Category Archives: Highlights

Holiday Sales

Black on Black
Black on Black

Greetings world!  Here in America, Thanksgiving is over.  Now the holiday shopping season is fully in gear with the beginning of “Black Friday” so the fun starts now am I right?  But for real, while we don’t want to celebrate consumerism, we can’t ignore all the amazing deals out there.  If you need some stuff, now is the time to get it.  See below for a list of sales from our favorite brands and stores.  We will try to keep these updated up until Christmas, but for now enjoy these post Thanksgiving deals!

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Vegan Shoe Policies 2013 by Vegan8

Some of you may have already seen this, but for those of you who haven’t, this is a tremendous resource.  Blogger Vegan8 did a ton of legwork to build a list of various shoe companies and obtained their vegan, animal friendly statuses.  Whoever you are, thank you!!! The result is a list of 60 companies that are classified under the following definitions:

VEGAN COMPANY: The company is Vegan, there should never be any need to doubt any of their products. These companies should be an ethical consumers first choice for our own peace of mind

ALL VEGAN: The company has stated by correspondence that all of their footwear products are Vegan. However, they do not appear to identify themselves as a Vegan company, so there is a possibility that future products will not be ethical

VEGAN OPTIONS: The company provides styles that are completely Vegan, but not all of their styles are Vegan

SYNTHETIC OPTIONS, GLUE MAY BE OF ANIMAL ORIGIN: The company provides styles that are free from animal derived ingredients, excepting (perhaps) the bonding agents. This is the one that I find most annoying, basically the company does not know (or is unwilling to back itself regarding) the type of bonding agents that are used at all times. They may vary due to season/availability/price etc. To me this is both an ethical and quality control issue. Shoe manufacturers generally market themselves as high tech and very deliberate in their materials and design. The suggestion that they are unaware of their own bonding agents, brings the companies and the industry itself into question. Footwear purchased from these manufacturers, may or may not be Vegan

SYNTHETIC OPTIONS, GLUE IS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN: The company provides styles that are free from animal derived ingredients, excepting the bonding agents, which they state are derived from animals. I have no idea why a company would choose to do this in 2013

NO VEGAN OPTIONS: The company deliberately chooses to provide no ethical footwear

AWAITING REPLY: Not enough time has passed since I made initial contact with the company, or they have responded that they are collecting the required details so that they can respond appropriately

NO REPLY: The company has been contacted at least 3 times over 3 weeks, using a variety of methods (email, contact form, facebook etc) but no reply has been received from them

UNCOOPERATIVE: The company has been contacted at least 3 times over 3 weeks, using a variety of methods (email, contact form, facebook etc) but is only willing to provide vague details or none at all. Companies in this category tend to ask why they are being questioned, by who and for what purpose. But even after responding to their questions, they continue to be uncooperative. Thankfully these companies are rare, the majority of companies in this survey have provided very good customer service.

Here are the results.  For the original page visit the Vegan8 site here.  It has the information in a better layout, and it also includes the specific responses from each companies.

Continue reading Vegan Shoe Policies 2013 by Vegan8

Nike Update

Hey everyone, got a quick but important Nike update for you.  Unfortunately, they no longer maintain a list of animal free, vegan shoes.  They have represented to us in the past that certain shoes we inquired into were in fact vegan, but it appears that this is no longer the case.  Please see below for the response from one of their representatives:

Hello Henry,

My name is Dave and I am a Nike Running Pro. I too am a plant powered runner and I would be glad to lend a hand with this question. While we no longer maintain a current Non-Animal footwear list, we do advise consumers who are contentious of this experience to look for shoes that feature synthetic leather, mesh, or other non-full grain leather materials. Typically speaking, the Running and Cross Training silos are great places to start. This is because shoes that are designed to be lightweight will usually not include full grain leather…

Best regards,

Dave
Nike Pro Services

In summary, if you are the type that doesn’t care about the glue, then Nike is still an option for you.  For us, we are going to have to boycott Nike right now until they can certify at least some of their products are entirely vegan.  This is unfortunate, as there appears to be a dwindling selection for us in the sneaker world.  You would think that as time passed, there would be a reflection in the business community about the rising awareness of animal cruelty in their products.  Unfortunately, we have yet to reach a tipping point where this is universally acknowledged by the mainstream as a genuine concern.

