for those who have experience with soft star shoes... - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-25-2009, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I've decided to take the plunge and get a pair of Soft Star Shoes for 20-mo-old DD. I recently got her a pair of preschoolians, and I LOVE the fit and super-flexibility - she really does walk as if she's almost barefoot - but as it turns out I cannot stand the smell of the soles, which isn't fading fast enough for my super-sensitive nose, so I'm anxious to be rid of them. And to replace them I want to get something still super-flexible, and even though I don't relish the idea of spending $65 on shoes, they sound worth it...hand-made, wow!! I mean, some mass-produced shoes cost that much or more. SO. A few questions for Soft Star purchasers:

1) Are those super-thin soles truly protective from outdoor elements? I just feel concerned that they might not stand up to New York sidewalks and debris - thoughts? I'm guessing they're stronger than they look; I just need reassurance. Since she's a size 6 (I think), they'll be the thinner non-vibram soles.

2) Fit - DD is around a 5.5 now, going to be moving into a 6 soon (she has a pair of size 6 SKR, and they are still fairly big). I've read Soft Stars run small though - is that true? How small if so? I'm guessing a 6 will be fine, I'm obviously not getting a 7 unless they run REAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLY small.

3) Styles - I am only looking for shoes (we already have boots), but I'm having a heck of a time picking a style. I know I don't want laces - I want easy on, easy off, so that leaves velcro, and I want to design-your-own so we could get the sheepskin insole, which sounds GREAT. But I can't decide between the classic with velcro (the Dorado) or the Saddle Shoe. Anyone have experience with either/both as far as wear, warmth, etc? It seems like the saddle shoe might be a little warmer for cold months, and it's only $6 more which is really a drop in the bucket once you're over that price point anyway I guess, but they look almost too confining?

Any feedback appreciated! Hoping we love them, and then we'll stock up in the February clearance sale!

TIA

Stephanie
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:02 AM
 
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I can only speak to #1 - I do think the soles will stand up fine to the sidewalk, at least as long as the shoe fits. Ours took a beating on the rough terrain of the southwest, and the toe wore through at the toenail while the soles held up great.

For sizing, they are great to talk to on the phone.

I can't wait til it seems the current growth spurt is slowing and I dare to buy a new pair. I also can't wait to hand-me-down our old pair (sorry, not your size.)

Mom of one child (2008), wife of one husband, tender of dogs, cats and chickens. Household interests: ocean life (kid), bitcoins (husband), simplifying (me).

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Old 11-26-2009, 03:16 AM
 
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The soft soles will be fine. It is likely that eventually the leather will show through at the big toe area. It did for DS. I found them to be surprisingly waterproof even with this wear. We had the moccasin-type with soft sole. Towards the end of him wearing these shoes, they wore through at the big toe on top (the leather part).

Sizing: there are helpful tools on their website. Otherwise, they are helpful on the phone.

Dorado-type - He was a size 8 by the time we got those and the soles were harder. We liked these shoes a little less. DS liked them less too. The seam is on the outside and it seemed that DS was tripping a lot on the uneven sidewalks around here. The velcro was fine. The shoes took a little while for the leather to ply to his feet (as in, they were quite tight for the first few days). I'm not sure if the lined ones are warm enough for winter.

I'm bummed that we have to choose different shoes because of the seams, but that's just because of the crummy sidewalks here.
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:26 AM
 
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I think the soles will be fine, DS2 had some with just leather and he wore them everywhere for a few months and they're still fine.

Both my boys have just had moccasins so I can't speak to the type, but they were super easy to get off and on.

These are my very favorite shoes. I bought some on sale a few weeks ago and they came waaaay too big even though I'd measured exactly as they told me to. By the time I had to pay for shipping twice and then I wasn't getting the sale price anymore I had to just send them back and cut my losses. I was so sad
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:26 AM
 
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The soles will hold up fine. My dd wore her lace up shoes for months and neither the soles or leather were worn when she outgrew them. They were very sturdy despite being so flexible.

I would use the size charts on their site or call and speak to them about sizing. I've always included her measurments in the comments section when ordering just to be sure and they've been fine.

I really don't find the laces to be difficult to get onbecause they don't really lace up like a tennis shoe, it's just to hold the ankle closed. We ordered a pair of dorado shoes with the velcro and returned them because the velcro was too long.

And, if you don't love them or they aren't a perfect fit they are so so wonderful about returns. I really love Soft Star Shoes.
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:24 AM
 
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1. I think the soles on the smaller sizes (non-vibram) are not very much different in durability from the vibram soles. At least, not on the pairs that we have, and both styles have held up to just about anything--although I've noticed that they don't have the traction on playground equipment that clunkier shoes seem to have.

