Finding the perfect shoe is hard. You want something that fits well, looks great, and doesn’t break the bank when you order them. Finding a pair you’ll love that fits all three of those requirements isn’t easy, but we made the process a lot easier at Orthotic Shop thanks to our commitment to finding the best in fashion footwear your feet will love from some of the best brands in the world.
Recently, we noticed that several companies started offering vegan clothing. This is due to a variety of reasons. Some companies want to help the environment while others want to offer “cruelty-free” products, offering an alternative to consumers who care about where their products come from and only how they feel.
At Orthotic Shop, we wanted to make sure we offered footwear for customers who wanted to purchase animal-free clothing while making sure you could order the shoes in confidence knowing that they’d offer you the orthopedic support you want, or allow you to insert your own custom footbed. This is why we’re proud to offer vegan shoes from some of our most-popular brands.
What Makes A Shoe Vegan?
For a shoe to count as Vegan, it has to be free of any material sourced from animals. Some animal materials are easy to identify, such as leather, haircalf, or sheepskin. However, being Vegan means avoiding all material that comes from an animal, including wool.
Like meat, leather, and eggs, the process of gathering wool is heavily industrialized, and many vegans disagree with the treatment of sheep, and of the breading process that some companies made to maximize the wool gathered per lamb.
Finally, some popular adhesives used to secure parts of the shoe together use animal products. These glues could seal the sole to your uppers, or keep the fabric in the laces from fraying. While these animal-based glues were popular in the past, in recent decades most companies switched to synthetic products due to cheaper costs and in many cases a more powerful formula.
In the past, buying vegan usually meant settling for something unfashionable, or uncomfortable. If you buy from Orthotic Shop, however, you can rest assured that this no longer a problem.
How Can I Identify A Vegan shoe?
Identifying a vegan shoe isn’t as easy as you might assume. Some brands highlight their vegan-friendly offerings, but many shoes are animal-free and don’t explicitly highlight this. For example, a pair of flip-flops with a man-made sole and synthetic upper doesn’t include any animal-based materials, but the manufacturer might not highlight this fact.
If you want to stay away from animal by-products, be sure to check the label. If it says “all man-made materials” or if it uses cotton or other popular fabrics, chances are the shoe is, in fact, Vegan. Even then, there’s a small chance that the shoes might contain adhesives or some other minor material that came from an animal. Thankfully, since most companies use cheaper synthetic adhesives, most shoes made from manmade materials will also be vegan. If you want to make sure, contact the shoe manufacturer directly.
If you don’t want to spend the time tracking down customer service, however, Orthotic shop offers vegan shoes from some of our most popular brands. This includes slip-ons from Sanuk, Sanita Clogs, and even athletic shoes from OluKai. These three brands certify shoes as Vegan and highlight this when describing their products.
Vegan Shoes And The Environment
One of the reasons some customers choose to go vegan is that they believe it’s better for the environment. Raising animals for meat is expensive, and requires many raw materials. During the recent drought in California, the big story came from how much water Almond farms required, but according to Bloomberg, that number pales compared to what cattle requires. This includes the water fed to the animal itself, as well as what’s consumed growing feed and grain. Cattle also require large tracts of land to live on, and they produce a lot of waste that can pollute land downstream.
It’s not surprising that many consumers concerned with the environment turn to Vegan or vegetarianism to help reduce their impact on the environment. It’s easy to see the impact your food choices have since you can compare a pound of grain to a pound of beef rather easily. Things become a bit murkier, however, when you start looking at clothing.
Many popular man-made materials, such as Pleather and other synthetic leathers, come from petroleum by-products and are the result of extensive manufacturing. Other synthetic materials require harmful materials or a lot of energy, both of which are not the best for the environment.
Some companies do make an effort to stay green as well as animal-friendly, using renewable materials like cotton, hemp, and canvas instead of anything man-made. For example, the OluKai Nohea uses cotton uppers and a gum-rubber sole, making it a particularly sustainable product.
Just like having something certified as “organic” doesn’t automatically mean it’s better for the environment, the same is true for vegan clothing. If you want to make sure your clothing is sustainable, it’s important to look at what materials are used.
Find The Perfect Animal-Free Fit
We started Orthotic Shop in 2006 to try to simplify the process of finding shoes that felt great and fit your personal sense of style. From orthopedic flip-flops to trendy wedges and formalwear, we’re proud of the selection we have available to our customers.
With vegan shoes, we’re giving customers another option when hunting for that perfect shoe. Whether you’re making the decision to buy vegan shoes out of environmental or ethical concerns, you can order from Orthotic Shop knowing that each pair we offer meets our expectations of comfort and support.
Feel free to browse our collection of Vegan shoes from Sanita, Sanuk, and OluKai, and be sure to check back as we look at expanding this category in the future.