Wanted: vegan shoes that don't suck

I'm one of those hippie boycotting types in addition being a vegetarian: I don't wear or buy leather or anything made in a third-world country (unless it's a union shop or otherwise verifiably people-friendly). This makes a lot of purchases difficult, but none more so than belts and shoes. I've had some lucky finds with belts, and don't go through them very quickly. But in terms of shoes, I keep running into bad luck.

I was a very sad person when I found out Converse was purchased by Nike, and had their operations moved to China. In addition to being a vegan shoe, they're ever-stylish, comfortable, and worked well for me. With them out of the picture, however, I've since bought two pairs of skate-style shoes, each advertised as vegan. The first, purchased in June 2008 from No Sweat, were a Converse knockoff, in every way except the quality. They ripped the first week I had them, and became unglued shortly thereafter. My Cons typically lasted me 3-5 years. These wore out in 4 months.

Next, I went with a pair from Macbeth, another vegan retailer. These shoes seemed stronger at first - they didn't rip like the No Sweat pair did, but 6 months in (I got them in January), they're falling apart a little more every day, first the plastic/rubber interior (it's cracking like old, dry plastic tends to do), and now all the glued bits. They're stylish shoes - it's too bad they're poorly constructed.

Now, I need new shoes. They need to be vegan, they need to ethically produced, and I'd really prefer if they were at least somewhat stylish (or at least generic). I could use a pair of athletic shoes, too, but I'm not holding my breath.

Whatcha got for me?


I don't have anything for you, but I do for your woman! Natalie Portman launched a vegan shoe line a couple years back. Here's one blog post about it: http://justjared.buzznet.com/2007/12/24/natalie-portman-vegan-shoes/ Don't know if she has men's shoes though!

I asked Mike and these are the kind he wears:


Check out Vegan Chic http://www.veganchic.com. They have lots of 100% vegan shoes for men. You can even search by material to find shoes made with sustainable materials.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm finding a lot of vegan shoes out there, I just wish I knew if they were also good, strong, durable shoes. Luckily for me, I dug in my closet this weekend and found a pair of Made-in-the-USA Converse All-Stars from about 10 years ago, almost new.

I also found out that New Balance makes almost all their shoes in the US, and quite a few don't have leather or suede. Definitely worth looking deeper into.

I have some vegan Ipaths right now. They are hemp and synthetics. They are falling apart after 4 days and I haven't even skated them yet. I am going to try to return them. Fingers crossed they take them back.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Doss published on June 18, 2009 5:52 PM.

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