Good Guys Go Vegan (France, use coupon code englandnaturally for 20 Euros discount) has been around for years, before France even had a vegan! Made ethically in Italy from quality breathable materials, just search online to find your favourites. These funky boots are unique and best-sellers the world over. And stylish? Come on – they’re french!
Leather is not a by-product of the meat industry, and it’s really good to use nontoxic vegan leathers to help both animals and the planet, rather than use leather that is very polluting to both water supplies and the people working in tanneries. Good vegan leathers are also easy to clean with a damp cloth, and partly biodegradable (things are improving all the time, with some goods now made from fruit leathers).
Quality vegan shoes are made of several materials. You can of course find rope/jute sandals and natural rubber wellies etc. But for ‘everyday shoes’, the main material is Microfiber, which is gradually becoming more and more biodegradable, thanks to inventions like fruit leathers, which use up the waste from industry (apples, grapes, pineapples, cactus). Easy to clean with a jar of dubbin, invest in a couple of pairs and wear on alternate days, and you should be sorted.
As most quality vegan shoes are still sold online, visit the shoe shop (afternoons when your feet are their proper size) and get your feet measured (or measure your own feet). It only takes a second, and then you know the size to order. If you’re a half-size, it’s usually okay to order the bigger size (feet swell when running and you’ll likely be wearing socks). But it’s best to try to find the exact size for other shoes (it may be a case of trial and error – European brands don’t offer half sizes).