Softstar has been handcrafting soft, durable shoes for active Waldorf and Montessori classrooms since 1985. We partner with these schools to offer back-to-school discounts for classroom shoes in August and September. Subscribe to your school's email list to learn more:
Our classroom shoes and moccasins provide comfort, protection and barefoot-like mobility. All Softstars are made in Oregon, USA from domestically-sourced leather and genuine sheepskin. We have vegan options, too!
Why Classroom Shoes Rock:
Cleanliness: Designating different shoes for indoor and outdoor learning promotes cleanliness inside the classroom.
Transition: Switching shoes when moving between indoor and outdoor educational spaces signals students to switch gears in rhythm and place as well. Classroom shoes are easy to put on and remove, allowing children to practice independence and to mindfully participate in this transition between spaces.
Proprioception, Movement, and Comfort: Secure, non-constricting classroom shoes promote the balance and proprioception necessary for dance, active games, eurhythmy, and other kinesthetic learning. Additionally, soft-soled footwear makes it comfortable for students to sit cross-legged on the floor during lessons; this relaxed seated posture frees children to pay attention to teachers and fellow classmates.
Whole-Body Health: Footwear with soft, flexible soling supports the development of strong, healthy feet. Wearing traditional (stiff) shoes for long periods during childhood can actually mold the bones to the shape of the shoe and force toes to squeeze together, potentially resulting in painful foot health problems as adults. Over time, any postural foot abnormality can also have an effect further up the body, permanently altering posture and walking style.
Safety: A classroom should be a safe space where children can freely question, explore and discover. While children’s feet should be activated and engaged, it is also practical to provide a certain level of protection against cold floors, hot water, and sharp objects that stray from their designated areas. Classroom shoes keep children safe without slowing them down.
"We ask parents to provide "secure, comfortable, and media free" indoor footwear that allow our children the freedom of movement they need. Softstar Shoes are the best I have found and I feel very thankful to refer our parents to such a great company."
Meggan Harrison, Lead Teacher
Olympia Waldorf School
"To say that I am impressed with the quality and durability of Softstar Shoes would be an understatement."
Dr. Mary Veerkamp, Administrator
Prairie Moon School, Lawrence, Kansas
"We like the Softstar slippers for the children because they are easy for the child to put on, they stay in place and support the child's movement throughout the classroom. They assist the child rather than acting as a hindrance which happens quite often with other slippers that we have tried. The Softstar slippers are well made, comfortable, and very durable."
Mandy Carlson, Day Nursery Teacher
Saratoga Springs, New York
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I have purchased over 8 pair of 'minimalist' shoes in the past 3 years...none of them felt like walking barefoot to me......until now. Your leather is soft your soles are flat and my foot is relaxed!!!"
Janet in Asheville,
"My entire experience with Softstar has been nothing short of an amazing experience from beginning to end. Will not buy any other shoes...my feet no longer hurt at all."
Our recommended classroom shoe styles are Roo Moccasins and Ramblers for all ages. The biggest difference between these two styles are the soles. Roo moccasins have soft suede leather soles. Ramblers feature thicker, yet still very flexible, VibramTM rubber soles and are best for kids who wear out their shoes quickly with rough play. Different schools may also recommend additional Softstar styles for indoor and outdoor use, but as Roos and Ramblers are most commonly used, these are the styles covered by our Waldorf and Montessori discount codes.