I have never been much of a picky shopper when it came to shoes. When I was a child I always wanted to get the “popular” shoes but never got anything overpriced as that was just outrageous and not to be considered. In the last few years this has translated into my only buying shoes from such places as Zappos and warehouse store locations, never paying more than one hundred dollars for a pair of shoes. I certainly did not think that I would ever buy a pair of shoes based on an e-mail message from a record store.
When I’m reading what is basically one advertisement — the regular e-mails from Insound, one of my favorite places to buy vinyl records — I sometimes notice that they have ad banners for other companies. One day I happened to notice an ad banner for Saucony shoes, which they touted as the sort of shoes you might wear when searching for rare, out of print vinyl.
I am no fool and I knew exactly how they knew that I was the sort of person who would go out of his way to search for rare, out of print vinyl. It wasn’t too far of an imagination stretch to guess that such a person might also have interest in the sort of shoes he would wear while doing the vinyl hunting. I searched for the shoes on a few online stores and found them to be reasonably priced.
I showed them to a few friends and got a mixed bag of reactions, going from one person saying that they would make me look really nerdy to another person saying that they would look really weird on me. Perhaps mixed bag is not the best way of describing it considering that nobody had anything particularly positive to say about them on me. There was nothing wrong with the shoes per se — it was when the people tried to imagine them on me that it all went wrong.
A friend of mine who tends towards vegan clothing whenever possible pointed out that the same company made a vegan version of the shoe and that they looked a lot better than the “regular” version of the shoes. He even found the shoes at an old fashioned brick and mortar shop called MooShoes, a vegan only store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It turned out that the shoes were on sale there that week.
I went to the store with my friends and asked if they had the shoes in a size thirteen — yes, I have fairly large feet. They brought out the shoes and I was absolutely sold from the moment they were on my feet and tied up. Normally shoes have an adjustment period from when you first put them on and when they start feeling comfortable. These were completely comfortable from the first moment I put them on my feet and have been ever since then.
The shoes come with two different color shoelaces — one black and one white. I have only used the black shoelaces, but I will probably switch over to white when the black laces get tired. The high point of wearing the shoes thusfar was when a woman in the same building as my office, who worked for a fashion related company, told me that my shoes were very stylish and looked good on me —
— and to think that they came without a hint of animal product.
I love a good shoes review, Gordon!
Vegan shoes are the way of the future — they cost less, they’re kinder and ultimately more rugged. The only current problem is wearability in bad weather. If water gets in, it needs a way out and there’s no good way of doing that right now with Vegan shoes because leather always “breathes” better than its imitators.
Funnily enough, I thought of that caveat as I headed out into the snow this morning. Fortunately, they didn’t get too wet. 🙂
Glad to know you managed to get a comfortable pair of shoes Gordon, that too animal friendly! I can’t remember any brand here in India those do not use leather…
The cruel irony is that many UK brands and US brands are made in India.
I know, cheap labour..that’s why.
The tremendous cost of cheap labour — human dignity, usually. Quite sad.