Help Us Create Your Dream Hiking Boot

Help Us Create Your Dream Hiking Boot

Update October 2021: Thanks to everyone for your feedback. At long last, our new hiking boot is now available!

One of our most common fan requests is for Softstar to design a minimalist hiking boot. We heard you and we're making it happen! Our talented shoe designers are hard at work with a few innovative ideas, but they want to know what YOU want in a hiking boot, so we need your input.

What is most important to you when choosing a hiking boot for your adventures? What features would your ideal Softstar hiking boot include? We want to hear whatever feedback you can give us, whether it's about aesthetics, functionality, materials, etc.

Let us know your thoughts by using the form below to leave a comment on this post. We hope to delight your feet with a new design by November of this year, and we can't wait to hear your ideas!

Artist's rendition of Softstar shoe designers during the creative process.


  1. Joel Romp
    My dream hiking book would be a Chelsea slip-on boot style like the Vivobarefoot Fulham or Melbourne by Xero shoes; I love the idea of a shoe/boot i can just slip on and take off(as in go for a run or hike) the only issue I ever had with any barefoot Chelsea boot is the price. So my dream one is not just a Chelsea boot from you but one that's affordable; under $150 ideally. I see a larger version of your classic moc, with the star logo up front, the two piece appearance design with a 3 or 5 mm sole.
  2. Jackie
    I would like something soft but sturdy. I have wide feet and a bunion, so stiff/structured boots can be extremely painful. I like your shoes because they work really well for my feet. While of course I'd want hiking boots to be more sturdy than the maryjanes or dash run amoks, if they had a similar fit I would be first in line to buy a pair. Basically, can you just make some boots that fit the same way as the shoes? I'd wear them for winter shoes even when I'm not hiking!
  3. B T
    Primal fit shoe please!!!!! watertight with rubber or similar around the whole shoe not just at the toe area for extra protection. Simple outer design without detailing to make cleaning off dirt and mud very easy. Reinforced toe caps like a work shoe to protect the toes.
  4. E. C.
    A way to attach thin summer ankle gaitors. I love minimal hiking but don't like having debris getting into my shoes. But I like removing the gaitors and breathing better in debris free areas.
  5. Margaret Pedroza
    Margaret Pedroza
    Thick sole like the Megagrip. Waterproof. Some way to prevent rocks from getting into the boot. Thank you.
  6. Sarah
    Flexible but cushioned sole. Similar to the Freet mudee sole — provides protection but is entirely flexible. Shoe needs to have good traction on slippery rocks. Waterproof but breathable — I agree with a previous commenter that having bunions means you need a wide shoe but also something that doesn’t feel restrictive in the forefoot as you walk. I like the uppers that are mostly soft and flexible, but there is still hard or gummy toe protection RIGHT at the end of the shoe.
  7. Kate
    Primal toe box, flexible sole with tread, water proof (or at least resistant), and lacing far down so it can accommodate a high volume foot are on my dream boot list!
  8. Torre
    yay hiking boots! i like waterproof but with gortex vs spray - i can’t tolerate the chemical sprays (but i suspect not something you would use anyway). i like lace up to adjust as needed. ankle height vs shoe. i’m new to minimalist shoes and love your solstice sandal. ready to order ballerina flat and fall booties.
  9. Paul L
    A primal sole hiking boot would be a dream. Right now the only decent choice is Lems and they ard mass produced and much lower quality than use my primal sawyers for hiking currently but the soles do not hold up well on rough ground and the nubuck is a bit soft for hiking. Lace up is a must for hiking footwear, waterproof and over the ankle would be ideal but not necessary. Very excited for this boot!
  10. Chason Hendryx
    Chason Hendryx
    Primal please!!! No other company has anything close to that foot shape, and for all of us “primal” feet folks out there, there is nothing else! Cheers.
  11. D C Voth
    Primal based. Plenty of height in the toes with stiff leather for protection at toes, and sides. Laces to allow snug fit where needed, looser where your foot needs flex. Heel anchored in place somehow to avoid rubbing and sliding. Wool insoles for heat management. Simple, clean look with minimal seams that could let loose or collect dust/dirt. Role collar outward to avoid rubbing at the ankle. Not insulated for summer but maybe an insulated pair for cooler months.
  12. Solomon
    Primal shape, it fits my crazy wide foot better than anything else! Lugged sole like a vibram kletterlift would be ideal. A little bit thicker leather than you usually use, to stand up to hard use, maybe bison leather since it is so durable. Earthy tones for colors, like a nice classic solid brown, no weird colors. An additional insulated version that kept the same interior dimensions would be totally amazing as well, I want that primal shape and size with insulation! I've been waiting for something like this for years!
  13. Paul L
    Primal sole please! Tougher leather than current offerings. Waterproof/resistant and over the ankle with speed lace grommets.
  14. Laura
    I would love to have the Primal footprint with the mega soles in a boot that comes just a bit higher up the ankle. If I could have it to fit my high volume foot that would be excellent. That way I could fit thick wool socks and maybe a sheepskin insole, which won't fit in any of your shoes right now. Just brown leather would be perfect - I like to blend with the environment and I don't wear black.
  15. hc
    A gussetted tongue and designed in a way that the tongue doesn't protrude and funnel debris into the shoe. A little reinforcement at the toe would be nice; I don't think this is the place for thin, supple leather and the primal fit, for sure! Can't wait!
  16. Eva
    Primal toe, classic no fuss styling, same leather as hawthornes (it’s the best: soft, sturdy, wears well), grippy soles
  17. chris phillips
    chris phillips
    make sure the hikers have a tidy laced fit around the ankle.. vivobarefoot fails in this regard.
  18. jolanda
    merino woolen lining like the boots
  19. Eric
    Please make this with the Primal toe box design. The Primal design is the only shoe type that I can buy and wear comfortably. Thanks!
  20. Ray
    An earthing sturdy hiking boot would be a dream. My spouse and I often talk about how wonderful it would be to have a sturdy shoe walking hiking that also allows for the healing and much needed “earthing” connection.
  21. Monika
    Waterproof please!!! A waterproof hiking boot with good ground-feel would be a dream come true for this Oregonian. I strongly prefer the Dash fit, but it appears I'm outnumbered by Primal folks in this comment thread :( I agree with others that a huge concern with minimal shoes/boots is keeping rocks and other debris out. I also agree that minimal detailing is awesome for ease of cleaning. Exciting!
  22. Marilyn Buettner
    Marilyn Buettner
    I would love a hiking boot with a wide toe box...decent leather to protect against the cacti and thorns here in the SW. Canvas does not cut it here! Also some ankle support and a grippy sole...some sort of tread is necessary on pebbly rocks. Otherwise, it's likely to wipe out as if you were sliding on ball bearings when you have fine gravel underfoot. Love your shoe products!
  23. marilyn rummel
    marilyn rummel
    Primal foot shape!!! Siping for anti-slip on wet rocks and logs. Leather with Water proofing (rubber or gortex all around, an inch or two high.) Taller footbox for socks or insoles.

