Asics Onitsuka Tiger

Uma Thurman rocking the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Tai Chi in Kill Bill

The Onitsuka Tiger by Asics was originally a running shoe until it was adopted by many as a casual shoe.  Most memorably, it was worn by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (pictured above) in several different colorways.

Most of the Onitsuka Tiger models are vegan:

Ultimate 81
Ultimate Tiger
Saiko MT
Gel Lyte III
Stormer
Procourt Nextide

A few releases of the following models are vegan:

Mexico 66
Fencing LA
Mexico Tigress

The Mexico 66 Tai Chi is the yellow model worn by Uma in the sword fight scene, while the white and blue stripe one is the 60th Anniversary edition (not vegan, unfortunately).  There are way too many online vendors selling all sorts of colorways, so I won’t even bother linking to any of them.  Just google it, I’m sure you’ll find something that suits you.



Ultimate 81 available at Zappos in Leaf Green/White

eS Holiday Vegan Shoes for 2010

First Blood

The Christmas hits keep coming!   Looks like eS (sorry I don’t know how to put the little mark over the e) is looking out for their small (but inevitably growing) market of vegans.  I remember when I was a kid (now very long ago) and I had my first pair of Eric Kostons.  But I got the worst color way, the soles weren’t grippy at all.  Totally unskateable!  Those were the days.  They sorta still make them, I think – see Lakai Koston 1.

Anyway, according to their site,  it looks like they are offering a total of five vegan shoes, 100% synthetic.   My personal favorite is the First Blood in B/W (pictured above).  But I have to say, I kinda like them all.  Props to Rick McCrank, another skater vegan, and his pro model, the Avers.  It looks really comfy and built to last.  Also, the Square One is nice, I loved the Accel.  The two non-standouts I would say are the Breeze, which looks like a tank of a shoe, and Cessner, which looks like your typical griptape fodder.  See pics below, and click for more colorways.

Continue reading eS Holiday Vegan Shoes for 2010

Christmas, Climate Change, and Vegan Kicks

Murry Christmas!!! (Note: by Christmas I am referring to the secular traditions that have come to define our American holiday.  Thus I am addressing everyone who is taking a little time off from the grind to be with their friends, family, or themselves to just relax and have a little fun).  I hope that everyone is warm, well, and enjoying the holidays.  Here in New York/New Jersey, it is still a relatively white Christmas, with snow from last week’s blizzard still here for our mostly aesthetic enjoyment. It is Christmas day, in the morning (sort of), and I am sitting, cozy in front of my computer, wrapped up in fleece.  No it’s not a Snuggie, though I wish I had one… not the cheap kind, a plush one from a fancy store like Brookstone… yeaaahhhh.

But I digress.  Recently, world leaders convened at Copenhagen to talk about slowing greenhouse gas emissions.  They came, they argued, they agreed on a few little things, and they didn’t get nearly enough done.  Unfortunately, that’s how it seems to go when large numbers of politicians get together and try to work something out for the common good (see U.S. health care reform). For a good recap, read the New York Times editorial about the talks.

While this is a blog about vegan shoes, I think that the underlying beliefs that drive me to write (and few people to read) this are rapidly converging, intersecting, and becoming inextricably intertwined (you like that alliteration?).  One one hand, veganism is motivated by compassion for animals, while environmentalism is linked to a connection with our natural world.  Both are in the same sphere of general hippie-dom, but the two have remained in separate camps and have often come into conflict with each other.  But it is now becoming clear that they aren’t mutually exclusive.  We know that animal agriculture destroys the environment, and scientists are telling us that animal farts may cause more global warming THAN ALL THE CARS, TRUCKS, AND PLANES IN THE WORLD.  There is so much new research and people reporting on this now that I will just link to this great blog post (see 1-3) and this article. Put simply: not eating meat is good for the environment, so treehuggers and vegans can agree on that at the very least (let’s hold hands).

Meanwhile, Christmas-time is here, and the rampant consumerism that has arguably come to define the holiday is as bad as ever.  Stores and malls are crammed with people, even on Christmas eve, in order to get that last bit of shopping in (gotta get your dog a Snuggie too).  The news is filled with consumer confidence and retail sales reports.  Then I wonder if I am part of the problem.  After all, this is a blog promoting things to buy.  First, the production of any commercial product is damaging the environment to some extent.  Shoes are no different.  It takes energy to make and ship and buy stuff.  The less stuff you buy, the fewer things that are dug out of the ground, and less gasoline burned to transport the damn thing.  So, here I am, evangelizing shoes, sneakers, kicks, what have you.  So am I  roundabout becoming what I despise?

