These (Vegan) Boots Were Made For Walking…

23 Aug

Actual Michael Antonio Boots.

Ever since my mom made my Osh’Kosh Overalls my VERY OWN by placing an awesome rainbow and cloud patch on the back pocket in the early 80’s, I have loved fashion. Not necessarily fashion in the couture sense of the word, but fashion in the sense of  being able to show total and complete self expression without saying a word. This, to me, is what fashion is all about. As we exit out of the summer solstice we all notice the types of clothes changing in the stores. GONE are the jean shorts and IN are the jeans, no more tank tops but there are plenty of sweaters, and now is the time to trade in the flip flops for my personal favorite…the boots! I must confess, I do not think there is anything I love more in the fashion world then a towering pair of chunky, funky, high heeled to the max boots 😉 This is where most vegans and strict vegetarians are left clueless, disheartened, and with some truly ugly options. Why does being compassionate have to mean being bland???

I know that last year when I decided to “86” the leather and suede from my life, I was scared. I mean truly frightened. All the vegan shoes I found online were not my style, and I was convinced my boot life was heading for complete disaster. Without my boots, my otherwise plain outfits would falter. My boots are my number one winter accessory. Serious boots are a MUST for me, it’s not even up for discussion. So by this point in time I was facing two options, and both plain sucked!

First option was to just buy the leather boots you can find since this task was now becoming an ordeal. Ugh. No way. That idea made me feel like a complete FAILURE. Second option was NOT to buy new boots until I could figure this fashion crisis out. I opted for the later, and am very glad I did. To my surprise and joy my boot shopping experience last year was more rich, fulfilling and productive then any other venture in my fashion life. No joke. I ended up with 5 new pairs of hot boots last year and spent less then I would have on 2 pairs of leather or suede boots. That’s the beauty of dropping the hide from your fashion, you get to save some sweet moola as you help save the planet AND save the lives of some super cute and intelligent animals. You have hot boots, the Earth stays in one piece, and the cow family gets to live happily ever after… so therefore, we all win 😉

Through much trial and tribulation, I have found several shoe designers who make some hot shoes with heart. Most of these are women’s shoes, but as you know DSW, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx all carry men’s shoes too (in select stores I think) so be sure to snoop around the following site anyways. I have seen several of these brands for sale at the common discount stores. I don’t guarantee everything these designers make to be vegan, but I know they make plenty. I have them all in my closets. Zigi Soho, which can be found at DSW, has great vegan shoes as does Michael Antonio. I was fortunate to find 3 pairs of Michael Antonio boots at Arden B last fall, and I see they are selling them again this year in the same style. They rock. I know that both Arden B and Express have stopped selling leather in their stores, so any ‘leather’ products you buy from them will be vegan. Go Express and Arden B!!! Way to lead the way. I also find that Wild Pair and Bakers Shoes tend to have several vegan styles also. Just be sure to click on the shoe and read what its made of. Like I said, not everything will be vegan.

The pictures of both boots I have on this post I actually own and they both kick a$$. I know people think the quality of the shoe will be lower given it is not leather, but I have NOT found this to be the case. I don’t find these shoes to look cheap, nor are they any less comfortable then a leather shoe. Of course some brands will be made better then others, so don’t be put off by one cheap looking pair of faux leather shoes. I know my personal taste is a little much for most. but there are way more tame options then outlandish ones out there so have a snoop around and I hope you find something that is your style 🙂

Here’s to friendly fashion… This is the link to Zigi shoes at DSW. This is the link to Zigi shoes at Journeys. This is is the home website of Michael Antonio. Bakers is definitely not all vegan but they do carry lots of faux leather. Zappos has an amazing collection of shoes, lots of vegan options and great customer service.

Actual Zigi Soho Boots.


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