    Not stiff, just tough. Your primal run amocs are almost there - just need a little extra waterproofing and a less slippery sole (I have early ones, and the sole is different now, it seems, so maybe you're there already.

    Can't wait -
  24. Kevin B
    Primal shape, megagrip sole, gaiter attachments (loop at front, velcro on heel) for use with running shoe gaiters. I especially like Altra's rear gaiter attachment - I think they call it the "gaiter trap". It's really nice because, as noted earlier, it hold the gaiter securely, but also prevents stuff from sticking to the velcro when gaiters are not used.

    Also - a modification that I've had to do for all of the RunAmoc shoes that I use for hiking in the desert is to add a bead of Aquaseal SR between the sole and the leather uppers. If this is not done, I've found that thorns can make their way into my foot through that gap. This modification also prevents the sole from peeling off of the shoe, which is a problem I've had at least twice. It'd be nice if the boot (and indeed all other RunAmoc shoes) could be more robust in this regard.
  25. Ta
    I would like a narrow option, while still having enough room in the toe box, without looking like clown shoes (I'm concerned the Primal design could be too huge for those with narrow feet). You are the only barefoot shoe company that makes a narrow option in your shoes, as far as I know.
  26. DANA
    flexible and over ankle, grippy sole - 4mm or thicker for the rocks, packable and waterproof. earth tones - no bright accent colors. I'd love something like the RunAmoc but in a boot - love the flexibility and the soft leather - no blisters when I hike! Would like a regular toe box - love the primal and I think it should be available for wider feet - but for technical terrain, a narrower sole would keep me from catching the wider toe box on obstacles.
  27. Chris
    The main thing I will add that most of the comments haven't is maybe a way to wear gaitors(brush or rock) with the boot. Gaitors typically have a strap or p-cord that goes under the boot and rest right before the heel, which keeps the strap from rubbing on the ground when you walk. Since minimalist shoes/boots dont' have a defined heel, it would be cool if the sole had a slit in it that was designed for a gaitor strap.

