Adventures in New Zealand with my Soft Star Shoes
Soft Star Shoes has a long legacy of Soft Star babies, but about 25 years ago I held the title as "The First Soft Star baby". Mom and Dad set up shop in our Southern California garage and became shoemakers as I scooted around in my soft leather shoes. As time passed I moved and grew and Soft Star Shoes was there for it all. From the warm Southern California sand, to the riverbanks of the Blanco River deep in the Texas hill country, to the businesses’current resting place on the sodden ground in Oregon. My Soft Star mocs will always be a little more than a cozy pair of slippers because to me they are a piece of home. So when I packed my bags for my travels in New Zealand my favorite pair of mocs were tossed in to my bag with a few other essentials.
Wild Foods Festival, Hokitika New Zealand
The first time my Soft Stars got a taste of what happens at night when I’m not cuddled up in bed with a good book or plodding around the house with a bowl of popcorn ready for a DVD was in Hokitika, NZ. Hokitika doesn’t have much going on except for once a year when the Wild Foods Festival takes place. Thousands of people flow into the sleepy little town and all school grounds, beachside lots and backyards become campgrounds for the visitors who are ready to taste everything from huhu grubs to bunny burgers to cow udders. A day amongst the rowdy costumed crowds can only lead to a night at the Speights, the bar in Hokitika. As the sun went down and my sunburn tingled, my toes resisted the chill of the night air that my flip flops exposed them to. With a chuckle I slipped into my Soft Stars and went out for a rowdy night. “I’m wearing my slippers to the bar,” I announced to my friends. They shook their heads but I would tell they were a little bit jealous. After that fateful night out - weeks passed without a sign of my Soft Stars and finally I accepted that they had been left behind. A new pair arrived in the mail after a phone call home, but I still yearned for my trusty favorite pair.
The Northern most tip of the South island of New Zealand is in Golden Bay and is best visited in the summer months. Summer had faded into fall when our trusty tent hit ground at the deserted campground. The cool air misty air didn’t hinder the incredible beauty of the isolated stretch of land. We hiked the Farewell Spit - a rugged sandy stretch of land -for hours, only accepting a ride as darkness threatened to fall beforewe reached the campground. I eased my throbbing feet into my sleeping bag and pulled my hat as far down as it would go against the cold night. Wiggling my feet down I jumped back as I hit a lump in the bottom of my bag – “what the..” I started to say before realizing that my long lost favorite pair of Soft Stars had resurfaced at the most critical moment possible. I can’t say that night was a warm or cozy one, but my feet were in heaven. Protests of the odor the mocs had acquired after festering in the their dirty beer soaked state for months at the bottom of my sleeping bag didn’t stop me from rocking those mocs all throughout our chilly week in Golden Bay. My mocs eventually returned to a state of odorless warmth and helped me through a wet winter on woodfloors in Auckland.
The “trip” to New Zealand has now evolved into living in NZ and by now my traveling companions have Soft Stars as well. The Milford Track was our latest adventure in NZ and our pampered feet were the envy of all our bunkmates each evening after days in hiking boots. The walk is known as one of the greatest the world and is hands down the best of the nine great walks in New Zealand. The 35km tramp takes 4 days and takes trampers through beautiful ever-changing landscapes. After long days on the trail our mocs could not have felt better. I am looking forward to many more adventures with my mocs, who know where I will take them next!
Soft Star Shoes is a family friendly company located in Corvallis, Oregon. Viewpoints in this blog are those of individual workshop elves, and do not necessarily represent those of www.SoftStarShoes.com
- Dealing with Swelling Feet as You Get Older? Learn the Causes and Natural Treatments
- Progress Update on New Soft Star Workshop - August 2016
- Chukkas on Trails! Emily and Will Put Their Soft Stars to the Test
- Our Newest Kid Shoe is Now Available! Friends, Meet Merry Jane
- Take Home the Gold with Soft Star's Olympic Giveaway!
- ►July 2016 (2)
- ►June 2016 (3)
- ►May 2016 (4)
- ►April 2016 (1)
- ►March 2016 (5)
- ►February 2016 (2)
- ►January 2016 (3)
- ►August 2016 (5)
- ►December 2015 (4)
- Finally, a STUNNING, Eco-Friendly Alternative to Disposal Wrapping Paper!
