Adult Switchback Boot

74% of 100
From $240.00

We're raising the bar for minimalist hiking boots. These adult Switchback boots are lightweight, flexible, feature a rugged Vibram™ Megagrip sole, and are made from a nearly indestructible armored fabric. Get ready for your next great adventure!

Sizing note: the materials used to make the Switchback boot do not stretch like the leather used in our other shoes. If you are between sizes then we recommend ordering the larger size.

Wow, you guys really like these boots! Sales have far exceeded our expectations and we're making them as fast as we can. Please allow 4-6 weeks for new orders to ship. Thank you for your patience!

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

We designed these adult Switchback boots after asking our fans what they wanted in a minimalist hiking boot. After sorting through hundreds of replies we collected the features you told us were most important and bundled them into our latest creation. Get ready to hit the trails with your zero-drop hiking boots!


When we say this material is virtually indesctructible, we mean it! 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. While these are water-resistant hiking boots, keep in mind they are not fully waterproof.

SuperFabric® combines the following features:



Quick Dry
Quick Dry








Abrasion Resistant


Puncture Resistant


Slash Resistant


Stain Resistant


Easy to Clean
Easy to Clean


Made in USA
Made in USA

* The Superfabric® material is waterproof and the seams around the sole of the Switchback are sealed, but please be aware that other seams are not sealed and the tongue of the boot is not gusseted. This means that feet should stay dry through shallow puddles, but water can still seep in through higher portions of the boot.


This uniquely durable leather is made in the USA and pretreated with LeatherShield for additional protection and abrasion resistance. It is also anti-bacterial and protected against light fastness.

Torino Leather Trim


The Switchback is lined with 100% merino wool for a cozy and quick-dry interior. Our wool is sourced from humanely-treated sheep and is Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified. This certification ensures it has been tested to show it does not contain any harmful substances.

Merino Wool Lining


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 3.5mm 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


The Switchback features a foot-friendly design with a toe box that is more spacious than your typical hiking boots. Select our wide width for a toe box that mimics the shape from our Primal shoes for even more toe splay!

Sole Shape Comparison


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


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...

Note: we do not recommend tracing feet because doing so usually gives a larger measurement. Our shoe measurement charts work in accordance with the following method:

Remove shoes and socks and place bare foot so that the heel is barely touching a wall.
Place a book on the floor, parallel to the wall, so that it is barely touching the front of the longest toe.
Step away carefully and measure the distance from the book to the wall.
If you need to measure your width then follow the same directions shown above, but position your foot parallel to the wall and measure from the widest point.

... 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.

Softstar Adult
Shoe Size
Regular US Shoes Size Foot Length Regular Width
5U 4.5 - 5 Mens
5.5 - 6 Womens
22.2 - 23.0 cm 8.1 - 9.8 cm
6U 5.5 - 6 Mens
6.5 - 7 Womens
23.0 - 23.9 cm 8.4 - 10.1 cm
7U 6.5 - 7 Mens
7.5 - 8 Womens
23.9 - 24.7 cm 8.7 - 10.4 cm
8U 7.5 - 8 Mens
8.5 - 9 Womens
24.7 - 25.6 cm 9.1 - 10.8 cm
9U 8.5 - 9 Mens
9.5 - 10 Womens
25.6 - 26.4 cm 9.3 - 11.0 cm
10U 9.5 - 10 Mens
10.5 - 11 Womens
26.4 - 27.3 cm 9.6 - 11.3 cm
11U 10.5 - 11 Mens
11.5 - 12 Womens
27.3 - 28.1 cm 9.9 - 11.6 cm
12U 11.5 - 12 Mens 28.1 - 28.9 cm 10.2 - 11.9 cm
13U 12.5 - 13 Mens 28.9 - 29.8 cm 10.5 - 12.2 cm
14U 13.5 - 14 Mens 29.8 - 30.5 cm 10.9 - 12.6 cm
15U 14.5 - 15 Mens 30.5 - 31.4 cm 11.2 - 12.9 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 - 12 Years 22.7 - 23.6 cm 8.4 - 10.1 cm
7Y/7U 8 - 12 Years 23.6 - 24.4 cm 8.7 - 10.4 cm
8Y/8U 12+ Years 24.4 - 25.3 cm 9.1 - 10.8 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

Checking Width? Our sizing charts show average width measurements, but the height of your instep and the shape of your foot can also affect the width that fits best for you. If you have never needed wide or narrow shoes in the past then we recommend trying a regular width in our shoes.

Difficulty Taking Measurements?
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 waterproof materials and the seam that connects the uppers to the soles are sealed with a watertight adhesive, but the other seams are not sealed and the tongue is not gusseted. This means that while the boot should keep feet dry through shallow puddles, moisture may still seep in through the higher portions of the boot.

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 upper materials used to make the Switchback will not stretch like the leather used to make other Softstar 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.

Switchback Width Comparison

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 Switcback boot. Sizes 5U–7U in regular width come with 47" laces and sizes 7U in wide width and all larger sizes come with 54" laces. If you are ordering a smaller size boot and prefer 54" shoelaces then let us know and we will be happy to include them with your order.
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.

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. 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.

There are some exceptions to this policy: shoes treated with leather care products, shoes purchased from our biannual clearance sales and specially designed made-to-measure shoes (shoes designed for children with special needs) 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. Click here to read more about our return policy.

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 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. Click this button to begin selecting your colors and motifs.

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 or sizes available on our website then we do offer limited services for special requests and Made-to-Measure shoes. This is how we define those terms:

  • Special Requests are simple alterations we can offer on our shoes for no extra charge, such as making the elastic in your moccasins a bit longer. Shoes made with these requests are still fully refundable.
  • Made-to-Measure shoes are bespoke shoe designs that are only made on a limited basis for children with special needs. Due to the time and labor it takes to make Made-to-Measure shoes, we do not offer this service during busy seasons.

Click Here for the complete list of special requests and made-to-measure services we offer.

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.