CPT data are often used directly for geotechnical analyses, such as for pile capacity. Advances in automated mesh generating strategies now allow for direct use of CPT data within finite element analyses. This paper presents the results of finite element analyses of shallow foundations with widths varying between 0.5 m and 30 m resting on an offshore soft clay having strength linearly increasing with depth below a crust. Results based on a soil profile using CPT data directly input into the finite element soil model at depth increments of 25 mm are compared with results based on a soil profile with strength linearly increasing with depth below a crust with constant strength. The effects of mesh density and use of remeshing strategies on model run time and results are discussed. Results indicate that numerical analyses based on direct incorporation of a CPT profile may allow for identification of failure surfaces that result in lower optimized capacities than those that try to fit strength using simpler soil profiles.