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Shoes

We’ve come a long way, baby! In July of last year, I wrote a blog about my experience converting to all vegan footware (“Clickin’ My Heels, July 29th, 2008). Ridding my closet of all leather products, I was just beginning to discover the options; and I was delighted to find that I didn’t have to sacrifice style or quality for choosing to go cruelty-free.

In my closet, you’ll find:

Flats and Wedges:
Novacas
Vegetarian Shoes
Madden Girl, by Steve Madden

Boots:
Te Casan by Natalie Portman
All my boots — high heels, low heels, ankle-high, knee-high– are from Natalie Portman’s collection. Alas, Te Casan in SoHo closed its doors, and so the limited collection has become even more limited. However, I’ve spotted a few styles still available at Endless.com.  And — lucky you! –it looks like they’re all discounted by as much as 50%!

Heels/Pumps:
I don’t wear heels very often, but we all need a couple pairs of dressy shoes. In addition to my Natalie Portman heels, I’ve discovered Olsen Haus, which has some great designs for when you’re looking to make more of a statement with your feet. Stella McCartney has some great vegan shoes, too, if you don’t mind the price tag.

Sneakers:
Macbeth (as featured in last year’s blog)
Simple (eco-friendly, hemp)
New Balance (running shoes)

Flip-Flops:
J Crew (skinny wedge style)
Splaff (soles made from recycled race-car tires; straps made from bicycle inner tube)

A good place to browse for women and men is Moo Shoes, a store on New York’s lower east side with a great web site for online shopping. They’ve got all the best brands, and the online store is well-organized so that it’s easy to find a particular style if you’re shopping for a special occasion. The site also offers belts, handbags, and wallets. If you’re in New York, visit the store on Orchard Street. You just might run into me there the next time I’m in town!

Buyer Beware: When you’re shopping at a store that is not specifically vegan, look for “Made from All Man-Made Materials” inside the shoes. Just because a shoe is fabric (black satin heels seem like they’d be animal-friendly) doesn’t mean the sole isn’t still made of leather! You want to make sure the shoe has a synthetic upper and sole.

Note to Birkenstock Lovers: their “Birko-Flor” sandals are cruelty-free 🙂

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Author: Sharon Discorfano

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