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Vegan Footwear

 

Many vegans find it quite difficult trying to find vegan footwear. However, with the right knowledge, this is actually an easy thing to do.  

 

Start with your shoe style; what sort of vegan footwear are you after? Formal shoes, sneakers, skate shoes, thongs, sandals, slippers? Whatever you choose, it’s very likely that you’ll be able to find vegan versions of these shoes very easily. Next decide what quality you’re after; do you want something which will last forever, or just a cheap pair? This will help narrow down your best places to look. 

 

Often people think that vegan footwear is hard to find; it’s not at all. Many shoes are manufactured without any leather or other animal products; you just need to know which ones. Always remember to check the labels inside the shoes so you know what they’re made from. Be aware that there are some synthetic shoes which have a “leather sole,” or something similar, meaning they are unsuitable for vegan use. 

 

If you have a fairly tight budget, you might not want to be paying lots of money just for a pair of shoes. Cheap vegan footwear is very common; your local department stores are bursting with vegan shoes as synthetic materials are much cheaper than leather. Those discount shoe stores you walk past in the shopping centres are also wonders for vegans as again, the production costs need to be low, so synthetic materials are opted for. Bear in mind though, that sometimes these sorts of stores are compromising quality, but generally you won’t be walking a pair of their shoes only to find the stiletto heels breaking on the first day; it’s more just a gradual wear and tear process. 

 

If you’re willing to spend a little extra for decent vegan footwear, you’re probably best staying out of department stores and discount shops, and heading for more popular shoe shops. These are the ones where you pay $50 for a pair of heels, or $80 for formal business shoes. The design of these shoes is generally of high standards, meaning they’ll last you quite a long time. Again, a lot of these shops stock synthetic shoes; however, you need to check the labels again, as some shoes (especially boots) will be made from leather or suede. 

 

If you have money pouring out of your ears, or just really want that special pair of shoes, then you probably won’t have much luck in the shops at all. You can check small designer stores and sift through all the shoes you see until you see an entirely synthetic pair which hopefully looks alright, but you’d be best off searching online. Type “vegan footwear” into a search engine and off you go. Usually the first few listed results are the most reliable, and you’ll find that they have a huge range of vegan shoes. Buying online seems dodgy to some people, but if you search for some discussions about online stores, you’ll find out which ones are reliable and which ones to avoid. Always make sure that the store you buy from allows you to give the measurements of your foot (both feet if one foot is longer than the other), as they can then find the right shoe size for you. These stores should let you return shoes if they don’t fit, so check for this option before buying. 

 

There are two places which should be avoided when buying shoes; stores selling shoes which look great, but have a cost price equivalent to the shoe size (these often include those shops with cute girly names stocking imitation designs) and markets. Neither of these places are often safe; the materials may be of rubbish standards, and made with very poor design. Quite often you’ll also find it very difficult to prove any claims made on the item, such as “100% chemical free,” or “very popular overseas.” 

 

When looking for vegan footwear, don’t get too fussed about the search process. Quite often, the best pair of vegan shoes is only a short drive or a few mouse clicks away. 

 

 

 

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