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Walk, Run, Foxtrot: A Vegan Men’s Shoe for Every Occasion

The following article was written by guest writer Sean Collander.

When thinking about switching to a vegan lifestyle, most people focus on what they eat and forget about other aspects of everyday life, like shoes. I was one of those people. However, after being vegan for some time now, I have been able to discover plenty of great options. Below are a few finds from my own personal wardrobe:

I was surprised to learn from a friend who has been vegan way longer than I have that most men’s sneakers are vegan. The main (but not the only) thing to look out for is leather. Luckily, Zappos has an entire section dedicated strictly to vegan shoes, which is where I found these bad boys. (Not all the Onitsuka Tigers listed are vegan, but the ones that are vegan have “vegan” in nice bold font in the description.)

Running: It’s good for you. You get exercise and fresh air, and you build up those endorphins that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The best part is that most shoes designed for this activity are vegan. HOORAY! Specifically, I chose to go with the Nike Lunarglide. Not only are they vegan, they also use crazy Nike technology inspired (I assume) by the moon.

Alright, so we’ve covered casual, and we’ve covered sweaty. Those were easy. When it comes to finding a shoe to help class it up a bit, well, that can be a bit more difficult. Unfortunately, leather seems to be the “go-to” material for about 90 percent of dress shoes. You always have your options with faux-leather (Alternative Outfitters has a few great choices), but I most recently found a great pair of canvas dress shoes at my local Urban Outfitters. I decided to go with the grey pair (they match my pinstripes), but you can also get them in tan or black.

Tip: If your local Urban Outfitters doesn’t have these shoes in stock, ask to have them ordered for you in the store. They ship to your house, and the company will waive the shipping fee.

I have been able to adjust to a vegan lifestyle pretty well in a relatively short period of time. Shoes were the biggest hurdle I had to jump. And as I always say, “If in doubt, search it out” (OK, I just made that up). But it’s true. If you are unsure whether a particular brand or style is vegan, the Internet can be your best friend. I mean, come on, where are you reading this?

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  • thatgirl says:

    Agree with Objectuer. We can’t get so caught up in protecting animals that we forget that they aren’t the only beings harmed in the making of products. How can a person feel good buying a product that didn’t harm animals but did exploit a child? I sincerely hope the author researched these options thoroughly and is not advocating for products that brought harm to humans.

  • Greg Kahn says:

    I am a vegetarian (I don’t eat eggs, though) who loves to play basketball, and I want NOTHING to do with buying shoes that contain leather or any animal products. Very unfortunately, there is not much of a market for vegan basketball shoes at this time. Obviously, it is good that an article about vegan shoes was written, but i really wish the article would have gone over shoes that can be worn for specific popular sports, such as football, or in my case, basketball. Running shoes are not very good for basketball, as, in order to be at one’s best, basketball requires shoes that support quick cutting, the proper support for jumping with as much bounce as possible, and enough cushion for landing back on the ground. I have gone to major athletic and shoe stores, and they have had no vegan bball shoes (i.e. they all contained leather). I know there are vegan shoe stores, and other stores that have certain types of shoes that are vegan, but I don’t know where I should go to get vegan basketball shoes, specifically. I need to write a letter to some executives of companies that actually manufacture vegan shoes, as well as to shoe store executives, to let them know that there is somebody, and hopefully more individuals, who want to ONLY wear vegan bball shoes, and who are passionate about animal rights. After all, companies that make and sell vegan shoes want to know that they will be sold and that there is enough of a demand among people who play a particular sport for those types of shoes for them to be made and distrubuted to stores. If anyone from PETA, or anybody else, has any suggestions about where i, or anybody, can go to get vegan basketball shoes, or at least shoes that are suitable for basketball, or about anything else I can do regarding this situation, i’d like to hear from you. By the way, I will never buy a leather basketball again, and have not bought one since I became a vegetarian close to 5 years ago, at the age of 25. Its really upsetting to me that so many nba players complained and whined about the perfectly fine synthetic basketballs that PETA tried to get the league to switch to several years ago. Sadly, a lot of nba players, and basketball players, in general, have their priorities seriously out of order, as they selfishly and pathetically put familiarity and their personal comfortability, with regard to basketball, over the rights of animals to live and not be abused. I will do what i can to change this dynamic, and continue talking about animal rights, and speaking up for animals, to my friends, family, and people i know who play basketball, etc.

  • Objectuer says:

    How can a company that advocates against animal cruelty promote shoes made by a company that has an established history of human cruelty? Severe dichotomy. I can only hope that PETA did a thorough investigation into the production of these shoes.