My wife and I have been Vegan for over 2.5 years and I wanted to take a moment to update you on our progress. Everything here is terrific. We are strong. We are fit. We are happy. We do not suffer. We want for nothing! This update will share with you some of the touchstones for living a Vegan life we have discovered.

SHOES
When we became Vegan one of our smaller worries was where to find non-leather shoes. Our fears were instantly assuaged upon the rediscovery of Payless Shoes stores! Growing up in the Midwest, Payless was a staple of our everyday lives but after moving East we’d lost touch with this bargain store. Many of the stylish Payless shoes are created from all manmade materials. The shoes are also cheap! You can get a stunning pair of shoes for under $20 and Payless have sales all the time where you can get a second pair free or a second pair half off.

Unfortunately over the last year or so we have noticed that Payless have been moving to leather in some of their dressier style shoes. Their excellent manmade Honcho work boots with a steel toe appear to have been replaced by an all leather Stanley Tools line of work boots. I hope the Honchos make a fast return!

For men, their Outback series of shoes are good looking and — so far — all are constructed of manmade materials.

NIKETOWN are also making Vegan shoes! Several shoes in their wide product array now consist of all manmade materials. Nike must have finally come to the realization that not only is it good for the soul to use non-animal parts in shoes but it is cheaper as well! Why should we as consumers want to pay the slaughterhouse fees associated with getting leather into shoes? Let Man make the materials in a factory instead and save on the blood and death and suffering while enhancing the bottom line. Instead of paying $15 at Payless for Vegan running shoes you’ll pay $150 for Vegan Nike running shoes — but if name brands an international logo are important to you… you can be Vegan and still get your shoes from Nike.

CLOTHES
Our old clothes consisted of a lot of wool and silk. When we got rid of that cruel wardrobe we had to rediscover some quality Vegan clothes and we did so without much more effort than more carefully reading construction labels. Men should take a look at Haggar’s Black Label line of dress pants and also the Slates line of pants by Levi’s.

Outstanding fabrics to want are Microfiber and Tencel. Microfiber is soft and luscious. Tencel is thicker and stronger, but still soft. Microfiber is a superfine polyester and Tencel is made from trees. I have several sport jackets made from Tencel and they look and feel amazing. I look forward to the day I can buy an entire suit made of Tencel of Microfiber. I also have a “sudedish-feeling” polyester sport coat I picked up from J.C. Penney. I have a “leather” car coat made from vinyl that looks and feel great without being cruel.

Best places to shop for Vegan clothes: J.C. Penney, Urban Outfitters, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, K-Mart and Old Navy. Those shops use a lot of cotton and created threads.

Non-leather belts are notoriously hard to find. L.L. Bean just came out with a series of new “military belts” made of cotton in several different colors. I hope to get my hands on those belts and give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down here but they look extremely promising in their latest catalogue.

Prana is another place to get some really neat and stylish Vegan clothes. Most of their men’s and women’s lines are manmade and even though the material is created by man it doesn’t make you sweat or stink like the old Polyester from the 70’s — their fabrics are cool and clean and you’ll go wild for ’em all.

Conclusion
This has been a small Vegan shoes and clothing update. I will continue to bring you more information in the future as I discover the intricacies of living a substantial Vegan life.