Frequently Asked Questions

Softstar FAQ

Search below to find answers to our most common questions. If you still can't find the answer you're looking for then contact our friendly customer service elves and we'll be happy to help!

You can scroll down to view all questions, or click one of these categories to jump to that section:


SIZING

  • How do I check for fit? Is it OK to see the outline of my toes?

    When your shoes arrive, please try them on indoors and make sure your shoes fit well before deciding to keep them as we only accept returns on shoes still in brand new condition. This means that the innersole, outer sole and leather can show no signs of dirt or wear.

    Our shoes are made with a non-lasted technique, meaning the leather will lay softly over the foot instead of being molded into a rigid and smooth toe box. The natural contours of your toes will show through the leather and this is normal.

    If your shoes are a little snug at first in the toe box area, you can stretch them by stuffing the toe box with a DRY rag. Push the cloth tightly into the front of the shoe—don't worry, you cannot hurt them and it does not impact your ability to return them. Let the shoes sit stuffed overnight to stretch and try them on for size again.

    Pulling your heel to the back of the shoe, you should have approximately the width of your index finger of extra space in front of your toes and the front seam of the shoe. For young children, this can be up to a 1/2 inch extra for shoes or even 1 inch for moccasins to account for extra growing room.

  • Do you have extra-extra wide shoes?

    For Children - Yes! Although you can only select "wide" for width on our site, we do offer even wider shoes by special request. Please see this guide for how our extra wide children's shoes compare to other brands, as well as how to order.

    For Adults - our Primal RunAmoc was designed with an extra-wide toe box for people who have a naturally wide toe splay. If you have thick feet that need more room around the instep of a shoe, then please contact us to discuss which style will fit you best. Sometimes we can make simple modifications to shoes to allow more room, such as adding longer elastic closures to our Roo moccasins and Ramblers. Please click here for a summary of special request policies and options that we do and do not offer.

  • My child has outgrown your youth sizes. What do I do?

    Fear not, we have shoes to fit! Our youth sizes blend into our adult sizes seamlessly, so that our size 5Y is the same as our size 5U, 6Y is the same as 6U, etc. If your child needs a size larger than what we have available in our Youth Shoes category, then you should be able to find the next size up in our Adult Shoes. For a complete look at how our sizes compare, check out our sizing chart.

  • What does the "U" mean in Softstar adult sizes?

    "U" stands for Unisex sizing for our adult shoes.

  • Why does my new pair fit differently than the old?

    At Softstar we take consistency very seriously. We invest a lot in training and equipment to minimize differences from shoe to shoe. Most of our patterns are die cut, or traced to aluminum patterns to ensure uniformity. However, the soft style handcrafted construction we use can result in variability that your sensitive foot may notice.

    There are a few key reasons that a new pair may differ in feel from another:

    1. New Shoes vs. Worn Shoes: Our shoes are so soft and natural that they will stretch and form to your feet over time. Typically, new shoes feel tighter than the ones you have broken in over several weeks, months or years.

    2. Leather: softness, thickness and texture of natural leather will vary slightly from hide to hide. No two cows are exactly the same! Perforated leather also feels and sews differently from smooth or shiny or suede leather. All of our leather will eventually form to your foot.

    3. Soles for RunAmocs and Hawthorne Chukkas: These shoes are also die cut to the same size each and every time, but have an extra process to adhere the Vibram rubber or leather outer soles. This soling process involves hand trimming the final product, so the shape and length of the outer sole can have subtle variations from shoe to shoe. However, the innersole and interior shape and volume of the shoe will be consistent. Therefore, if you hold up 2 different pairs in the same size you may see the outer soles may not match up perfectly, but the upper and inside volume and interior length are all cut identically. Also, heat will cause Vibram soles to shrink over time. Campfires, heaters and even just a hot sidewalk will result in some minor shrinkage over time, meaning further discrepancies in length between old and new pairs.

    4. Upgraded Design: Over time, we may make changes to improve the design of a shoe, but if these changes affect the fit then you will be notified on that shoes' product page before you checkout.

    5. Changing Feet: Keep in mind that if you are in the process of switching from more traditional cushioned shoes to minimal shoes then you may find that over time your feet are spreading out more and getting wider and longer as they get healthier and stronger.


EXCHANGES & RETURNS

    • What is the exchange / return policy?

      Softstar shoes that are still in brand new condition may be returned 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, clearance sale items and specially designed made-to-order shoes are non-returnable and non-exchangeable.

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

    • How do I exchange or return my shoes?

      Simply ship your shoes back to us for a full refund, store credit or exchange as you prefer. Customers are responsible for return shipping costs. We strongly recommend getting a tracking number when you ship your shoes back to us in case there are any problems with the delivery service.