- We're Breaking-Up with Grippy
- Pumpkin Shoes for Harvest Season
- The Best Slipper Gift Guide Ever!
- Families Visit FREE at America's National Parks!
- Wrap-Up Your Little Ones for the Holidays in Our NEW Very Merry Moccasins!
- Progress Update on New Soft Star Workshop - Fall 2015
- ►October 2015 (4)
- ►September 2015 (3)
- ►August 2015 (5)
- ►July 2015 (5)
- Top 10 Balance Games for Kids... of All Ages!
- Time to Play! Elves Have Fun and Get Creative at Spring 2015 Playday
- Snazzy New Colors for Buttercups and Ballerines
- GIVEAWAY: Diapers, Blocks and Shoes... Oh My! Enter to Win Our New Baby Prize Package
- Soft Star Style Bulletin: Chukkas Are Coming!
- We're Staging a Flip-Flop Intervention!
- ►May 2015 (4)
- Work Hard, Play Harder…Run Hardest?
- Transitioning to Barefoot Health PLUS RunAmoc Giveaway!
- UFC Champion Carlos Condit Tries Soft Star Shoes
- Mom and Career Elf
- Earth Day Giveaway: Celebrate Your Favorite Planet with Sustainable Goodies!
- Every Day is Bike-to-Work Day
- Happy National Pet Day! Can You Guess Which Pets Belong to Our Elves?
- ►March 2015 (6)
- ►February 2015 (2)
- ►January 2015 (5)
- ►December 2014 (5)
- Introducing One of a Kind Shoes - Same Day Shipping with No Design-Your-Own Fees
- More Than Meets the Eye: Tim's Handmade Transformers Shoes
- Help Families in Need by Sharing What Makes you Thankful!
- Travel GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Rogue Shoes + a Travel Bag from RAGGEDedge Gear!
- Shopping Online? Finding Your Shoe Size Just Got Faster, Easier and More Accurate!
- 22-Year-Old Leather Moccasins Still Looking Good!
- Show Us Your BEST Soft Star Halloween Costume!
- Mindful Running Interview with Barefoot Guru Michael Sandler
- Show Your Team Colors! Tim's Special OSU Beaver Football Shoes
- Treatment and Removal of Plantar Warts - Kids' Foot Health
- Introducing SUPER SWATCHES for Local Soft Star Customers
- The History of Tassels—Fitting Tassels Now Available on the Soft Star Website
- Time for Our HALLOWEEN CONTEST: Win Handmade Shoes to Match Your Costume!
- BIG NEWS: Soft Star's New Website and New Shoe Visualizer
- "Boss of the Moss" Mick Dodge Wears Soft Star Shoes on National Geographic Series
- Need Spectacular Shoes for Fall? Introducing Autumn Moccasins!
- BATTLE FOR THE INTERNET: Help Small Businesses by Speaking Up for Net Neutrality
- ►August 2014 (3)
- ►July 2014 (4)
- ►June 2014 (3)
- ►May 2014 (5)
- ►April 2014 (3)
- ►March 2014 (3)
- ►February 2014 (3)
- ►January 2014 (2)
- ►December 2013 (6)
- Happy Thanksgiving! Holiday Shopping Tips and Ideas from the Elves
- GIVEAWAY! One-of-a-Kind Green Merry Mocs
- 2013 Holiday Shipping for Soft Star Shoes
- Tips for Choosing Minimalist Boots and Winter Shoes
- GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Very Unique Merry Mocs!
- We Have a Winner for Our Halloween Costume Contest!
- Help Us Pick a New Leather Color
- Shoe Artisans Share New Ideas at the Soft Star Workshop
- Heartfelt Obituary for Red Dash
- Monkeys and Elves Unite! Soft Star Teams Up with Luna Sandals
- Soft Star Halloween Costume Photo Contest… and a Secret from the Elves
- Knee Arthritis? Change Your Shoes for Prevention and Treatment
- We Have a Sweepstakes Winner! And More to Come...
- ►September 2013 (5)
- ►August 2013 (5)
- ►July 2013 (5)
- ►June 2013 (4)
- Should Trail Shoes Be Thicker Than Street Shoes? Maybe Not...
