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Get ready to embark on a journey of comfort and style as we delve deep into my Softstar Shoes Review for 2023.
Softstar Shoes has earned a stellar reputation for its artisanal craftsmanship and unwavering commitment to sustainable, Eco-friendly footwear. In this in-depth review, I’ll leave no stone unturned, offering you an insider’s perspective on the latest offerings from this beloved brand.
From their iconic moccasins to groundbreaking designs, we’ll explore the high-quality materials, the brand’s design philosophy, and the remarkable performance of Softstar Shoes.
Whether you’re a dedicated fan of their minimal shoe styles or a newcomer curious about their renowned status, this review will arm you with all the information you need to make an educated decision.
Let me guide you through the enchantment woven into every pair of Softstar Shoes and uncover the secrets behind why they remain a cornerstone in the realm of comfortable and environmentally-conscious footwear. So, without further delay, let’s jump right in!
About Softstar Shoes (An Overview)
Softstar Shoes is a company dedicated to crafting minimal shoes designed for happy, healthy feet. Based in Oregon, USA, the heart of their operation is a workshop where every pair of shoes is meticulously handcrafted.
One of Softstar’s distinctive qualities is its commitment to social and environmental responsibility. They prioritize delivering an exceptional experience to both their customers and employees.
Their core values revolve around creating a unique and meaningful customer experience. They aim to make footwear that is beautiful, comfortable, and of the highest quality. Their dedication to direct customer interaction is evident through their excellent customer service.
The company’s environmental consciousness shines through its commitment to “walking lightly on the earth.” They actively work to conserve raw materials and minimize their environmental footprint. This includes thoughtful practices to reduce waste, reuse materials, and promote recycling.
Softstar also emphasizes creating a wonderful workplace environment. Their workshop is described as a creative, energizing, and efficient space where mutual respect and dignity prevail.
They value openness and honesty, fostering an atmosphere where families and the community are not only welcome but integrated into the company’s culture.
When it comes to their shoes, Softstar’s philosophy is simple yet effective. Their footwear is minimal, akin to gloves for your feet, promoting natural movement and healthy foot development.
The use of naturally soft and breathable leather ensures that their shoes not only feel comfortable but also exude a delightful aroma. The designs are elegantly simple, providing all the essential features one needs in a shoe.
Softstar Shoes Review: My 8 Best Picks!
I’ve had the pleasure of exploring an array of Softstar Shoes, and I’m excited to share my eight best picks from their collection:
1. The Softstar Taylor Oxford
The Adult Taylor Oxford from Softstar Shoes is a remarkable fusion of timeless elegance and natural comfort. Crafted in the USA, specifically in Oregon, these Oxfords are designed to redefine the concept of formal footwear.
Softstar has meticulously shaped this shoe to offer the ideal balance between style and foot-friendly design.
What truly sets these Oxfords apart is their commitment to preserving the classic wingtip Oxford silhouette while prioritizing natural movement and health.
Made with premium Austrian leather, the Taylor Oxford boasts a hand-applied finish that imparts a rich sheen, ensuring it stands out in any formal setting.
Softstar’s dedication to natural movement is evident in the 7mm flexible, zero-drop Calliflex Vibram™ sole, which allows your feet to move naturally, promoting a healthy posture even during long events or special occasions.
2. The Softstar PRIMAL RunAmoc
Crafted with care and precision, the Adult PRIMAL RunAmoc is a testament to Softstar’s commitment to minimalist shoes combined with durability & quality.
The breathable materials and zero-drop 5mm VibramTM Omniflex rubber sole allow your feet to move naturally, while the padded tongue ensures a snug and secure fit.
But it doesn’t stop there; Softstar’s dedication to sustainability shines through with protective toe caps upcycled from used bike innertubes. Each pair is unique, just like you.
Whether you’re hitting the trails or running errands, the Adult PRIMAL RunAmoc is your versatile companion.
Designed and handcrafted in the USA, it’s time to embrace the freedom of natural foot function.
3. The Softstar Ballerine Flat
The Adult Ballerine Flat by Softstar Shoes is a classic and chic footwear that offers impeccable fit and versatility that seamlessly transitions from your morning bike commute to the boardroom with enough grace to keep you dancing through the weekend.
Unlike typical ballet flats that can cause discomfort, the Ballerines are a revelation. Handcrafted with premium leather uppers and a heavenly-soft suede innersole, they deliver breathability and blissful comfort without any break-in period. Your feet will have ample room to breathe, and the gently elasticized trim ensures a snug fit.
These lightweight and compact shoes easily slip into your purse or carry-on, making them perfect for any occasion. Their minimalist design and zero-drop 4mm Vibram Cherry sole encourage a natural, barefoot-like movement while providing traction and protection.
