We're in the middle of Patagonia Advocate week! Until November 21st, Patagonia will be donating $10 to the Appalachian Mountain Club for every pair of Patagonia shoes they sell at Planet Shoes. The Appalachian Mountain Club is all about protecting the Appalachian wilderness through education and direct action. Their volunteers run workshops, classes, outreach, and maintain over 1,500 miles of trails.
They were kind enough to sponsor a giveaway here on the site last week (it's closed now) to promote Advocate Week, and they also offered me a pair of their shoes to review. I chose their super-adorable slip-ons, The Advocate. They come in a few different colors, but I couldn't resist the blue ones with green elastic. My two favorite colors represented in one shoe!
One thing that's important if you're ordering the Advocate is being careful about sizing. They only come in full sizes, and the reviews on the site mean business when they say that these shoes run on the large side. I'm normally a 7 1/2 to an 8, so I ordered 8s and had to contact the company because they were way too big. The super kind folks at Patagonia sent out a pair in my size right away, though, and other than the sizing snafu, I am super impressed!
I don't buy new shoes very often, so when I do get a new pair, the break in period always really annoys me. With these, there wasn't any kind of break in period at all. They fit me like a glove right out of the box and were super comfy.
They don't have and arch support, so if you're going to be on your feet for a long time, I'd opt for something more with a little bit more cushion. My first time wearing them out, I walked down to the bookstore, which is about a half a mile round trip, and they were totally fine.
Patagonia and the Environment
Since these shoes are made with synthetic leather, they don't breathe like a leather shoe. If you're planning to go without socks in these, a little bit of baking soda might be a good idea. I know, faux leather isn't the most eco-friendly material (though, to be fair, real leather is hardly ecologically sound), but they do their best to use recycled materials in these shoes. The footbed is made from 20% recycled EVA, and they use 15% recycled EVA for the insoles.
Part of what I love about Patagonia is their commitment to supporting environmental causes. They're a member of 1% for the Planet and take care to green up their materials and processes wherever they can. They also carefully track their products' impacts from design to delivery, which I think it really cool. You can read more about what Patagonia's environmental initiatives on their site.