Adult Hawthorne Chukka - Onyx

Boasting a clean, structured look that belies its incredible lightness and flexibility, the ultra-versatile Hawthorne Chukka has the form and function to carry you comfortably through any occasion.


Sizing Note: this shoe fits snugly. If you are between sizes then we recommend ordering the larger size.

Availability: In stock

Price $190.00

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Price $190.00
Sizing Guide

Details

This latest addition to our casual footwear line turns you into a barefoot ninja, enabling you to slip in and out of client meetings, date nights, and fine dining establishments without wearing shoes…or at least feeling that way. The Hawthorne adeptly walks the line between rugged and polished, freeing you from ever having to wear stiff, heavy, uncomfortable “dress shoes” again! And since we know you’ll want to wear them forever, we’ve made them out of a rich and supple Dublin leather, featuring a unique waxed finish for added resilience--they can even be resoled! These beautiful Onyx-black boots are handmade, so please allow 3-6 business days for your order to be completed and shipped.

Our 2017 Hawthorne Chukkas are now made with a suede innersole.

  • Made in USA: designed and handcrafted in Oregon using US-sourced materials
  • Sustainably designed: resolable by your local cobbler!
  • Breathable and lightweight: approximately 9oz per shoe
  • Flexible zero drop sole between toe and heel with excellent groundfeel
  • Features 8mm Geo sole with 4mm leather midsole. Total outersole: 12mm
  • Suede innersole.
  • Spacious toe box allows feet to stretch comfortably
  • Can be worn with or without socks
  • Premium, responsibly-sourced leathers

Getting cold feet? We also offer sheepskin innersoles specifically designed for the Hawthorne Chukka!

Sorry, but the Hawthorne Chukka is not available as a custom shoe.

Customer Reviews

Better and Better Review by Suzanne
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This is my third pair of Hawthorne Chukkas! I love how they always seem to fit just right when they arrive. But, then as I wear them, they really conform to my foot so I feel like I am barefoot. Thanks SoftStar! (Posted on 11/7/17)
The dressy sneaker Review by Bryan
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For months I'd exclusively been wearing Saucony Bullet sneakers. Anything stiffer made my knees hurt. Of course I couldn't keep doing that at work, so I gave these a try. Felt like an expensive gamble. Thankfully, they are amazing!! Super flexible, offering me a natural gait and no pain whatsoever. So relieved to discover these shoes. (Posted on 11/6/17)
Just keeps getting better Review by Tyler
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I have owned this shoe in black and brown for two years, worn in all four seasons nearly every day. With a little maintenance in between seasons, these shoes have worn in incredibly and look even better now than when I purchased them. These guys will go 5 years easy, and 10 years with some sole maintenance. I just started wearing them without socks for the first time, and I am more in love with them now than ever before. (Posted on 9/23/17)
Best Shoe Ever Owned Review by Colin
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I will keep this review very simple. I have now owned these shoes for almost a year, and quite simply, these are the best shoes I have ever owned in my 32 years of walking, running and cycling. I wear them nearly every day and they keep getting better as they age. (Posted on 9/3/17)
Comfortable and Clean Looking Review by Randahl
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I've had these for about a month now and I have to say these are some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. They're easily the most comfortable work shoes I've ever had by a long shot. They need to be water proofed but other than that they're perfect right out of the box. I'm between sizes and ordered the size up as recommended, it's a perfect fit. (Posted on 8/4/17)
The Quality Assurance Elf Dropped the Ball Review by ldlucas
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The chukka is a 5 star shoe. I followed the size guide and ordered them wide, per the instructions. I'm very satisfied with the fit (more on this below). The sole is flexible and comfortable for all-day urban wear. The leather is soft and also flexible. It's comfortable for hanging out and I would imagine as workwear. It is also thick enough to repel a moderate amount of rain, but I did treat them with a leather wax before wearing them. And with a lightweight wool sock, I found that it didn't get hot walking around all day and I never felt like my feet were sweating.

