Softstar Shoes: PRIMAL RunAmoc – Review

My review of the Softstar ShoesPrimal RunAmoc.

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softstar shoes, primal, runamoc, minimalist running shoes, barefoot running shoes, running, marathon training

Why do I believe in the Barefoot Lifestyle? (Taken from my post – “Barefoot Running”)

When I say Barefoot Running I don’t literally mean going out with nothing on my feet.

The standard terms/definitions are below.

Unshod – not wearing any shoes or sandals, dirty foot time.

Barefoot – wearing shoes or sandals, which allow your feet to act naturally. Yet there is some protection against the terrain.

I am a big audiobook consumer, and one of the audiobooks I gobbled up was Christopher McDougall’s – “Born to Run”. Not only does the book tell a cool story about American ultra-runners taking on the best of the Mexican tribes. It goes into scientific details, on why barefoot running may be superior to wearing normal trainers. This was important to me. As running is a part of a long term health goal, I do not want it to be detrimental to my health.

I have read numerous articles outlining how our bodies evolved to be amazing endurance creatures. For example our ability to sweat through our skin, or the length of our Achilles. There are numerous aspects of our bodies that suggest we are built to be able to walk and run long distances. If you accept this hypothesis, then you also have to accept that our feet would have been an important aspect of the evolution. So basically our feet are the best running shoes we can have?

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 are the Dash RunAmoc?

I am reviewing the Adult PRIMAL RunAmoc – Oxblood / Chocolate. I was looking for a minimalist running shoe that I could do my winter training in. I have two different types of SoftStar Shoes already, so I knew they would be a good option. Luckily just as I was considering a new shoe, they were releasing the Primal.

As described on their website:

“With our groundbreaking Primal shoe, we’re busting boundaries and embracing the natural physiology of the human foot like never before. This minimal footwear design is the perfect marriage of modern innovation with a pre-shoe-era mindset when our feet could wildly roam the Earth, unencumbered.

As shoemakers, we understand that one shoe does not fit all. Over the years, some of our customers have been asking for even more toe room, and this design is an answer to that enthusiastic feedback. This shoe will be the ideal solution for anyone seeking to maintain or restore natural foot function.

This Primal in smooth oxblood and chocolate leather is a versatile crossover that will seamlessly transition from athletic shoe and an everyday casual shoe. Whether you’re hunting for new adventures on a trail or gathering the kids from practice, this shoe will give you the flexible, strong foundation you need. And barefoot runners, tell your toes to get ready to flex, spread and party like it’s the Paleolithic era!

  • Innovative sole shape with extra roomy toe box.
  • Flexible, breathable materials for the ultimate in free foot movement.
  • Made with premium, responsibly sourced leathers.
  • Comes with a durable VibramTM 5mm Trail Sole.
  • Zero-drop sole between toe and heel.
  • Toe cap for extra toe durability made from upcycled bicycle inner tubes (click “Upcycled Toe Cap” tab above for more info).
  • Padded breathable tongue for snug, secure fit.
  • Expanded lacing system with extra eyestays for a customized fit.
  • Can be worn with or without socks.
  • Made in USA: designed and handcrafted in Oregon.”


I like the look of the entire Softstar Shoes collection, and the Primal is no different. I think they all look unique. They look like they are individual, and hand crafted but not in a geeky or pretentious way. I like my running shoes to look a bit different as I do like to stand out of the crowd a bit, but I don’t want to wear something that looks stupid.

Used HRP_9072

Quality and Durability

As I have said I have two pairs of Softstar Shoes already so I knew the Primal’s were going to be excellent. They are really well put together, and the leather is of a really high standard. The leather is amazingly soft but you can tell it will last. I have had the Primal’s for 2 months, and put them through over 100 miles of running in different weathers and surfaces and there are no signs of wear yet.

Fit and Comfort

My foot size fits right on the line of a size 9 and 10. So I always ask them for advice on the sizing. As I was only going to use this shoe for running, and I prefer a sightly tighter fit for my shoes when running they recommended the 9. This was the correct choice as they fit perfectly. The hard front section of the front of the shoe is a nice addition compared to the normal RunAmoc’s for winter running, as it provides a bit of extra protection. This is important as I run on a variety of surfaces. I have done short 3 mile runs in them at quicker paces, and long 20 mile slow runs in them, and I have had no issues comfort wise. The soles are robust enough so you feel safe, but minimalist enough that you can still feel the earth beneath you.

Used HRP_9067


If you like handmade quality minimalist shoes for all occasions, then you could do a lot worse than Softstar Shoes. The Primal’s are a great addition to their range. They are everything I want from a winter running shoe. I highly recommend these shoes.


Softstar Shoes kindly provided me with the shoes to review.

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  1. […] Primal’s – which I use for running. […]


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