Almost 4 years ago, I was trying to find a shoe that was:
- Made in the USA
- Comfortable, light, breathable
- Less than $100
I happened across Soft Star Shoes’ website and found these minimalist moccasins. They’re like ninja shoes! Handmade from US sourced materials in Oregon. Customer service was prompt and patient. So I bought a pair. Here’s what they look like, when new:
|Soft Star DASH RunAmoc Shoes, with Vibram Street Soles|
Comfortable as a slipper. Lightweight. But the first two weeks I wore them, it was like learning to walk again. I tripped over sidewalk cracks and steps, repeatedly stubbing my toe. The tough Vibram street sole is crazy thin, but provides protection from rain and broken glass. You do feel every rock and pebble though.
After a couple weeks, I got used to them and rarely tripped over anything. I actually like feeling the texture of different types of grass, ground, and pavement. It’s like walking around in thin gloves for your feet.
The feeling of almost going barefoot outweighed the fact that if you peer at them closely, they look a bit like bowling or floppy clown shoes. The black color helped them blend in, and I was able to wear them to work without attracting much attention.
I wanted to keep my foot hygiene up and rotate shoes so I was only wearing the same pair every other day. A month later, I bought pair #2:
|Second pair, bought way back in 2011, when they only cost $97.|
3 years and 7 months later, after roughly 85% walking on pavement, 10% walking on trails/gravel, and 5% street running, here’s what they look like:
|Stitching on Heel Busted (Both Pairs)|
I have a bad habit of kicking my left shoe off with my right foot, and this almost certainly led to the stitching coming apart on the heel. Still, I wish the stitching were stronger. Or perhaps Soft Star could put a protective covering around the heel, as they seem to have done on their stock photo on the top of this page.
Really impressed with the Vibram street sole. It has held up great, and is still as grippy on pavement as it ever was. Not a bit of the sole has worn off. You can still read the word Vibram in multiple places all over the sole.
Now debating: Should I buy a replacement pair of Soft Star mocs for $115 plus shipping? Should I send these old ones in for repair? Or should I buy a different type of made in USA moccasin or chukka boot for twice the price? What do you think?