Soft Star Shoes Ballerine Flat Review
The Soft Star Shoe Ballerine Flat is flexible, attractive, and comfortable flat for daily wear. It features a 4mm Vibram Cherry sole for durability, a zero drop construction, wide toebox, and beautiful leather.
Read ahead to get my straight-from-mom's-thoughts review of the Soft Star Ballerine Flat!
About the Soft Star Ballerine
Our Ballerine is both classy and barefoot-like with soft, breathable uppers to have you go about your day in healthy style.
Handcrafted with our premium leather uppers, a stretchy trim on the front and sides secures the shoe gently to your foot. Our flexible Vibram soles provide traction with a natural minimalist step, and a heavenly soft suede innersole provides all-day comfort without sacrificing proprioception.
The Ballerine is so light and cozy you'll forget you're wearing them!
Weight — 4.4 oz (Womens size 6)
Total Stack Height — 4mm Vibram Cherry
Ideal Uses — Everyday wear, office, walking around town, etc.
- Handcrafted in the USA
- Zero drop
- Soft leather
- Very flexible
- Lack of a seamless sole and last construction
- Heel cuff may be a bit high for some
Barefoot Scale — Great for ladies looking to bring their love of minimalist shoes to everyday wear. Excellent for barefoot die-hards, Vibram lovers, transitioning runners, and casual walkers of all skill levels!
Here are some photos of the Soft Star Shoes Ballerine Flat:
The Ballerine Flat is one of two ladies shoes that I will be reviewing (the other being the Vivobarefoot Jing). I say "review," but since I am a man, I actually cannot review this shoe on my own and have enlisted the aid of two helpers for these reviews.
The Soft Star Shoe Ballerine Flat review will be assisted by my dear mother and the Vivobarefoot Jing review will be assisted by my girlfriend (two wonderful little ladies!).
They each wore their respective shoes for a couple months, provided their thoughts from a function, style, and comfort perspective and I put together the write-up, using my past experience reviewing barefoot running and lifestyle shoes for men.
Any additional questions you may have can be addressed to me in the discussion section and we will all respond as a team.
The Soft Star Adult Ballerine Flat features a 4mm Vibram Cherry sole (See our Definitive Guide to Vibram Rubber Soles here for comparison of this rubber soling material to others!).
This sole provides good durability, excellent slip resistance and is an excellent choice for everyday shoes. Cherry is also a popular running sandal sole—especially in previous years, but Newflex and Morflex tend to be more popular among huarache makers these days.
Cherry is closest to Morflex in terms of characteristics, but it is a bit stickier and is great for floors, indoor areas, and sidewalks.
The Soft Star Ballerine sole is dense enough to provide protection from stuff you may encounter in a sidewalk, such as small rocks, the occasional bit of broken glass, or any other odd objects.
In terms of flexibility, the Ballerine flat is worlds above your typical ladies flat. For a bit of background research, I visited some womens shoe stores in Boston and played around with flats that were for sale. I was incredibly surprised to find that most of them were essentially stiff, slabs of hard plastic (or wood), and practically indestructible with bare hands—The Random Task scene in Austin Powers came to mind.
My review assistants told me that this is how most women’s flats are: stiff, uncompromising, and definitely not conducive to movement. For this reason, the Ballerine flat from Soft Star Shoes and others like it as immensely important.
The sole in the Ballerine is a breath of fresh air! After playing around with other women’s flats, it’s almost impossible to define them in the same category.
Able to be rolled into a ball, the flats allow the wearer to freely flex their toes, splay them out, and pick up all kinds of information from the word around them.
The contrast between this flat and other “flats” is eye-opening. I can only imagine how uncomfortable classically-designed flats are for everyday wear. By comparison, the Soft Star Shoes Ballerine Flat is almost like a nicely designed slipper, allowing a wide range of foot freedom, thanks in huge part to its flexible Vibram sole and last design.
Fit and Materials
Like the Soft Star Shoes RunAmoc Dash, the Ballerine is constructed almost entirely of leather, which makes the shoe comfortable, airy, and attractive.
In terms of looks, the Ballerine is very impressive with lots of very nice color-contrasted stitching, a variety of available colors (I think the more colorful options really pop!), and all of this is placed atop a nice Vibram sole.
The shoe also comes in perforated leather versions, which would be great for summer use. The holes are not large enough to see your feet underneath, but are a good size to give plenty of ventilation.
The shoe stays on your feet with a gentle elasticized leather collar/cuff/cowl, which provides enough snugness to keep things put for walking around and even some jogging, but not so much that it is too tight or uncomfortable.
My testing assistant has wide-ish, flat-ish feet (it’s a family trait) and the toebox gives of room for toe splay without looking too wide.
There is also a slight curve to the shoe.
Overall, my mother told me that this was one of the most comfortable shoes she has ever worn. She is NOT a minimalist or barefoot enthusiast, which I believe is a testament to how great the Ballerine is and adds credibility to the benefits of lightweight, flexible, and zero drop footwear--fantastic for all kinds of wearers and comfortable for even non-barefoot converts.
Unlike the RunAmoc Dash that I reviewed last year, which featured a bullhide sole, the Ballerine uses a Vibram Cherry sole. This is the one issue in the construction of the shoe. The sole itself is not stitched into the last (foundation) of the shoe, but is rather glued to the bottom of the shoe. This does not seem to be an issue in terms of durability, but the soles do somewhat stand out when viewed from certain angles. This is purely an aesthetic issue, but I believe that there could have been a more seamless way to incorporate the sole into the last of the shoe.
We believe the heel section of the shoe is set a bit too high, which can cause some discomfort or rubbing for people with a very specific heel shape. While this was not an issue for us, my assistant noted that a heel at this height may not work for all women and gives the shoe a somewhat unbalanced appearance when viewed from the side.
Finally, take a watch on this video from Soft Star regarding sizing of the Ballerine as well as discussion about width:
The Ballerine Flat from Soft Star Shoes is a breath of fresh air in a sea of stiff, inflexible, and—frankly—not fun ladies shoes. Compared to standard flats, the Ballerine’s flexible sole is in a class of its own, and its leather upper is very supple, comfortable, and well-stitched.
Overall, this flat it was made with plenty of love from Soft Star Shoes with the freedom of the foot in mind. If you are looking for a flexible and well-made flat for everyday wear, the Ballerine is an excellent choice. You can find it at SoftStarShoes.com.