I’m sure it’s me, because I haven’t heard anyone else complaining about it recently, but what is the problem with shoe manufacturers that they don’t want to branch out into non-animal materials. Sure, there are a few companies that do, but they tend to be the granola clunky shoes (like earth shoes) or beach shoes (like crocs and flip flops). Once you start adding other needs to the shoe shopping, the choices become fewer and fewer. Currently, I’m trying to find dress shoes with a little bit of a heel for work, vegan, size 8, without a pointy toe. HAHAHAHA.
Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly stores that specialize in vegan footwear, but the selection is limited and the prices are high. And, importantly, they are all mail order or online unless you happen to be very lucky and be near one (it seems that being in NYC or on the west coast helps out there). While I’m willing to buy almost anything online, from tea to pajamas, I have a hard time with dress shoes. I’ve been bitten one too many times shelling out the cash for a pair of dress shoes that arrives and is uncomfortable or just unwearable (and then I don’t return for a variety of reasons that would require a whole separate post to sort out).
So, off to the stores I go, where the sales clerks in the shoe section will inevitably look at me as if I have sprouted a second head when I ask if they have any vegan dress shoes. After a few seconds of silence, I’ll explain that I mean non-leather and with no leather trim or other animal derived parts. There will be more silence and then they will lead me to the one pair of extremely shiny patent leather Mary Janes that they have in the store and say “I think this is the only thing we would have.” And, I’ll leave despondent. It’s enough to make me really want to go shopping. And, enough to make me wonder, what is our obsession with cloaking our feet in the skin of another mammal. I mean, think about it. Eeeew. Whose bright idea was that? And, maybe it made sense at some point, but so did smoking our meat, not having a refrigerator, and making heat with a fire. Times change and we evolve. Maybe it’s time to stop walking in dead cow.
Anyway, if you don’t mind shopping online for shoes, I suggest the following shops for your vegan/vegetarian shoe shopping pleasure!
MooShoes – http://www.mooshoes.com/
Pangea – The Vegan Store – http://www.veganstore.com/
Alternative Outfitters – http://www.alternativeoutfitters.com/
Vegan Chic – http://www.veganchic.com/
Regazzi Vegan – http://ragazzivegan.com/index.php
Yours in bare feet,