Footwear

BOOTS & SHOES

Altitude IV Enviro

This may be another one that’s a bit hard to track down, at least initially, as it is just a new release in the northern hemisphere. The Hi-Tec Altitude is a popular boot which the company has started to make in an ‘environmentally friendly’ version. This means it uses leather that has been tanned using lower impact methods (reducing greenhouse emissions slightly), and has an injection method for the sole that gets rid of waste. It also uses water-based glues, a partially recycled rubber outsole and 100% recycled liner.

NB: no information available on working conditions as yet.

Hi-Tec is widely available in Australia. If you’re looking for a mid weight, leather boot, it may be worth asking your store to get in this new version of the boot.

La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX

This is a mid cut, lightweight “eco-friendly” hiking boot suitable for moderate bushwalking loads and day hikes.

Ecological design features: the upper is made from Nubuck Leather and 100% recycled nylon mesh, and the lining is a mix of Gore-Tex®/Dri-Lex® Bristol with 40% recycled nylon.

In terms of working conditions, the company says:

“La Sportiva owns and operates its own state-of-the-art factory in Italy. This small, 150 person, factory is truly an anomaly in today’s footwear world characterized by hyper-competitiveness and extreme pricing pressures which have lead most modern outdoor footwear companies to the solution of outsourced production contractors. Our factory is located in Ziano di Fiemme, a small mountain village in the heart of the Italian Dolomites”.

The company website says that it is a member of the “Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) … (which) have adopted the Fair Labor Code of Conduct. To adopt the Code and become a Participant, a company shall declare its support for the OIA Fair Labor Code of Conduct and seek to conform to the Code and its standards. The Code of Conduct outlines standards to ensure that working conditions in the outdoor industry supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible”.

Further information on production conditions here and labor conditions here.

La Sportiva boots are widely available in stores around Australia. If your local doesn’t – as yet – stock the Eco you may want to suggest they get them in.

SANDALS

Rafters Coho sandals – mens & womens.

“A lightweight ecologically sound water sandal with excellent comfort and support”.

Company information:
“The eco-friendly Raftech Coho sandals from Rafters are purpose built to suit your active outdoor style. Recycled P.E.T. webbing upper in an athletic sandal style with a round open toe. P.E.T. fabric made from recycled soft drink and water bottles. Quick-release buckles, Z-strap design. Fabric lining, rubber sponge footbed with odor-reducing Aegis antimicrobial technology. Flexible midsole, 25% recycled rubber outsole.”

I couldn’t find any information on working conditions so assume work place issues are not a high priority of the company.

[thanks to Teckel from backcountry forum for spotting this one].

It seems you can buy these on line from something called the adventure megastore – I hadn’t heard of it before. Not sure if they are available in stores.

3 Responses to Footwear

  1. Cheap Trainer Links says:

    This might be a weird query, but I’m a vegan, so I’m looking for cheap trainers (sneakers) which don’t contain any animal “element”. I understand that many trainers have perhaps parts which have been tried out on lab rats, or are made with animal stuff. Are there trainer brands which are completely artificial?

    • quinton says:

      Try Vegan Wares: http://www.veganwares.com/

      I purchased a pair of the micro-fibre ‘Hiking Boots’ ($240) a couple of years ago and have worn them just about every day since, indoors and out, and on many bushwalks. The boots still look and feel as good as the day I bought them. If I lost my pair I would buy another in a flash. Highly recommended.

  2. h says:

    Try Simple shoes: http://www.simpleshoes.com and Patagonia.

    Many other companies (adidas/nike/etc) manufacture vegan/synthetic shoes, but may not have a commitment to fair labor or environmentally conscious practices..

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