    Other than that I would love the toe box of the primal on a thicker leather upper with waterproof seams that came just past the ankle. I love backpacking in my primals; however, pebbles/dust love to get in them.
  28. Z
    Exciting development! Wish list: Shaped at heel/heel cup like the Sawyers. Primal fit. Ditto to most of what's already been said re padded tongue, reinforced toe cap, beefier tread, etc. Full grain/not nubuck for waterproofing and cleaning. I currently wear sawyers (love those stars!) for trail walks and around town but they are stretching out and attract a lot of dirt debris both inside and outside the shoe. (Can't wear other runamoc styles due to the old straight cut heel style.) I save the vivobarefoot hiking boots for loaded multiday outings, particularly when snakes, water crossings, etc are expected. There is probably a niche though for something even lighter than the VB that appeal to those needing an even wider fit and/or prefer utralight kit. Toe box cannot be tight and low like on the runamocs! Too many hikers already losing their toenails with insufficient toe boxes lol. Half sizes would be great despite the cost. I think there may also be a market for kids sizes. Extremely difficult to find something barefoot ish for backpacking for the offspring! Lastly: the world needs more barefoot cycling shoes. The options remain terrible and everyone basically has to hack their own footwear. Even a stiff insert to go into the shoes your already make would be amazing and again, there seems to be a market for this sort of thing. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
  29. Lily
    Watertight and slip-on please! Thanks
  30. Bea
    Definitely sturdy, with toe protection and reinforced all around the edges. I like how Keens have the rubber bumper at the toe. Waterproof. Slip-ons work for me, but maybe with a way to snug up around the ankle for support (laces, strap, etc). Wide toe box for sure. I like an option for bright colors, but the leather should be thicker/sturdier than your moccasin leather and easy to clean (not suede). If you decide to use laces, make it so no debris comes in and also waterproof. 1) wide toe box 2) sturdy 3)waterproof
    After my first big hike up Mount Monadnock with softstars, moccasins in particular, I was thrilled to not have knee pain for the first time on such a hike. The flexible sole and plenty of toe room were key to natural movement. The only down side to hiking in the moccasins were that they were a bit slippery on well worn rocks and they get wet easily. As a New Englander, in my soggy environment, waterproof is key, at least for the first inch up. Toe room is critical and laces that allow adjustment of fit is great on a long journey. Grippy is nice, but freedom of movement is probably more important. When I saw slippery spots coming up in my mocs I used my hands to help me or scooched on my seat. I was willing to be creative in my movement for the sake of my feet! I have round the down side in a softer sole is they wear out quickly, which can become expensive.
  32. Falynn
    I would love the Primal fit as an option. Also the option to be waterproof even if spraying is necessary. This is very exciting! Thank you!
  33. Checkers
    An above-ankle water resistant boot with complete flexibility, with a tractive sole for muddy surfaces would work very well. If there's a way to keep the shoe thin whilst being strong against sharp things, then it would be a near perfect boot. And maybe if possible, making one pair of boots for Spring/Summer and another for Autumn/Winter?
  34. Victor
    Wide toe box, available in widths, waterproof goretex, high grip sole; stiff upper for ankle roll protection, zero drop but with padding for protection on talus surfaces, easier to get on than a Lems Boulder Boot,
  35. Donna Spencer
    I smashed my big toe joint--SO my dream hiker would have a deep toe box! PLEASE!! I cannot wear RunAmocs any more because the toe box is too shallow!
  36. Isaak
    Something not super beefy/heavy. I love my Lems boulder boots, something in that vein would be great.
  37. T
    More durable sole/resoleable with better grip, without exposed seams, reinforced toe and heel for scrambling over rocks and stumps, maybe a slightly thicker leather.
  38. T
    Something with a very grippy sole suitable for serious hiking, not too thin but still flexible of course. I think offering several widths would result in more sales, but I personally have very wide feet at the toes so the primal would be fine for me. MUST be durable. Also something that looks a bit more sporty like a conventional hiking shoe style wise would be cool.
  39. Kiki Chanders
    Oh yay! We’d love to have Soft Star hiking boots! LEMS are the best one we’ve found so far so you could look at theirs for inspiration. Thicker, sticky sole that doesn’t slip on wet rocks is crucial for us.. (LEMS sole is good.). A way to tighten around the arch to keep it from sliding and having toes jam into the front when hiking downhill. TOUGH exterior that holds up to water, rocks, abuse, etc.. Flat laces that don’t untie. Lots of toe box space, of course. Different widths so narrow feet don’t slide around too much. THANK YOU! Ya’ll are the best.
  40. MAL
    Looking forward to them! Primal toebox. A bit more height in toebox (vs. runamocs that can press against top of toenails). Megagrip sole - or even a little thicker, to keep feet a bit above mud, puddles, etc. A bit thicker grade of leather than runamocs (Hawthorne thickness perhaps?). The part that really could use waterproofing is where the sole connects to the leather, as that's where I find water seeping into runamocs, but I don't need the whole thing to be waterproof. A heel that is narrow or shaped/padded enough that the heel is not sliding up and down in the boot. Color: black. Thank you.
  41. Tina
    Oh wow, I would so love a great minimalist hiking boot! The traits I'm always looking for are: waterproof; soft, flexible sole that also offers great traction for marching through mud and over algae-slick rocks, and wide toebox. I actually don't want ankle support or even arch support, preferring to let my arches and ankles do that work for themselves, but a boot that sits a bit higher on the ankle is great for keeping my socks dry :) I would also love to have flexibility in how to tie the laces since I have high insteps and many boots are too tight across the tops of my feet.
  42. Sarah
    Yes! Finally! I would recommend something that can be waterproofed or a sole that wraps around the first inch or so of the foot. A taller boot to keep rocks and pebbles out. Some kind of toe and heel reinforcement. It would need a lug sole for the slippery down slopes. And last but not least I love soft star shoes feet fit a size 4 wide. You don't offer the adult shoes in this size so I am stuck with the kid versions. I would really like to purchase a pair of the hiking boots. Viviobarefoot boots are too narrow, lems are too clunky (and the sole is the absolute WORST on snow and ice) I like the feelmax hiking boots but they make your feet sweaty and eventually slip around in the boot (blisters). Lastly I would like something that can take some abuse, not just a day hike down a well established trail. I have about 5 pairs of soft star shoes. Consistently the leather seems like it will last forever but the soles wear out in about a year. Hopefully with a more rugged sole I can get an extended life out of the hiking boots.
    Thanks for taking this on Softstar!
  43. Karen
    Here’s another vote for Primal shape and waterproof. I’d like them to be ankle-high and very flexible/soft to allow for free movement at all joints.. I would also appreciate anti-slip soles that give some protection against very sharp rocks.
  44. Ogsnnr
    Ankle high (not for support but to keep dirt out) laced boot w/ thicker leather, gusseted tongue, toe cap, and the mega grip sole
  45. Liz
    Resoleable would be awesome! I don’t love the primal toe box shape but I can see I’m outnumbered. Maybe eventually it could be an option to have the non-primal toe part. It would also be great if the boots have something really tough on the sides so that overpronators or oversupinators don’t destroy the sides of the shoes.
  46. Brendon
    Megagrip. Primal. Ankle height. Waterproof. Yes!
  47. Andrew
    I will be first in line for your hiking boots!!!! Your Primal RunAmocs are the only shoes that really work for me, and I've been dying for a hiking boot for a long time! Lems, Vivobarefoot, and Altra don't fit - all too narrow, especially in the toebox, and especially because I need space for Correct Toes.