I hope not.  I think I can justify my actions.  I am trying to do my part to offer healthier, more ethical alternatives to the vast majority of shoes that are out there.  These shoes, many made out of canvas, some out of organic and recycled materials, are often better for the environment outright.  Also, the fact that animals were not used in the production prevents the release of some heat-trapping gases, and of course… an animals wasn’t killed to make it.  Finally, I am only providing you, my loyal readers, with information.  What you choose to do with it – make a purchase, don’t make a purchase, tell someone else about it – is your call.  I know I don’t have the money or energy to be a sneakerhead like some people out there.  But I guess that is what the holidays is about in a way – live your life how you want to, have fun, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and respect the earth and everything that lives on it!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

– Henry

Charlize Theron X TOMS Shoes

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Toms Shoes has teamed up with the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project on a limited-edition shoe, is now available on the shoe brand’s Website.

Co-designed by actress Charlize Theron, the unisex shoe is made from vegan materials  and was inspired by the baobab tree, whose silhouette is embroidered on blue and orange canvas. A portion of the proceeds from each pair will go directly to the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, which provides education about the need to provide sustainable health, education and recreational resources to remote areas with high rates of HIV/AIDS.

“I’m thrilled to have Toms Shoes as a partner,” said Theron in a statement. “We are so grateful for their generous donation of shoes to the students that we work with. They are passionate about the kids and have been incredibly supportive of the work of the Africa Outreach Project. It’s exciting that we’re able to come together in such a cool and creative way to bring attention to the needs of many South African youth.”

The limited-edition shoes are available for $54 and are sold exclusively on Tomsshoes.com.

Cons x Thrasher [Prevent This Tragedy] Sold Out – Not Vegan?

PTT-Mid-SK031-10X-027863EE-1PTT-Gum-SK003-10X-02786929-1PTT-SK003-10X-065-127862A9-1

Damn. This is like a double kick in the nuts.  This is the first Converse Skateboarding collaboration with skate mag Thrasher, which celebrates the release of a new video “Prevent This Tragedy.”  The pack includes the CTS (low) in canvas, with black/black/gum, or black/white/royal blue.  The CTS mid is the real star here, with hemp upper, and black/white/green, with “Prevent This Tragedy” looking like it was scrawled on the side by a sharpie on the outsole.  Nice!

But it was too good to be true.  Apparently they are already sold out, with no word on future releases.  I didn’t even know that Converse was big on skate shoes, but if they keep putting stuff out like the CTS mid, there is a lot to look forward too.  I’m not too crazy about the CTS low, to me it just looks like a beefed up chuck Taylor.  The brown gum sole is pretty sweet though.

I hate to rain on the parade, and this really is the most important part of this post.  As part of my “research,” I emailed Converse to ask them what the deal was on their vegan shoe policy.  Based on information from a committed vegan friend, I assumed that the Chuck Taylors were all vegan, and all their canvas kicks as well. But NOoooOOoo:

Hi,

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, we do not have any products that are certain to be Vegan-friendly. While the majority of our materials are animal-by-product free, the glue in our products can sometimes contain some animal by-products. So, it is not possible for us to advertise our products as being truly Vegan.

We apologize if this prevents you from being able to wear our product. We certainly hope it does not because there is nothing in the world like a pair of Converse shoes!

Thank you for shopping with us and we do hope that you find something that you like and can enjoy!

Happy Holidays,

Jessica
Converse.com
Customer Service

*Sigh.*  Come on!  This Thrasher shoe is made out of HEMP.  There has to be something else going on here.  I’m going to follow up with them on this one because hemp isn’t a typical material to use in a skate shoe.  If you’re still interested, check out the official site.  They also have some trucker hats and tees.

