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High quality artificial/faux leather shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by tomford, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. tomford

    tomford Member

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    I have been a vegetarian for 1,5 years now and have recently started to think about making more vegan choices in clothing, such as leather shoes.

    I am a huge fan of high quality, classic leather shoes like Vass, Crockett and Jones etc. and I wear a suit almost everyday, it would be a shame to spoil my appearance with cheap looking shoes. I haven´t yet found any faux leather shoes in the classic gentleman style.

    Is there anyone who have any experience of high quality artificial/faux leather in this forum? Anyone knows anything about the fabric "Lorica" ?
     


  2. GBR

    GBR Distinguished Member

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    You have created a problem for yourself, change your mind again and solve it.
     


  3. Balfour

    Balfour Senior Member

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    The late Alan Clark MP:


    Mrs Thatcher: "You eat meat don't you?"
    Alan Clark: "No, I do not, prime minister."
    Mrs Thatcher: "Well, you wear leather shoes, don't you?"
    Alan Clark: "I am sure, prime minister, you would not wish to see your ministers walking around in plastic footwear."
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014


  4. tomford

    tomford Member

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    @GBR Thanks, your response really helps.

    I am sure even you sometimes make decisions out of compassion rather than personal gain. Or maybe you have fixed that problem once and for all by only caring about yourself?
     


  5. Balfour

    Balfour Senior Member

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    ..
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014


  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No disrespect intended and I may not be fit to counsel you, but it does seem to me that the answer is fairly straightforward.

    You've defined the world in terms that makes eating meat untenable for you. I, personally think you're bucking some strong headwinds in what evolution and mother nature intended. But no matter, that's just my opinion.

    Nevertheless, build on what you've got--define high quality shoes in other terms, as well. Canvas sneakers. Flip-flops. Whatever. If you're going to be an iconoclast, don't shy away from this last frontier.

    Don't think about the damage to the environment and animals that comes from processing or using rubber and/or synthetics that will make up most of your new shoes. OK that was a little bit snippy but I can't delete it because it's still a real factor in any alternative you choose.

    Either that or wait 30 years--all shoes will be synthetic by then.

    PS...I apologize if this comes off as dismissive. Your question does seem sincere, if a little out of place. There's just no easy answer.
     


  7. tomford

    tomford Member

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    @DWFII I respect your opinion and agree that there is no perfect choice to make. One must simply decide what´s more import to him/her.

    If we drop the big picture discussion, anyone has any tips on elegant faux leather shoes?
     


  8. ScottMC

    ScottMC Senior Member

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  9. Feryll

    Feryll Well-Known Member

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    No. All the faux leather shoes look ugly and cheap. Even corrected grain looks awful most of the time what do you except from a plastic shoe ? I don't agree with you on the vegan thing but I understand your point of view. Unfortunately the choice is obvious. Give up your exquisite looks and make the vegan choice or not. Unfortunately if you work in a business environment you will not only look sloppy but also incompetent which might hurt your career.
    The only thing I can think of is canvas but that is only for casual wear.
     


  10. leetpuma

    leetpuma Senior Member

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    There are pleaty of fashion forward shoes that are cemeted and are usually under a 100 usd that look decent for 1-2 seasons of wear (Cemeted construction)

    Just look around at the mall/clarks/Aldo

    Also if you buy leather shoes that are sub 100 dollars you can almost be sure that no cows were really killed for those shoes... They are usually really crappy bonded leather made up of powered leather and glue. Essetially scraps from what the rest of us our buying and it would have been trashed anyway.

    Look for shoes that say man-made upper. They are p-leather.
    ------

    Good luck with your lifestlye choice. I always wanted to know why someone would choose live vegan. I would expect he has seem a differnent set of data points in life than i have. So I cant fault you there. But one day I would like to undersand what events transpired to make someone make such dietary choices.
     


