I love being barefoot – indoors and outdoors. Since I walk for a living, I must have one pair of actual shoes.
Walking 8 to10 miles a day, five days a week, over various terrains, I wear through shoes very quickly. My feet are large and very wide, (I always joke that I have Evil Stepsister size feet), so it’s very difficult to find a comfortable shoe that fits properly even in a male size. Additionally, the variety of shoe choices is astronomical.
Choices, choices, choices. We are faced with choices every day when purchasing clothing and accessories. Shoes, purses, wallets, boots, coats, skirts, hats, sweaters, shirts, pants, scarves, dresses, furniture, pet supplies…the list of everyday items made from tortured and slaughtered animals goes on and on and on.
Thankfully there are cruelty-free shoe options. All you have to do is research and read the label. Avoid leather, fur, suede, exotic animal skins, and other animal-derived materials and glue. Look for acceptable cruelty-free plant fabrics include cotton, linen or hemp. When assessing eco-friendly synthetic materials, be sure to evaluate the sustainability credentials of the brand.
After 7 years of professional dog walking, I have finally found the best athletic shoe to suit all of my needs. The vegan-friendly Merrell® Trail Glove 4 trail running shoes are a miracle. The barefoot style quickly contoured to my feet. They provide excellent flexibility, stability, and traction.
My fingers are crossed that Merrell will continue to manufacture this shoe; I want to be able to continue to purchase this brand and style. Too often, products that conform to my needs and ethics are discontinued.
Although not all products by Merrell are vegan, it is advantageous to the vegan movement to applaud and support large companies that sell quality vegan merchandise. Hopefully, Merrell and other companies will expand their vegan choices as they demonstrate to the non-vegan consumer that vegan products are equal to and better than non-vegan products.
Providing high quality vegan clothing and accessories is extremely important for animals, the environment, and ultimately transforming the non-vegan mindset toward embracing a vegan lifestyle.
When it comes to your everyday product needs, will you choose to go with the mainstream flow and disregard the impact of your purchase or will you choose items that do not harm animals and the environment?
I can’t tell you what to do. Your conscience must walk you to the right choice.