Special Request Shoe Policies

Thank you for your interest in our shoes! Since we handcraft every pair, we have the ability to do limited design work upon request. Before requesting such work, please read the following explanations of what we can and cannot do.

Here are the different categories of work described on this page. Scroll down for more details on each category:

Special Requests

Standard Requests: No Charge, Fully Returnable/Exchangeable

The following requests are part of our regular approach to shoe making and can be done for select styles. These alterations come at no additional charge and are still eligible for returns or exchanges. Some of these requests can be found in the product options on our website, and others must be ordered by contacting our Customer Service elves directly (541-753-5845 or elves@softstarshoes.com):

  • Narrow or wide shoes.
  • Making a single shoe instead of a pair.

Advanced Requests: Non-Returnable/Non-Exchangeable, May Incur Extra Fees

The following requests are not eligible for returns or exchanges and may require in additional fees. Please contact our Customer Service elves to place these orders (541-753-5845 or elves@softstarshoes.com):

  • Extra wide shoes for babies or children when measurements are provided. Click here for info.
  • Longer or shorter Velcro straps, buckle straps or elastic closures.
  • Split sizing: make a left and right shoe in different sizes when one foot is at least one full size different than the other. You will first need to purchase two pairs of our current collection shoes (not from our Customize category) in the two sizes to verify fit and then return the shoes to us in new condition. They will be refunded and if you approve the fit we will then make you a non-refundable pair in the custom colors of your choice, one in each of the sizes. Customer is responsible for all return shipping charges. We will not make differently-sized shoes from a tracing or measurements; you must try them on first—no exceptions. We know this process is a hassle, but this issue has caused us many problems in the past and we have found this method to be the best solution. If you complete this process and find a size that works well, then you may order the same style in alternate sizes in the future without repeating the process. If you want to switch to a different shoe style then you must go through the process again.

Made-to-Measure Shoes for Children with Special Needs

We offer the following modifications to certain shoe styles only for children with special needs. This work usually incurs extra design fees and is non-refundable. Before requesting these services, please read the terms below for information on timetables, fees and expectations:

  • Design shoes for children with medical orthotics, including AFO and DAFO braces (click here for more info on AFO/DAFO shoes). We only offer this service for our child moccasin, sandal and Rambler styles.
  • Design smaller shoes for premature babies or children with extremely small feet. Also offered only for moccasin, sandal and Rambler styles.

Made-to-Measure Timetable

Turnaround time on made-to-measure shoes may vary, so expected turnaround time for specific orders will be discussed when the request is received. We only take a limited number of made-to-measure requests each month for children, and none during our peak production season from September to January. Priority for made-to-measure work is given to children with special needs.

Made-to-Measure Fees

In addition to the standard fee we already charge for custom shoes, we charge $60/hour on all custom shoes for labor spent sizing and creating made-to-measure patterns. This hourly fee includes any phone and/or email consultation that exceeds 1 hour and is billed in 15 minute increments. We do offer some discounted and pro-bono custom work for special needs children each year. Please contact us if you think you fall into this category.

Made-to-Measure Return Policy

We do not accept returns or exchanges on made-to-measure work. If the shoes we send you do not work then we will alter them in a second attempt to meet your needs. Customers are responsible for all return postage costs as well as design or material charges on the second attempt. If we cannot meet your needs after a second attempt we will not continue the process as likelihood of success would be too low. The cost of the shoe, including the custom design fees and postage, are non-refundable. We strive for 100% satisfaction but sometimes making shoes to meet special needs from a distance is unachievable.

How to Request a Made-to-Measure Shoe

If you are interested in having Softstar work on custom shoes for your child, please contact us and include any information that may be helpful, including tracings of the foot, measurements and relevant photos. We will let you know if we can assist you and, if so, provide estimated fees and discuss our policy and turnaround time. We never charge more than we estimate without first contacting you.

Services Not Available

Sorry, but we do not offer the following services:

  • We do not make half sizes
  • We do not create a tailored shoe pattern for your foot based on measurements or tracings you send us. If we request measurements, they will be used to estimate which of our existing sizes and width options will fit you best.
  • We do not make shoes to accommodate orthotics or lifts, except for children's AFO and DAFO orthotics as described above. Many customers, however, have found their standard orthotics already work well with our shoes.
  • We do not make shoes in double wide or double narrow widths for adults (see this page for info about extra-wide shoes for babies and toddlers). If you are looking for a shoe with extra space in the toe area then please check out our Primal RunAmoc.
  • We will not make any of our shoe styles using materials you send us. Sorry, but foreign materials can cause damage to our tools and sewing machines.
  • We cannot create new shoe styles that are not offered on our website. This includes dance shoes, platform heels, wingtip dress shoes, steel-toed boots, renaissance footwear and flip flops. We are flattered you ask and our shoe designers always appreciate suggestions, but this is not the type of work we do on request.