I’ve been in the book writing trenches for a few months and – hurrah! – just sent back my final review of the galleys to my editor. More posts in the next few weeks including a very exciting book giveaway next week from an amazing woman (hint: she brings a lot of joy to living with less).
Okay, you’ve been telling me for years: check out Soft Star shoes. And I am happy to report it has finally happened. So so many comments about Soft Star shoes on this post about my ‘investment’ shoes that fell apart after a few months.
Sarah at Soft Star shoes contacted me about doing a review of their shoes and it was the loveliest email to receive. I get many requests for reviews or endorsements of products and 99.9% of them are not a fit. This is a blog about owning less stuff so no, I don’t think anyone wants to read about a spring yogourt flavor or a big brand cleaning product. But minimalist durable made in the USA shoes that readers have been telling me for years are awesome? That actually fits.
Soft Star Ballerine Flats
I’ve been trying out the Ballerine flat by Soft Star Shoes for two weeks and so far I’m very pleased with the shoes. The style they sent me was a black suede paisley and it’s one part classic and one part earthy. I can slip these on with a dress for a summer date and they also work to elevate my casual daily look of jeans and a t-shirt. The Soft Star Ballerines come in some sportier styles like this one that would be a great pop in a neutral capsule wardrobe.
What I Love About Soft Star Shoes
- they feel like slippers. It was actually disconcerting at first, I felt like I was leaving the house without real shoes on, but after a day in them I was used to it. So yes, A++ for being foot friendly.
- the heel cut is very comfortable. You can see in the photo above that the heel comes in from the sole and it hugged my heels nicely.
- the construction is beautiful. These shoes are handmade in Oregon and the seams are all beautifully finished.
- these shoes are great for travel. If you do like to wear heels for a night out, or clip in bike shoes for your commute, these pack easily into a bag so you can change shoes at your destination. Ideal airport and travel shoes that you can slip off and on at security.
- Soft Star is doing good. It’s hard to find companies that are creating earth friendly and attractive and wallet friendly goods.
- they come in my size! It’s very frustrating to get recommended North American made or fair trade or eco-friendly fashions that only come in conventional sizes (I’m 6ft tall and wear a size 11 or 12 shoe and wear a 14 tall in clothing). But Soft Star has a great range of sizes and you can even custom order your own shoes in your color and material preferences.
This is a minimalist style shoe and the sole of the Soft Star Ballerine is a Vibram Cherry sole. There is no arch support or deep cushioning. The footbed is finished in ultrasuede and has a thin layer of cushion with it. I’m already acclimated to minimalist shoes so easily walked 6 miles a day in the Ballerines right out of the box with no blisters or foot pain.
My only small nit pick about the Ballerines is that the Vibram sole has a waffle weave mold – good for traction on smooth surfaces- but I stepped on a piece of wax and it took a bit of work to get it off the sole.
Price: these shoes are $120 and while I feel like my brain is stuck in the 1980s for pricing – what? apples cost over a dollar a pound??!! – I think the price is very reasonable for the quality of the shoe. Other minimalist ballerina style shoes that aren’t nearly as well made are retailing for $200. Soft Star shoes use mostly USA made leather and use non-formaldehyde tanning methods that are better for the earth and for us. They produce all the shoes right in their factory in Oregon. You’re paying for quality and craftsmanship with Soft Star shoes – not marketing and fancy packaging.
Soft Star shoes also have a selection of children’s shoes that are adorable and great for growing young feet.
I will update this post down the road once I have put more mileage on these shoes but they feel very sturdy and built to last (unlike my other shoes). I’ve had dozens and dozens of comments and emails recommending Soft Star shoes so I am thrilled to finally be able to chime in in agreement: these are great shoes!
Disclosure: I was provided a pair of Soft Star Shoes for review but all views are my own.