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The Bobux Soft Sole is the original all-leather, ultra-soft shoe that gently protects and comforts babies' growing feet. Archie's practising his crawling. Watch our Soft Sole friends help him in the video below!
The perfect little shoe for bum shuffling, tummy rolling, crawling and sitting.
Shop the Bobux Soft Sole Range Below, or View the full collection Here
In 1991, Chris and Colleen Bennett were on the hunt for shoes for their baby daughter Chloe. They were at a loss. At the time, there simply weren’t any shoes available that were good for foot development and stayed on.
So Chris took to his garage armed with leather and suede, and created the World’s first pair of Soft Soles, thereby creating a whole new footwear category!
Since then, Bobux has expanded their offering, now creating a range of shoes that nurture kids’ feet from the moment they’re born until they’re around 8 years old.
But the Soft Sole is where the Bobux story began.
Click and drag the bunny to learn about our Soft Sole history
First Soft Sole made by Chris Bennet for daughter Chloe
Chris sells his newly invented Soft Sole at the Victoria Park Markets in Auckland
Bobux enter the UK
Bobux Soft Sole pattern updated with a hidden-seam design
Bobux now exports to over 35 contries around the world
Bobux sold in first retailer: Ragamuffins Childrenswear
The Soft Sole goes international as Bobux enters Australia
Bobux manufacturing moves from New Zealand to Indonesia
The genius of a Soft Sole is in its simplicity. It’s made from a suede sole, an unlined leather upper and an elasticated ankle. That’s the simple part. The genius part is that this simple formula protects delicate feet while giving them the freedom to develop naturally.
Pieces of premium leather and suede, developed to be perfectly soft and flexible, are cut and assembled by hand, then carefully machine-stitched. The shoes are then fitted onto lasts and the inner seam is flattened using a small hammer to achieve a soft, smooth and comfortable fit.
Still fitted on the lasts, the shoes are put through an oven for moulding.Once moulded into an anatomically correct shape, the Soft Sole shoes are hand-polished, inspected and shipped to our warehouses and retailers, ready to be worn by the little feet they were made for.
When they’re all grown up they will have 19 muscles and 26 bones in each foot.But as newborns, children have no bones in their feet at all - just soft cartilage. In fact, it’s not until they’re in their late teens that the bones in their feet fully develop, and until then, their feet are so malleable that they can actually mould to the shape of their shoes.Babies’ feet, in particular, are so pliable that even tight-fitting socks can stifle their development, let alone restrictive or ill-fitting shoes.
Babies need to be free to move, flex and kick their feet in order to refine and strengthen their bones and muscles so that one day, they can support them as they learn to walk.The Bobux Soft Sole is made from artisanal leather that moves like a second skin, gently protecting their delicate feet from indoor surfaces while giving their feet the freedom to develop naturally.
At three months old, babies are beginning to understand the world around them. They’re learning to recognise different colours, shapes and textures and, eventually, they’ll even recognise different animals. What they’re experiencing is cognitive development, and you can nurture this development through things like picture books, toys - and even their Bobux Soft Sole shoes!Our designers have a deep consideration for the sensory attributes of the adorable characters, shapes and patterns that appear on our Bobux Soft Sole shoes. From the position of their features to the stitching and layering, to their texture, colour and geometry - every aspect of each Bobux Soft Sole is deliberate. So every time baby looks at the smiley characters adorning their little shoes, they’re engaging their mind and imagination, and learning with every kick of their feet.
The Bobux Soft Sole has always been made using traditional techniques, and as long as there are babies in need of snug, healthy shoes, they’ll continue to be made that way. Our designers create the patterns here in New Zealand, and then personally develop leathers with tannery experts in Indonesia. After tanning, the leather is hand-worked by skilled shoemakers to create the iconic Bobux Soft Sole.
Each Bobux Soft Sole is crafted from a 100% premium leather upper and an ultra-soft suede sole.
As well as being incredibly soft and comfortable on little feet, the porous nature of leather means it can effectively wick away moisture to keep growing feet healthy and comfortable. Renowned for its flexibility, leather is able to be twisted, scrunched up and flexed, giving baby’s feet the freedom to move naturally.
When leather is split, you’re left with two layers: top grain leather and split leather, also known as suede. Suede, the bottom layer from the split, is naturally porous and super soft. Its fibrous nature gives Soft Sole shoes their non-slip grip and lets little feet breathe. Unlike leather, suede doesn’t scuff. In fact, suede was traditionally used as a toe-cap on leather shoes for this very reason. So as much as babies kick and crawl in their Soft Sole shoes, the suede sole’s fuzzy surface will remain unmarked.
For 20 years the Bobux Soft Sole was manufactured in our homeland, New Zealand. As demand grew soon local production was unable to keep up. So our founders, Chris and Colleen Bennett, headed off around the world in search of a manufacturing partner who would share the same values of craftsmanship and family that to this day, are so pivotal to who we are as a company.Artisanal, traditional shoe-making is entrenched in Indonesian history, and the country is renowned for producing some of the best leathers in the world. It was here that the in 2011, the Bennetts found a factory run by a local family. They were the perfect fit.
We’re proud to have a manufacturing process that is Child Labor Free certified. The first of its kind, Child Labor Free is an international accreditation system launched by fellow New Zealanders. In gaining this accreditation, Bobux manufacturing has been recognised as honest, transparent and ethical.
The Bobux Soft Sole is sold all over the globe, including in the European Union where you’ll find some of the strictest laws on chemical substances in the world. Known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), the regulation exists to protect human health and the environment from the harm of chemicals.To meet REACH standards, all Bobux shoes are tested for 180+ different chemical compounds before they can go into production. This independent testing ensures our products reach childsafe standards and ensures the safety of the babies and children wearing them.
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