  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The point is that as long as you're defining "classic" or "high quality"...or elegance or even good looking...in the same terms and with the same visual and tactile assumptions/parameters as "Vass, Crockett and Jones etc.," you'll never find anything that will be satisfactory.

    You're the one setting expectations and setting yourself up for disappointment, as well, simply because your expectations are informed by materials and techniques ...even a philosophical gestalt...that another part of you cannot allow yourself to accept.

    Nothing synthetic will look like leather. There is no substitute. Nothing will even come close to looking like a "high quality, classic leather" shoe. To think that a pleather or bonded leather shoe looks like leather you already have to dumb down your expectations...redefine what leather actually looks like...and ignore those inconvenient discrepancies that plainly state "this is not leather."
     


  12. shoefan

    shoefan Senior Member

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    It is also perhaps relevant that cows are not raised for their leather, so the choice of leather or not leather does not have any significant impact on the raising/slaughter of cattle, since that is driven by demand for meat. Leather is a byproduct. I guess, in the most literal sense, one could argue that buying leather helps subsidize/reduce the cost of meat, and hence encourages, at the margin, the eating of that meat, but any impact would be incredibly minute.

    Perhaps you could find some shoes made from leather that is due to the culling of wild animals; not sure what that would be, perhaps deerskin or something like elk?

    Of course, I recognize that your views of what is moral or proper are entirely up to you.
     


  13. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Distinguished Member

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    @DWFII is right on this - you can probably have cool, you can certainly have interesting (and yes, sure you can have cheap and ugly too), but what you really can't have is 'classic' in the sense that you describe.

    I was vegan for 15 years. I tended to wear non-leather DMs, canvas or other fabric sneakers. I had a pair of blue denim Chelsea Boots (which I still have) and I did have one pair of conventionally-styled black non-leather boots (from these people) which I wore for more 'formal' occasions, but these wouldn't have met with approval here, and you have to be aware that this was also the time that I tended to dress in cheap black suits and black unisex shirts, with occasional DKNY neon ties, i.e. my style was somewhat different from today!

    And I tend to think that this is a general lesson. If you make ethical choices like being vegan, it's difficult not to have to express this in some way in your style. And why not?
     


  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I think (and I hope without any criticism or judgement) that making such "ethical" choices (if ethical they be) demands a level of responsibility and rigour beyond simply abstaining from meat and styling oneself "vegan."

    If you really and truly believe that eating meat is unethical, it is, baldly stated, hypocritical to wear any leather. Or, (perhaps a bit less obvious) anything that looks like leather.

    Or so it seems to me.

    And it is equally hypocritical to not think about such issues as the environmental degradation, and the pain, death and cruelty, that is consequently inflicted on animals, as a result of the petro-chemical industry--the self-same industry that will be the source of most of the materials that go into making your non-leather shoes.

    And/or your non-all wool, non-cotton, non-linen, etc., suits. Poly-viscose (a common fiber used in suits in lieu of wool) is a petro-chemically derived material. As is polyester (most "affordable" shirts), if I'm not mistaken. FWIW.

    Apologies for straying into "big picture" territory but esp. on a forum such as this one, it's almost inevitable.

    --
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014


  15. logiclusion

    logiclusion Well-Known Member

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    Vegans are usually pretty easy to pick because they look and act like vegans; part of looking like a vegan is too-big commune-fit hemp shirts and linen trousers with leg holes wide enough to fit a torso in each. Being that a lot of vegans are also anti-establishment to some degree, there's not really much demand for classic-styled clothing.
    I'm vegan. I know the struggle. I gave up the struggle.
    I buy leather.

    By my reckoning, the best you can hope for in line with the SF-zeitgeist will fall somewhere on the scale near not to be worn in public, but the neophyte you pass in the street probably won't notice how grotesque they are. That said, your best bets lay with Brave GentleMan, or if you don't mind stuff that looks more akin to Clarks/Ecco/Rockport you can try Noah and Novacas.

    I hope this helps, but really, I don't think it will.
     


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