One of the biggest sartorial challenges for the style-conscious vegan is footwear, and in particular, boots. Once you eliminate leather, nubuck and suede, you also eliminate the best designs and quality. Alack and alas, I shall never own a pair of Hermes riding boots. I feel like I should hashtag this #firstworldproblems.
With winter upon us (and today’s weather is particularly vile), and The Bunny making me less and less inclined to wear heels as my centre of gravity tips ever forward, I wanted to find a pair of low-ish boots for wearing on weekends when my Converse feel too casual.
Searching out animal-friendly footwear often leads me to find myself in shoe shops that, if they were equivalent clothes shops, I would never enter. Imagine the Supre of shoes. Not really my demographic. However, I have had frequent successes with Betts. They have a big range, plenty of non-leather, and the sales are pretty darn generous too.
I have a couple of key requirements when it comes to boots. Firstly, the material must be ‘good’ – not that plasticy, shiny thin stuff. I don’t want to look like I’ve clingwrapped my calves. Secondly, I hate those plastic heels that are made to look like a proper stacked heel. I want a proper stacked heel of proper solid …well I don’t know what, but not plastic with pixelated prints on them!
I can’t find an exact picture of the boots I bought, but imagine these ‘Roustabouts‘ with a lower, more cowboy-y heel.
They have zips on both sides, and are a lovely neutral nougat with a dark stacked heel. I bought the Berlin style. The lower heel will be great for running around in while the almond shaped toe saves them from being too masculine.
I also tried the ‘Magik‘ boot which has the same upper as the ‘Berlin’, but a much higher heel and elasticated sides. I liked them enormously and it was only the thought of my need to buy low, low, low shoes that persuaded me to get the Berlins instead. But I’m still thinking that they might just make their way in to the cupboard somehow …
I also liked the ‘Alamo‘. I am fond of a slouch top on an ankle boot because they are very forgiving when you have to tuck your jeans inside them, but I’d have to check that those heels aren’t cunningly crafted rubber.
Of course, there are some shoes that just aren’t me:
Oh who am I kidding. They’re fabulous. Utterly utterly fabulous.