Like many people, I am revolted by Crocs. I don’t need to get into that here. If you have to ask why, you’re in trouble. But… I must say, I have worn them against my will, and they are mighty comfy. I’ve made recent note of the proliferation of synthetic materials in the vegan shoe universe. Some companies try to replicate animal materials such as suede and nubuck leather. Others are more forthcoming about it, and this isn’t really anything new. Sneaker manufacturers have poured millions into designing new and fancy synthetics.
Native Shoes is a company that’s taking many of the design and manufacturing cues from Crocs and turning it into something much much better. Founded by Damian van zyll de Jong, this company takes EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and injects it into mold, making a shoe from a one piece unit. The result is a light, soft, and durable shoe, some you can slip on… like, ahem, nevermind.
But the shoe I wanted to feature is the Fitzsimmons, pictured above and below. This boot is definitely the best and most interesting one of the bunch. Its design pays homage to snowboard boots and other hiking boots, with its metallic D-ring eyelets. But it also looks sorta like a sneaker, with its stark white sole. In any case, it is eye catching and has a playful quality about it. Plus, it comes with an odor resistant, anti-microbial neoprene liner. You can wear them without socks, but I wouldn’t recommend it. And it’s offered in a veritable rainbow of colors (scroll down!).
Available at Zappos for $70.