      IMPORTANT: Remember to include your name and order/invoice number with all returns. There is a return label on the back of your invoice with a mailing address for your convenience.

      Lost your invoice? Click here to print the form:

      If exchanging, you can place a new order online or include a note with the shoes you send back. Please call or email us to assist with any sizing questions you might have.

      Note to international customers: If you place an exchange order online, we recommend leaving a note in the comments field of the checkout process to tell us it is an exchange. Doing so may save you customs fees upon delivery (depending on your country's postal guidelines).


SHIPPING

    • Where do you ship?

      Softstar ships to most countries that offer postal delivery services. You will see the choices in the drop down boxes when you order. Expect up to 3-4 weeks delivery for destinations outside the USA. Please note: you will be responsible for any import taxes, or custom duties on your package.

      Some countries are not listed in the drop down box—sorry, but this is because we have not had success sending packages there in the past via the standard mail services. If the country you desire is not listed, please email or call us for a custom quote to send via UPS for guaranteed delivery.

    • How long before I get my shoes? I live in the USA.

      On average, we ship most shoes within 1-4 business days, but please plan on up to 2 weeks lead time before we ship to account for material delays, custom soling or busy times of the year. All of our shoes are handmade.

      We often have most of our annual collection shoes readily available, but not always in every size and width. If we need to make your pair, turnaround will be 1-4 days plus shipping (longer during back-to-school or holiday seasons). If you are in a hurry, please call to confirm we can ship immediately or ask what we have on hand in the sizes you need. Some shoes take longer to make than others. For example, RunAmocs take more time for us to prepare because we are attaching a custom sole per your request.

      These are the standard shipping times once your shoes leave our shop, but keep in mind they can be extended due to unforeseen postal delays:

      USPS First class mail arrives within 2-9 days in the 48 contiguous states USPS Priority mail arrives within 2-3 days

      If you need your shoes by a certain date then please contact our customer service elves to verify the expected shipping time. If you are in a hurry to get your shoes and are not particular about the color, you can call and ask if we have any Sole Mate shoes on hand in your size that can ship immediately.

    • How long before I get my shoes? I live in Canada.

      On average, we ship most shoes within 1-4 business days, but please plan on up to 2 weeks lead time before we ship to account for material delays, custom soling or busy times of year. All of our shoes are handmade. We do have most of our annual collection shoes readily available, but not always in every size and width. If we need to make your pair, turnaround is usually 1-4 days plus shipping (longer during busy back-to school or holiday seasons). If you are in a hurry, please call to confirm we can ship immediately or ask what we have on hand in the sizes you need. Some shoes take longer to make than others. For example, RunAmocs take more time for us to prepare because we are attaching a custom sole per your request.

      Once your shoes leave our shop, shipping via First Class to Canada may take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks depending on customs processing. Because our product is sourced and made in the USA, you should not have to pay any import duties under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA). We identify our packages as subject to NAFTA regulations on the outer package and invoice. Canadian orders are still international shipments, so any changes to international rules and regulations still apply. If, for any reason, your postal service charges extra fees or taxes then you will be responsible for paying them.

      If you need your shoes by a certain date, please contact our customer service elves to verify the expected shipping time. If you are in a hurry to get your shoes and are not particular about the color, you can call and ask if we have any one-of-a-kind shoes in your size on hand to ship immediately.

    • How long before I get my shoes? I live outside North America.

      On average, we ship most shoes within 1-4 business days of receiving your order, but please plan on up to 2 weeks lead time before we ship to account for material delays, custom soling or extremely busy times of year. All our shoes are handmade to order. We do have most stock shoes readily available, but not always in every size and width. If we need to make your pair, turnaround will be 1-14 days plus shipping. If you are in a hurry, please call to confirm we can ship immediately or ask what we have on hand in the sizes you need. Some shoes take longer to make than others. For example, RunAmocs take more time for us to prepare because we are attaching a custom sole per your request. If you need your shoes by a certain date then please contact our customer service elves to verify the expected shipping time. If you are in a hurry to get your shoes and are not particular about the color then you can call and ask if we have any Sole Mate shoes in your size on hand to ship immediately. Once your shoes leave our shop, shipping to international destinations via USPS First Class International mail typically takes 2-3 weeks to arrive, but this time could be extended by several weeks depending on your country's postal system and customs policies. Please allow a maximum of 45 days for delivery from the ship date (that is the minimum amount of time we must wait before filing an insurance claim on the package). Please note that the tracking information provided when your shoes via USPS First Class International only tracks the package until it leaves US borders. We have no way of tracking a package outside the United States with this service.

      We also offer USPS PRIORITY International shipping for a higher rate, which takes an estimated 6-10 days for delivery to most countries and provides international tracking information beyond US borders.

