Adult Switchback Boot

Rating:
84% of 100
From $245.00

We're raising the bar for minimalist hiking boots. Our Switchback boots are lightweight, breathable, and zero drop. The rugged Vibram™ Megagrip soles will securely take you through the most extreme treks. Choose between virtually indestructible Superfabric® or the all-leather look. Get ready for your next great adventure!

Size Guide
$245.00
Free Shipping Options
Easy Returns within 45 Days
Wherever You Are, Softstar Wherever You Are

We designed these Switchback boots after asking our fans what they wanted in a minimalist hiking boot. We are proud to offer these in both a Superfabric® version and an all-leather version. Get ready to hit the trails with your zero-drop hiking boots!

The Switchback features a foot-friendly design with a toe box that is more spacious than your typical hiking boots. The width options follow our Hybrid REGULAR and Hybrid WIDE designs which you can inspect on our Sole Shape Comparison Tool.

DURABLE ECO-FRIENDLY ITALIAN LEATHER

Whether you purchase the all-leather version or the Superfabric® version with leather trim, we use a uniquely durable Italian leather pretreated with water repellant LeatherShield™. This Green Guard certified leather is also anti-bacterial and stain resistant. While the leather used on Switchback boots is treated for water repellency, please keep in mind that they are not fully waterproof, as they do not have a gusseted tongue or water-sealed stitching seams. Instead, we prioritized flexibility, comfort, and allowing your feet to breathe with every step. If you clean and treat your leather regularly, your boots will get better with age.

Torino Leather Trim


SUPERFABRIC® SHELL

When we say this material is virtually indestructible, we mean it! Both the Slate and Sandstone versions have SuperFabric® uppers, an innovative material designed in the USA for ballistic products. Performance is enhanced through the configuration of tiny armored plates that provide resistance to a variety of harsh elements. An environmentally friendly solvent-free curing method is used to make this material: no water or phthalates are used and no VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) are produced during the process.

SuperFabric® combines the following features:

Waterproof<br>Exterior
Water Resistant*

 

Quick Dry
Quick Dry
Interior

 

Breathable
Breathable

 

Flexible
Flexible

 

Ultralight
Ultralight

Antibacterial
Antibacterial

Abrasion Resistant
Abrasion
Resistant

 

Puncture Resistant
Puncture
Resistant

 

Slash Resistant
Slash
Resistant

 

Stain Resistant
Stain
Resistant

 

Easy to Clean
Easy to Clean

 

Made in USA
Made in USA

* The Superfabric® material itself is waterproof, but the seams and tongue of the Switchback boot are not fully hydro-sealed.


MERINO INNER LINING

The Switchback is lined with 100% merino wool for a cozy and quick-dry interior. Our wool is sourced from Germany from humanely-treated sheep and is Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified. 

 

Merino Wool Lining


ZERO-DROP VIBRAM MEGAGRIP SOLES

Unparalleled in grip and longevity, these 6mm soles perform well in both wet and dry conditions and are a favorite among extreme trail adventurers. We also added a 6mm midsole for an extra buffer from sharp rocks while maintaining a streamlined, minimalist design. Like all Softstar shoes, the Switchback soles are zero-drop and contain no raised heels, toe springs or arch supports.

Vibram Megagrip Sole


REPLACEABLE MERINO WOOL INSOLES

It may take some time, but after enough rugged adventures, you may eventually notice your Switchback's wool insoles wearing down. You can easily replace them to keep your boots looking, performing and smelling like new. Replacement merino wool insoles can be purchased separately.

Replaceable Merino Insoles


DESIGNED AND HANDCRAFTED IN OREGON, USA

Every Switchback boot is 100% handmade and shipped from the Softstar workshop in Philomath, Oregon.

Handcrafted in Oregon, USA

You can measure your feet or your child's feet at home using a book, a ruler and a wall. You can then see where the measurement fits on our shoe sizing guide to find the recommended shoe size.


Measure Your Feet...

sizing-feet-steps
Place bare foot with heel barely touching the wall and longest toe barely touching the flat spine of a book. Step away carefully and measure the distance from the wall to the book.

... and Find Your Size

Once you have the measurement, look for it on the charts below to find the recommended Softstar shoe size. Contact us if you have questions.

Note: we do not recommend tracing feet because doing so usually gives a larger measurement.

