These shoe brands are kickin’ it!

From+top+left+to+bottom+right%3A+Allbirds+Wool+Runners%2C+Timberland+ReBOTL%2C+Vans+slip-ons%2C+Lane+Eight+trainers%2C+Cariuma+IBI

Credit to each brand respectively

From top left to bottom right: Allbirds Wool Runners, Timberland ReBOTL, Vans slip-ons, Lane Eight trainers, Cariuma IBI

Peter Wujek, Staff Writer

For those looking to step up their fashion game in 2020 or those who just want to look fresh, I compiled a list of shoe brands that are stylish, and as a bonus, most of them positively impact the environment around them.

Allbirds: Eco-friendly hyper-comfortable shoes. Below is the article I wrote talking about specifically Allbirds.

Timberland: The popular shoe and boot brand is making a step towards being more eco-friendly. They have a new line of boots, ReBOTL, that use recycled plastic bottles in the upper section of the boot. The waterproofing material for this specific style and a few others is also made with recycled plastic bottles. As of January 31, Timberland claims that they have “given new life to the equivalent of 345 million plastic bottles,” which is a great step towards being eco-friendly. Not only are Timberlands environmentally conscious, but they are also fashionable and comfortable. Timberland also sells sneaker-boots, which are a lightweight high-top sneaker styled after the boots. On their website, Timberland has information about the forest-restoring charities and foundations they donate to. Highlights include the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Treedom, Treeaid, and the Smallholders Farmers Alliance. You can read more about each of these charities and others here. 

Vans- Vans doesn’t have a specific shoe that is eco-friendly, but if you don’t have a pair of Vans, you should consider getting some. They are comfortable and stylish for a lower price. Most pairs cost $60-70, which is pretty reasonable. I have a pair of slip-ons, which have become my go-to shoe for a quick trip or even a long school day. I also have a pair of high-tops, which I love the look of. Vans have solid colors, checkered patterns, and come in suede, canvas or leather. I would seriously recommend picking up a pair of Vans here.

Lane Eight: I discovered these shoes from an ad on my Instagram, and I was instantly intrigued. As I looked further into the brand, I discovered how transparent and customer-oriented Lane Eight is. The AD 1 Trainers (Lane Eight’s signature shoe) are designed with the customer and the athlete in mind. Trainers are intrinsically designed for a range of fitness activities, like running, weightlifting or racket sports. I own a pair of the AD 1 Trainers in Icy Mint, and they are my favorite running shoes. The sole has a unique pattern, specialized for high traction. The in-sole is comfortable and has a foam pellet design. Even more unique, the AD 1 Trainers in Icy Mint and Pale Birch are eco-friendly. Sadly, only these colors are eco-friendly at the moment. The natural suede paneling on other colors was replaced with microfiber. The knit upper on the shoe is fashioned from 11 plastic bottles that were turned into polyester yarn. The foam midsole was made from BLOOM, algae foam that hurts ecosystems. With every pair of shoes made, 31.5 liters of freshwater are returned to the environment and 64 cubic meters of carbon are removed from the atmosphere. I would recommend checking these shoes out, especially if you are a frequent runner or you just want a comfortable and fashionable trainer. 

Cariuma- Cariuma is another shoe brand I discovered through Instagram ads. The main shoes they advertised were from their ‘IBI’ collection, sporting 100 percent vegan and carbon neutral shoes. The sneakers are knit from bamboo and recycled plastics. The insoles are made from lightweight memory foam and cork to keep the shoe vegan. The outsole is made of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) which is made from sugarcane, which has a negative carbon footprint. Lastly, the laces are made from recycled plastic bottles. I don’t have a pair of these shoes myself, but the information on the website seems very promising. Cariuma also has classic low and high tops, but they aren’t vegan because of leather on the insole. When the IBI were first released, they were quickly sold out and are on their way to being sold out again.  Check out Cariuma here.