Duchess & Fox Review – The Softest Handmade Shoes with Flair

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a collage of 4 duchess and fox barefoot shoes for babies, kids, and women

Duchess and Fox is a small business in California making quite the impression on the barefoot shoe community. All shoes are handmade from the softest leather in classically stylish designs. This is the brand for fashion conscious kiddos and adults who want colors, sparkle, and print!

We put several of their shoes to the test and are thrilled to share them with you. Read on for our review of Duchess & Fox baby, child, and women’s shoes!

Meet Duchess and Fox

The name Duchess & Fox is whimsical, and reminiscent of a fairy tale – just like their shoes! The owner, Michelle, drafts all the patterns herself and offers seasonal leather choices along with limited edition releases and a standard line of options. Like so many small business owners, Michelle has poured her heart into her products and her commitment to D&F shows.

All shoes from Duchess & Fox are zero drop, flexible, and with an anatomical shape, so you can buy any model with confidence.


Here’s what you need to know about ordering from D&F!

  • Get free shipping within the USA on orders over $30. Shipping for international orders is calculated at checkout.
  • Most items are made to order and current turnaround time is stated on the website (20-25 days is typical).
  • Returns are not accepted, but eligible items can be exchanged within 10 days of delivery. Sale items, or items purchased with a discount of 15% or more are not eligible. Customer is responsible for return shipping costs.

Children’s Moccasins

Close up of a baby wearing Duchess and Fox super soft infant moccasins

Leather | $49+ | Sizes Infant 1 – Youth 3/4

Buttery soft leather and hidden elastic at the ankle make these a good baby’s first shoe. The littlest sizes come with a soft sole like this pair, and the bigger sizes come with a thin rubber sole sewn on (or rubber can be left off upon request). They’re simple and precious, and I loved them on my little guy this spring.

We chose plain moccasins, but you can also get them with fringe, cut-out details, and appliques.

Children’s Mary Janes

Close up of a pair of Duchess and Fox little kid mary janes in a multicolored sparkly leather

Leather | $55 | Sizes Infant 1 – Youth 3/4

Where else can you find healthy footwear in colors and patterns that glitter-loving kids want to wear? There are few choices, trust me. Duchess & Fox has so many pretty shades year round with periodic limited releases. Some are neutral, and some are bright like neon or the rainbow glitter mary janes on my 5 year old above.

They’re comfortable and flexible right away – no break in time required. The strap has a single metal snap over the instep that takes some effort to close so I usually need to help her.

Sizing & Fit:

  • True to size
  • Average to wide width
  • Medium volume. Shoe inserts are available as an add-on for low volume or narrow feet. They can also help fill space if your kiddo is between sizes.

Adult Mary Janes

Leather | $109 | Sizes US 5-12

If you’ve ever been envious of the very minimal qualities of your toddler’s leather moccs, you’re going to love these as much as I do! They are so soft and flexible that they hardly feel like shoes – exactly what barefoot shoes should be. The outsole is 2mm thick rubber, and the non removable insole is 3mm lightweight foam topped with suede that easily compresses under foot. Great ground feel, great flexibility, AND great style.

I have extra wide, high volume feet, and I sized up one from my usual mary jane size. They fit me wonderfully with the strap on the larger setting. Anya has wide, low volume feet and she also sized up one and is wearing hers on the smaller strap setting.

The toe box height is shallow and I can feel it over my toes, but you can increase the height by stuffing socks in the toe box overnight. They also break in well with wear. At first, the tips of the shoes have a little toe spring but it is not rigid and flattens out easily.

The adult mary janes are available in leopard, and 5 solid colors. They can usually also be made in the limited edition/seasonal colors, but not always depending on the leather qualities so you need to contact D&F first.

Sizing & Fit:

  • Runs a little smaller than standard sizes, but true to the size chart
  • Good for wide feet, straight or fan shaped
  • Medium to high volume – the strap has 2 functional snap settings
2 photo collage showing the same woman in one casual and one dressy outfit, both paired with Duchess and Fox Women's Mary Janes with ultra flexible sole and wide toe box

Adult T-Straps

Leather | $109 | Sizes US 5-11

The T-Straps are, as expected, just as lovely and soft as the Mary Janes. They come in a beautiful range of colors (cranberry is pictured above) that will change with the seasons. If you’re looking for a flat you can dress up or down and has a little vintage flair – this could be the one for you! I find them to fit identical to the Mary Janes, but since more of the foot is covered, they feel slightly more secure.

Sizing & Fit:

  • Runs a little smaller than standard sizes, but true to the size chart
  • Good for wide feet, straight or fan shaped
  • Medium to high volume – the strap has 2 functional snap settings


Michelle has created something truly special with Duchess and Fox. It’s always exciting to see what she plans for each season. We love every pair we’ve tried so far and are looking forward to many years of wear from our shoes!

A GIF of a woman in a trench coat wearing Duchess and Fox barefoot leopard print leather mary janes. She smiles and winks at the camera

Samantha is a writer/researcher for Anya’s Reviews and stay-at-home mom to 5 littles. In addition to shopping online for footwear for her family, she spends her time homeschooling, reading, weaving, and doing home improvement projects with her husband.

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17 thoughts on “Duchess & Fox Review – The Softest Handmade Shoes with Flair”

        1. They are about 7mm thick and feel a little “squishy” with the foam insole. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for a beginner.

  1. Hi! How do the adult Mary Janes compare to Softstar Primal Merry Janes? And what is your foot length/what size fits you in the Duchess and Fox? Thanks!

  2. I tried the adult T-straps. They felt like butter and were so cute, but they were also way too wide for my foot–like more than an inch of space between my mid-foot and the shoe. In the photos here, the Mary Janes look a little narrower. Did you find that to be the case? Are they just as flexible and supple?

    1. The mary janes are indeed just as soft and flexible, and I did find them be just a little bit slimmer on the sides than the t-strap. Both are quite wide through the middle, but on my feet the mary janes look better – the t-straps are also super wide on my feet.

  3. Hi Anya,
    I’m about to buy a pair of mary jane, my feet measure 25,5 and I have to wear orthotics. They’re alprox. 1 cm thick in the heel and gradually thin towards the toes. Do you think a size 10 would fit? I know that wearing orthotics nullify the barefoot experience but I’m planning to wear the mary jane both with and without orthotics 🙂
    I wrote to d&f to ask for more info but they didn’t answer – I guess Michelle is quite busy 🙂

    1. Hi Maddi! I think a size 10 sounds right. With the adjustable top strap, you should be able to wear them with or without your insoles.

    1. Hi! We haven’t had the pleasure of trying the oxfords, no. They have the same shape and the same soft leather tho, so I don’t doubt they’re just as great as the mary janes and t-straps.

  4. I’m so sad that they are closing! My daughter and I have loved the Mary Janes. I am ordering a pair of t-straps for both of us before they are all gone!

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Picture of Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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