Southwest Desert Moccasin by R.L.Tabor - Elk Leather

A traditional moccasin made from US-harvested elk leather and genuine sheepskin innersoles. Although they are not made in the Softstar workshop, these mocs are elf approved and hand-stitched by R.L. Tabor & Co—a family-owned business in Oregon that specializes in reproducing historic leather goods.

These moccasins are only available in the sizes shown below, but Rick Tabor makes new pairs for us on a monthly basis. If the size you need is not shown then please check back next week or contact us directly.

Availability: In stock

Price $135.00

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Price $135.00
Sizing Guide


For questions regarding quality or repair of these Southwest Desert moccasins, please contact RL Tabor & Co directly: (541) 905-2042

Made by R.L. Tabor & Co. This family owned business specializes in reproduction historic leather goods and sells these beautiful boots in Renaissance fairs throughout the USA.  Rick Tabor designed his first pair of desert moccasins over 25 years ago and has poured years of experience into the details, including exacting standards of stitch count, period materials and period correct dyes. These hand-sewn moccasin boots are based on research of Hopi and Navajo cultures, and feature gently curled toes to keep cactus spines out when walking in the desert.  


  • Made from premium grade USA elk leather. Natural variation in color and texture from pair to pair is expected. 
  • Genuine Sheepskin innersoles!  
  • The outer soles are cut from oil tanned cowhide which provide excellent durability. They are designed to be worn indoors or out, but like any moccasin product they will get wet and absorb moisture.
  • Leather soles can be slippery on slick surfaces. The soles can be scuffed to improve traction by walking on gravel or asphalt surfaces.

Sizing Tips

  • Please note that these moccasins have a snug fit initially. They are not recommended for use Correct Toes and will be snug in the toe box until they stretch out.
  • R. L. Tabor moccasins should feel snug at first, as the leather will stretch with use. If they are not snug initially, they may stretch and you will need to wear with thicker woolen socks later. 
  • Intended to be worn without socks.

The Southwest Desert Moccasin can also be resoled with new outsole and sheepskin by R.L. Tabor and Co.  Simply mail the shoes and a check for $45 to:

RL Tabor & Co
PO Box 2006
Lebanon, OR 97355

Customer Reviews

Comfortable! Review by Adria
I love these shoes. I do lots of urban walking and they feel great. They are a little time consuming to put on and take off. As a health care worker that has to take my shoes off at home visits, this does prevent me from wearing them as often as I would like. (Posted on 9/28/17)
Stop, In the Name of Love! Review by Nocona
Coolest looking, softest, lightest and most luxurious shoe you will ever slip into. This is a true native american moccasin design and workmanship. Hugs your ankles perfectly. The feet inside feel very secure. You can wrap the ankle leather loosely or tight. Very adjustable. Looks great with pants tucked inside of them or hanging over the boot. I really, really love that you can resole these baby's. The thick, buttery elk leather should last your entire lifetime easily. R. L. Tabor has been using the same pair for 30 years, replacing 2 new soles over that time. Being a male, I was concerned with the ivory color, but the elves calmed my nerves and said many men rock these. I just put on two coats of Rain and Shine waterproofing and it takes the ivory color away and makes it a nice tannish color. A bit more toned down. Of course if you have other Soft Star shoes like I do, you get many more complements than strange looks. These are easy to ROCK!!! I'm guessing I'll be getting the Elk Leather Roos very soon to add to my other 5 pairs of Soft Stars (Rogues, Chukkas, RunAmocs, Custom Roos and these Desert Mocs). After you try the Elk leather there is no going back. You will be spoiled. The thick leather cowhide sole with the sheepskin inner is so much better than Vibram. Perfect protection and groundfeel at the same time. I am shocked there are not more reviews for these moccasins. (Posted on 6/16/17)
Absolutely gorgeous Review by Jules
I am beyond thrilled with my new moccasins. The fit is perfect, the color is divine and the elk leather is so, so soft - not to mention the sheepskin innersoles! The craftsmanship is meticulous., too. I'm so glad I ordered these and can't wait to take them on my camping trip. (Posted on 6/8/17)
Most comfortable shoes I have ever worn Review by Amanda
A bit about my feet: I have a narrower heel than the average person and my size in SSS is 7.5 exactly. This makes it incredibly hard to find shoes that fit on this website (Soft Star, PLEASE make half sizes!). However, since these are made by a different company the 8U fits quite well. Only my heel is narrow so in this shoe it would be loose (as it is in other SSS that I have tried (Chukka)), if not for the shoe's wraps, which let your customize the fit. I wrap the wraps tightly around my ankle, and I'm good to go. These are the first Mocs I have every bought and worn, and they feel incredible. I'm a high school student with a modern style and a great taste in fashion, and these shoes do look a little weird out of the box. However, they look aesthetic with black leggings or any leggings in general. I've gotten numerous (+15) compliments. The sheepskin on the bottom is incredibly soft. Since I've worn conventional shoes my entire life, the shoes made me feel as if my footsteps were too harsh/loud. But the more I wear these shoes (it's been 3 weeks, and I wear them 2x per week) the more my footsteps are corrected/ seem softer coming in contact with the ground. At first I was worried about getting them dirty, but the more I wear them(through Cali weather and light drizzles)the more I'm convinced they are up to the task. They are not waterproof AT ALL. I think I may need to get the BeeNatural leather care to make sure it doesn't stain. I'm concerned the leather on the bottom of the shoe will wear quickly if I don't step carefully or walk too much on concrete. They seem like they would be great for forest walks. (Posted on 1/14/17)
finally an authentic moccasin. love them! Review by Patty Jo
wish they came in half sizes and other colors.... love love love them. I wear them practically every day and I always get compliments. they are so comfortable and there's plenty of room for my thick socks. I know I will wear them all winter with the comfortable toasty lining they have. I have been looking for a pair of authentic moccasins. I usually buy my shoes in a size 7 and a half which gives me plenty of room. I had to buy the size that corresponds with an 8 in womens so they're a little bigger than I normally would have purchased. if I stepped down a size I don't know if I would have had room for my socks. (Posted on 12/31/16)
An instant favorite Review by AAJ
I like these moccasins so much I bought a second pair a couple of weeks after the first. My first pair was the last of the bison leather and the only size left was one size larger than what I wear in the Roo moccasin and the Dash RunAmoc. As advertised, they felt perfect at first without socks and then stretched to a size that works with medium-weight hiking socks, which is great for me in cold weather. They are my outdoor pair. They instantly became my favorite footwear; in fact, they day they arrived I hated to take them off to go to bed. The leather is so soft and pliable! I normally get a wide width for toe spread but these are fine. There’s room for plenty of space between my toes. The close fit over the instep and the wrap-and-tie closure is great for me since most shoes are much too loose over my narrow instep and lag behind when I lift my foot. Putting them on does take a little extra time but I’m getting more adept at wrapping the laces. I’ve worn them comfortably in city streets, farm fields and forests. I got the second pair in my regular size to wear in the house without socks. My only complaints are that (1) the ivory color is limiting, although it looks better than I anticipated, even with dark winter clothing. If they came in dark brown, navy or black I would definitely get more pairs, as I wear them almost every day. A shearling upper would be great too; I haven’t figured out how to get my Phoenix boots to fit securely. Plus, I’ve found that I greatly prefer the leather sole to Vibram. (2) I’m ruined for conventional footwear. (Posted on 12/6/16)