Softstar Adult
Shoe Size
US Shoe Size Foot Length Foot Width
5 Unisex 4.5 - 5 Mens
5.5 - 6 Womens
22.2 - 23.0 cm Regular: 8.1 - 9.8 cm
Wide: 9.9+ cm
6 Unisex 5.5 - 6 Mens
6.5 - 7 Womens
23.0 - 23.9 cm Regular: 8.4 - 10.1 cm
Wide: 10.2+ cm
7 Unisex 6.5 - 7 Mens
7.5 - 8 Womens
23.9 - 24.7 cm Regular: 8.7 - 10.4 cm
Wide: 10.5+ cm
8 Unisex 7.5 - 8 Mens
8.5 - 9 Womens
24.7 - 25.6 cm Regular: 9.1 - 10.8 cm
Wide: 10.9+ cm
9 Unisex 8.5 - 9 Mens
9.5 - 10 Womens
25.6 - 26.4 cm Regular: 9.3 - 11.0 cm
Wide: 11.1+ cm
10 Unisex 9.5 - 10 Mens
10.5 - 11 Womens
26.4 - 27.3 cm Regular: 9.6 - 11.3 cm
Wide: 11.4+ cm
11 Unisex 10.5 - 11 Mens
11.5 - 12 Womens
27.3 - 28.1 cm Regular: 9.9 - 11.6 cm
Wide: 11.7+ cm
12 Unisex 11.5 - 12 Mens
12.5 - 13 Womens
28.1 - 28.9 cm Regular: 10.2 - 11.9 cm
Wide: 12.0+ cm
13 Unisex 12.5 - 13 Mens 28.9 - 29.8 cm Regular: 10.5 - 12.2 cm
Wide: 12.3+ cm
14 Unisex 13.5 - 14 Mens 29.8 - 30.5 cm Regular: 10.9 - 12.6 cm
Wide: 12.7+ cm
15 Unisex 14.5 - 15 Mens 30.5 - 31.4 cm Regular: 11.2 - 12.9 cm
Wide: 13.0+ cm
  1. This chart accounts for growing room.
  2. Many of our youth sizes end at size 4Y. In these cases, you can find the next size up in our adult category starting with size 5U (adult unisex). Note that measurements differ slightly for sizes that overlap on both our youth and adult sizing charts because the youth chart accounts for growing room and the adult chart does not.
Softstar Youth
Shoe Size
Approx Age Range Foot Length Regular Width
1Y 4 - 6 Years 18.5 - 19.4 cm 6.4 - 8.0 cm
2Y 5 - 8 Years 19.4 - 20.2 cm 6.7 - 8.3 cm
3Y 5 - 8 Years 20.2 - 21.0 cm 7.3 - 8.9 cm
4Y 6 - 10 Years 21.0 - 21.9 cm 7.5 - 9.1 cm
5Y/5U 6 - 10 Years 21.9 - 22.7 cm 8.1 - 9.8 cm
6Y/6U 8 - 10 Years 22.7 - 23.6 cm 8.4 - 10.1 cm
  1. This chart accounts for growing room.
Child Size Approx Age Range Foot Length Regular Width
2 0 - 6 months ≤ 10.2 cm 4.3 - 5.9 cm
3 6 - 12 months 10.2 - 11.1 cm 4.6 - 6.2 cm
4 12 - 18 months 11.1 - 11.9 cm 5.0 - 6.6 cm
5 18 months 11.9 - 12.8 cm 5.3 - 6.9 cm
6 18 - 24 months 12.8 - 13.6 cm 5.6 - 7.2 cm
7 2 years 13.6 - 14.5 cm 5.7 - 7.3 cm
8 2 - 3 years 14.5 - 15.3 cm 6.0 - 7.6 cm
9 3 years 15.3 - 16.2 cm 6.4 - 8.0 cm
10 3 - 4 years 16.2 - 17.0 cm 6.7 - 8.3 cm
11 4 - 6 years 17.0 - 17.9 cm 7.1 - 8.7 cm
12 4 - 6 years 17.9 - 18.7 cm 7.5 - 9.1 cm

Want Sizing Detail by Style?

OR: Try Our Printable Stand-On Sizing Guides

Our printable shoe size charts provide another way to help you find the best fit for your feet. These are especially useful for small children who don't like to sit still. Just print the guide for the appropriate age group below and follow the instructions on the page.

Before you print these guides, 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."

Switchback boots are very easy to clean! Simply use a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt or stains, then let air dry.

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Customer Questions
Is the Switchback boot waterproof?

No. The uppers of the Switchback boot are made from water resistant materials and the seam that connects the uppers to the soles are sealed with a watertight adhesive, but the other stitching seams are not sealed and the tongue is not gusseted. This means that while the boot should keep feet dry in mildly wet conditions, moisture may still seep in through some seams and higher portions of the boot if exposed to moisture for extended periods of time.

Does the Switchback boot have a primal sole shape?

Due to the unique construction of the Switchback boot, a new sole shape was needed for its design. The shape of the Switchback boot's sole will vary depending on the width you choose. The regular width features a toe box that is wider than most shoes, but the wide width features an extra-wide toe box that is very similar to Softstar's Primal shoes.

Switchback Width Comparison

How does the Switchback boot fit in comparison to other Softstar shoes?

The Switchback boot fits slightly snugger than most of our other styles. Most people will be okay ordering their usual Softstar shoe size, but if you are between two sizes then we recommend ordering the larger size. The SuperFabric® Switchback will not stretch like the leather version of the boot and our other leather shoes, so you may also want to order a larger size if you normally need to wait for your Softstar shoes to break-in before they feel comfortable.

Should I order a regular or wide width Switchback boot?

