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Custom Shoe Policies

Thank you for your interest in our shoes!  Since we handcraft every pair, we have the ability to do some limited custom work for children.

NOT Custom Work: 

We do not consider the following to be custom work, but our regular approach to shoe making. Shoes made with these adaptions are still eligible for returns or exchanges:

Custom Work We Can and Cannot Offer:



We can make the following custom modifications to the shoes listed below. Custom fees may apply. No exchanges or returns permitted on this work:




Custom work we cannot offer:
  • Shoes for children with special needs.
  • Premature babies or children with extremely small feet.
  • AFOs / DAFOs for Kids (click here for more information)
  • One foot at least one full size different than the other. You will first need to order two pairs of our current collection shoes (not design-your-own) in the two sizes to verify fit and then return the shoes to us. We will then make you a non-refundable pair, one in each of the sizes. Customer is responsible for all shipping charges. We will not make differently sized shoes from a tracing or measurements—you must try them on first. No exceptions (sorry, but this issue has caused us many problems in the past).
  • Add a custom motif or embellishment that you create and send us to a DYO shoe
  • Making your DYO RunAmoc or DYO Moccasin without an innersole
  • Putting a different sole on your DYO shoe (must be a soling material we carry—sorry, we do not accept soling materials from our customers since we do not know how it will interact with our equipment).
  • Adult custom work. As of 3/2014 we no longer do custom widths or sizes for adults.  If you are previous custom adult customer and we have your patterns on file, please contact our Customer Service elves.
  • Half sizes
  • We do not use your measurements or foot tracings to create a custom-shaped foot bed or pattern to account for the individual contours of your foot. Instead we use your measurements or tracings to ascertain the best standard size and width (narrow, regular, wide) to send you. If your measurements indicate that a standard size will not work then we will call you.
  • Lifts, orthotics.... we are not trained in making specialty shoes for these needs. The exception is children's AFOS .
  • We cannot create new styles that are not offered on our website. This includes dance shoes, platform heels, wingtip dress shoes, steel-toed boots, renaissance footwear and flip flops. We are flattered you ask and always appreciate suggestions, but this is not the type of custom work we offer.


Children's styles we can alter to meet custom sizing or shape needs:

Children's styles we cannot alter for custom size modifications:

  • Moccasins
  • Ramblers
  • Playtimes
  • Sandals
  • Merry Janes
  • All Boots
  • Classics
  • Ballerine



Our elves do their best to make shoes to fit every foot, but please understand that altering our shoe patterns is no easy matter. Even a small change to one part of a shoe can affect the entire design, so custom work is often a time-consuming process that can cause long delays in our production line. Also, some of our designs are too complicated for alterations to be practical. For these reasons, we only take a limited number of custom requests each month for children, and none during our peak production season. Turnaround time on custom shoes is 2-3 weeks.

Custom Fees:

Because our resources are limited, we only accept custom work from January–August and on a first-come, first-serve basis (the rest of the year is too busy for us to delay our production time). Priority is given to children with special needs. In addition to the standard $15 Design-Your-Own rate for the basic shoe, we charge $60/hour on all custom shoes for labor spent sizing and creating the patterns. The $60/hour custom fee includes any phone and/or email consultation that exceeds 1 hour and is billed in 15 minute increments. We will spend a lot of time listening to your needs up front and will not take on projects we do not feel we can accomplish successfully. If we have created a custom pattern for you in the past and you would like to place a new order for the same custom shoe in the same size, then we will reevaluate the custom fee and may lower your price. We do offer some discounted and pro-bono custom work for special needs children each year. Please contact us if you fall into this category.


We do not accept returns or exchanges on custom work. If the first pair of shoes we send you does not work, we will alter them in a second attempt to meet your needs. Customers are responsible for all return postage costs as well as design or material charges on the second attempt. If we cannot meet your needs after a second attempt, we will not continue the process as likelihood of success would be too low. The cost of the shoe, including the custom design fees and postage, are non-refundable.  We strive for 100% satisfaction but sometimes making custom shoes to meet special needs from a distance is unachievable.

How to Place a Custom Order:

If you are interested in having Soft Star work on custom shoes for you, please contact us and include any information that may be helpful, including tracings of the foot, measurements and relevant photos. Our elves will let you know if we can assist you and provide you with estimated fees, our policy and turnaround time. We never charge more than we estimate without first calling you.