Huf x Nike SB Blazer (Canvas)

huf-nike-sb-blazer-1

This collabo was released in November, but when I came upon it I had to post.  If there was a pair of kicks I would describe as the ideal, it would be these.  Why?  Because 1) They are classic basketball sneakers which will never go out of style; 2) They’re also a skate shoe designed by the guys at Huf, a great skateboard shop in SF and who’ve had their hands in numerous dope collaborations; 3) They are bare– stripped down to its essential elements – the fabric, the two colors, and minimal branding; 4) THEY’RE VEGAN!

What else could you ask for?  Get some.  The best price I found was the black colorway on Premier for $80, and the white at Pure for $85.  They are also widely available on Ebay for around the same price.

Oh, and complementing the pack are two tees, snap-back caps and tailored 50’s inspired work jackets.  See pictures at Sneaker Freaker.

huf-nike-sb-blazer-black-side-1huf-nike-sb-blazer-pair-1nikesbhufblazer3nikesbhufblazer7nikesbhufcanvas6nikesbhufcanvas2nikesbhufcanvas3niketanblazer

Vans 106 in Cream/White

vans106-5

The 106 model from Vans makes its debut in a smooth white and cream colorway.  All canvas upper + vulcanized sole.  The creamy off-white hue of the upper provides a nice contrast to the white sole, while the laces balance out the look.

Still awaiting word from Vans about which shoes are officially vegan.  Supposedly, the Geoff Rowley Vans are vegan, but be careful.  The site does not explicitly say any of them are vegan, and almost every model of his is offered in suede.  Plus, they look pretty wack.  Meanwhile, we here at Vegankicks are giving Vans the benefit of the doubt by assuming their canvas kicks are vegan.  Step it up, Vans.

UPDATE: You can get these, as well as other colors, on Amazon as well as Zappos

vans106-1

vans106-2vans106-3vans106-4vans106-6

What Is A Vegan Shoe?

cow

Hi all.  While so far, I have been blogging mostly to promote vegan footwear, a different purpose was to educate myself and others regarding the ethics and principles behind buying non-animal products.  As the first step in the magical didactic journey, I ask the basic question: What is a vegan shoe? To help me answer, I queried (anonymously) Moo Shoes, the very cool and the only entirely vegan shoe and accessory store in New York City.  Here’s what they had to say:

Aside from leather, a lot of shoes have animal products in the glue that holds their parts together. Also, some shoes have leather insoles even though the uppers are made of canvas or some other non-animal product. Our shoes are all 100% vegan right down to the glue. Most of the materials that look like leather are synthetic microfiber. This is a non PVC, vinyl base so that the shoes bend and breathe. We also have some shoes made of organic cotton, recycled materials, and hemp. Please let us know if we can further assist you or have a look at this website for more info http://www.cowsarecool.com/.

Thanks for getting in touch,

MooShoes

There you have it.  I knew about synthetic leather, but I didn’t know what it was actually made of.  This now raises the issue of the environmental impact of these materials.  PVC, from what I know, is a plastic that is petroleum based.  We know that oil is terrible for the environment and is directly related to our national security.  We also know that plastics do not biodegrade and the particles remain floating around forever.  Then again, Moo Shoes says they use “synthetic microfiber,” not PVC or vinyl, but who knows what that is.

On the other hand, you have leather, which is a natural material but is a product of factory farming, cruelty, and sacrifice of a living creature.  Looks like we consumers have to choose the lesser of two evils.  DECISIONS, DECISIONS!  If you want to be animal and eco-friendly, you can always go for organic cotton, hemp, or recycled goods (see above), but those are only for hippies!  I’m looking at you, Simple.

The response addressed only in passing the use of animals in glues.  I will be sure to investigate this further.  I seem to recall horse hooves (or other animal hooves?) being good for making glue (remember Boxer, the noble horse in Animal Farm that got shipped to the glue factory?  Those Commie pigs).  Watch for more posts regarding this issue.

Llastly, be aware that the insole of the shoe may be made of leather.  This could be a problem when you are online shopping.  But, I think that if you are purchasing a sneaker, you should be okay.  I don’t remember the last time I bought a pair of kicks with some leather insoles, ha.

While we are all pondering this question, check out my people at Moo Shoes (see Treehugger article here).  If you are in New York, they are located in SoHo.  I am embarrassed to say that I am a New Yorker and never been there.  Don’t be mad at me New York vegans.

moo-shoes-sign

The Vegan Shoe Blog