Every time I find out about a new vegan shoe, clothing item, accessory, book, restaurant, vegan offering at a non-vegan restaurant, food item at the supermarket, I get so excited. We’ve come a long way. Vegan products are getting more attention in the media and more people are looking for them. But we still have a way to go in the footwear arena.
There are plenty of shoes for women that are made of synthetic materials but not so many for men, for some odd reason. We’re constantly on the lookout for good shoes for Mauro. Not only that, it’s hard to tell if shoes are 100% vegan unless the manufacturer labels them as such, because many shoe manufacturers still use animal-based glues to assemble there shoes.
Imagine my delight when I found that Unstitched Utilities makes 100% vegan shoes for men and woman, y’all?!
They have a few different styles of canvas and Tyvek sneaks for guys and a few Tyvek sneaks and canvas shoes for ladies. All of them in a huge variety of hip color combinations. A few of the men’s shoes even feature recycled newspaper and magazine pieces. The canvas shoe styles, Gusto and Maui, are also eco-friendly and biodegrade much faster than other synthetic-based shoes, Unstitched told me. How cool is that?
What I like about FastLane from Unstitched Utilities
When initially saw the shoes online and saw their outer shell is Tyvek, I thought they would be flimsy feeling, probably would be loose on my feet and wouldn’t hold up too long if I wore them to the gym daily. Thankfully, I was wrong on all of my assumptions.
I got a pair of FastLane in Limestone/Creamsicle color combo, pictured above, and immediately noticed that they were well made. When I put them on my feet I had an even bigger surprise, the inside of the FastLane has a thin neoprene inner shell. Even though the Tyvek outer shell may look loose, the inner portion of the shoe hugs my feet nicely. The insole is firm but with some give for comfort and has a bit of an arch for support. It’s also lined with a cotton-type fabric (not 100% sure, but it looks like cotton), which keeps your for foot from sliding inside the shoes during sports activity—I’ve had this issue with other sneakers. The sole is a low heel made out of some type of thick rubbery sole material (no technical terms here) with some give, but not bouncy like the gel sneakers, and with nice grip.
I’ve been testing them out for the past 4 months now. I’ve been using them primarily for working out at the gym and have used them a few times on bike rides on cold days (they keep my feet warm). Mauro and I workout 5 days a week, so these shoes have really been put to the test. They’ve been through countless burpees, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, pushups, situps, inverted rows and so on. I even washed them 2 weeks ago and they maintained their shape beautifully. I found that this shoe helped with stability and grip for the types of workouts I do and the fact that they’re low heel may have helped as well.
The con I have to report with the shoe, is that the neoprene lining keep your feet warm and after an intense workout my socks are soaked. I don’t consider this an issue for me, because I only wear them for an hour and then take them off, then they have the rest of the day to dry. Additionally, it only took 4 months for them to start developing a slight odor—I washed them and they’re good to go. Another reason why I didn’t find it to be an issue is, I can’t feel that my socks are wet until I take the shoes off, it doesn’t even affect my performance.
Hurray for compassionate, eco-friendly, well made shoes!
About the Shoes
I asked my contact at Unstitched Utilities if the shoes were made here in the US and if they were 100% vegan. Here is her answer:
“No they are not made in the US. Our creators originally looked for a manufacturer here but ended up choosing one in Vietnam to keep costs low and the factory standards high. We pay top dollar to make sure the factory conditions are good and the shoes are produced using all vegan products. It’s not only the outer shell that is vegan, but the water based glue that holds them together is animal free as well.”
About Unstitched Utilities (taken from their website)
Everyone these days is aware of the greater effects our lifestyles have on the environment at large. For contemporary consumers, it’s cool to “go green”, yet these consumers do not want to shirk their style. Enter Unstitched Utilities, a brand that perfectly mediates social consciousness and couture. With vegan dyes and glues, this line of sustainable forward-thinking shoes provide the consumer with a hip and trendy alternative to the usual standbys. When someone is in a pair of our Unstitched Utilities footwear, they only need to let their feet do the talking…
“Our shoes are produced in Asia, either China or Vietnam. Like many of our customers we are concerned that the employees of the factories we deal with are in safe working conditions and not taken advantage of. We do everything possible to make sure this happens.”
Tyvek is a flashspun high-density polyethylene fiber that is water resistant, highly breathable, extremely durable and very lightweight. Tyvek is vegan-friendly and sustainable, as it is a recyclable material as well.