Softstar Shoes Hawthorne Chukka review

Softstar Shoes kindly sent me a pair of shoes for an honest review, and had no input in said review.

I believe in wearing barefoot / minimalist footwear in all situations, especially when running. Here is why.


Who are Soft Star Shoes?

Softstar Shoes are a company that believe in making minimalist shoes that allow your feet to be happy and healthy. They make handcrafted shoes from their workshop in Oregon, USA. If you look on their website you will see they have a wide range of shoes, for a wide range of activities. I think their product range is unique and interesting. They also state they are a socially and environmentally responsible company, which I believe is important in these modern times.

What did they send me?

They sent me a pair of the Hawthorne Chukka Onyx.

This is what they say about them on their website:

“This latest addition to our casual footwear line turns you into a barefoot ninja, enabling you to slip in and out of client meetings, date nights, and fine dining establishments without wearing shoes…or at least feeling that way. The Hawthorne adeptly walks the line between rugged and polished, freeing you from ever having to wear stiff, heavy, uncomfortable “dress shoes” again! And since we know you’ll want to wear them forever, we’ve made them out of a rich and supple Dublin leather, featuring a unique waxed finish for added resilience–they can even be resoled! These beautiful Onyx-black boots are handmade, so please allow 3-6 business days for your order to be completed and shipped…don’t worry, they’re worth the wait 😉

Our 2017 Hawthorne Chukkas are now made with a suede innersole.

  • Made in USA: designed and handcrafted in Oregon using US-sourced materials
  • Sustainably designed: resolable by your local cobbler!
  • Breathable and lightweight: approximately 9oz per shoe
  • Flexible zero drop sole between toe and heel with excellent groundfeel
  • Features 8mm Geo sole with 4mm leather midsole. Total outersole: 12mm
  • Suede innersole.
  • Spacious toe box allows feet to stretch comfortably
  • Can be worn with or without socks
  • Premium, responsibly-sourced leathers

Getting cold feet? We also offer sheepskin innersoles specifically designed for the Hawthorne Chukka!

That is better than I could explain them !!!



They clearly explain on the website how to measure your feet and how that measurement results in the size you need. I was right on the cusp of a 9u and a 10u. I emailed them and asked for their advice, and after I answered a couple of usage questions they recommended the 10u.


These are the second pair of footwear I have received from Softstar Shoes and on both occasions they arrived promptly. This is especially impressive as all their shoes are handmade to order. Plus I would have faith that they would contact you if there were any expected delays.


I love these. If you follow my blog you know I am a big fan of barefoot/minimalist running. So I have been looking into bringing my running preferences into my day to day life.

One of the main areas I needed a shoe for, was work. Here in the UK there is not a great choice of work or formal shoes made for the barefoot lifestyle. I have to wear trousers and a shirt to work, so I needed a shoe that looked good in an office setting.

These are perfect for that. They can easily pass as a work shoe. In fact I purposely didn’t mention them when I first started wearing them. No one noticed they were a “special/different” shoe.

This is not to say they are a boring shoe, they are not. I think they look great. What I mean is that a lot of people tend to have a preconceived negative stereotype on what a barefoot shoe would look like. For example maybe a little “geeky”, “frumpy” or “hippy”.


Their recommendation of going to the larger size was spot on. They fit perfectly. I could probably wear them without the laces and walk around as normal. Yet they feel roomy and light. Which is awesome.

The sole is thicker than I would require in my running shoes, however for work they are great. They are also still very supple, malleable and extremely comfortable.


When I get a new pair of shoes I always give them a good looking over. To make sure the stitching is good, and the materials used look the required quality.

These shoes look immaculately made, and the leather is really soft to touch.

The laces used, also match the style of the shoe well.



I have worn these every work day for over a month now. They are comfortable and my feet love them. There are no signs of wear and tear. I fully expect these to last a very long time.

I have also worn them in more casual environments. Like going for walks, and to the pub. I wear a lot of different coloured Chino’s and these shoes are great with them all.


They are a great everyday shoe for almost all situations.

I have these and the Dash RunAmoc, and I am obsessed with both shoes. So it’s safe to say I am obsessed with Softstar Shoes in general.


I am an Ambassador for a Ketogenic Sports Drink called by Limited Labs – use coupon STEVEN for 10% off storewide. I also contribute to their weekly newsletter The Ketogenic Playbook. 
I am also an Ambassador for IAMRUNBOX, which produces products to help the run and cycle commute community. You can use my code J13LPU6E for 15% off storewide.   
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  1. I do not think either my man or I would run if a tiger chased us, but we want to try the cheesecake recipe. He’s been KTG 4 months and is nearly at his goal weight. He wears the Dash Run Amok in black and the aged walnut Rogues to work. He’s getting chukkas this fall.


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