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How to Winterise Your Children's Shoes (& wear Soft Star Shoes in Winter)

Toddler shoes at How we Montessori Soft Star shoes Otto 25 months

Soft Star shoes are well known for being excellent indoor shoes for Montessori and Waldorf communities but what about for outside and what about for winter? We've only ever used them in mild Australian winters, can we wear them here (in the UK), will they be warm enough? I've seen so many people use Soft Star shoes for Forest School I had to reach out and ask how is it possible, how do they make it work?

The Elves at Soft Star Shoes have given me a few tips that I hadn't thought of and want to share. The same could be used on a similar style of shoe. 

  • Try a sheepskin insole. A sheepskin insole can be a great way to add a bit of warmth to the shoe. Our sheepskin insoles came with double sided tape to keep them in place and they fit inside the shoes perfectly (they don't move). So cozy! They can also be removed if necessary. I love this as an option and will keep it in mind for all future winter orders. 
  • Use a leather-care/waterproofing product. Leather will never be as waterproof as a rubber rain boot, but can hold up decently well when treated with leather-care products, and allowed to fully dry between wears. Soft Star Shoes recommend the Nikwax Waterproofing leather-care, but I use a cream that I already put on my hiking boots and it works so well. It's also a good idea to treat the shoes with the leather-care regularly to keep them in good shape all year round.
  • Clean and dry shoes after use. Clean mud off with a damp cloth. A toothbrush can be a good tool for getting mud or debris out the shoe or near the edges/at the toe where it is hard to get to. If the leather is wet, drying the shoes out in a warm, dry place out of direct heat will help with keeping the leather in good condition.
  • Try wool socks or tights. Ok, this is my suggestion because Otto likes to wear his Ramblers without any socks but I think it's getting cold enough for some good wool socks, they will help to keep his ankles and legs warm too.

Toddler shoes at How we Montessori Soft Star shoes Otto 25 months

Soft Star shoes are ideal for outside play as they are so, so flexible. While rain boots are 100% water proof Otto finds them uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time and finds it difficult to climb rocks, steep hills, or trees while wearing them. We will continue to wear rain boots for wet play, puddle jumping and muddy play but it's good to have an option for long nature and forest walks or for everyday wear in the wet, damp, dark winter.

How to winterise children's shoes at How we Montessori

Yes, good for a nature walk.

How to winterise children's shoes at How we Montessori

Ok for small puddles or for when we get caught in a light shower!!

Otto at 25 months at How we Montessori  Autumn 2019

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