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Find Your Size!

You can measure your feet at home using a book, a ruler and a wall. You can then see where the measurement fits on our charts below to find the recommended Softstar shoe size.

Note: we no longer recommend tracing your feet because it usually gives a larger measurement than the method described below. Our sizing charts work in accordance with the following method.

To measure your feet:

  1. 1. Remove shoes and socks and place your bare foot so that the heel is barely touching a wall.
  2. 2. Place a book in on the floor, parallel to the wall, so that it is barely touching the front of the longest toe.
  3. 3. Step away carefully and measure the distance from the book to the wall.
  4. 4. Scroll down and look for this measurement on the sizing charts below to find the recommended shoe size.


Once you find your length measurement, you can use table below to best find your corresponding size.


Wide/Narrow: Trouble deciding your width? Our best recommendation is to order a wide or narrow only if you have found you need those custom widths in other brands for your feet to be comfortable. If you have never found you needed wide or narrow shoes before then we suggest sticking with our regular width.

Style notes:

If you find yourself between two shoe sizes, we recommend ordering the larger size. This is especially true of our adult Phoenix Boots and Rogue casual shoes, which run a bit small.

Printable Stand-On Size Guides

We recommend using the measuring method shown above for the most accurate sizing, but if you'd like a simpler method then you may want to try our printable size guide. Just print the guide below and follow the instructions on the page.

Note: before you print the guide, make sure your printer settings will not shrink or scale the page. Uncheck any boxes labeled "Fit to Printable Area" and/or set scaling options to "None."


Rich L. Tabor

Rick L. Tabor

Why would someone want to wear a shoe that was designed in the 1800’s? According to craftsman Rick Tabor, some things do not necessarily improve with time.

“Some things were perfected 200 years ago. They are light weight, comfortable and stylish. I use my moccasins in the outdoors on a regular basis. I canoe with them, get them wet, use them in the mud and snow and they still stand the durability test. I have resoled the same pair of moccasins twice and worn them for the last 30 years,” said Rick.

His hand crafted moccasins have been purchased and worn throughout the world. While crafting moccasins has become Rick Tabor’s calling card in the living history community, it is not what initially got him into his hobby and lifestyle.

“Initially, I had a desire to know more about history. You can only learn so much from books and there comes a time when you have to put the knowledge that is learned into application and historical re-enacting does that,” said Rick.

While people re-enact a vast time period; from Vikings and Romans up through the Vietnam War, Tabor primarily finds portraying people from the fur trade era, but has also re-enacted the Civil War, Revolutionary War, the Old West, as well as the Renaissance.

“Re-enacting is one of the reasons I get up in the morning. I cannot imagine not doing some aspect of it, whether it is doing the research or some aspect of manufacturing period items or doing the re-enactments themselves. It keeps me sane,” said Tabor.

In thirty years of re-enacting, Rick has tallied several memorable moments. He has re-enacted at Gettysburg as well as throughout the west coast but his favorite memory hits a little more closely to the home front.

“My favorite memories would have to involve watching my sons grow and grow up in it. Having to make their shoes before every event because they grew so fast and watching them do things that 9 year olds wouldn’t normally do,” said Rick, “relearning things that were common knowledge to our ancestors.”

For those interested in re-enacting themselves and are looking for a quality, hand crafted pair of footwear, R.L. Tabor’s moccasins are proven, durable and the choice of discerning re-enactors the world over.