2. I can't really address. Our first three pairs of shoes were Soft Star, so I can't compare to others. I will say that we didn't have any issues with sizes when working with the chart that they offer online.

3. We have only had the Dorado style shoe with the wooly insole so far, and I have loved them. We haven't had any issues with the velcro or seams or any other part of the shoe, nor have we managed to wear a pair to the point where there is any sign of wear on the shoes themselves, apart from the bottoms of the shoe that obviously show some signs of use.

I have been very happy with Soft Star shoes for ds: the people are friendly and helpful, the shoes are great and very well made, and I'm very glad to have had them as an option for ds.
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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This is sort of OT, but if you could only buy one pair of soft star shoes for a girl, which one would it be? If I spent this much money on a pair of shoes I would want her to be able to wear them all the time. Just because I'm a fashion reject doesn't mean my daughter should be!

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Down2Earth View Post
This is sort of OT, but if you could only buy one pair of soft star shoes for a girl, which one would it be? If I spent this much money on a pair of shoes I would want her to be able to wear them all the time. Just because I'm a fashion reject doesn't mean my daughter should be!
The Classic Shoe Lil Dipper, in whatever color would go best with your dd's wardrobe. We only ever buy one pair of shoes at a time for my dd unless she is in the same size shoe when seasons change (spring to summer, when we would then buy her sandals in the same size). We bought the Lil Dipper shoe in pink and they are so adorable. They went with everything, casual or dressy, and they still looked great even when she outgrew them. And bonus, they are the least expensive style.

The Mary Janes look really cute too, but I've never personally tried them.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:08 AM
 
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hey steph

i LOVE soft star shoes. linnaea had a pair of playtimes for this last summer as well as a pair of mocs and they both held up great, however, she grew out of the size sevens in september so i got her a pair of eights from SKR and the SKR's are HUGE!

so if i were you i would buy the sevens.

seriously, the mocs were in such good shape that if i hadn't tried soaking them overnight ot get a stain out (bad idea) i totally could have sent them to you because they were like new on the soles.

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Old 11-27-2009, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks so much for all the awesome feedback! Lots to chew on, and it sounds like we'll be pretty happy no matter what

And Carrie, I will write a note to self not to soak soft stars You're the first person I heard about them from, actually - I saw your note about the February sale after everything was gone. Too bad I didn't just take the plunge then, but better late than never!

This was all VERY helpful - thank you, all, and hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

Stephanie
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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we had a negative experience with soft star. we purchased some sandals and followed their sizing directions exactly. After wearing them a couple of days, we noticed that our dd fell every single time she wore them. She's been walking since 8 mo old, so she is not an inexperienced walker. her knees were constantly being torn up and bleeding from the falls, too. The Soft Star ppl would not let us return then because they had been worn. so, we spent our entire summer shoe budget on shoes she could not wear. They finally sold us a different pair at a discount, but they didn't fit either, so we gave up.

I will not purchase from them again. their policy is not to accept returns on used shoes. but my opinion is that if they really cared about how their products fit their customers, they would permit returns after the child has tried the product out.


nak.

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Old 12-28-2009, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hey mamas! just realized i never updated this thread with the outcome, which was that we got design-your-own ramblers, and we LOOOOOOVE THEM!!! awesome shoes. i'm bummed i didn't get soft stars from the get-go, but at least we know now!

i got myself a pair, too

we'll definitely be saving up to make sure this is what DD wears from here on out.

thanks again for your help and advice!

Stephanie
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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hey mamas! just realized i never updated this thread with the outcome, which was that we got design-your-own ramblers, and we LOOOOOOVE THEM!!! awesome shoes. i'm bummed i didn't get soft stars from the get-go, but at least we know now!

i got myself a pair, too

we'll definitely be saving up to make sure this is what DD wears from here on out.

thanks again for your help and advice!

Stephanie
yay! i love them too! i can't wait for a pair for myself

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Old 12-29-2009, 01:07 AM
 
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What were the options you chose for the design-your-own? What are the things you like the most about them?

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What were the options you chose for the design-your-own? What are the things you like the most about them?
I got the ramblers, mahogany front/chocolate back with a chocolate button. The colors are BEAUTIFUL together - very rich. The shoes are just darling. They're soft, they're super-flexible, they have those lovely sheepskin innersoles - DD walks beautifully in them, they're easy to put on and take off, and they stay on. I just love them! Next stop: boots!

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