SoftstarShoes

Leather and wool shoes handcrafted in Oregon, USA

Philomath, Oregon

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Announcement    Softstar offers handmade minimal footwear using only the highest-quality leathers and materials. FREE shipping within USA!

Announcement

Last updated on Dec 29, 2020

Softstar offers handmade minimal footwear using only the highest-quality leathers and materials. FREE shipping within USA!

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610 Sales
 

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Tricia Salcido

Contact shop owner

Tricia Salcido

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(152)
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Quality 29 Shipping 20 Customer service 19

About SoftstarShoes

Sales 610
On Etsy since 2013

Truly Handcrafted Leather Shoes

At Softstar, our meticulous, passionate team is dedicated to creating unique and healthy options for ultra-comfortable, minimalist footwear. All Softstar shoes are designed to mimic walking barefoot, meaning our shoes are lightweight and flexible, have zero-drop soles, and have plenty of room for your toes. These features all promote natural foot development and strong, healthy feet.

Every single Softstar shoe is designed and made at our workshop in Philomath, Oregon. When we receive your order, we select and cut the leather, soling and/or sheepskin and get to work. Softstar shoes are made with a non-lasted technique, meaning the leather will lay softly over the foot instead of being molded into a rigid and constricting toe box. It is normal for the natural contours of your toes to show through the leather. We use this method because it produces the most traditional, softest shoes without added stiffeners or adhesives.

We have an unwavering dedication to using only the highest quality materials to craft our products. Critically evaluating the upstream impact of the raw materials that go into our shoes (both environmentally and socially) is the most important way we can make meaningful improvements to our world. We choose materials that are natural, soft and functional.

For example, we use only leathers that meet high safety standards both for our customers and for the environment. It is important to us that all materials are as chemical-free as possible. Much of the leather used in manufacturing today is imported from countries that rely on formaldehyde tanning methods. Not only is this chemical a potential irritant to your skin and absorbable transdermally, but it poisons groundwater downstream from tanneries and causes well-documented health issues with tannery employees. We source our exceptional-quality leathers from tanneries that meet our labor and environmental standards.

Our sheepskin is similarly high-quality. Sheepskin is important in wicking away moisture and is naturally homeostatic, meaning it regulates temperature. Unlike synthetic fleece, natural sheepskin keeps feet at a consistent temperature, whether it is a sweltering afternoon or a chilly winter day. Don't be fooled by “genuine” sheepskin found in most big brands. If you look carefully, you will find it is really wool fibers woven into a synthetic textile backing that lacks natural wicking properties.

We have a few different sole types, including suede soles and rubber Vibram soles. Flexible suede soles, such as those on our moccasins, follow the shape of your foot to allow a wide range of natural movement. Many of our outdoor shoes feature rubber soles made in the USA by Vibram. These rubber soles and durable yet flexible, designed to mimic a natural, barefoot feeling when you walk.

We work hard to ensure we’re creating Softstar products in a socially and environmentally responsible way. We walk lightly on the earth, conserving raw materials by thoughtful use. We minimize our environmental footprint by reducing waste, reusing and recycling. We save our leather scraps and donate them to local businesses, individuals and schools for art and crafts projects. We also place an importance on local production. The environmental footprint of most shoes is staggering. Often materials are sourced in one country, staged in another, constructed in a third, and packed in yet another before being bulk-crated and shipped to their country of destination. On average, imported shoes and their associated components have been transported over 11,000 miles before they even reach their port of call. Softstar is one of a handful of shoemakers preserving the tradition of handcrafted shoe-making skills in the USA using as many local materials as possible.

All of our power usage in our workshop comes from solar or wind energy and we use minimal packaging to ship our products. When possible, we ship our shoes using recycled/recyclable poly mailers. Our more structured shoes are shipped in recyclable boxes, wrapped with tissue paper made from 100% recycled materials and packed with paper we reuse from other local businesses.

Finally, customers often ask us how long Softstar shoes will last. The biggest factor that determines how much life your shoes will give you is how you treat them. It’s important to remember that soft leather behaves differently than conventional shoe materials. Here are some tips for caring for your handcrafted Softstar shoes:

WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVE: Softstar shoes are made from eco-friendly leathers tanned in the USA. Leather is a natural product and some variation in texture and hide markings is to be expected. Because we use leather colored with nontoxic food grade dyes, there will likely be some initial color transfer to your socks or skin if your shoes become damp. This will decrease with use, but we don't recommend wearing your new Softstars with your favorite white socks the first time you take them for a spin.

If your shoes are a little snug at first in the toe box area, you can gently stretch them by stuffing the toe box with a dry cloth. Push the cloth tightly into the front of the shoe and let sit stuffed overnight to stretch. Do not use a damp cloth as the water can stain the leather or innersole of some leather types, rendering it non-returnable.

MAINTENANCE: Most full-grain leather we use is naturally water resistant. You can clean shoes as needed with water-dampened cloth and let air dry. Condition the leather as often as desired with any quality leather dressing, but be careful to keep it away from the edges of your rubber soles. Do not use mink oil on your shoes, as it can degrade the adhesion on bonded soles and cause the sole to separate from your shoe over time. We highly recommend Bee Natural Amore for general conditioning or Rain & Snow on leather for enhanced water resistance.

WASHING: Aside from the damp-cloth method mentioned above, we do not recommend frequent washing of any leather product as it strips the leather of its natural oils and tends to dry stiffer. Do not attempt to dry your shoes by exposing them to high heat, such as a clothes dryer, a hair dryer or by leaving them on a radiator or next to a fire. Doing so may damage the leather or rubber soles.

Thank you so much for your interest in our handcrafted products! Please drop us a line if you have any questions.

Shop members

  • Softstar

    Owner

    Hi—we are Tricia and Larkin, the proud owners of Softstar Shoes. Our small team of elves meticulously handcrafts leather shoes, slippers, moccasins and leather accessories in our workshop in Philomath, Oregon.

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