Wednesday, April 18, 2007

veggie shoe shopping, or, how i learned to stop worrying and love the peep toe.

(i realize that blog posts appropriating the dr. strangelove title should probably, at this point, be subject to heavy fines. but i've gone and done it anyway. so there you go.)

i haven't talked much here about going vegetarian, which i did at the turn of 2007. there were a lot of compelling arguments for it, i had been leaning in that direction for a little while, and the beginning of a new year seemed like as good a time as any to make such a life change. so, i went veg. and it's been pretty great thus far (except for the popeye's chicken right around the corner from our apartment complex - damn that place and its delicious fry-a-lator aromas!). in addition to a vegetarian diet, i also decided to stop purchasing leather. it seemed fairly hypocritical of me to imply that killing animals to eat them is not ok, but killing them to wear them is totally fine. while i'm not throwing away the leather-based jackets and such that i already own (i'm also a big fan of reduce reuse recycle - i'm mid-90s old school in that way), i'm also not buying anything from here on out that involves leather, suede, etc.

so. do you know how hard it is to find nice shoes that are also leather-free?

because it's damn near fucking impossible.

today, i started at marshall's, browsing their sizable shoe department. i need a cute pair of more summery black shoes or sandals. now, to be fair, i'm kind of a picky shoe person to start with - i have definitive ideas about how high a heel i want, how strappy i want, what kind of texture i want, and blahdy blah blah. then add to that my new leather-less requirement, and you've got one big clusterfuck of shoe buying impossibility. i quickly gave up on marshall's and got serious. i went to DSW.

DSW - literally, the warehouse of shoes. if there was anywhere that i could find a manmade and cute pair of shoes, this was it. and still, i wandered the aisles, putting down shoe after shoe with "leather upper" stamped on the inside. "dejected" doesn't even begin to cover my mindset as i approached the final few aisles.

then, a discovery. black. decent sized heel. nice taper. good texture. "all manmade material"!! a total winner, right? the issue - they had a peep toe.

now, here's the thing. i know peep toes are all the rage right now. you can't go two feet without bumping into someone wearing them, or seeing a pair on display in a store window. the peep toes are hot. so what's my problem?? thing is, i just, well...i kinda don't like them. i don't have a rationale or reason for this - i don't begrudge anyone else for liking and/or wearing peep toes. i just always felt like, eh. not for me.

but today, today was a turning point. i was faced with a dilemma - accept the peep toe as it is and walk away from this two-hour shoe odyssey with something to show for it, or rule out the pair based on an inexplicable disinclination towards a tiny, toe-sized hole?

i bought them.

and they're pretty cute, right? i have to admit, they kinda are. so a day that i thought would never come - me, in possession of a pair of peep toes! - has, in fact, arrived. what's next? rope wedge heels??

no. never that. although they are in style now, too..


Kate said...

they ARE cute. earth makes a vegan mary jane that is adorable. i want to say simple shoes also make vegan, and i know birkenstocks can be vegan.

i hope to hear more about what it's like being veggie as you keep going with it!

Roni said...

Good for you!

And yes....finding good veggie shoes is a PITA not to mention a hit to the wallet. Good luck!

dorothy rothschild said...

They are cute. And that's a classic style. They almost look vintage.

I've gone back to vegetarianism (I was for 12 years, and then I moved to New York and kind of let it go, but now am back at it) and am also looking to not buy leather shoes.

Another good place, I remember from back in my vegan days (a couple of years during that 12 years of vegetarianism) is actually Payless Shoes, of all places.

kate.d. said...

Payless Shoes, of all places.

actually, i believe that - cheap shoes are usually not made of real leather :) and hey, i'm all right with that. i work for a non-profit - cheap is also very important!

the ones in the post were actually only $35, which is not horrible.

jacket said...

gosh...I think I might have a bit of a shoe thing.

DancingFish said...

Congrats on the veggie-ness! The shoes are very cute!