Buuuut, here's the crappy part. I purchased them right before a trip where I'd be walking quite a bit. At the beginning, they were awesome! However, after about four days I started to feel an uncomfortable rubbing on the inside of the left shoe. When I took a look at it, the inside lining of the toe box had separated from the leather exterior. I was initially worried that it came off from wear. But looking at it closely it was not cut properly and not sown properly. I took it to a cobbler who used some natural leather glue and it seems to be holding up. For that reason, I took a star off for the oversight and substandard workmanship, and another for the hassle of having to provide a fix for a new shoe. (Posted on 7/22/17)
best customer service ever Review by Thomas
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A thief stole all the packages sent our apartment building one day, and these shoes were one of those packages. It took me a few days to figure out what had happened, but when I did I reported the incident to softstar customer support. With a minimal amount of fuss, they arranged for another pair to be shipped. The shoes has been really nice to wear. Really comfortable and they look nice. The perfect barefoot-feeling shoe for those that don't like to draw attention around the office. I walk a bit more than most people, so the soles are starting to show signs of wear after about six weeks of solid use. I recommend these shoes because they are fantastic and softstar, because they customer support is fantastic. (Posted on 7/2/17)
Great Shoes! Review by Socrates
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I needed dress shoes for teaching and these fit the bill. While I previously had Vivobarefoot's Ra's, I couldn't get them resoled and they only lasted a couple years. The Chukkas are fairly comfortable and minimalist. They're not as comfortable as my Vivobarefoot shoes because the soles are a little thicker, and the toebox is tighter, but they can be resoled so I figured they are worth it. I only notice the tightness when I arch my toes upward. I'm a size 9 and I ordered a 9, and it seems to fit true to size. (Posted on 4/27/17)
Best work shoes ever Review by Jason
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I absolutely love these shoes. Great traction in wet weather, can walk miles in town and yet look great with a shirt and tie. (Posted on 4/10/17)
Awesome shoes Review by Chris
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These shoes are so soft and comfy and I like their classic look, they don't stand out as being 'different'. I have 7U runamocs but I got these in an 8Narrow (my foot is quite narrow) and they still fit loose enough that I can wear thick socks for winter. For extra protection from the rain, I coated them with snoseal beeswax weather protector.

I love soft stars. I never feel like I can't wait to get home just so I can take my shoes off. In soft stars I feel like I'm wearing socks all day they are so comfy. (Posted on 4/7/17)
Great shoe when you dial in the proper size! Review by jacob
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As some other reviewers did, I had trouble getting the right size. I ended up with the wide version of my normal size and all is well, thanks to the patience of the Elves! My feet have gotten wider and straighter since wearing minimalist footwear and these aren't particularly straight, which gives them a much more "normal" look, even in the wide version. All in all, very pleased and stoked to have a resoleable shoe! I only wear them without insoles because with the insoles the toe box is a bit cramped, but I got used to the "slippery" feel of them quickly. Worth it! (Posted on 3/11/17)
Excellent shoes for an affordable price! Review by Jeremy
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I've worn Lem's, Five Fingers, Vivobarefoot and they all were great shoes for their purpose, but they seemed to wear out quickly. For what a pair of either of them costs they should last longer than a year in my opinion. Maybe I'm hard to please. When the soles on my Vivobarefoot shoes wore through and I tried to get them resoled I was disappointed to find out they can't be due to the molded sole. I checked out Vivo for something that could be resoled when the time comes and the prices were astronomical! Lem's doesn't carry anything that can be resoled and most other zero drop shoes are either molded soles or priced way out of my range. Then I found Softstar and the Chukkas. These things are amazing! Very comfortable, flexible and they look great. Best of all, when the time comes I can get them resoled and keep on walkin', Thank you elves! (Posted on 2/10/17)
Great shoes, but a couple of minor issues Review by Nicole
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I've had my Chukkas for more than a year and have found them to be a great pair of shoes to wear at the office - I love that they look professional and feel like I'm wearing slippers.

