I have been wearing this slippers essentially every evening and first thing in the morning for the past couple months. I’ll come right out and say it, I love them! They started off a bit tight but the fleece compressed quickly and I can now slip them on easily and the low back is just high enough to keep them on your feet. They keep my feet warm without getting sweaty, even when I wear them in the cold basement playing drums for an hour or more! They are durable enough to wear outside for short stints, like taking the dog out to do his/her business, but the short backs make them not so great if it is too wet out or snowy.
In terms of durability, they have held up very well. There is one spot on the toe of one moc where the rubber sole chipped off the cloth backing. I will be interested to see how they hold up over the long haul. I am a fan of the tread design though around the house. It is quite grippy and the shoes are robust and not slipper feeling. They keep their shape very well.
I would suggest if you want a durable slipper type shoe you can wear without socks, these Rambler Mule Shoes would fit the bill nicely. They are well made and should last for a long time and keep your feet warm the whole time!