If you’ve been following along here for the past month or two, this isn’t so much an announcement as it is an update – but Soft Star's RunAmoc is officially available as of today from the company website.
Links are below – but first, a few follow-up observations …
* The name is RunAmoc! Just like I wanted! I love getting my way sometimes.
* More than any other minimalist shoe I’ve worn, these mocs have a very natural feel to them – I’ve occasionally described it to friends as “tribal” or “native”. There are two pieces of leather or suede held together with a single lace, sitting atop a thin, flat platform; you get the sense that American Indians or indigenous people of nearly every continent might have worn something very much like this at some point. (Sure, the Apaches or Navajos probably didn’t have access to Vibram outsoles – but it’s a simple design with universal utility.) If you didn’t know better, you’d have no idea how much trial, error, and revision was involved with making the finished product.
* Price point for these (as of this posting) is $87. It was the last element of the product launch to fall into place, and by far the one that caused the most discussion, research, and thoughtful consideration on the part of the company.
Basically, the factors involved were these: Soft Star’s not a big corporation looking for huge profit margins – they mainly want to make a nice, high quality product that is as affordable as possible while still sustaining the business and providing for their handful of employees. However, their hand-made products also carry some very unique pricing issues that larger companies don’t have to deal with, such as custom orders (materials, colors, outsoles, accents), specialty sizing (including working from tracings and individual foot measurements at times), and keeping 100% of their materials and construction in the USA.
All of that stuff adds value to the product – and in my opinion, to the whole company – but it comes at a price. The fact that they’ve taken all this into account and still offer a price point that’s similar to a pair of Vibrams is pretty impressive.
* Of course, any comparison to Vibrams has to include durability, and that’s the aspect of the RunAmoc I’m still investigating. I currently have almost 200 miles on my trail soles, and there’s some visible wear in the high-impact areas, but not enough to lose traction yet. Will they last 300 miles? 500? More? I’m not sure yet … but I’ll keep posting updates here as warranted.
* Since I’ve already covered much of the information that would be included with an “official” review, for the time being I’ll just refer you to a couple of prior posts for more information: This one explains the product development process, and this one introduces the RunAmoc with perforated leather and a street outsole.
So here are your links: the Soft Star RunAmoc is available in black perforated leather, red perforated leather, or brown suede. Currently the perforated models (officially called RunAmoc Lite) only come in those two colors, but the suede model can be customized in any color. All of those styles can be ordered with either a 2mm street outsole, or extra grippy 5mm trail sole. Check them out, and contact me (in the comments box below) or the company via e-mail if you have any questions. Then go run amuck!
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