Padmore & Barnes for Buck Mason

Our latest collaboration builds on the storied history of the American moc-toe silhouette with the specialized expertise of Padmore & Barnes. The Irish shoemaker has been in operation since 1934, producing upwards of 25,000 pairs of shoes a week. From 1964 until 1987, Padmore & Barnes was owned by Clarks, producing shoes at their Kilkenny, Ireland, factory.

It was during this time, 1967 to be exact, that Padmore & Barnes started making one of the most iconic pieces of footwear of the last fifty years and still loved today. The P204, the suede, two-eyelet moc-toe chukka with a chunky crepe sole, is often copied but never surpassed. 

The marriage of a chukka and moc-toe – much like our collaboration – was the perfect blend of British and American styling. The chukka, a product of the British Empire, had grown popular in the postwar period, especially in the desert boot variety. The Moc-Toe, coming from our side of the pond, is likely as American a style of footwear as there has ever been. 

Starting in the 1930s, American shoe designers began looking back at indigenous Native American footwear for inspiration: the moccasin. This catch-all name was used to describe a varied assortment of Native American footwear, but nearly all shared one thing in common: a U-shaped toe with a sewn seam along the outside. This design would end up being called a moc-toe when applied to anything other than traditional moccasins. 

Padmore & Barnes for Buck Mason two images - 1
Padmore & Barnes for Buck Mason two images - 2

The moc-toe found fame in numerous forms in the midcentury, from penny loafers to work boots. They became staples of collegiate style, the go-to for hunters and outdoorsmen, and the natural choice for any tradesman. 

With Padmore & Barnes's history in moc-toe hand-sewn construction and deep connection to crepe-soled chukkas, we set out to create a pair of shoes that embodied all the best qualities of the two styles—a pair of shoes that are casual yet smart, hardwearing yet comfortable.   

The Upland Chukka checks all these boxes. It is made from roughout suede uppers and a thoroughly textured rubber sole. Of course, it has a moc-toe with six brass eyelets, bringing the shoe to the ankle much like a desert
boot. A cushioned leather insole makes the break-in easy. Together with Padmore & Barnes, we’ve made the Upland Chukka in Portugal in a limited quantity.  

Like the shoes that inspired it, The Upland Chukka is rugged enough to get into the tall grass time and again. But, it cleans up well and can easily be worn with a laidback suit. As practical as it is, it’s also a reflection of our values and a continuation of a longstanding tradition of signature American style you’d find right at home on campgrounds, college campuses, and workplaces alike.

Padmore & Barnes for Buck Mason two images - 1
Padmore & Barnes for Buck Mason two images - 2