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"Vegetarian" Business/Formal Shoe Options

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ineffable, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. ineffable

    ineffable Senior member

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    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 [​IMG] [​IMG] ) 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
     
  2. JamesX

    JamesX Senior member

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    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.
     
  3. Twotone

    Twotone Senior member

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    Crocs is coming out with a new line of dress shoes for the holidays.
     
  4. slappy

    slappy Senior member

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    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
     
  5. Makeshift_Robot

    Makeshift_Robot Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Buy leather shoes ... but second hand.
     
  10. AlmostFullBenefits

    AlmostFullBenefits Senior member

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    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.
     
  11. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    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).
     
  12. geoffmartin17

    geoffmartin17 Senior member

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  13. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    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.

    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.
     
  14. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    This thread is offensive.
     
  15. rfpgh

    rfpgh Active Member

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    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.
     
  16. chrisb0109

    chrisb0109 Senior member

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    Good luck finding shoemakers who can confirm that none of their glue contains animal products. The uppers and the soles are not the only parts in question.
     
  17. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    Vegan, not vegetarian shoes.

    There are some companies that make leather products from natural death, if that's something you'd be interested in. I don't think there are many synthetics that will look good. The canvas common projects look nice.
     
  18. brandonbrandon

    brandonbrandon Active Member

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    Generally I find most vegan footwear to look clunky and contrived. I recently was recommended to this site by a client at work and the problem was immediately solved. I haven't found any company who has been on par with the asthetic and craftsmanship of these yet. http://www.noharm.co.uk/
     
  19. ginlimetonic

    ginlimetonic Senior member

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    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.
    Thanks in advance


    Hi quality leathers i.e. Delicious French Calfskin (DFC), would likely use humane methods to depose of the animal, by using electric tasers which are relatively painless, compared to machetes the Chinese use to save on the electricity.

    So yes, go with the DFC

    for what its worth, i wouldn't do business with a non-meat eating businessman/woman unless you looked like miranda kerr, who is a vegetarian.
     
  20. ineffable

    ineffable Senior member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I guess that's what I was expecting.

    I know there's no real alternative for leather, especially a high-quality leather -- but I'm more so looking for something that is a decent alternative. I.e. When I order a veggie burger(yes, [​IMG] [​IMG] ), I'm not expecting something comparable to a hamburger, just something that tastes good.

    As for noharm, not really what I was looking for but thanks for the suggestion.

    I'm not sure if the Common Projects have a leather sole or not, but that's the type of shoe I'd look towards getting at this point.

    As for animal glue; It's not too hard to find suitable alternatives and from the experiences with shoemakers/tailors I have dealt with in the past.. I don't think they would have an issue with finding one or using one that I provide - thanks for bringing it up, though.

    Leather products from natural death/salvaged leather would be a great second option -- I've looked for these types of products but had no luck. Do you know any companies that provide these products?
     

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