Playday 2.0 – Vote for Your Favorite New Shoes!

Posted on September 10, 2012 by Elf Martin There have been 29 comment(s)

As some of you may recall, the Soft Star elves held our first playday back in March. We liked it so much we decided to try it again! Last week, we closed our shop for half a day and encouraged everyone to work on a new shoe design.

Once again, we were both surprised and pleased with what our staff could invent in a mere 4 hours. There are a lot of great ideas floating around in our heads, but having the space, time and joy to focus on them made for an energizing afternoon. While the real intent of playday is to inject more fun into our work, we ended up with some wonderful ideas to share.

Now we are curious to know what YOU think! Listed below is an overview of our playday projects. We would love for you to look them over and vote for your favorites at the bottom of this post. We would also like to hear any comments or opinions you have to offer about your dream shoe.


1. The Merry Moc
Elves Jodi and Tesla teamed up together to combine our existing Merry Jane pattern with our moccasin sole. The result was a "Merry-Moc" with a cozy sheepskin innersole and soft suede outersole. They could be used as a very fancy indoor-shoe/slipper or classroom shoe that feels heavenly on your feet. They even made a second pair with a street sole barged onto on the bottom to be more durable for outdoor use (this is the green pair).

merry-moc-cream merry-moc-green merry-moc-cream-foot merry-moc-green-foot

2. The Marache
Elf Martin, with no experience in sewing or shoe design, decided to try his hand at a pair of homemade huaraches following online instructions and made his very first shoe! Using a 5mm Vibram trail sole coated with green suede, a simple nylon cord ties the shoe around the foot. If Soft Star took on a huarache-style sandal, we would work to develop it into our own unique design.

martin-huarache martin-huarache-foot

3. Leah's Layers
Elf Leah created a simple slip-on sandal by sewing a layer of suede onto a Rambler sole, then weaving strips of leather across the top to keep the foot in place (and to look awesome).

leah-layered-sandal leah-layered-sandal-foot

4. The Moc-erina
Many of our customers ask if we make ballet flat shoes, which inspired elves Gwen and Karen to team up together and give it a shot. They created four different styles, each featuring our thin and minimalist Moc3 sole with different aesthetic designs for a slip-on upper. Please note that these would be for casual wear, not for dancing en pointe!

ballet-flats ballet-flats-foot-1 ballet-flats-foot-2

5. The Kasual Keita
Not to be confused with the cozy Keita winter shoe, Elf Keita’s latest sandal design uses a unique pattern of leather straps to hold feet onto a suede-lined rubber sole. Note the small piece of elastic sewn onto the rear strap to keep the foot snug! Keita experimented with both shiny platinum and shiny pewter leather for this dressy, minimal sandal.

keita-sandal keita-sandal-foot


6. The Hava
Elf Hava took the time to cut several long tassel-like strips of suede leather to give the back of her sandal both style and versatility for lacing. Wider strips of smooth leather cover the top of the foot, which can be adjusted for tightness. She used our Rambler sole with brown suede leather. 

hava-sandal hava-sandal-foot

7. The Sarandal
The first design by Elf Sarah! She used our new and very pliable Vibram Newflex sole with her own pattern for uppers that resemble a stripped-down Merry Jane. A Velcro strap holds the sandal securely around the ankle. 

sarah-sandal sarah-sandal-2

So there you have it! That’s our lineup for our second successful playday (Note to guys: we realize that most of these shoes are women's styles, but fear not—we'll have a future playday focusing on manly shoes). Remember to cast your vote for the shoe you like best, and feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. You can vote for more than one.

Which shoes most interest you?

Click here to see more of our Playday projects

This post was posted in On the Horizon and was tagged with adult, design, moc, new, playday, shoe, sole, ballerina, ballet, huarache, jane, merry, sandal

29 Responses to Playday 2.0 – Vote for Your Favorite New Shoes!

  • Susanne
    Susanne says:

    How could I decide on just one!! The elves are very talented and creative. I'm excited to see which styles get the most votes :-)

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

  • Leyda
    Leyda says:

    LOVE, love, love the green Merry Mocs! Can it be made into a grounding/earthing shoe? And what other styles do you offer now with this feature? I promise, I won't be wearing them if it's wet outside...

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM

  • monica
    monica says:

    This is SOOOO exciting. Like SOOOOO. Please sign me up for some of those moc-erinas in a metallic or that funky camo STAT!

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

  • Cassandra
    Cassandra says:

    I'm really sad some form of sandal is not winning. The ballerina and maryjane ones are only slightly different from the regular maryjane, but there are no adult sandals whatsoever. :(

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 1:10 PM

  • Matt Barlow
    Matt Barlow says:

    I'd be happy to see more new men's designs!!!

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM

  • Emma Potik
    Emma Potik says:

    Yes Please!
    Only, please please make sure that any new styles are offered in wide widths. Lots of barefoot places seem to ignore the fact that minimalist shoes often cause feet to spread naturally and therefore require wider shoes. Soft Star has done pretty well with this, and I hope you keep it up.

    I like the Kasual Keita the best, with the Sarandal as a close second. Maybe the Sarandal could also have a bit of elastic in the back, for the most secure/customized fit?