I did run into a couple of minor (and fixable) issues with mine; the sole started to detach from one and needed to be glued back on, and the included laces broke in several places quite quickly. (Posted on 1/21/17)
My favorite! Review by Sal
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I own 5 styles of soft star shoes, including Phoenix boots and these are by far my favorite! I have them in red and black. I have hiked rugged trails of the Smokey Mountains wearing them and I wear them daily for work, standing and walking on concrete all day. Excellent show for people new to minimalist footwear. (Posted on 1/21/17)
my almost perfect shoes Review by Darby
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These are my first soft star shoes and now I want to replace all my other shoes... Super comfortable, classic look. I walk about 30 minutes in my daily commute in NYC, and bought these to replace dress boots which is my usual work wear in 20-50 degree weather. The shoes have actually been surprising warm even in the 20s with a some snow on the ground. Maybe because my toes aren't mashed together they get better circulation. I wouldn't stand around on freezing concrete in these or wear them in slushy or deep snow, but great for moderate winter commute/walking. Unfortunately, I think I'd have to size up to use a sheepskin innersole.

Also, I'm not into the smooth leather innersole, I don't like the way my toes slides into the front of the shoe. I think smooth leather innersole works in tighter fitting "conventional" dress shoes because your feet don't have anywhere to slide. I tried the suede liners, but they bunched up when I was walking, which I found even more uncomfortable.

In short, these are definitely my favorite shoes, and I hope to buy a second pair as they are almost, but not quite perfect.

I also think they should include some indication of shoe width on the sizing chart, would have been nice to avoid return/exchange shipping. (Posted on 1/10/17)
Like slippers with a sole! Review by Doug
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I have larger feet, so I was really hoping I would fit into the 13 since that is the biggest one they make. Fortunately, they fit wonderfully AND they might even be more comfortable than the SoftStar moccasins that I have been wearing for years.

If you are looking for a "true" barefoot feel, be aware that the stack height on these is something like 12mm, which will likely make the purists scoff. Their loss! These things are COMFY! And, they can be resoled, so I think that's worth a bit in trade. I don't use the included suede innersoles, which keeps the thickness down, but I also don't slide around much since my feet are on the larger size.

I used some Nikwax to apply a bit of a waterproof coating to these. The only difference I have seen is that the leather has a more matte black look now, but water beads right off. (Posted on 1/9/17)
Another great shoe from Soft Star Review by Tia
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I wear a 5 wide. These shoes do take a bit of "break in" since they fit very snugly at first. After a couple of weeks of use I am now able to wear them with the sheepskin insoles. If they were a little wider and more square at the toe box they would be perfect for me. I am between a wide and double wide width. This is a difficulty of my foot size not the soft star shoe. Soft star shoes are the only shoes I have ever worn in my life that are not painful. I am 51 so I have some experience with shoes.

These are very well made as are all of my soft star shoes. They are my sixth pair.

The style goes with anything and they are very comfortable. I am very pleased that they will be able to be resoled when needed.

I have found that all of my soft star shoes to be very durable and the sole is not worn out much even after years of use.

I hope that this company stays in business as long as I need shoes. I do not know what I would do without out their products. (Posted on 1/2/17)
great Review by Ben
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Reading the reviews and following the steps above (to print the size chart) I was able to get the correct size on the first order...I wear these to work and feel like I was cheating on my work clothes because I felt like I was wearing slippers to work...they are awesome! While I have only had them about a month I wear them just about every day and they still look new. I did put the water treatment on them that they sell and when I did wear them out in the rain it didnt seem to cause any problems with the chukka! These are a great pair of shoes that are very comfortable and much better on my knees than my dress shoes! I will have to figure out which ones to get for the summer when it becomes shorts weather again.... (Posted on 12/29/16)
Classic Look Barefoot Comfort Review by Sethikins
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We are lucky to live close enough to Corvallis to try on sizes before ordering, which seems to be most people's problem with them. These have thicker sole, so make walking on pavement a bit easier than my wife's dash's with the 2mm sole; though pavement is pavement. Very dressy looking. They don't look like "alternative" shoes. Actually the best looking shoes I have owned (save one pair that had leather soles and so were not good for rain). these are great in the rain. (Posted on 12/28/16)
Didn't fit right Review by Nancy
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I tried a couple of different sizes and they just didn't fit my foot correctly. I think because it is a unisex shoe it was just too sloppy, even in a smaller size. The shoe was nice looking and seemed well made. It was a bummer to pay the return shipping twice. But i had to at least try them. (Posted on 12/23/16)
Curiosity Review by Greta
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Agreeing with the positive and the critical feedback. Since this is different than other SS by being wider in ankle and tighter in toes, and generally I'm better with the seam-in design, I want to know if an ankle boot will be made seam-in, with identical proportions to Metro -- narrower ankle and wider toe. [And if that happened, I would want to know what size to get in a Metro-like Chukka, being a size 11 Metro].

Note from the Elves: Thanks Greta. We are always looking ahead to new styles/designs and appreciate your feedback! (Posted on 12/2/16)
Angels Weep upon beauty of this caliber. Review by John
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Heaven has been located. It's on my feet. Anyone who gives the chukkas less than a 5 star review... feel free to mail them to me and I'll find them a home worthy of such a blessing. Elves, kudos. (Posted on 11/3/16)
Unacceptable Return Policy Review by Pete D.
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Returned shoes within two weeks barely used. Even ordered a new pair to replace them. So now I am out $380 for one usable pair of shoes. No acceptable.

Note from the Elves: Pete - We are so sorry to disappoint you, but we can only accept returns in like-new, unworn condition. Please consider using our resale directory for gently used shoes: http://www.softstarshoes.com/resale. (Posted on 10/18/16)
Brilliant! - sheepskin innersole is a must Review by Paul from Oz
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I have had these shoes for over a year. I have two pairs of Dash's but needed something warmer for winter. Tried the Chukkas for a few weeks and hated them. Foot slips all over the place on the slippery sole and had strange feeling of stepping on heel when walking. Put them away and forgot about them for a few months.
Had a pair of sheepskin innersoles I had tried with my Dash's but didn't like them, Dash's are better without innersole and even better without socks.
Glued the innersoles into Chukka's and viola! Totally different shoe. Like the Dash's they still take 2-3 months to wear in completely, but be patient. When done these shoes mold completely to foot. Leather is such super high quality, thick but soft after a years wears still look great. Scuffs just wipe off, so soft they can feel like wearing slippers outside (which is a bit weird) but warm enough for cold southern Australian winters with a good pair of wool socks. When the terrain gets really wet and sloppy and rough I have a pair of waterproof walking boots. For everything else in winter I use these. When temperature climbs towards 20 degrees Celsius they get a bit warm and sweaty. Thanks Soft star, don't change these shoes I will be getting another pair when these wear out but this won't be anytime soon as they are so well made.

Note from the Elves: We wanted to let you know that after the initial launch of this style, we started including a removable suede innersole with each pair of Chukkas. Many fans enjoyed the look of the smooth leather innersole, but based on customer input we found the suede insert helps if you are sliding like you did - so now everyone has the option to wear their chukkas with or without the innersole insert. Thanks for the review! (Posted on 10/17/16)
Outstanding Review by OBL
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I had to hunt far and wide to find a quality minimalist dress shoe and I wish I would have discovered these sooner. They meet all the requirements of a minimalist shoe without attracting unwanted attention in an office environment - my only criteria other than long life. [Disclaimer: I haven't had them very long, so I can't speak to their long-term durability, but they appear sturdy so far.]

These things do need a little breaking in with the toe area (the towel-stretching method worked for me) but they are worth the trouble. I'm able to flex my toes around sufficiently, even with the smooth innersole inserted. (Posted on 10/12/16)
My new favorite shoes!! Review by Caleb
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I love the quality, shape, and just out of the box comfort these shoes have. You guys have built an amazing shoe! (Posted on 8/6/16)
Very comfortable but runs small Review by N
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These are very comfortable and look to be well built. They do run small, as Softstar warns: I usually wear an 11, so I ordered a 12 after using Softstar's sizing sheet. But I needed to exchange these for a 13.

The nice thing is that the toebox has is more traditional shape to it, while still being roomy (in comparison to some other barefoot brands that have flipper-like toeboxes).

At any rate, the leather is soft while also thick. I am hoping that the fact that these are re-solable will offset the high cost of the shoe. The quality of the uppers suggests they will last a long time. (Posted on 7/7/16)
So comfy! Review by Swifty
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I bought a second pair of these - now I have 2 colours, and they are equally good for hiking in the mountains and wearing to work. I love my Soft Star chukkas! (Posted on 6/2/16)
A good shoe after some changes Review by Orlando
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I like the look of the Hawthornes but they are simply not as comfortable as anything else Soft Star offers. Other reviews have mentioned that the toe box narrows in what seems an attempt to make them look more like classic office wear. I appreciate the attempt but as casual shoes they ended up being uncomfortable in the toes so much I shelved them and stuck with my many other Soft Stars which I adore.

THE FIX: Now seeing as I really like this company and what they put out, I thought long and hard about the Hawthornes and how I could make them better for me if possible. I found that the biggest problem is the double layers of leather in the toe area that are there no doubt to help make the shoes look more professional. Luckily, its only glued in. So I pulled the extra layer of leather out from the inside of the toe box and just like that my Hawthornes were comfy. Granted, the single layer of leather has now stretched to look like my toes, much like the Dash and Portlanders do, but they are comfortable, even with the sheepskin insole. I consider that to be a big win. For others who want the professional smooth look, that probably won't work, but for anybody looking for a casual and comfortable minimalist chukka it worked out really well. It would be nice if in the future an option was offered to get the shoes without the reinforced toe area. (Posted on 3/18/16)
Great look! Review by Carla
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I love the look of these shoes! The fit is a bit different from my Dashes (4 pairs!). The heel is a bit looser, even in a narrow, and the toebox is a bit narrower. (Posted on 3/7/16)
Amazing shoe from an amazing company! Review by Jane
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I got these shoes last October and liked them but basically saved them for special occasions. When they said they'd send me free suede innersoles to stop the slipping of your foot inside the shoe, I ordered them right away. Now they are so comfortable that I want to wear them all the time. What a great company to do something like this for its customers. I'll be back! (Posted on 2/29/16)
You've Got to be Kidding! Review by Jim
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Okay, I'll be candid here.. I a Brooks Brothers kind of guy, including their outrageously expensive shoes...that are great for their purpose. However, I cannot praise the comfort, quality, and attention to detail these shoes have. I worn them from Washington DC to Dar es Salaam Tanzania - - wow, what comfort. I wear them every other day in this very hot humid country of Tanzania. After I arrived I immediately ordered the brown color... My wife arrives in 2 weeks. I can't wait for her to arrive.......uhhh, also with the shoes. (Posted on 2/4/16)
Great looking barefoot shoe Review by Philipp
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I very much like the Chukka's style and the flexible design. However, the slippery smooth leather sole inside does not provide sufficient grip for a barefoot shoe. I think the gait forces are transferred mostly via foot inner sole friction rather than by the tight form fit of conventional shoes. Grinding the inner sole with rough sandpaper improved the friction and sensory feedback. The rubber sole is a bit bouncy for my taste, a second option with more dense rubber would be great. (Posted on 1/24/16)
Good looking, disappointing fit Review by Reno
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These are my third pair of Soft Stars and I think they're the nicest looking of the bunch. The toe area is more formed so they look like "normal" shoes. I was debating between black and brown and I'm glad I got the black.
That being said, they're also my least comfortable Soft Stars. They're a bit too wide around the middle of my foot even though I got a narrow (which fits me perfectly in the Dash), and one side presses on my big toe and gets uncomfortable after a few hours. I also really don't like sliding around on the smooth insole, but don't feel like I've got enough room in the toes to add the sheepskin insoles. They're more comfortable than the chukkas I have from another brand, but considering the price I was hoping the fit would be better. I've been wishing for an ankle boot from Soft Star for a couple of years now and these don't quite live up to my hopes.

Note from Soft Star: Dear Reno - Thanks for your good input! Please let us know if you would like us to send you a suede insole to keep you from sliding in the shoe. We are weighing customer input to modify the design to incorporate a suede insole as standard against the dressier look of the vegetable tanned insole - so the shoe may be seeing some changes later in 2016 based on customer input. (Posted on 1/12/16)
Love Review by Jen
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I really really really love these boots. My feet love the minimal sole, and the rest of me loves the way they look. Very versatile--I can wear them with trousers or skirts to work (business casual) or jeans. They seem very well put together, and I believe will last many years, with care.
The sheepskin inner sole is pretty much a requirement, as my foot slides around inside the shoe without it. (Posted on 11/21/15)
Soft & buttery Review by Garry
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I have been buying Soft Star shoes for my daughter for the last 5 years. The last time I ordered a pair of DYO shoes for her, I decided it was time to get a pair for myself.

The Chukka boot had just been released and looked like a good option for work. From the first wear, my reaction has been positive. These are the softest shoes I have ever owned. The soft & buttery leather is conforming to my feet and adding to the experience.

I'm not one for overt attempts at fashion; however, my optician really dug my "cute" boots (her words). Said she was getting a pair for her boyfriend. (Posted on 11/19/15)
Excellent Shoe - Near Perfect Review by Kay
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The Hawthorne is my 4th pair of Soft Stars. They arrived Thursday and today is Monday. I can say that I've worn them every day and haven't experienced any discomfort. The thickness of the shoe is perfect for someone who may be just transitioning into minimal footwear. I find my feet aren't tired at the end of the day, as I've noticed with the Rambler that I've worn for nearly three years.

I absolutely love the quality and thought that goes into the designs of the Soft Stars shoe collection. The Hawthorne doesn't disappoint. Although the toebox is not as wide as other models offered by Soft Star, I believe the tighter fit of the Hawthorne is essential for the shoe's ability to maintain its form throughout many years of wear and tear. The sole being replaceable was icing on the cake.

I look forward to adding the two additional Hawthorne colorways to my collection. (Posted on 10/19/15)
Classic Review by Megan
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I am on my first day wearing these boots. I think they will be a great multi season addition to my wardrobe- looking good with cropped pants, leggings and skirts alike.

However, the biggest adjustment for me with these boots is the smooth intersole. My feet slide around a bit inside and it feels less barefoot to not have that connected grip between the foot and the ground. The first review mentions putting in a sheepskin innersole which I think would be a fantastic winter addition that would resolve this. (Posted on 10/13/15)
Classically Cool, CRAZY Comfortable! Review by Jana
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I am a Soft Star "Elf" and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do an advance review of the Hawthorne Chukka. I was SUPER excited to try the shoe, as I really love taking traditional "men's" fashion pieces and putting my own spin on them. I chose the the red, "Currant" color because I thought they would make a bold-yet-classy statement; boy, was I right! I receive compliments every time I wear them, and I wear them constantly! They look great with jeans and a fitted flannel, but my favorite way to show them off is sock-less with a dress or skirt. All of my friends, both men and women, want a pair, especially after I take them off and let them feel how, soft, light, and flexible they are!

The sole has a classic, traditional look while still giving me great ground feel– they are perfect for keeping me out of the puddles now that the rainy Pacific Northwest winter is on its way. The Vibram GEO soles feel great after all day on my feet and walking around town. The innersole is a very beautiful, smooth leather (looks very dressy) but is new and different from my Soft Star experience with suede soles. I tried adding a sheepskin innersole. When the shoes were new, this felt too snug and I took them out – but now that I have been wearing the shoes for a few months they have stretched a little - I added the sheepskin innersoles back in and feel like I have a warm winter boot in the package of a dress shoe. I also like the smooth innersole now – just was different from what I expected. They look great after 2 months of continuous wear. You've GOT to try this shoe :) (Posted on 10/6/15)

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Adult Hawthorne Chukka - Onyx

How do you rate this product? *

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Unsure about your size? Our printable guide will help you find the best fit for your feet! Just click the button below to print the guide and follow the instructions on the page (if you don't have access to a printer then scroll down for another option).

Note: before you print the guide, make sure your printer settings will not shrink or scale the page. Uncheck any boxes labeled "Fit to Printable Area" and/or set scaling options to "None."

 

Want more details? Check out this video for visual step-by-step instructions:

No Printer? No Problem!

You can still measure feet using the method below (also shown in our sizing videos). You can then scroll down and see where your measurements fall on our sizing charts to find the recommended shoe size. All you need is a book, a tape measure and a wall.

Note: we no longer recommend tracing your feet because it usually gives a larger measurement than the method described below. Our sizing charts work in accordance with the following method.

To measure your feet:

  1. 1. Remove shoes and socks and place the bare foot so that the heel is barely touching a wall.
  2. 2. Place a book in on the floor, parallel to the wall, so that it is barely touching the front of the longest toe.
  3. 3. Step away carefully and measure the distance from the book to the wall.
  4. 4. Scroll down and look for this measurement on the sizing charts below to find the recommended shoe size.

     

Once you find your length measurement, you can use table below to best find your corresponding size.

 

Wide/Narrow: Trouble deciding your width? Our best recommendation is to order a wide or narrow only if you have found you need those custom widths in other brands for your feet to be comfortable. If you have never found you needed wide or narrow shoes before then we suggest sticking with our regular width.

Style notes:

If you find yourself between two shoe sizes, we recommend ordering the larger size. This is especially true of our adult Phoenix Boots and Rogue casual shoes, which run a bit small.

Care Tips for Full Grain (smooth) Leather 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 non-toxic 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, but our special vegetable-tanned leather (available only by custom selection on some of our design-your-own shoes) is a "naked" leather and will stain from water alone. You can clean shoes as needed with water dampened cloth and let air dry, but please note if you do this on vegetable-tanned leather then you will need to wet/stain the entire shoe to avoid water marks. 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 or Nikwax Full Grain Waterproofing on smooth leather for enhanced water resistance. The color on shiny metallic shoes will eventually patina with use into an antique wear look, which can be accelerated with repeated use to water and high wear (e.g. scuffing toes).

 

WASHING:

We do not recommend frequent washing of any leather product as it strips the leather of it's natural oils and tends to dry stiffer. For all of our leathers (except vegetable-tanned) you can clean by hand with a damp cloth, or if needed you can hand wash your leather shoes using a gentle shampoo and cool water. Let them air dry. 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 leather or rubber soles.

 

We are often asked if our shoes can be washed in a washing machine. While not recommended as a normal course of action, when in dire straits the Elves have been known to toss a pair of shoes in the machine and generally have had good results. Just don't mix them with any other item because of color bleeding. Shoes with sheepskin can take 3-4 days to air dry if fully submerged in water, but you can speed up the drying by stuffing with old newspapers and replacing the paper twice a day.