Keeping in line with my last post about minimalist running, I’d like to talk about one of the best shoe manufacturers out there. They’re one of the only (if not THE only) athletic shoe manufacturer that still operates entirely out of North America, and they produce some of the finest quality shoes that you could imagine. The name of this company is Soft Star, and they make all of their shoes by hand. You can even special order a pair to your own specifications, and the turnaround time is unbelievable. One thing that I really love about them is that they keep their operation in North America and don’t ship those jobs over to another country. They produce a quality product that keeps jobs in this part of the world, and I am all about supporting that.
It doesn’t hurt that their shoes are completely awesome, either. They take a lot of care in how they construct their shoes, making sure to keep even the tiniest little extras in mind. When you run in their mocs, it’s really easy to tell that they’ve listened to the input of a lot of minimalist runners– it really shows. By listening to the feedback of runners that use their shoes on a bunch of different surfaces, Soft Star has been able to produce some of the best quality running shoes that you can buy in North America.
I’m a huge fan of buying from businesses that actually contribute to their local economies instead of sending all their money overseas. It really says a lot about a company when they make a point to say “listen, we’re going to stay here and make the best damn product we can.” End of story. That really makes me happy, and I’m glad that I’m able to support a company like Soft Star. They’re located in Corvallis, Oregon so keep that in mind if you decide to peruse their site for something that catches your eye. Happy running, and be sure to take it slow if you want to give the minimalist thing a shot. You’ll be glad you did.