Saturday, November 19, 2011

New shoes

My son needs new shoes. Not the little one, the 14 year old one. The one that happens to currently wear the same size shoe as me. The one who, if I am lucky, will pass down some cool shoes to me when he moves into the next size. So, I have some interest in being involved with the process of buying his next shoe...

We started the new shoe hunt online, looking for eco-friendly sneakers. He is quite obviously into how the shoe looks, and at first that was all that he cared about and we were kind of butting heads... so I dropped the whole thing and forgot about it.

But then he came to me yesterday and said that he had been thinking about it and he actually did care about the quality of the shoe and that it was eco friendly. He doesn't like the idea of workers being treated unfairly to make the products that he buys, and he doesn't like seeing overflowing landfills, so we went back to the computer again.
Check out what we found.

Oat shoes were our favorite find, but they are totally out of our price range:
These shoes are biodegradable and you can apparently grow plants out of them when you are done wearing them. Pretty cool.

Well, I certainly don't want to advertise for n1ke, but they have a shoe that is made from recycled newspaper:
(I obviously didn't take these pictures, I'm sure you all realize that)
When we came across this shoe, my son said something to the effect of: I wonder how long it took the kids in the shoe factories to make those shoes. We moved on.

And then we came across other cool biodegradable footwear:
Afterheels are little compact shoes sold in vending machines in the UK. They are designed for when your feet hurt after wearing heels all night. The shoes are biodegradable and sold for pretty cheap.
A very interesting idea.

Then I found an article about how someone made a stormtrooper helmet from recycled adidas shoes.

And some vegan heels that are made from recycled tvs.

Ok, ok... I was having fun but enough about shoes that my son would never wear - this is what we found for him:
Simple shoes make some nice shoes from recycled material. I think they will be one of our new default shoes to buy when we need to buy "new". This particular shoe is made from hemp and organic cotton as well as recycled materials. The outsole is made from 40% recycled car tires and 60% natural rubber with biodegradable materials. The insole is also biodegradable, designed to break down within 20 years. And the really nice thing about them? I would say it's the elastic laces... my son currently wheres his laces super loose and not tied at all... and of course there's that little parent gene that I acquired when I had kids that ensures that this behavior drives me nuts. And then I feel old (but that's another blog post).
Oh, and I would wear these shoes... which brings us back to the beginning of this post.

Ok, I'm going to tell you all something else.

I have a little dirty secret. I love shoes. I know, I know... most women do. But I don't really like women shoes much since my wide feet don't often fit in them. But I like looking feminine sometimes so I don't always want to wear mens shoes. So shoe shopping is very difficult, especially when looking for second hand like I try to. I can't buy second hand online for shoes unless I've tried on the shoe and know it's the right fit. And I don't ever want to spend a lot of money on shoes because it makes me feel guilty. But yesterday, I did.

Every time I look for shoes for myself, I spend hours online hunting for the best shoe for the best price, never being able to try the shoe on. Once I make a decision, I'm always disappointed for some reason.

But I finally decided to treat myself to a really good pair of shoes, made by a good company and purchased from a local business. And you know what? I don't even feel guilty.

Keen shoes have always been my favorite. The company is decent and they fit my feet just right. No pointy toes, no heel, just total comfort... and this just might be the boot that I've been looking for forever. I bought them locally on a day that encouraged local buying in my town by offering 20% coupons for some of the stores... so I took advantage and saved a little money. Considering that I have never spent this much on shoes, anything helped!

Phew, I feel better now that I've told you.

I guess maybe I was feeling a tiny bit guilty...


  1. Keens last forever and buying local is the best! Good for you. I know how hard it is to spend so much on one's self, but when you think of it, the way I go through shoes, it is cheaper for me to spend a lot on a pair of good shoes, Keen, Dansko etc.

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