We encourage all VK readers and animal lovers to reach out to their favorite brands and ask the simple question – why?  Why do you continue to use animal materials in your products?  If you don’t know what your shoes are made of, why is that the case?  Perhaps that is the most troubling answer of all, and points to an even darker aspect of globalized, outsourced manufacturing – you can’t even tell us what this is made out of!  We are disappointed in these big labels; one by one, they continue to be vague and insensitive to our concerns.  Fortunately, we have a growing number of smaller companies who are willing to stand up for something other than pure fashion.  We encourage you to check out our archives for the small guys who are blazing the path to a more ethical, animal friendly future.

– Henry

Winter Boot Roundup

Bogs Ultra Mid 2
Bogs Ultra Mid 2

This is so late in coming, but unfortunately it is far too often the case that we feature styles halfway or mostly through the appropriate season.  We weren’t even going to do this, but in New York (and the Midwest, South, Atlantic, and Northeast) we were just slammed with a brutal arctic chill and the first real snowstorm of winter.  Nothing like that 1-2 to knock you on your ass and think about the appropriate gear.

Today we’re featuring four of our favorite vegan winter boots.  We think that there is a decent amount of variety in this section to satisfy different tastes and needs.  At the most practical end is the Bogs Classic Ultra Mid 2, which will be able to handle more extreme weather conditions.  It’s waterproof, insulated, and comfortable.  I especially like the top handles and stretch bootie for easy access.  Similarly, the Kamik Hunter is a calf high waterproof rubber boot with an insulated liner.  A neat feature is the adjustable nylon collar at the top.

Continue reading Winter Boot Roundup

Three Leaves Spring/Summer ’13

Three Leaves Lookbook 1

Big shout to our friends at Three Leaves and props for putting together such an awesome collection for this spring and summer 2013.  I’m baffled by how long it took for us to find such a place.  While there are some options out there of ethical clothing for guys, we are usually limited to an organic cotton tee or jeans here and there (I’m sensing that it’s a different landscape in Europe, which is ahead of us).  Fortunately, that is changing, and our options are growing.  Take for instance what we have here, gear we would describe it as sophisticated casual: well fitted dark wash jeans, smart button downs, simple but well thought out tees and caps.  The best part, everything is either 1) environmentally friendly, 2) fair trade, or 3) vegan.  Sometimes all three.  And it’s saying something that there are even enough small brands out there that can make this possible.  Of course, fair trade/organic comes at a cost.  Even though the price tags on some of these items can be hefty, don’t forget you are buying the best sustainable materials and fair pay for workers.  Plus you are supporting some amazing businesses, who we here at VK would love to see succeed and make mainstream this ethical fashion movement.

Peep the Look Book here.  See Below for some of our favorites of the season.

Continue reading Three Leaves Spring/Summer ’13

Fashion Loves Animals

Fashion Loves Animals Graphic

Vegan Kicks is proud to give a huuuuge shout out to the venerable Farm Sanctuary and this unique special event they are putting together.  If you are in the New York City area, you gotta go to  FASHION LOVES ANIMALS, a benefit fashion show and cocktail party, on May 4th at SIR Stage 37 in Manhattan. This stylish night benefiting Farm Sanctuary will honor Vaute Couture President and Creative Director Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, who made history this year with the first all-vegan label to show at New York Fashion Week.

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Mo’ Boots

Happy New Year!  First, just wanted to say thank you to all you guys.  Thanks for reading, commenting, emailing me, and being part of this site.  I hope that we can continue to bring some good solid recommendations and keep carrying the vegan shoe flag, whatever that is.  All in all, 2012 was a great year for us – we had our first giveaway, and more readers than ever.  Let’s keep it jumping in the year twenty thirteen!

