The Story Behind Free Spirit

 

In the early 1960s, an Italian company introduced a leather shoe that was crafted just for driving. European men and women were drawn to the style because, unlike traditional shoes,  the rubber soles and heels of these driver moccasins didn't wear down while driving. They also provided the flexibility to work the pedals of responsive sports cars quickly and easily. The design was born during a period of technological evolution and were luxurious in a way that only European footwear could be in that era.⁠

A decade later, Bruce Katz had just returned home in 1970 after traveling around the country in his van. Foreign shoes were flooding the American market, crushing his family's New Hampshire shoe business. His father Saul pivoted into action. He began making trips to a small town called Franca in Brazil, a six-hour drive from San Paolo. Working alongside Brazilian artisans was the start of the next chapter in the Katz family's journey. Bruce began to sell the shoes that had been imported from Brazil to customers along the East Coast. The first shoes that Bruce packed into his van were handcrafted moccasins.

For decades, men and women alike have been traveling the globe and taking rides along the Italian coast in driver moccasins. This style is more than a chapter in our history. As of today, it’s a part of Hubbard’s next chapter in footwear. We went back to Brazil and are bringing a fresh, innovative approach to moccasins.

Our design has custom flexible outsoles, top-shelf leather lining, and padded everything. They're yours in a kaleidoscope of colors. Free Spirit embodies and empowers the journey ahead for every adventurer. Forge your own path. Drive along the coast. Walk along famous city streets. Enjoy lunch at the corner cafe. Wherever you go, follow your Free Spirit.

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