Barefoot Shoes

Softstar Shoes Oxford


Softstar Shoes has long been synonymous with artisanal craftsmanship and a dedication to using exquisite, soft leather in their creations. Their handcrafted footwear bears the mark of meticulous attention to detail, resulting in shoes that exude a distinct charm and character. As an avid admirer of Softstar Shoes, I’ve always appreciated their commitment to quality and style. Now, with their latest offering, the Oxford model, Softstar Shoes ventures into what I consider their most “grown up” shoe yet. This shoe maintains the brand’s signature aesthetic while introducing a minimalist interpretation of the classic wingtip dress shoe, showcasing a blend of tradition and innovation. Let’s delve into the features and nuances of the Softstar Shoes’ Oxford model.

From Softstar Shoes

Your days of sacrificing comfort for style are over. Introducing your new favorite dress shoe, Softstar’s foot-friendly version of a classic Oxford. Our elegant Taylor Oxford wingtip dress shoes are made with supple, eco-friendly leather, boasting high levels of breathability, flexibility, and barefoot comfort. Couple them with jeans, khakis, or a suit for any occasion where you want to look sharp and feel great.


Softstar Shoes’ Oxford model is a minimalist homage to wingtip dress shoes, featuring a zero-drop Vibram Calliflex Sole.

The Calliflex material sits in the density spectrum somewhere between Vibram Cherry and Gumlite, offering a firm yet less foam-like texture compared to other Vibram soles. With a Calliflex portion measuring just 1mm thick and the remaining 6mm comprised of a slightly denser midsole material than Vibram Morflex, the sole strikes a balance of support and flexibility.

Designed for casual wear rather than aggressive trail running, the sole boasts a smooth surface without the pronounced lugs typical of distance running shoes. Its tread pattern, featuring small squares and rectangles at the toe and heel, with web-like grooves bisecting the lugs, suggests suitability for road running. This resolable sole presents an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution, prolonging the shoe’s lifespan and reducing environmental impact.

Resoling extends the shoe’s longevity, making it a reliable companion for various adventures. Beyond durability, resolable shoes offer comfort as they mold to your feet over time, preserving their appearance and performance. Supporting local cobblers not only sustains traditional craftsmanship but also contributes to the local economy.

Despite its thin 7mm stack height, the Oxford maintains the brogued leather wingtip style while prioritizing barefoot sensibilities, staying true to Softstar Shoes’ commitment to minimalism.

Aesthetics and Materials

What incredibly soft leather! I’m amazed at how they managed to brogue such a soft upper.

The cushioned heel counter from the RumAmoc series makes a return in this more elegant shoe. The heel features a cushioned strip of leather on both the inside and outside, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit.

The excellent cushioned heel counter from other Softstar models returns for the Oxford

Broguing is a style of ornamental perforations and decorative stitching typically found on the toe caps and sometimes along the edges of shoes. This technique originated in Ireland and Scotland, where the perforations allowed water to drain off when walking through wet terrain. Today, broguing is purely decorative, adding a stylish, distinctive touch to footwear.

The broguing on these shoes is found on secondary leather layers, primarily where the leather forms an “M” or “W” shape. While these perforations no longer serve a functional purpose, the detailing is impeccable. Each cut is precisely where it should be, perfectly aligned, and meticulously crafted, highlighting the high-quality workmanship.

My only nitpick is the wingtip design itself. Wingtip shoes are often narrow for aesthetic reasons. The distinctive “W” or “M” shaped toe cap, with its intricate broguing, looks more elegant and proportionate on a narrower shoe. Even though this shoe has a slightly wider toebox than a traditional brogue wingtip, it remains a wingtip, which means it runs slightly smaller than standard Softstar sizing. This is because, despite being a minimalist shoe, it strives to maintain the wingtip aesthetic, resulting in a narrower front and reduced interior volume. I recommend sizing up a full size for a better fit.

Future Improvements

I am very impressed with the technical qualities and execution of this shoe. It is really a professional, grown up shoe from a company who typically calls their craftsmen “elves”. In a future iteration, I would like to see something with slightly more toe splay and volume to completely embrace minimalism.


In conclusion, Softstar Shoes’ Oxford model encapsulates a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, presenting a minimalist interpretation of classic wingtip dress shoes. The zero-drop Vibram Calliflex Sole, with its unique density and resolable design, offers both durability and eco-friendliness, catering to casual wear and urban adventures.

The meticulous craftsmanship of the broguing, coupled with the softness of the leather upper and the comfort of the cushioned heel counter, accentuates the shoe’s elegance and functionality. However, a slight adjustment in toe splay and volume could further enhance its minimalist appeal in future iterations.

Overall, the Oxford stands as a testament to Softstar Shoes’ commitment to quality, style, and sustainability, reaffirming its position as a leader in the realm of minimalist footwear.

By Jarvis

Minimalist ultra-marathon runner with flat dinosaur feet.

50K Ultra-Marathon Runner

Associate Dean

I hold a PhD in Political Science.
You can follow my photography adventures at and Instagram at

One reply on “Softstar Shoes Oxford”

A few things –

I wish the stack height was 7mm but it’s actually at least 12mm. The listing on their website is misleading because they don’t mention the ~5mm midsole on top of the 7mm outsole. The overall result is heavier and stiffer than I would like. Good enough for sitting at a desk, but I was hoping these would work for dancing too.

They do offer a wide width, but they look pretty goofy because the brogue pattern on the toe gets sort of stretched out. I wish they had an in between width.

Overall though, still some of the best barefoot dress shoes.

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