We are obsessed with Soft Star shoes at my house, and have tried a number of different styles. I thought it might be helpful to do a comparison post in case people are curious about differences between the shoes. The ones we have tried are the Classics (both with velcro like the brown one above and with laces), the rambler (blue one above), and the sandal with elastic (black one above).
Overall, our favorite has been the classics with velcro. They open up really wide so they are the easiest to get on. The ramblers open using elastics but they require a bit of a squeeze to get on, at least for us. The sandals are probably in the middle in terms of ease of putting on. Our 2 year old can’t put any of them on by himself though.
We also like the classics because they prevent sand from getting inside since they are closed all the way around. the Ramblers actually have an open slit along each side. We greatly prefer the velcro opening over laces because it’s so easy to close. The laces are a lot cheaper, but you have to tie them each time which ends up being a pain on a wiggly toddler.
In general the shoes are expensive, but they last us a long time and don’t look worn out. They are also easy to clean with a damp rag, and look as good as new even after a hike.
Note: I didn’t get paid for doing this review, it’s just based on my own experiences
I spent a ton of time looking up companies that make kids shoes that are nontoxic and this one which makes shoes in Oregon is one of the best. I’ve ordered Jack two pairs of these adorable shoes from Soft Star shoes which are nontoxic leather without formaldehyde. I love how eco friendly the company is. Not only is their leather safely processed, but when I emailed them for more information about it they said:
Our leather is a by-product of the meat industry but we take every effort to use all of the leather (scraps for craft projects, schools, etc). We have a philosophy to “walk lightly” on the earth and we do everything in our shop to do that.
I debated getting vegan shoes, but they are basically made from petroleum which is not eco friendly or safe for children.
Here are some pros and cons:
- They look like old fashioned adorable moccasins
- The laces make them adjustable (more than shoes with elastic which didn’t fit Jack well)
- They are pretty weather safe for rainy days
- The company has many options such as sandals, shoes with elastic or velcro, and boots
- You can choose from a large array of colors
- They are hand made in the USA
- The company makes shoes for babies through adults
- The laces take longer to tie up than shoes with velcro or elastic
- They are a little pricey (this version is $30, but others are $40+)
- For Jack, the shoes were too easy to pull off, so I punched some extra holes and fixed the problem, but I’m sure that depends on the baby (Jack has pretty chubby ankles so things slide off his feet easily)
- The soles are flexible but not as flexible as 100% leather shoes, so I think these are best for children, not 1st shoes for babies. The company makes other all leather moccasins that have elastic closure that would be better for babies because they are super flexible, although maybe less weather resistant.
- softer soled moccasins from soft star