Giving up leather - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-28-2015, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 44
Question Giving up leather

Hello everyone!
I am a vegan but, I do have one pair of work boots with leather on them, and a pair of patent leather dress shoes and a pair of regular looking shoes but have a leather insole. It was before I went completely vegan. For example, when I was younger, I thought vegan just meant to not eat anything made from or with animals. I didn't think about clothes...

I am conflicted about what to do. If I buy "vegan" leather, it still looks like regular leather, so what it the point? Is it still promoting leather?
I am not sure if I should get rid of my two pairs of shoes, because they have held up pretty well, and still look new and I am not sure about different kinds of shoes. I only wear plain canvas sneakers between my dress shoes and boots. Would it be a waste of money and items to get rid of them and buy new ones that look exactly the same?

I am very conflicted about this, I've tried to talk to friends about it, and the two of them that are vegan are only dietary ones, so they don't think its a problem.

I was wondering if anyone else on here has had similar feelings or problems with leather shoes.
I have looked at rubber/jelly shoes and synthetics, but I don't know how well they are if they are not made from breathable material. What is everyone's experience with vegan shoes?

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#2 Old 10-28-2015, 05:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Hi again UKvege!

A lot of vegans keep what leather items they have until they wear out. It may depend on the situation or your comfort level. For me personally I donated all my leather shoes save one pair to church clothing drives or second hand stores. I did the same with belts and other items. The last pair of leather shoes were hikers and I held on to them until I was able to find a decent pair of vegan hiking shoes (I now have three and love them all!). Nothing was thrown away. The only leather I have left are several canvas canoe packs that have leather straps, and each of those packs was over $100 and not something I can give up that easily. So I still use those but only on camping trips which are a few times per year. I still consider myself very much vegan. If you can't afford to give up a good pair of leather shoes, then don't.

I only have one pair of fake leather shoes. The rest of my shoes are made of materials like hemp, canvas, nylon, and other plant/man made materials. I haven't had any issues with them holding together well. My Garmont vegan Kiowa hiking shoes have held up to snowshoeing trips, canoe camping trips, long hiking trips (plus 14 miles) and every day wear and four years later they are still as good as new. I think I paid about $67 for them, including shipping and handling since I had to order them online. Unfortunately the company no longer makes them so if I need another pair down the road I will have to try something else. I also have hemp hiking/casual shoes that are very breathable and have excellent traction/soles. I paid about the same for those as the Garmonts (they are Wicked Hemp shoes). I paid less than $30 for a pair of vegan Five Ten canvas shoes with hard grippy soles (made for rock climbing but i bought them for mountain biking) and they also serve as casual work shoes as they are a dark brown neutral type of shoe. They are very well made. What I did was look on and add them to my wish list. then I would visit the site often and check on the price to see if it had fallen or there was a sale. When that happened I nabbed them! I do that with other items from It's starting to get easier to find local vegan shoes and other items now though for me. I have canvas loop belts that I LOVE. I haven't missed leather ones at all, and truthfully I have had leather items that did not last me long, and I never felt that leather items were that breathable or warm. Warmth and ruggedness are important for me because I live in the NE where snow and ice and terrain are rugged. It took me a while to find good shes though. I was poor when I bought most of them (working and going to school) but I paid for them with student loan money. I can totally understand if a person is struggling financially. I would have a harder time understanding if a vegan went out and bought leather shoes just because they liked them, unless they were a requirement for work or something along those lines. That's just my opinion.

In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel

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