Saucony is doubling their vegan shoe offering (one to two) with the release of the Bullet Vegan within their Originals line. If you’re wondering, the other one is the Jazz Low Pro Vegan. There are a lot of similarities between the two, but the primary difference is that the Bullet features a lower profile sole, resembling the original track shoe. This new version is made up of all canvas upper and some textile lining.
Saucony has offered the Jazz Low Pro vegan for a number of years now, so it was surprising when I searched my own site and discovered that I have never written about these ever. So, I guess here we are, a few years too late. You guys have probably seen these already, and it’s likely that you’ll either love them or hate them. When you compare the “vegan” colorways to the non-vegan ones, it’s obvious that some genius made the connection between vegans and granola lovers (“No, they’re not hippie enough!!!”). I guess they could do worse (just one of many examples, you know what I’m talking about). At the very least, they are solid throwbacks that are evocative of the much preferred New Balance 1400. Hey, we take what we can get.
Available at your local eco-friendly corner store, er, Zappos.
I think a lot of us who pay attention to this stuff are well aware of the Saucony Jazz Low Pro as a widely available retro running shoe that happens to be vegan. It also happens to be, well, pretty boring. Let’s be real, they look like old man shoes.
But lookey here, Saucony flipped the script with this 2011 new-and-improved Jazz Low Pro. Like before, it’s made out of hemp and canvas. But it’s gotten a significant style makeover. The heel padding is totally gone, now leaving just a thin fabric backing. I believe overall, there is much less padding, though I can’t tell 100% from the pictures. I think they just abandoned all pretense that this shoe would be used for running. But to me, it’s for the better. The shape and silhouette are significantly more sleek. And no one is running in these shoes anyway, right?
Available at Premier for $55.
Nice – A classic running shoe made of hemp canvas! The toe and the heel caps, as well as the midfoot use a tight weave canvas while the rest just looks like plain ol’ canvas. Four colors are currently available: brown/tan/green, green/tan, stone grey/navy, or black/stone grey. For more pictures, check out Sneaker Freaker or Nice Kicks.
A little while ago they were only available online in Germany (wtf?), but now you can order two of the colors on Shoebuy. Funny though, the black/stone grey one is more expensive than the brown/tan/green one, and the latter is “canvas” while the former is “vegan.” Weird. According to other blogs, they are all vegan.
So the release of this shoe begs several questions. Is this a sign of things to come? Are we going to see more vegan releases from major brands? Or is this just a niche market they’re testing? I don’t see what companies like Saucony have to lose in offering a retro shoe made without animals. They already have the design, and the materials shouldn’t be more expensive. Plus, it reaches a new market. Win-win!
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions!