Shoe Care

Here are some helpful hints to care for your Soft Star Shoes:

Care Tips for Full Grain Leather Shoes

WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVE:

Soft Star Shoes are made from eco-friendly, tanned in USA leathers.  Leather is a natural product and some variation in texture and markings is to be expected.  Because we use natural food-grade dyes in our leather, there will likely be some initial color transference to your socks or skin if your shoes become damp - this will decrease with use but please don't wear your new Soft Stars 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 slightly damp rag.  Push the cloth tightly into the front of the shoe - don't worry, you cannot hurt it!  Let the shoes sit stuffed overnight to stretch.

MAINTENANCE:

The full grain leather we use is naturally water resistant. Clean as needed with water dampened rag and let air dry. Condition the leather as often as desired with any quality leather dressing. We highly recommend Bee Natural Amore for general conditioning or Rain & Snow for enhanced water resistance. The color on shiny metallic shoes will eventually patina with use into an antique wear look - this can be accelerated with repeated use to water and high wear (e.g. scuffing toes).

WASHING:

You can use a damp cloth, or if needed you can hand wash your leather shoes using a gentle shampoo and cool water.  We don't recommend frequent washing of any leather product as it strips the leather of it's natural oils and tends to dry stiffer.

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, and do NOT put shoes the dryer.  Shoes with sheepskin can take 3-4 days to air dry if fully submerged in water - you can speed up the drying by stuffing with old newspapers and replacing the paper 2x a day. 

 

Care Tips for Suede Shoes

WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVE:

Soft Star Shoes are made from eco-friendly, tanned in USA leathers. Leather is a natural product and some variation in texture and markings is to be expected. Because we use natural food grade dyes in our leather, there will likely be some initial color transference to your socks or skin if your shoes become damp. This will decrease with use, but please do not wear your new Soft Stars with your favorite white socks the first time you take them for a spin!

If your shoes are a little snug at first across the top of the toes, you can gently stretch them by stuffing the toe box with a slightly damp rag. Push the cloth tightly into the front of the shoe (don't worry, you won't hurt it). Let the stuffing sit in the shoes overnight to stretch the leather.

MAINTENANCE:

Use a suede brush to remove dirt. You can also choose to use a suede protector spray, such as Bee Natural Suede Protector, which should be reapplied after each brushing. While not necessary, it will help keep your shoes looking new over time. Do not use generic leather care products on suede, but only those specifically formulated for suede. Products for full grain or smooth leather will be too oily and may permanently darken and matt suede fibers. 

WASHING:

When a suede brush is not enough, you can use a damp cloth or hand wash your suede shoes with a gentle shampoo and cool water.  We do not recommend frequent washing of any leather product because it will strip the leather of it's natural oils and cause it to dry stiffer.

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 and do NOT put shoes the dryer. Shoes with sheepskin can take 3-4 days to air dry if fully submerged in water, but you can speed up the drying process by stuffing them with old newspapers and replacing the paper twice a day. 

 

Care Tips for Sheepskin Boots

Soft Star Phoenix boots are made from genuine, high quality sheepskin. Many boots that claim to use genuine sheepskin are actually composed of sheepskin fibers blown into synthetic backings. These textiles do not possess the warmth and wicking properties of our authentic sheepskin hides.

While genuine sheepskin is incredibly cozy and beautiful, it is also delicate and will stretch under strain. When wearing your Phoenix boots, use care to avoid stepping off the back or sides of your heels while you walk as doing so repeatedly can affect the shape of the boots and alter the way they fit. The best way to prevent this is by insuring you purchase the correct size. For adults, we recommend selecting a boot size that fits very snugly at first, as they will stretch over time. For children, growing room is important, so a little extra space is recommended. If possible, have your kids wear their boots the first few times on dryer days to give them time to form to their feet.

The boot uppers are made from eco-friendly leathers that are tanned in the USA. Our leather hides are natural products and some variation in texture and markings is to be expected. If you need to clean your boots, wash gently by hand with water and let air dry.

Condition the leather as often as desired with any quality leathercare product. We highly recommend Bee Natural Amore for general conditioning or Bee Natural Rain and Snow for enhanced waterproofing. Be careful to use these products only on the smooth leather portion of the shoes and not on the suede cuffs (leathercare products designed for the full grain leather uppers may permanently darken suede). It is not necessary to apply a suede protectant or waterproofer to the cuffs, but doing so may help keep that portion of the boot looking clean. If you do choose to add extra protection to the suede, we recommend Bee Natural Suede Protector.

Sheepskin boots can take 3-4 days to air dry if fully soaked with water. You can speed up the drying process by stuffing the boots with old newspapers and replacing the paper twice a day. If they become this wet, be very careful to avoid wearing them again until fully dry because the leather will be more susceptible to stretching and the fit may alter.

 

Care Tips for Vegan Shoes

Soft Star vegan shoes are made from Sherpasuede or Ultrasuede™ synthetic leather. All are very durable, made from recycled materials and are machine washable. Yes, that's right—you can throw your shoes in the washer whenever needed. We recommend air drying them, but if you have a drying rack that inserts in your dryer, then you can use it on light heat.

About Soft Star

25Anniversary Rafting Trip
 

Learn more about the elves, the company, and the shoes we make!

How We Make Them

Made in USA
 

Handmade to order with eco-friendly leathers, sheepskin and genuine Vibram™ soles.

Connect With Us

866-763-2525 (toll free)

elves@softstarshoes.com

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