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"Vegetarian" Business/Formal Shoe Options

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
I don't care for this to be a discussion on the virtues/morals anything of that nature, and don't need to hear about high-quality leather shoes lasting me a long time -- I have that covered. But having recently become a vegetarian I am looking to replace the animal-based goods where possible and to have more options for future purchases, and perhaps to even start a business venture.

This is pretty easy for the casual side of the wardrobe, but I'm having trouble with more business/formal wear. Whatever insight or criticism you have to offer would be great.

1) Is this at all possible? I'm self-employed, so it's not as though I have a strict dress code, but I do have meetings with more traditional businessmen/clients, etc. But for someone working within a strict dress code, do you think there is room for a non-leather/suede shoe/belt?

I feel as though as long as the shoe is presentable, there should be no issue here - but I am young and definitely don't have the perspective a lot of you might. Do you think something like this (in a different color) be okay to wear in the work place?

2) Materials -- the only material that I have seen that I like is (waxed) canvas. Can anyone recommend any non-animal-based materials that might work well as shoes? Maybe someone has had a good experience/knows of a suitable synthetic (... I know ) leather? The synthetic leather shoes I've seen have been horrible, but I figure it's worth a shot anyway. I think there may be more hope in a synthetic suede -- I would be looking for high-quality materials, in any case. I'm afraid all of my shoes in the past have been real leather/suede so I don't have any experience here.

3) Shoemakers -

a) For personal use, I am looking for something high-quality, and am not working with a tight budget. If anyone has had experience with/knows of a shoemaker that is willing to work with materials such as waxed canvas, it would be great to hear.

b) And for a long shot, does anyone know of a shoe manufacturer that works with smaller run sizes and would be willing to use non-animal based materials?


Thanks in advance
post #2 of 113
As far as I know, nope. Synthetic leather is darn horrible substitute for leather. The shoe doesn't breath and it has odd creases. And I do not know of any form of traditional styled dress shoes that are not made from leather looking material.
post #3 of 113
Crocs is coming out with a new line of dress shoes for the holidays.
post #4 of 113
Common Projects are nice but probably not business appropriate. Of course that depends on what you do, if you're in Hollywood that'll do just fine. I believe your questions have been asked before and generally held that there's no substitute for leather as far as business shoes go
post #5 of 113
I wouldn't mess with synthetic leather. Those common projects should be fine in the real world; most people won't be looking at your shoes anyway, and have no idea what a "correct" business shoe is. Rachel Comey has a wool oxford on her website.
post #6 of 113
It's a tough topic. I am also vegetarian. I looked into getting non-leather dress shoes and couldn't find anything that would look good enough. I've seen wool or canvas shoes that could possibly work, but you have to get rubber soles too. I guess you can go bespoke for this. Anyway, I decided to just bite the bullet and use the leather shoes. It's where I draw the line. Gosh I hope no one derails this thread like the last time this topic was brought up. Some people are incredibly immature. edit: I think those canvas shoes you posted have leather soles.
post #7 of 113
As a vegetarian, I would gladly pick a synthetic product over the alternative if it were available. Unfortunately, there really isn't -- at least not with the ruggedness and attributes of regular leather.
post #8 of 113
What about a pair of used leather shoes? While they're still leather, they don't result in any net loss of animal life. Depending on how used they are, a good shoe repair shop can help get them back in shape; you can even have them resoled with rubber soles if they need it.
post #9 of 113
Buy leather shoes ... but second hand.
post #10 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by ineffable View Post
And for a long shot, does anyone know of a shoe manufacturer that works with smaller run sizes and would be willing to use non-animal based materials?


Thanks in advance

I don't know if you want to thank me, but if you really want a non-animal leather substitute in a bespoke shoe and have lots of money to spend, then there is: human leather.

Yes, that's right. Human leather. It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again. While I'm guessing this group usually caters to exorbitantly wealthy people with macabre fetishes, it does put the human in humane leather. If nothing else, it is an morbidly intriguing idea.
post #11 of 113
Get cordovans. I heard that it's illegal to farm horses for leather so all cordovans are made from horses that died of natural causes (unless they were imported skins from other countries who don't revere horses in the way Americans do).
post #12 of 113
I lol'd
post #13 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostFullBenefits View Post
I don't know if you want to thank me, but if you really want a non-animal leather substitute in a bespoke shoe and have lots of money to spend, then there is: human leather.

Yes, that's right. Human leather. It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again. While I'm guessing this group usually caters to exorbitantly wealthy people with macabre fetishes, it does put the human in humane leather. If nothing else, it is an morbidly intriguing idea.

That's a fake website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ianiceman View Post
Get cordovans. I heard that it's illegal to farm horses for leather so all cordovans are made from horses that died of natural causes (unless they were imported skins from other countries who don't revere horses in the way Americans do).

Interesting idea definitely worth looking into.
post #14 of 113
This thread is offensive.
post #15 of 113
There are high-end vegetarian shoe brands like noharm or novacas that have (imo) nice styling, but as far as materials go I think synthetic leather is all basically the same.
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