There's a reason we're called Barefoot Provisions. We really hate wearing shoes. But the reality is, there are places that are snowy, places with sharp objects on the ground, places where it's not socially acceptable (or legal) to go barefoot. That's where Soft Star comes in.
I've been wearing Soft Stars for six or seven years now, and I feel like they're an extension of my body. They're ultra-soft, ultra-bendy, comfortable-beyond-comfortable, and protective in just the right ways. Because of Soft Stars, I literally cannot and will not wear "traditional" shoes ever again. All the science is in favor of minimalist footwear, and my intuitive bodysense concurs. For way too many years, I ignored the fact that my body hated high heels and stiff shoes. I bought into the myth that my feet needed "support." But now that I've been wearing minimalist shoes for years, I cannot go backwards. Soft Stars were instrumental to my shift to minimalism, and I hope they can help you as well.
Soft Star makes lots of different models, but my go-to shoe is their classic Run Amok. Yep, I run in these, I hike, I scramble up mountains and traipse around in snow. (If the snow is deep, I'll add socks.) They're a classic buttery-soft leather moccasin, but updated with an ultra-thin ultra-strong Vibram sole. Zero constriction, 100% bendiness, and incredible sensitivity, so I can feel the amazing textures below my feet, and get the benefits of a reflexology massage with every step. When I'm wearing my Soft Stars, I feel intimately connected to the first shoe-wearing people, 40,000 years ago, who wore simple moccasins — nothing fussy, nothing except a protective layer of leather around the foot.
Even better, I can wear these things everywhere — to conferences, meetings with "normal" people, walking around urban areas — and not get the kinds of stares that certain minimalist shoes elicit. Not that I really care who's staring at my feet, but I don't need to make a statement with my shoes, y'know?
Not only are Soft Stars awesome-looking and comfortable-beyond-comfortable, but the company behind them is socially and environmentally responsible, which makes a huge difference to me. Like many American women weaned on shoe fetishism, I used to buy way too many shoes, without a thought for the impact of my shoes on my body or on the larger world around me. I've grown a lot over the years, and at this point I literally will not buy anything if I don't feel good about the people who created it, and the practices they follow (unless I've acquired something secondhand, of course.)
The good folks of Soft Star embody the sort of organization that (I hope) will become commonplace in upcoming decades — conscious and responsible on every level. By buying Soft Stars, you're supporting an amazing group of people in Corvallis, Oregon who are doing things the right way. Do you like supporting sweatshops in China, or wearing shoes that seep toxic dyes and formaldehyde and adhesives into your feet? Didn't think so. With Soft Stars, you can rest assured that your lovingly handmade shoes are as good for the planet and the human community as they are for you.
From now until through January 29th, the awesome folks as Soft Star will give you 10% off your ENTIRE ORDER if you use code BAREFOOT10 (not case sensitive!)