      For international shipments, all international rules and regulations apply, including import duties and taxes. You are responsible for these additional charges once the shipment reaches your country.

    • What do I do if my package doesn't arrive?

      Fortunately, this is extremely rare! If you do think your package was lost in the mail, please contact us. We can verify the shipping address and trace tracking information on all domestic shipments. If the package does not show up within 12 days after the shipment date in the USA or within 45 days after shipment date to international locations then we will file an insurance claim. Once filed, we will send a new order to you.

  • Can you rush my order?

    Please call us if you have a special date you would like your order by and we will see if it is possible to get them made in time. In general, we do not have a "rush order" charge as we try to make everyone's shoes as quickly as possible and in the order received.

    We do have a lot of great one-of-a-kind shoes on hand that can often be shipped same day, so please call us if you are looking for something to ship fast and ask what we might have already made and available to meet your needs. You can also search our Sole Mate category to see shoes that are ready to ship immediately.

    In general we do not rush any orders at holiday time as our shoemaking resources are already stressed and we are working hard to get everyone's order out as soon as possible.


PLACING ONLINE ORDERS

    • My login doesn't work?

      If your password is not working, please select the option "request a new password" to have one emailed to you, or contact us directly for assistance.


SPECIAL REQUESTS FOR CUSTOM SHOES

    • Do you make custom shoes?

      If you are looking to make our existing shoe styles with your own custom colors and motifs, then YES! for any style which has the rainbow "customizable" icon in the upper right corner. This is part of our everyday fun to see what creations you design as we hand make each pair for you here in our Oregon workshop. These custom shoes are also fully returnable and exchangable according to the terms of our return policy.

      If you are looking for customization beyond our regular shoe designs or sizes then we do offer limited services for special requests and Made-to-Measure shoes. Here is how we use 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 usually involve more hands-on design work that may incur extra fees and are non-refundable. We only offer select services in this category.

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

    • Do you make single shoes?

      Only need one shoe? Fido enjoyed your moccasin as tasty treat? We understand... our leather is delicious (and non-toxic). Fear not, since we handcraft all of our shoes we can easily make a single shoe for you at half the price of a pair. Please contact our customer service elves to place the order.

    • Do you make shoes for AFO or DAFO braces?

      Yes! Please see our AFO / DAFO information page for more details.

  • Can I request special color motifs or thread if I don't see it as a customizable option?

    Yes! For some of our custom shoes, you will see dropdown menus that will allow you to specify the colors you would like for motifs (e.g., stars, rockets, moons), thread or elastic color. To keep things simple, we do not show options for every part of every custom shoe. For example, we will not show thread color options for some styles if we feel it does not make a significant difference in that shoe's appearance. If there is a thread or motif color you would like us to use on your shoe then feel free to let us know in the "Additional Notes" field when you place your order (found below the size and width options on the product page). Please note that we can only do requests like this for custom shoes, not our current collection colors.


GENERAL

  • Why are the folks at Softstar called Elves?

    We love to make shoes! If you would like to know the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker, click here.

  • Help! Color from my shoes is all over my feet!

    Softstar Shoes are made from eco-friendly leathers with natural, non-toxic food grade dyes.  Because we don't want a lot of chemicals near our skin, we minimize the use of chemical color fixatives that can be absorbed by your feet. This means there can be some initial color transference to your socks or skin if your shoes become damp. This is natural and will decrease with use.

  • Where can I buy Softstar Shoes?

    Softstar shoes are only sold directly from our Oregon workshop. We do not offer our product in retail stores. You can place your orders online, over the phone, by mail, fax or from our local showroom in Philomath, Oregon, USA.

    Visit our wholesale information page for more details on why wo do not offer wholesale distribution.

  • Does Softstar offer wholesale or dropship services?

    Sorry, but no. Check out our wholesale information page for more information on why we currently do not offer wholesale or dropshipping distribution.

  • Can I resell Softstar Shoes?

    Customers are welcome to resell their shoes through channels such as Ebay or Craigslist, and our Resale page is intended to help facilitate the buying and selling of secondhand Softstar shoes that are still in wearable condition.

    Softstar does not offer wholesale packaging, support or services. Please see our wholesale policy for more details. Approved brick and mortar stores may resell Softstar shoes, but we do not offer wholesale prices. The purchase price from Softstar Shoes will be our normal retail prices.

  • Does Softstar make shoes with grounding/earthing conductivity?

    Yes! While we don't claim to be experts in this field, customers have tested our leather-soled shoes for grounding and found them to develop high levels of conductivity after a few days of wear For more information and to see all Softstar shoes that fit this category, visit our Grounding and Earthing page.