Animal products do not always have to be part of your shoes. For some folks, having vegan shoes is important to them. But what’s a “vegan” shoe? It’s a shoe made with all man-made materials; no animal products of any kind are used in the manufacturing of the shoe at all. The comfort properties of leather shoes (softness, breathability) are indisputable, but is it possible to have these properties in a vegan shoe? Absolutely!
Do vegan shoes look like they’re made for hippies? Absolutely not! In fact, Footwear etc. carries over 100 styles of vegan shoes in assorted brands, both for athletic wear and casual wear. Your choices aren’t limited in this genre of shoes at all! They’re available for both men and women, depending on the model. Here are a few examples of stylish and comfortable vegan shoes:
Dansko, known for its superior comfort and support, makes several models of vegan shoes. In its flagship Professional line, there are five different patterns you can choose from while obtaining that fabulous feeling of support. I love my Professionals; they are my shoe of choice if I know I need to be standing a lot during the day, or if my feet hurt in general. Somehow they always make my feet feel better. And the vegan models have happy-looking fabrics; I particularly like Vegan Blue Tapestry. I could wear that one with about 85% of my wardrobe! Other cute choices outside the Professional line are the Volley Vegan and the Veda Vegan – both of which have canvas uppers and are perfect for casual wear.
Interested in Barefoot Technology? These shoes emulate the feeling of walking without shoes, yet protect your feet from rough, hot asphalt, etc. Both the Vibram Fivefingers and the Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove models are made with all man-made materials and are washable, durable, and breathable for your comfort. These are fabulous shoes for running “barefoot.”
Birkis makes some terrific clogs that are perfect for wet, sloppy conditions. What I love best about them, however, is that they contain a cork and latex insole that molds to the shape of your foot. This is a great shock-absorbing shoe that you could wear all day long. And if the cork insole were to wear out after prolonged use, you can always pop it out and replace it, thus saving the price of an entirely new shoe. They’re economical AND eco-friendly!
Looking for a cute flip flop you can feel good about? Try the Olukai Amo. The water-resistant, synthetic leather straps are lined with jersey knit that dries quickly. The EVA footbed and midsole are anatomically-designed for superior comfort. The gum rubber outsole provides great traction as well. This is a great vegan shoe for anytime you want to wear a flip flop.
Don’t want to wear animal products? No problem – try out some of the many vegan shoes offered by Footwear etc. You can feel great about your choices without sacrificing style and comfort.