4. The Softstar DASH RunAmoc
The DASH RunAmoc by Softstar is my top pick for those who want a zero-drop shoe that seamlessly blends style, comfort, and versatility.
These nonbinary shoes are designed for the modern adventurer, whether you’re strolling through city streets, conquering rugged trails, or attending important work meetings.
The zero-drop 5mm VibramTM Omniflex rubber sole provides an ideal balance of flexibility and support, allowing you to move with ease and agility.
What sets the DASH RunAmoc apart is its spacious toe box, providing ample room for your feet to stretch and breathe comfortably.
Whether you prefer to wear them with or without socks, these shoes offer a personalized fit that adapts to your needs.
Crafted with pride in the USA, these shoes are designed and handcrafted in Oregon using US-sourced materials, ensuring a product you can trust.
Plus, with multiple VibramTM sole options available, you can customize your DASH RunAmocs to suit your unique adventures.
Sometimes, taking a step back leads to true innovation in a world of innovation, and the Roo soft-soled moccasin boot embodies this philosophy.
Crafted with a minimalist approach, these soft moccasin shoes are designed to reconnect you with the world beneath your feet.
The smooth, full-grain leather uppers envelop your feet in rich, breathable luxury. The traditional suede soles offer flexibility and comfort, suitable for both indoor and dry outdoor use.
Over time, the suede soles develop a smoother, moisture-resistant surface, and you can easily restore their non-skid properties with a gentle wire brush.
Its luxurious sheepskin innersoles cradle your feet, providing protection, dryness, and unparalleled comfort. Genuine sheepskin is nature’s way of regulating heat, keeping your feet cool in summer and warm in winter.
An inner elastic closure ensures a secure fit that’s effortless to slip on and off – not that you’ll want to take these leather moccasin shoes off very often!
Cozy up to the warmth of the season with the Adult Fireside Sheepskin Slipper, a must-have selection in my top picks. As the frost kisses the windows and leaves fall gently, there’s no better place to be than a fireside.
These remarkable sheepskin house slippers offer you the rustic comfort of a hearth or bonfire, even when kindling and matches are in short supply.
Crafted with care, these feather-light slippers are made from genuine short wool sheepskin, and feature brushed suede soles, elegantly trimmed in buttery soft buffed cow leather.
Adjustable cuffs provide customizable coziness, allowing you to roll them up or down as you please.
And here’s the best part – the replaceable sheepskin innersoles ensure that your favorite slippers will keep you warm and comfortable for seasons to come.
7. The Softstar Phoenix Boot
When winter’s chill sets in, step into the warmth and style of the Adult Phoenix Boot by Softstar.
These sheepskin winter boots redefine comfort and functionality for adults, making them a delightful choice when the weather turns frightful.
Made with meticulous attention to detail, the Phoenix boot boasts the softest leather uppers that cocoon your feet in luxury.
Fully lined with genuine sheepskin, these boots excel at wicking away moisture, ensuring warm and dry feet even in the coldest of conditions.
And here’s the icing on the cake – the replaceable sheepskin innersoles offer long-term comfort, making these boots a wise investment.
Designed for ease of wear, a zipper on the outside of these sheepskin leather boots allows you to slip them on effortlessly over or under your pant legs.
The zero-drop Vibram Tundra sole, measuring 4mm thick with an additional 3mm of midsole material (plus sheepskin fluff), provides durability, flexibility, and lightweight comfort.
With excellent traction in mild to moderate winter conditions, these boots empower you to blaze a trail no matter how cold it gets.
8. The Softstar Switchback Boot
Prepare for your outdoor adventures with the Switchback Boot by Softstar.
These minimalist hiking boots were designed with input from their customer, ensuring that they meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts seeking a zero-drop hiking boot.
The Switchback boot boasts a foot-friendly design with a spacious toe box, allowing your toes to splay naturally and ensuring maximum comfort even on long hikes.
For those who crave even more room, the wide-width option provides a Primal Friendly sole shape.
Choose between the all-leather version or the Superfabric® version with leather trim. Both options feature Italian leather treated with water-repellant LeatherShield™, making them water-resistant and highly durable.
The leather used is also Green Guard certified, anti-bacterial, and stain-resistant.
While the Switchback boots are not fully waterproof due to the absence of a gusseted tongue, they prioritize flexibility, comfort, and breathability with every step. If you are looking for completely waterproof options, you may want to check out my Muck boots review as an alternative.
The Superfabric® version is virtually indestructible, thanks to tiny armored plates that provide resistance to harsh elements.
With proper care, these boots only get better with age.
This environmentally friendly material is water resistant, quick-drying, breathable, flexible, lightweight, antibacterial, abrasion-resistant, puncture-resistant, slash-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to clean – all while being made in the USA.
