In the current year of 2023, style has arguably never been more important. With the rise of the internet, you're no longer just dressing for yourself each morning, or even dressing for your friends and family, but potentially every human on the planet. With the ubiquity of TikTok and Instagram, every frame will be under scrutiny, and no-one wants to be going viral for being unfashionable.
On the other side of the coin, the internet has radically diversified style, allowing a lot of different styles that would have once never taken off to be seen as, at worst, quirky, unusual fun. But of course, we can't let ourselves get too carried away with outfit building without being mindful of sustainability. Luckily, most of the up-and-coming online fashion styles revolve heavily around vintage clothes recycled from charity shops, and more for the better. But, let's say you have a specific style of your own in mind, and want to get yourself a nice, new pair of vegan shoes to match – where do you start? And, how do you make sure to measure your impact against the outfit you so desperately need to assemble?
Shoes come in all shapes and sizes, suited to different uses, scenarios and contexts. While this list won't and can't be exhaustive, here is just a few examples of shoe types and styles you might want to consider when finding the pair.
Loafers: The loafer is a men's shoe and the ultimate sign of class. Often worn alongside a high fashion suit and used to work the pedals of a fast car, the prestige that loafers have are next to unmatched in the gentleman's footwear space. Crafted from leather (in this case, of course, vegan microfibre and plant based leather!), the shoe style is laceless, and designed to easily slip on and off. The shoes often have decorative buckles or patterns stitched into the leather-work, to add to the distinguished appearance. A perfect shoe for wearing at home, at a business meeting, or at a swanky party.
Chelsea Boots: as opposed to the thick, restrictive workman's fare you might imagine when you think of boots, the Chelsea style is a lot more versatile and lightweight. An ideal style for both men and women, this boot became popular throughout Beetlemania during the 1960s. Commonly made of either shiny or suede leather, the boot forgoes laces in favour of an elasticated side panel that easily allows the foot to slide in and out, while holding it in place during use. The traditional colours for this boot style is black, or a rich brown. The Chelsea style can have a heel, or not, but usually turns up a little at the toe, for a flourishy finish.
High top sneakers: the design element of high tops are a feature of a lot of shoes, but the high top sneaker has become a genre of shoe in it's own right. Popularised throughout the 20th century as basketball shoes, they soon took on a mainstream fashion appeal, as actual shoes designed for that sport evolved into something quite different. The shoe features a 'top' that goes as high as to cover your ankles. They are traditionally paired with contrasting laces and a horizontal exterior pad covering the toe area.
Finding your needs
Now that you have a few ideas about style, consider your needs – when and where will you be wearing your new vegan shoes? Various styles will fit different situations, so take your lifestyle into account. Are you a rugged outdoorsman with a job working in nature? Consider picking up a pair of our Gadea vegan boots, made of vegan suede leather. They are perfect for people who love hiking and exploring the great outdoors.
For people who live in the city and who can't get out in nature as much, we imagine a pair of vegan sneakers might be more your speed, such as our REDO PET recycled shoes, made from plastic bottles; an urban, everyday look.
However, you might have a more diverse variety of needs than just your environment. Shoes are needed for exercise, the office, for going to parties, and more. Each of these scenarios can also have different requirements, in both form and function. Perhaps you work in a formal office, where men are expected to arrive to work in a suit, and women in equivalent formal wear. Or, perhaps you're employed at a modern, casual office, where people show up in jeans and a T-shirt. For the latter, sneakers are probably acceptable, but for the former, you might want a pair of vegan loafers or another style of smart men's shoes. If you're a woman, heelsmight be the way to go. For all genders, any of our vegan Chelsea boots are traditionally a good compromise between formal and casual, and work well in either workplace situation.
Even parties can vary in tone, from a casual booze-up all the way to a formal ball – for a distinguished evening, consider Jake, a vegan, formal, men's shoe fit for any special occasion. Or, what about some of our stylish vegan flats for women, ideal for a formal dance floor as well as wowing your romantic interest for the evening.
Your needs may overlap, and it's best to only buy what you need, and what you feel you will wear regularly. If you're someone who works in a high professional office and is regularly invited to formal events, then a pair of vegan bluchers or women’s flats might be your dream shoe. Consider carefully which style you'd be happy wearing for many years, and in which contexts you'd be able and unable to wear it.
In the end, the vegan shoe that's right for you will be an entirely personal decision. Every person's style, interest, and lifestyle is very different and it would require individual, personalised advice to get that spot on. But as an overview, a starting point of sorts, we hope this article gave you some inspiration on where to start, when selecting the perfect vegan shoe to sit on your feet for the foreseeable future.
Have an amazing day ;)