A peek into my seasonal shoe cupboard

I wish I could tell you that these are all my winter shoes. There’re more.  And I know there are seasoned vegans who wish I could tell you that all my shoes are faux leather. They’re not.  

Here’s a sampling of my shoes collection, leather and non-leather and the where and why I’ve chosen to keep, buy or have my eye on them!

On a recent trip to New York, I first saw these Kalso Earth Shoe Elite Too at Moo Shoes, a fully vegan shoe store. I got my size and preferred plum colour from http://www.planetshoes.com and they’re available online. (Only US credit cards accepted though)
Long before being aware of the price animals are paying, I was delighted to find these Candice Cooper Converse-styled boots in leather, and such a divine shade too. I’ll wear them until they need to go (I keep my shoes looking good and don’t wear scuffed, misshapen or old-looking footwear).
I love Wellies, and these Dove blue Tassel boots by Vivienne Westwood for Melissa are especially nice because of their slim and elegant fit. They’re still available online at http://www.asos.com.

While the Middle Eastern climate affords me the distinct advantage of being able to wear barely there synthetic sandals, ten months of the year, it’s the laced-up, strung-up and zipped-up winter shoe collection that have us all sweating over how to find breathable, superior quality footwear without investing in leather.

Personally I don’t see sense or justification of instantly rebuilding my shoe collection by throwing out my past leather purchases. Instead I’ve donated or sold the leather pairs that weren’t truly comfortable or not regularly worn, while I now buy only 100% man-made pairs.

Do you still think of Aerosoles as your grandmother’s brand of shoe? It’s time to visit one of their stores, as I recently did in Atlanta, US. They’ve brought in a new Italian buyer who’s selecting some fashionable choices, inspired by European footwear. Not all, but certainly some are 100% made-made, offering the quality and inner sole support that feels great underfoot! Now on sale at http://www.aerosoles.com

I still want to be a discerning shoe buyer though, and there in lies some difficulty. Leather is generally comfortable, porous and forgiving, while non-leather can be quite the opposite. Mind you, I haven’t stepped into the faux leather shoes of Stella McCartney, but how many of us can afford that anyhow?

Who would know these Unisa are about 8 years in the wearing? They’re patent leather though and, yes, patent is still real leather! Love the rubber soles for non-slip comfort, especially in a heel.

So high-end, animal-friendly designers aside, the vast majority of high-street retailers selling non-leather footwear are doing so with the intent of producing products made of inexpensive materials for competitive pricing and improved profit margins. Thereby quantity often overrides quality. This leaves the vegan shopper spoilt for seasonal choice, but scrambling for a quality-based purchase.

These are my 2nd pair purchased online. I really prefer to try, feel and walk in shoes before spending on them. I could have gone a half-size bigger, and mock patent won’t give a little nor mould to ones foot. Available at http://www.marksandspencer.com

Safe to say that finding worthy alternatives is going to take tenacity, time and trial. 

What fun!  Just the way fashion is supposed to be. These Wellies, especially the front ones with the tall cats detailed around the whole boot, are super! Recently seen, but not bought, in Migato, Qatar.
Buffalo London – that’s the problem, they’re not just called an animal’s name, they’re made from an animal who involuntarily gave up its life for fashion. Still a real classic fit and colour though.
Antarctica – a fitting name for a warm winter boot, and completely leather and fur free! I bought these from Salamander when in Vienna, braving the cold and ice! They’re waterproof, tried and tested!

7 thoughts on “A peek into my seasonal shoe cupboard

  1. I love this post. I love the red shoes from marks and spensers. So true that vegans are spoiled for seasonality but starved for quality- or however you put it. I haven’t worn a really comfortable shoe in a long time. Hopefully this will change– I think our time is coming!

  2. Nice post. I have been vegan a long time, but I did hold on to a few pairs of leather shoes for a few years when I first started eating vegan. I ended up donating many pairs of shoes because I could feel good knowing they would not go to waste.
    A couple of the brands I really like for style and comfort are Jambu and J-41; both have vegan styles but are not exclusively vegan companies. I honestly spend a bit more on shoes than I would have to as a non-vegan, but I also try to look for environmentally-friendly and people-friendly companies, too. I buy less pairs overall now, but I shell out the extra cash for the quality!

    1. Thanks veganindoha. Congrats on your engagement!
      From your favourite brands I see you enjoy your ‘adventure’ footwear. And yes, sometimes worth paying that little extra for peace of mind, not only comfort! Happy blogging!

  3. Beautiful shoes! I never considered leather shoes as bad, rather I thought of them as higher quality and more ‘natural’. In Australia you pay a lot for leather and the other man-made shoes don’t fit well and are too hot in our weather. But now I am starting to consider that I don’t want to wear dead animals on my feet.
    We don’t have any ‘vegan shoes’ here that I know of. Are they different to regular man made shoes? Are comfortable and let feet breath?

    1. HI ‘Live Blissful’, Thanks so much for taking the time and interest to visit my blog. Lovely to have you here!
      I know just what you mean, I prided myself once on buying only leather shoes. Now being enlightened there’s just no way I can put vanity before compassion. I would say that intentionally vegan shoe stores stock footwear that is perhaps more thought out, in terms of comfort and more porous materials, sometimes, not as high in fashion, but that’s changing fast! And guess what, there’s a vegan shoe store in Australia, called Shoe Wares. It’s in Melbourne, but I’m sure if you need it posted elsewhere they can. Visit them http://www.veganwares.com

      1. Thanks for the link, I am going down to Melbourne after Christmas so I will check them out! I wasn’t sure about the styles I saw online, but hopefully they will have more instore. Otherwise cheap Asian shoes for me :S

        1. Don’t worry the more you look the more you’ll find better quality non-leather shoes! Have fun making fashion fun for all!

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