What Are Vegan Shoes and Why Do Some Choose This Type of Footwear Over Traditional Shoes?
Many people think that ‘vegan’ is a word that is used simply to classify people as a group that do not eat foodstuffs that are produced by animals, however the vast majority (those who are true vegans) also refrain from using other products that are produced by animals – this includes clothing. Footwear is an especially big issue here as a lot of shoes are made out of materials that are derived from animals, such as leather or suede.
Vegan shoes are simply shoes that are made out of materials that come from sources other than animals, such as synthetic materials (like plastics) or materials derived from plants (such as canvas). It is commonly believed that vegans don’t eat food or wear clothing produced by animals because it is cruel to the animal to keep them in harsh conditions to produce these for us. Whilst this is true for some vegans, there are some products that do not subject the animal to cruelty (consider a fully free range hen laying eggs as it would do naturally); here it is important to consider a key philosophy behind veganism – it is based on the belief that we as humans do not have the right to use animals to produce products for us.
So what options do vegans have when it comes to footwear? With veganism rather common these days there are a plethora of specialist online stores that can provide good quality vegan footwear. There are also a number of high street stores worldwide, especially in capital cities, that sell these products, as well as mail order operations – you can check with the official vegan society for your country or region to check which companies offer footwear for vegans to use. It used to be that vegans struggled to wear anything other than sandals, but now footwear is available in any imaginable form from dainty laced slippers to huge, clomping biking boots!
When shopping for vegan shoes, there are a few important to tips to make your search a bit cheaper and easier. First up, a good place to find affordable and high quality footwear retailers is by talking to people who have already tried them out – if you are a member of a vegan group (these can be groups that meet in person, or even online forums) then you can chat to them about their experiences. You should also avoid branded goods if you want to keep costs down – vegan shoes are generally more expensive than some mainstream shoes. Finally, sometimes you don’t have to go to a niche retailer in order to find vegan shoes; it is possible to go into common high street stores and spend some time checking the labels on the shoes to make sure they don’t contain any vegan materials.