If you normally wear a regular width in other shoe styles and do not need extra room for your toes to spread then our regular width will likely be best for you.

If you normally need wide shoes, have a naturally wide toe splay or are seeking to restore your natural foot shape by using toe spacers such as Correct Toes then we recommend ordering the wide width. To see the difference between the regular and wide width, use our Sole Shape Comparison Tool!

Can I customize the colors of a Switchback boot?

Not at this time. Currently, the Switchback is only available in the color options shown above.

Can I get longer shoelaces for the Switchback boot?
We have two shoelace lengths for the Switchback boot. Sizes 5U–7U in regular width come with 54" laces, and size 7U in wide width and all larger sizes come with 63" laces. You can order replacement laces on our Accessories page.
Is the SuperFabric material used in Switchback boots non-toxic?

Using non-toxic, sustainable materials is a high priority for Softstar and we are happy to say that SuperFabric® meets our standards.

The makers of SuperFabric® have taken an environmentally responsible approach to their manufacturing process, which does not use any phthalates and does not create any VOCs (volatile organic compounds). They have even developed a water-free process of attaching the armored plates to the base fabric to reduce their waste and carbon footprint.

SuperFabric® does not contain any brominated fire retardant chemicals, which have been linked to hormonal and neurological irregularities and are now banned from use by US manufacturers.

Are Switchback boots resoleable?

Yes, Switchback boots can be resoled, but that is not a service provided by Softstar.

Resoling shoes requires a different set of skills and tools than those used to make new shoes. We currently do not have the necessary equipment in our shop to resole shoes, but Switchback boots do include a midsole layer that makes resoling easier for someone with those skills.

If you would like to have your boots resoled then we recommend that you seek out a skilled cobbler in your area. If you need new outersoles to bring to your local cobbler then contact our customer service team to discuss purchasing those separately.

If you need help finding a local cobbler then this online tool from Vibram may be useful:

Note that this tool may not show all cobblers in your area, just those listed in Vibram's directory. Searching your local business listings online may show more results.

How do different width options compare to each other?

Use our Sole Shape Comparison Tool to visualize how the Regular vs. Wide widths differ between many of our adult styles including the Dash, Hawthorne, Merry Jane, Oxford, Phoenix, Solstice, Switchback, Primal Merry Jane, Primal RunAmoc, and Primal Sawyer.

What is Softstar's return policy?

Softstar shoes that are still in brand new condition may be returned for a refund for any reason within 45 days of receipt from any country in the world. This also applies to shoes that you customized with your own unique colors and motifs. We will refund the full cost of the shoes, but customers are responsible for all return shipping charges.

Visit our returns page to learn more.

There are some exceptions to this policy: shoes treated with leather care products, shoes purchased from our biannual clearance sales and shoes made with advanced requests are non-returnable.

Your refund will be applied after the shoes arrive at our shop. If you would like to exchange your shoes for a different size/color/style then you can simply place a new order at your convenience.

Please let us know if you need help with a return. Softstar also has a Happy Feet Guarantee which outlines replacements/returns for workmanship, fit or durability concerns. 

Does Softstar guarantee their handcrafted shoes?

We 100% guarantee we will repair or replace any defects in leather, sheepskin or workmanship free of charge within 30 days of receiving your shoes. This does not cover wear and tear or misuse on behalf of the consumer. Wear and tear is damage that naturally and inevitably occurs as a result of normal use.

We stand by our product and will send you a return shipping label and either repair or replace your shoes if they fail for durability as described below:

  • Peeling of leather finish or print within the first 6 weeks, excluding our shiny leathers which naturally scuff and/or develop patina appearance with normal wear.
  • Stitching defects within first 3 months.
  • Heel support detachment within 3 months.
  • Innersole bunching, coming loose or developing bald spot within 3 months.
  • Sole delamination within 3 months.
  • Leather inlays coming loose within 6 months.
  • Non-functional closures (VelcroTM, buckles, elastic failures, zippers) within 12 months.

Click here for more details about our guarantee.

Does Softstar customize shoes?

It depends on what you mean...

If you want one of our existing shoe styles made with your own unique color combinations and motifs, then YES! You can choose these custom options for any style that shows the swirly "CUSTOMIZABLE" rainbow icon in the upper right corner. When you are selecting colors for these shoes you will see a "Customize Your Colors" button below our collection color options.

This is part of our everyday fun to see what creations you design as we handcraft each pair for you here in our Oregon workshop. These custom shoes are also fully returnable according to the terms of our return policy.

If you are looking for customization beyond the shoe shoe designs, colors, or sizes available on our website then we do offer limited services for special requests. Special requests such as longer straps, special motif colors, split sizes or single pairs can often be done. Click here for more details.

Where are Softstar shoes made?

All Softstar shoes are 100% designed and handcrafted at our workshop in Philomath, Oregon, USA. We don't outsource any of our manufacturing processes, but instead do it all under one roof. All of our order fulfillment and shipping happens directly from our workshop, too. For more information and to see how our shoes are made, visit this page.