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

  • Kristie
    Kristie says:

    I would really really really really love to see your kids' sandals in adult sizes--my dream for next summer! :-)

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM

  • erez
    erez says:

    the only problem with huaraches is that the string betwen the toes is both uncomfortable and unnatural for walking...better to make a leather loop hold across the toes and something in the back to hold the heel...

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 3:19 PM

  • Emily
    Emily says:

    I especially love SoftStars for the attached, barefoot shoes.
    If I want something like a flipflop, I can get those anywhere.
    Please, please, pretty please, if we only get one or two new styles, make them ones that stay on feet easily!!

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

  • Sylviane Fortin
    Sylviane Fortin says:

    Oh How I looooove the green Merry Moc and Leah's slip on sandals! Great work dear elves!

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 4:32 PM

  • Kortni Torralba
    Kortni Torralba says:

    I love the Merry Moc! Please make these!

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 4:48 PM

  • Molly
    Molly says:

    I would order at least one each of #1 and #4 right now! So, I guess that's my vote.

    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 5:00 PM

  • Loyan
    Loyan says:


    Posted on September 11, 2012 at 10:32 AM

  • Diana
    Diana says:

    The mocarina and merry moc got us excited. The merry mocs reminded me of the Chinese cloth mary janes I wore as a kid. Would also love to see a taller boot than the ones currently offered too.

    Posted on September 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM

  • Mel Powers
    Mel Powers says:

    They're all fab but I'd LOVE to see some adult sandals. I've been lusting after a pair of the kids' ones for ages but my feet are too big ;)

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 1:12 AM

  • angela
    angela says:

    So excited to have some of these styles. It would be so great to have more of a variety of feminine looking shoes like these to choose from so that we can be comfortabel and stylish! I love the merry mocs and the mocarinas. Also several of the sandals are great! I would love to see a basic flip flip type shoe with a toe ring and some kind of cool leather design on top of the foot for men and women. These are hard to find without a heel of some sort.

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM

  • Jamie Granquist
    Jamie Granquist says:

    Sandals, oh please oh please oh please! My feet love SS in every season except summer! You can't always be barefooted and the kiddies have sandals. Why can't the adults share the summertime SS love?!

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM

  • Megan
    Megan says:

    Love the merry moc. Please please please make a natural sole mary jane!

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

  • Becky
    Becky says:

    YES! Adult sandals, please, please, please! I'm rarely in my Soft Stars in the summer months because I like barely-covered feet for hot days. I usually wear my Tevas when I have to go out somewhere, but the soles are HORRIBLE and clunky. I've been wishing since I started wearing Soft Stars that the perfect sandal for my active adult summer feet would come along. All the creative work is great, but I think the Hava and the Sarandal come closest to what my feet want. The Merry Moc looks pretty comfy, too!

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM

  • Phoebe
    Phoebe says:

    Wow, the HAVA! It would be awesome to see you guys make a sandal...and that one especially!!!! I would totally buy those for summer shoes and they look incredibly original.

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:23 PM

  • Alexis
    Alexis says:

    The Merry Moc for me...please, please!!

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

  • Kelly Williams
    Kelly Williams says:

    I definitely would be interested in the merry moc but especially the sarandal! I'm new to minimalist shoes and hoping to NOT have to go back to traditional flip flops next summer. I have been looking at Lundasandals but I'd love a shoe like the sarandal too!

    Posted on September 29, 2012 at 4:49 AM

  • Mathilde
    Mathilde says:

    They are all great!
    I vote for the Sarandal!

    Posted on April 15, 2013 at 9:12 AM

  • Indra
    Indra says:

    Oh, I love them all! My personal favorite would be Leah's Layers I guess. I do hope you will integrate some of these in your line up!

    Posted on April 16, 2013 at 12:27 AM

  • Jen
    Jen says:


    Posted on May 26, 2013 at 10:23 PM

  • Kayla
    Kayla says:

    I LOVE #4, #5, and #7! The Moc-erina in LITE leather would be PERFECT for hot weather in situations where closed toe shoes are necessary, and #5 is a perfect dressy sandal! ITS SO CUTE!!

    Posted on July 9, 2013 at 5:06 PM

  • Beth
    Beth says:

    Please make sandals! I'm looking forward to the ballet flats as well as the brand that made my last pair of ballet flats switched to a narrower last with much less material across the top and they no longer fit me. Thank you elves! Love our Soft Stars!

    Posted on August 22, 2013 at 9:54 PM

  • Amanda L
    Amanda L says:

    Is there any way of ordering one of these as a custom order? I desperately need minimalist sandals (not for running but just for day to day, and huaraches hurt between my toes). I love #5 and #7!! If not could I order the materials from you and try and make my own? lol!

    Posted on October 24, 2013 at 3:13 AM

  • Elf Martin
    Elf Martin says:

    Hi Amanda. Glad you like the designs we came up with! Sorry to say these sandals aren't for sale. They were all very early experiments and it takes a lot more research and development to turn them into a proper-fitting shoe. We're currently working on a casual sandal design and hope to have it available for spring/summer 2013. We do, however, sell soling material and give away leather scraps. Feel free to contact our customer service elves directly to see what they can provide you with: or 866-763-2525

    Posted on October 24, 2013 at 4:14 AM