Minimal Shoes, Maximum Comfort: Soft Star Takes Barefoot Shoes from the Running Trail to the Boardroom
Pioneers of the barefoot shoe movement introduce new designs for men, women and children
Soft Star Shoes (www.softstarshoes.com), pioneers of the barefoot shoe movement since 1984, recently launched three new shoe models to meet growing consumer demands for minimal shoes for the everyday wear. “We’ve been making barefoot shoes for 27 years,” says Soft Star co-owner Tricia Salcido, “and in the past few years have seen an enormous shift in our customer base from children towards adults. People always knew soft, flexible shoes were best for kids, but the barefoot running craze introduced the concept for adults. Now women and men are searching for healthy, minimal footwear for everyday use instead of just athletic shoes. We are starting to see an evolution from barefoot running to barefoot lifestyle.”
Interest in minimalist shoes exploded in 2009 with the publication of Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run. The book introduced many people to the idea of running barefoot or with so-called “barefoot shoes” made with thin, flat and flexible soles that allow natural foot movement. At that time, Soft Star saw increased interest in their already minimalist shoes and launched their successful line of RunAmoc barefoot running shoes. Now the US-based company is addressing customer requests to offer barefoot shoes for everyday use. Their new products promise to satisfy three areas of demand: a casual shoe for men, a fashionable shoe for women and an athletic shoe for older kids.
The latest design for men, the Soft Star Rogue, provides a new option for a casual outdoor barefoot shoe that is both stylish and comfortable. The soft uppers of the Rogue are covered in rustic aged leather and the interior is lined with Soft Star’s Breathe-O-Prene™ technology to hold this slip-on shoe securely while keeping feet ventilated and dry. The Rogue also features soft genuine sheepskin innersoles with natural wicking properties and a new 8mm zero-drop Geo sole, designed to endure everyday outdoor use with excellent traction. The Rogue retails for $125.
Soft Star’s new shoe for women, the Merry Jane Metro, is intended for women seeking an elegant and sophisticated shoe that will still allow their feet to move and develop naturally. This classy design features Soft Star’s characteristic natural leather uppers and a thin and flexible Vibram™ Cherry sole, noted for both its durability and slip-resistant characteristics. The Metro can also be customized as aDesign-Your-Own shoe, allowing customers to choose their own colors, pattern cutouts or motifs. Merry Jane Metro prices start at $125.
The Youth RunAmoc Dash extends Soft Star’s popular RunAmoc line to older children. This barefoot athletic shoe is designed for kids who have difficulty finding footwear between child and adult sizes. Like the popular Adult RunAmoc Dash, the youth model features lightweight uppers, wide toe boxes and thin zero-drop Vibram™ soles. Unique to the Youth Dash is a Velcro closure for easy on/off. Customers can choose stock colors, or Design-Your-Own. Youth RunAmoc Dash prices start at $78.
As with all other Soft Star models, the new shoes are lightweight and designed to allow as much natural, barefoot-like movement as possible. Their shoes are available exclusively at www.softstarshoes.com.
Soft Star Shoes produces handmade soft leather shoes for babies, children and adults. The company is committed to using natural, eco-friendly materials and to developing direct relationships with their customers. Made in the USA: 100% of Soft Star’s shoes are handcrafted by American leather artisans in their Oregon workshop.