To kick off the new year, we present – more boots.  Now, I will admit that my previous two posts on boots may not have featured the most stylish boots out there right now.  But we have a diverse audience, so we’re looking out for everyone out there, even you “hippies” out there.  We know you’re out there, and we stand with you.

But today we’re going to push some more “fashionable” boots out there for those who wear them not necessarily for the weather.  Girls got their boots in a zillion different iterations, so why can’t we guys have some fun with this as well?  Here are a few of my choice picks for those of you who still can’t get enough winter stylins.

Doc Marten 8 Eye Boot

The always classic Doc Marten 8 Eye Boot, looking super clean here, available at Zappos and Planet Shoes.  Also available in Cherry Red and Purple Cambridge.

Continue reading Mo’ Boots

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Jon Clark of London, Canada for winning the first ever Vegan Kicks holiday giveaway!  Courtesy of Keep, he will be receiving a free pair of vegan shoes!

When told about his lucky day, he had this very thoughtful and eloquent thought about his animal friendly lifestyle:

I don’t understand people who regress to living against their values after learning the uncomfortable truths about our society’s relationship with animals. However, it did take me a while to finally confront and bring myself to witness the cruelty that I knew was happening. After enough education and some visceral reactions to videos and stories the choice was clear to me. Intrinsically, I knew for so long that I was ignoring the suffering of certain kinds of animals while caring deeply for others. I’m glad that I had so many good friends who helped me along the way.”

Right on brother.  Well, we are so super stoked about the reception we got about this contest.  People all over the world answered the call.  We are sorry we couldn’t make more of you winners.  You guys are the best.  Thank you so much for visiting, reading, following, and commenting.  You guys didn’t get the free shoes, but you are all winners in our hearts.

We fully expect to do more giveaways and contests in the future.  Please, readers – if you have any brands or shoes that you really want, comment or email us.  We will try to get you some free product.  Vendors, companies, marketers, advertisers, big wigs – if you want to get your brand out there, here is the place.  We have global reach, son!  We don’t care where you’re from or what your selling (so long as it’s vegan).  Just let us know and we’ll try to plug your goods.

Until next time!

The World of Vegan Skate Shoes, and Why They Matter

To a skateboarder, shoes are like gloves to a sculptor’s hands. No other clothing component is more important to a skateboarder. Skaters’ feet are the connection to their craft – the art of how they skateboard. Skating in a shoe that is too padded and bulky, is like trying to grab detailed things with a mitten on. Skating in a shoe that is too thin, is like wearing a rubber glove to protect one’s self from the elements, or to grab that hot vegan dinner you have in the oven – you’re going to get burned, and you’re going to feel it too much. Then there’s the dreaded cupsole vs. vulc shoe battle – it just never ends! So just how how do we compromise? And how do vegan skateboarders fit into this equation? Through my next few blog posts I may be able to help you find those answers… but first, we must ask another more serious and important question:

Why are todays vegan skate shoes so expensive?

Do you ever wonder why a canvas skate shoe cost the same or more than a shoe made out of leather? It’s like getting a Veggie Delite at Subway for the same price as the next guy’s cold cut sub that has the same amount of veggies on it. You’re paying the same price for something that has meat, when there is no meat in yours at all! You’re basically paying for a condiment sandwich. In todays skate shoe world with canvas or synthetic shoes vs. leather shoes, you are paying for a condiment on your feet, as most all skate shoes have canvas or syn. textiles in them anyways – on the inside or outside. So the question here is, why?

Ripped canvas Vans, an all too familiar occurrence to the vegan skater.

Continue reading The World of Vegan Skate Shoes, and Why They Matter

Happy Thanksgiving from Vegan Kicks!

Vegan Kicks wants to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating.  Here’s a picture of a “veggieducken” for your viewing pleasure (or gross out reaction). Let’s just be thankful that we don’t have to settle for saying “no” to turkey and that there are meatless options that are interesting and just as fulfilling.

If you haven’t entered into the Keep Contest, please do!  You still have over a week.  Send me an email and get in on the action!