- Soft Star Survey: Receive a Free $5 Gift Card and a Chance to Win $100 Cash!
- Elves Getting Dirty! Soft Star Volunteers at SAGE Community Gardens
- First Sneak Peek at the New Soft Star Ballet Flat!
- Maker's Wild Documentary: Go Behind the Scenes at Soft Star Shoes
- Are High Heels Giving You Hammer Toes? Tips for Prevention and Treatment
- Intrigued by Barefoot Running? Start this Weekend with International Barefoot Running Day!
- Are Those Shoes Made of Wood?
- Wikler's Quest for Healthy Children's Feet
- Michael Sandler Visit and Workshop – Barefoot Walking Book Review and GIVEAWAY!
- Thinking of Boston
- How Fast Do Children's Feet Grow?
- Barefoot Pioneers: the People Who Taught Us "Barefoot is Best"
- Caballo Blanco's Legacy Lives On: Tom Norwood Returns from Copper Canyon
- Book Review: Overthinking the Marathon by Ray Charbonneau
- Reinventing the Hammer: OSU Students Bring Their Skills to Soft Star
- An Olympic Thank You! Help Missy Franklin Swim for MS
- The Mighty Arch, Part 2: Strengthen Your Arches to Treat and Prevent Foot Pain
- Running Green: Soft Star Shoes at the Portland Shamrock Run
- Winter Playday at the Soft Star Workshop
- The Mighty Arch, Part 1: A Natural Cure for Plantar Fasciitis?
- ►February 2013 (4)
- ►January 2013 (1)
- ►December 2012 (5)
- A Barefoot Running Book for Kids (Includes Free Lesson in Consumerism) + GIVEAWAY!
- Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Shoes and Small Business
- Infographic: How to Choose Barefoot Shoes
- Rally 4 Jillie!
- Gifts for Her this Holiday Season - Fitting Tassels
- Sneak Peek at New Shoes for Women and Men - Vote for a Name!
- ►October 2012 (6)
- ►September 2012 (3)
- ►August 2012 (3)
- ►June 2012 (3)
- ►May 2012 (2)
- ►April 2012 (2)
- ►March 2012 (1)
- ►February 2012 (3)
- ►January 2012 (2)
- ►December 2011 (4)
- ►November 2011 (3)
- ►October 2011 (3)
- ►September 2011 (4)
- ►August 2011 (4)
- ►July 2011 (5)
- ►June 2011 (3)
- ►May 2011 (5)
- ►April 2011 (3)
- ►March 2011 (2)
- ►February 2011 (4)
- ►January 2011 (3)
- ►November 2010 (4)
- ►October 2010 (2)
- ►August 2010 (2)
- ►July 2010 (1)
- ►May 2010 (3)
- ►April 2010 (4)
- ►March 2010 (3)
- ►February 2010 (9)
- ►January 2010 (1)
- ►December 2009 (3)
- ►November 2009 (2)
- ►October 2009 (5)
- ►September 2009 (3)
- ►August 2009 (3)
- ►July 2009 (2)
- ►June 2009 (3)
- ►May 2009 (3)
- ►April 2009 (2)
- ►March 2009 (6)
- ►February 2009 (2)
- ►January 2009 (4)
- ►December 2008 (3)
- ►November 2008 (4)
- ►October 2008 (4)
- ►August 2008 (4)
- ►July 2008 (2)
- ►June 2008 (4)
- ►May 2008 (4)
- ►April 2008 (7)
- ►March 2008 (2)
- ►February 2008 (2)
- ►January 2008 (4)
- ►November 2007 (2)
- ►October 2007 (5)
- ►September 2007 (1)
- ►August 2007 (2)
- ►July 2007 (3)
- ►June 2007 (2)
- ►May 2007 (2)
- ►April 2007 (2)
- ►March 2007 (4)
- ►February 2007 (2)
- ►January 2007 (2)
- ►December 2006 (1)
- ►November 2006 (4)
- ►October 2006 (3)
- ►September 2006 (4)
- ►August 2006 (5)
- ►July 2006 (4)
- ►June 2006 (5)