As I get older (and greener) I realize there is so much value in choosing higher quality items over cheaper, more affordable things. This goes for everything: kitchen goods, clothing, and even cosmetics. But this idea is most apparent for me in my choice of footwear. For years I would choose the cheapest shoes to wear to work. This is partly because I didn't care what my shoes looked like, and partly because I didn't have a lot of money to spend on footwear (or anything, for that matter!). But at the end of my long coffeeshop days my legs would ache and my body would be tight and sore. I'd beg my boyfriend for a leg massage, or head to yoga to stretch everything out. But as I got older and found other jobs that kept me on my feet, the pain persisted and worsened.
I finally started looking around for some healthy shoe options. I had some money to spend, and I wanted something comfortable, vegan and cute. I found Earth Shoes, and seriously, my feet have never been the same!
Earth Shoes are truly the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. I've been wearing them for years, and every time I choose to wear something besides my Earth Shoes for long days on my feet, I regret it for days. When I purchased my first pair I was able to work 12-14 hour days with no pain in my feet; it was an immediate correction. I wore those shoes for over two years before they literally fell apart from so much use. I recently purchased a second pair, seen in the photos above.
There are many cool things about Earth Shoes: the shoe itself is super comfortable because of the multi-layered footbed with arch support and a padded heal. Earth Shoes are famous for their 'negative heal technology' which helps keep your toes turned just slightly upward, just like in yoga. This keeps your posture nice and straight and helps reduce strain on the legs and back. This simple structural change was created 40 years ago by Ann Kalsø, a Danish yoga instructor. She observed that raising the toes relative to the heels (like in ‘Mountain’ pose) could help people attain physical wellness.
Not only are they amazingly comfortable, they are designed using many sustainable practices. In 2004 Earth, Inc. became one of the first shoe manufacturers to introduce water-based adhesives throughout 100% of its line. All their products come in flax bags (reusable and biodegradable) and the boxes are made from recycled cardboard. The previous pair of vegan shoes was actually biodegradable (though I donated to a thrift store). They note on their site that all their products, "[embody] a 'good for the body' and 'good to the planet' ideal, while enhancing the lives and perspectives of all those who wear them." Most of their shoes are made with leather and suede, though they do offer some shoes (but not enough) that are totally vegan. You can buy Earth Shoes and local retailers and online on Zappos and other big shoe stores.
This article was NOT sponsored by Earth shoes; it truly is my honest opinion!