Every once in awhile, a product comes along that really upsets the old applecart. Warby Parker and Harry’s changed how people buy eyeglasses and razors. Apple changed how we all listen to music. And, as best I can tell, Oceanside, California-based SoftScience has broken the mold as far as comfortable, highly functional, super lightweight footwear goes.
Foot-shaped and funky, to be sure, SoftScience shoes will most certainly cause pause amongst those too timid to try something new. For those daring enough to dip a toe into one, any one, really, they will be rewarded with unparalleled comfort. It is this comfort that will be central to the success of SoftScience.
If you were to learn that Scott Seamans and John Duerden, the gentlemen who founded SoftScience, both worked at Crocs for a while, would you be surprised? How about if you discovered that Mr. Seamens was a founder and Chief Design Engineer at Crocs? That wouldn’t be at all surprising, would it? The funny thing is that it was the Croc-ish-ness of the SoftScience shoes that got my attention in the first place. There’s something (comfort) about shoes made out of proprietary closed cell foam that is strangely appealing.
Instead of the Croslite material found in Crocs, Seamans developed the closed cell polymer known as Trileon for SoftScience. What makes Trileon ideal for shoes is the fact that this lightweight polymer provides significant underfoot cushioning without sacrificing stability. It is so lightweight that the Drift Canvas, one of the shoes to soon be reviewed in this column, weighs in at a scant 9.3-ounces per shoe in men’s size 12. That’s just a hair over a half pound, which is very light for a shoe as big and chunky as the Drift.
Built for comfort, the full lineup of SoftScience shoes are constructed around a Trileon base and their Levelast footbed design. This design incorporates a near zero drop in elevation between the heel and toe of the shoe to help naturally distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure points. The last, the mechanical form on which the shoes are constructed, allows for a generous fit to accommodate most foot shapes and allow room for the foot to spread out and relax.
Today, we get a little first impression action with the Drift and Cruise from SoftScience. The Drift Canvas is a cotton canvas slip-on that can be worn as a clog thanks to its collapsible heel. The Cruise features a woven mesh upper and a boat-shoe collar and laces and was most definitely built with the floating public in mind.
The Drift Canvas comes in eight colors, all with a putty-colored outsole, and sells for between $59 and $69. The Cruise comes in five colors, with the Khaki featuring a Khaki sole and the Light Grey featuring a Light Grey sole, and it’ll set you back $79.99. First impression: Yay. And WOW. Roomy (a little funny looking) and comfortable.
For more information about SoftScience shoes, click here.