I Got Ads

Dear Readers,

As you may have noticed, there is a not-so-discrete banner in my sidebar.  After several months, I want to see if there’s any chance of monetizing this blog.  I’m not going to apologize for trying.  Man’s gotta eat.  But what I do want to know is if it is annoying.  Like, did you come to the site, see the ad and were instantly turned off?  Is it too intrusive?  I put it on the bottom of my sidebar originally, but you can’t really see it unless you scroll down.  So I moved it to the middle.  I hope it doesn’t impede any of your viewing experiences.  If it does, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

– Henry

Vans Herringbone and Black Denim Pack

Vans keeps churning out more and more packs.  These new non-leather, vegan Vans utilize herringbone weave (canvas, I’m guessing) and black denim for their uppers.  The herringbone pack comes in the Chukka and Era models, while the black denim is rocked by the slip-on and Era.  Looks like they all come with white laces.

Nothing spectacular here.  Maybe it’s the picture, but the colors and materials don’t really jump out at me.  Out of the bunch, I would say the Chukka in herringbone is the sweetest.

All of these in the Vans Herringbone/Black Denim Pack can be bought at Kicks/Hi.

Also, the Era Herringbone can be got at Zappos.

Vans Vault “Surf Shaka” Pack

Aloha!  Looks like Vans has more up there sleeves.   This “Surf Shaka” Pack will feature two models done up in two colorways each.  The Era and Slip-On both possess an all-over print of the screaming hand design which was made popular by Santa Cruz surf and skate company.  *The Shaka is a greeting used in Hawaii to convey what the locals call the “Aloha spirit,” a gesture used to convey friendship and understanding.* One color scheme is mainly orange and black with the screaming hand in pink, while the other is primarily white with blue accents. This pack will be available soon at select Vans retailers.  Mahalo, loyal readers!

New Vans Hemp Rata Vulc

New release from Vans, the Rata Vulc in black or blue hemp, with white vulcanized sole and matching white laces.  The blue has white stitching all around the bottom and top.

While some say that it is a “boat shoe” it reminds me more of a Clark’s Wallabee.  In any event, it is not made using any products (at least the upper, I haven’t verified from Vans whether their non-leather shoes are 100% vegan), and is really clean.  I’m really feeling the black colorway.  Vans continues to impress with their simple yet striking designs.

UPDATE: You can cop a pair of these at Zappos or  Bows and Arrows in Berkeley. I used to live down the street from this store!

Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski Grey Canvas

Very Late in December Stefan Janoski tweet-leaked a grey canvas (ahem, vegan) colorway of his signature shoe.

Excellent.  I was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be a canvas model available after checking out his new SB site (go there for better pictures).  Looks like there is nothing really special about this one though.  It’s a plain grey upper with an embroidered swoosh in same grey, white round laces, and white stitching on the toe.  As with all the Janoskis, the sole is vulcanized rubber.  I don’t know how I personally feel about these models, and why there is so much hype about them, but I guess people are all about the simplicity and the clean silhouette.

Sorry for the pic, this is just a leaked photo (see below for a better pic of a different model).  More updates to come!

black/anthracite - not vegan?

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

charlizetheron_toms_121809_m

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.

The Vegan Shoe Blog