Veggie Shoes

Posted on July 23, 2009 in Accessories, Shoes.

I like meat. I like leather. Is it a primal thing? Perhaps. I’ve just always loved the smell of quality leather, and the look of beaten leather boots. But I’ve never really given it a second thought. Virtually all stylish shoes are derived from animals, as are belts and luxury car interiors. It’s just the way my world worked.

But I recently had a somewhat of an eye-opening experience when I went shopping with a friend of mine. He’s pescetarian and doesn’t wear leather. I started thinking about how difficult it would be to find stylish shoes if you didn’t wear leather. It definitely threw me. So, I decided to poke around on the internets to see what I could find out.

I know it’s not for everybody and that I haven’t done a post on shoes, but consider this a prelude to the primer.

Dress Shoes

The hardest type of shoe by far to find in non-leather varieties. But I did find some great stylish alternatives in a variety of price ranges.

Noharm has a great shop on Amazon to purchase their shoes. They’re a little expensive (~$275), but they are by far the best looking vegan dress shoes that I’ve seen (in my brief experience of poking around).


Photo credit: Noharm.

Photo Credit: Noharm

Photo credit: Noharm.


Photo credit: Noharm.

On the less expensive side is this dress shoe from Vegan Chic.


Photo credit: Vegan Chic.

The biggest collection of shoes that I’ve seen is Vegetarian Shoes. Here are two pairs that straddle the line between dressy and casual wear.


Very cool faux-suede wingtips. Photo credit: Vegetarian Shoes.


Photo credit: Vegetarian Shoes.

Casual shoes

These should be easier, because so many great casual shoes are non-leather and are mostly canvas.

I’ve gotta start with the old reliable Chuck’s, which pretty much look good on anybody. You have your basics, but with the super sweet customization feature, why not make your own? Here’s what I came up with in 5 minutes of messing around:


Photo credit: Converse.

A slight variant on the Chuck is the line by designer John Varvatos. I think these look a little bit cooler, a bit more put together. They’re also (from experience) a bit more resilient than the classic Chuck’s.


Photo credit: Converse.

Here’s another great pair of canvas sneakers from Simple.


Photo credit: Simple.

Here are some cool flip flops from Simple as well.


Organic Cotton. Photo credit: Simple


Hemp Flip Flops. Photo credit: Simple.

And hemp flip flops from Rainbow.


Photo credit: Rainbow Sandals

Faux-leather flip flops from Okabashi.


Photo credit: Okabashi.

Bags & Accessories

I have to highlight this company because of their seriously cool looking stuff. Matt & Nat make some awesome non-leather bags and wallets with prices that are surprisingly reasonable as well. Here are just a couple of laptop bags.


Photo credit: Matt & Nat.


Photo credit: Matt & Nat.

The Vegan Collection has a cool formal belt in brown and black.


Photo credit: The Vegan Collection.


So this just proves that, with a little bit of searching, you can personalize any aspect of your wardrobe, and still have modern style.

3 Responses to “Veggie Shoes”

  1. Thanks for posting about this, I would love to read more about this topic.

  2. Omar H says:

    So I have to wonder two things:
    (1) What makes these shoes stylish? I know you’re picking examples you like, but what makes them contemporary? What is in style and what is going out?

    (2) What should one look for in pairing shoes? I feel picking shoes is a bit like picking wine: 60% is independent quality, 10% is your own taste, and 30% is what is goes with.

  3. CYH says:

    Thanks for the comment Omar.

    1) I’ll go more in-depth into what makes a shoe stylish (to me), in an upcoming post. It boils down to really the sole (thin) and the point of the shoe (slightly rounded, most of the time) that makes it more modern.

    2) You’re absolutely right with your analogy. Shoes can be very individualistic, and should be a place where your personality comes out a little bit. It’s away from direct sight when interacting with people, so I think it can be a little bit more wild without being too terribly noticeable. This is why girls consistently bemoan guys shoes, or say that they can tell a lot from a man’s shoes.

    But there are basic rules that you must follow before you can let that personality show. I’ll get to those soon.

What do you think?