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Reinventing the Hiking Boot
New Minimalist Outdoor Gear is a Game Changer
Softstar, American manufacturer of minimalist shoes, is adding a new design to delight outdoor enthusiasts. The Switchback is the company’s first dedicated hiking boot, and owner Tricia Salcido can’t wait to introduce it to the footwear market. “There are not many good options out there for minimalist hiking boots,” says Salcido. “Most of the currently available styles are either made from rigid materials, have toe boxes that are too narrow for minimalist hikers or are simply not durable enough to handle rough trails. We plan to change all that with the Switchback.”
Creating a boot that lives up to these expectations was a challenge for Softstar, and it required a departure from their traditional footwear designs. Instead of their usual soft leather uppers, Softstar’s shoe designers experimented with a variety of materials until they found one that met their needs: SuperFabric®. This innovative textile is enhanced through the configuration of tiny armored plates that make it seemingly indestructible. SuperFabric® is resistant to water, abrasions, punctures and stains, yet is still thin, flexible, breathable and ultralight. The interior of the boot is fully lined with 100% merino wool, which keeps feet comfortable and dry with its natural moisture-wicking properties. The wool used by Softstar is sustainably harvested from humanely-treated sheep and is Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified, a strict measure that ensures safety in textiles.
Like all Softstar shoes, the Switchback features a flexible zero-drop sole for a truly barefoot-like experience. The boot is made with 6mm lugged Vibram Megagrip soles, which have been thoroughly tested by some of the world’s toughest ultrarunners to show unparalleled grip and durability on muddy, wet and rugged surfaces. Fans of Softstar’s Primal shoes, which feature extra-wide toe boxes for maximum toe splay, will be happy to learn that the wide width version of the Switchback mimics the Primal shape.
“The Switchback is a real game changer for hikers who want to restore or maintain natural foot function,” says Salcido. The boot’s handcrafted manufacturing takes place entirely within Softstar’s Oregon workshop where they, along with the company’s other shoe styles, are sold direct to customers either through Softstar’s ecommerce website or local showroom.
Please contact Softstar Shoes for more information or to request high-resolution photos or samples.
Softstar has been designing and handcrafting minimal leather footwear since 1985. With an emphasis on high-quality, flexible materials that allow for free and natural movement, the company offers a range of ultra-comfortable and foot-healthy styles for kids, youth and adults. All shoes are handmade in-house from responsibly sourced materials, have a “barefoot” feel, zero-drop soles, and encourage healthy toe splay and strong feet. Softstar ships worldwide from its workshop in Philomath, Oregon.
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