Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Soft Star Shoes :: Handmade in the USA, Stylish, Minimalist Footwear

Shoes are a practical necessity. They serve as the protectors of our feet from the elements as we walk on various surfaces throughout our day. Since we rely on our feet so much, we should probably take care of them, right? That means our choice of footwear is more important that we realize.

Soft Star offers handmade footwear that mimics walking barefoot for healthy feet. They have many styles available for the whole family, including the option to design-your-own with your choice of colors, closures and fun motifs! I've worked with so many amazing companies over the years, but sometimes I come across one that is an absolute gem. Soft Star is certainly a gem!


I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Soft Star was founded by Tim Oliver in 1985, and has been handcrafting all-natural, leather shoes in the USA ever since. The traditional techniques used by Soft Star shoes allows for maximum comfort, flexibility and softness. From cutting the leather to the final product, every step of the shoe-making process is done by hand, and inspected by Tim himself at their Corvallis, Oregon workshop. No added stiffeners or adhesives are used since your feet are unique, and so your shoes should be also!

Safe materials are of great importance to Soft Star. Their (mostly) USA-sourced premium leather is colored using FDA-approved food grade dyes and meets the highest international safety standards as well. Environmental impact is important to them so recycling and reusing is of great importance. Soft Star uses a variety of materials including leather, sheepskin and rubber. They do use petroleum-based materials for their vegan-friendly shoes, but that is simply for durability since other natural fiber options don't always hold up well on shoes.

As my readers probably already know, I love ballet flats. If I had to live in one type of shoe forever, it would be ballet flats. But they can't just be any ballet flats. They have to be extremely comfortable for everyday wear and a cute cut is a must. Naturally, I chose to review the Ballerine Flat (LITE version) from Soft Star. With the tiny holes throughout, I figured they were a little more breathable than the smooth Ballerine and appropriate for spring and going into summer.

How do they feel? Literally like I'm walking on clouds. Heavenly. Delicious. Something in that range. I have the same range of motion that I would walking barefoot, but with a soft suede innersole to add a bit of cushion in my step. The leather is soft and flexible, and there was really no break-in period although they do seem to be even more comfortable after wearing a few times.

Due to the features of genuine leather, these will conform to your foot, giving you a custom shoe that will quickly become a favorite. There's no rigid toe box, so you might notice the my toes showing a bit in the photo above. That's normal for Soft Star shoes and further evidence of the premium quality leather use.

The Ballerine Flat is a must-have not only for daily use, but as your new favorite travel companion or perhaps after work when you find your high heels are killing your feet! They fold in half and take up hardly any room in your purse or carry-on luggage. With a shoe as flexible as this, you can rest assured that they are truly allowing your feet to have the healthy, full range of motion they should have, just like bare feet.

The outsole is a 4mm Vibram rubber that offers great traction and grip. It's super flexible, as I've already mentioned. You can really take these anywhere you need, although I'd like to keep them pretty so they probably won't go on a hike with me anytime soon. :)

The heels and toe box are reinforced with an extra layer of leather for durability, but this in no hinders the flexibility of the shoes or natural movement of your step. There is a bit of hidden elastic in the leather collar trim so you do get a proper fit.

What else...have I told you that I love them yet? The Ballerine Flat offers a fabulous fit, flexibility that I love, and no rubbing! They mold to MY feet, not the other way around. I tend to always think that I have weird feet because most flats do not fit me well, but with Soft Star, I'll get a custom fit every time. I can also wear these with just about anything in my wardrobe. From casual jeans or a maxi skirt to shorts or a summer dress.

I can definitely see the love and great care that was taken to make these, and I really, really can't wait to buy another pair. I have my eyes on a pair of design-your-own Ballerines in a bright color with a sport closure. Or maybe a pair of Merry Janes with an applique flower! Thank you to Soft Star for introducing me to the world of minimalist shoes and your fabulous custom fit.
 
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20 comments:

Lisa Weidknecht said...

I checked them all out and I like the Adult Ballerine Flat - LITE Black the best.

Maria said...

These look so comfy! I hope they come in my size!!

Liz said...

I love the shiny blue with white trim and red sport closure!

Angela said...

Those look oh-so comfy! I work from home and those would be so much better than the slippers and flip flops I always wear.

Kristin Heron said...

I would LOVE the ballerinas, undecided about the perfect color!

Becky L. said...

I got a pair of black sport ballerine flats this summer (they have elastic straps across the top of the feet) and they are awesome! Soft Star shoes are the best! My son has a pair of their mocs and wears them every day.

Pamela Ward DeCicco said...

I have several of their shoes and love them. I really want to try both the ballet flats and the sandals.

Sharon Martin said...

You can tell they are really soft, these would be great for me around the garden or nipping out to the shops etc, when I go out I like more of a heal.

Rebecca Swenor said...

I would love to try the Luna Sandals Mono. Thanks for sharing.

Jessica Chung said...

I love all their shoes! Always wanted a pair of flats or Metro Merry Janes :)

Laura said...

I have a pair of runamoks and I can't wait until I can buy a pair of ballerinas!

Anonymous said...

I have a pair of Ballerines. I would love a pair of Merry Janes or Ballerines in Lite Leather with a strap.

Tj and Amy said...

I would love to try the Adult Ballerine Flat - Smooth Black

Courtney B said...

im going with the merry janes please!

Hannah Jurgelis said...

I like the adult flat in the smooth black!

Claudia N said...

Email subscriber with email
nclaudia25 at yahoo dot com

Machiko Yasuda said...

I have the SoftStar RunAmoc in all black. I got it during their annual sale. I wear them year-round.

Peg said...

Thank you so much for this review. I've been perusing the Soft Star web site this week and wondering if the ballet flats were shapely enough. I like the comfort factor but want them to look good too. After seeing your photos and reading your review, the flats sound awesome. I'm thinking of designing my own pair in Lite Turquoise (with the holes like yours for warmer weather). Thanks again for the great post!

Natasha said...

They all look amazing. Maybe the Solstice Sandal?

ivanev said...

I must try this one specially because I am also a ballet flat fan and they are made in US, they look so comfortable and minimalistic and even unisex ;) Thanks for you great review