    I would want it to borrow lots of features from the Megagrip Primal RunAmoc: same fit, wide toebox, toecap or some sort of front protection, Megagrip sole. And then I would want to add the following: a sturdier heel (and just sturdier all around to deal with rocks, etc. while still being minimalist), waterproofing (Gore-Tex plus gusseted tongue is my preference), ankle flexibility, and grommets for the lace holes.
  48. Heidi
    All the comments have been so great and touched on a lot of really great key points. I have the primal runamoc shoe with trail soles. I have been taking them hiking for a few years. This past year I took them hiking in Juneau AK. Very wet place. I did my best to avoid puddles and wet areas but by the end my socks were soaked. I suggest some water conshious designing where the sole meets the rest of the shoe. I really like how these shoes are snug around the heel and arch while still being flexible. The wider toe and thinner sole allows me to balance and get traction with my toes. This design makes me feel like I can trust my feet which really makes or breaks a hike.
  49. zj
    This is very exciting! Due to my wide toebox (10cm) small length (22cm) I have found only 1 shoe and 0 boots to fit me, Softstar Youth Primal RunAmoc size 4 Youth. I ask that this hiking boot please be available in size Youth 4.
    Minimal, soft, water resistant, flexible sole, good traction, colourful options! Thank you Softstar Elves :)
  50. Ceci Pittenger
    Ceci Pittenger
    Primal. Megagrip. Waterproof for at least the lower inch or two. Lace up or slip on with some type of personalization (like a lock laces kind of thing? Or stretchy with toggles?). Fun colors :-) would be great. Let me know when you are ready for me to be your guinea pig and try them for you!

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