The Switchback is lined with 100% merino wool, ensuring a cozy and quick-drying interior. The wool is sourced from Germany from humanely-treated sheep and is Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified.
For ultimate grip and longevity, the 6mm Vibram™ Megagrip soles perform exceptionally well in wet and dry conditions, making them a favorite among extreme trail adventurers. As an alternative for hiking boots, you could consider comparing these with Nortive 8 boots.
The 3.5mm midsole provides an extra buffer from sharp rocks while maintaining a minimalist design.
What Makes SoftStar Shoes Unique?
What sets Soft Star Shoes apart from the plethora of running shoes on the market today is their unique design philosophy that prioritizes all-day comfort.
While many running shoes are typically worn for short bursts of activity and then require removal due to discomfort, Soft Star Shoes are crafted to be worn comfortably throughout the day.
This exceptional feature distinguishes them from the competition. Soft Star Shoes offer wearers the freedom to keep them on from morning to night without experiencing the usual discomfort associated with traditional running shoes.
This emphasis on enduring comfort makes Soft Star Shoes a standout choice for those seeking both style and practicality in their footwear.
Are Softstar Shoes Budget-Friendly?
Yes, Softstar Shoes can be considered budget-friendly when you factor in their durability and long-term value.
While their initial price may be competitive with other quality footwear brands, the fact that Softstar Shoes are built to last and maintain their comfort and style over an extended period of time makes them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
Additionally, the ability to customize their shoes means you can invest in a pair that suits your specific preferences and needs, further enhancing their overall value.
When considering their quality, longevity, and customization options, Softstar Shoes offer a positive budget-friendly option for those seeking durable and comfortable footwear.
How Did The Softstar Shoes Company Get Started?
The history of Softstar Shoes is a journey that began with a family’s commitment to creating healthy and minimal footwear.
Here’s an overview of Softstar Shoes evolving history:
- 1985: Tim Oliver, a carpenter, and his wife Jeanie are unable to find healthy, minimal shoes for their daughter Corina, so they learn to sew soft leather shoes from a local artisan and start selling them to friends and neighbors.
- 1986: Softstar shoes make their debut at the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach, California, under the name Softstar.
- 1987: The Oliver family purchases land in Wimberly, Texas, where they set up their first workshop in an old school bus, marking the birth of the official Softstar shoemaking workshop.
- 1990: Tim and Jeanie relocate to Corvallis, Oregon, and open the first brick-and-mortar Softstar workshop.
- 2001: Softstar launches its first website, offering five available shoe styles with a printable mail-order form.
- 2005: Tricia Salcido and Larkin Holavarri purchase Softstar Shoes from Tim Oliver and prioritize online checkout and sustainability measures, such as solar panels and renewable energy.
- 2010: Softstar modifies its moccasins into the popular minimal running shoe, RunAmoc, doubling the workshop and staff to meet demand.
- 2017: Softstar moves to a larger workshop in Philomath, Oregon, housed in a historic building, expanding its production space.
- 2020: Softstar introduces more shoe styles, including Merino wool shoes and the expanding Softstar Primal line with a wide toe box for a barefoot experience.
- 2021: Softstar incorporates a digital cutting system into the workshop to reduce leather waste and enhance design flexibility.
- 2023: Softstar undergoes a legal structure change to become a certified Benefit Corporation and acquires B Corp certification, demonstrating its commitment to high environmental and social standards.
Softstar Shoes Review: My Verdict
Softstar Shoes have left a lasting impression on me, and my verdict is overwhelmingly positive. From their inception as a solution to provide healthy minimal shoes for their daughter to their journey into becoming a certified Benefit Corporation, Softstar Shoes embodies a commitment to quality, sustainability, and the well-being of both customers and the planet.
My favorite among them is the Softstar Fireside Sheepskin Slipper. The Fireside Sheepskin Slipper not only embodies the core values of Softstar Shoes but also offers a delightful blend of style and comfort.
Its minimalist design allows my feet to move naturally, which I find crucial for maintaining foot health. Soft, breathable materials make them a joy to wear, and the craftsmanship is evident in every detail.
Furthermore, the option to customize their shoes with a wide range of colors and patterns adds a personal touch that’s hard to find elsewhere. It allows customers to express their individuality while enjoying the benefits of top-notch craftsmanship.
Softstar Shoe’s sustainability efforts, including renewable energy sources and reduced waste, align with today’s eco-conscious values, making them a responsible choice for environmentally aware consumers.
In my opinion, Softstar Shoes offer a combination of comfort, quality, and sustainability that is hard to beat.
Whether you’re looking for all-day comfort, a personalized touch, or eco-friendly footwear, Softstar Shoes deserves recognition for its commitment to these values.
My verdict: Softstar Shoes are a stellar choice for those seeking exceptional footwear that aligns with their values and provides unmatched comfort.