Vegan J-41 “Seabreeze” Sport Sandals–Jeeps are For Girls (on the Go)!

J-41 Seabreeze in CoralIf you are a frequent reader, you know three things about me: I’m vegan, I love fashion, and I love to walk/hike!  If you share these passions, read on!

You may recall that last July, I literally stumbled upon J-41 vegan sandals at our local Off Broadway Shoe Store just in time for my annual hiking jaunt in August with Cousin Earl.

You may also recall that I lost both toenails (ouch!) prior to that on a 9 mile hike with my pal, Katherine Jackson, in the Dismal Swamp.  I was wearing my nice lace-up athletic shoes, but I was wearing them with my husband’s cotton socks to keep ticks and such off my ankles.  Bad move!  The socks absorbed  moisture from the wet grass through the mesh of my shoes, not to mention the sweat (sorry!) from my feet.  The cotton expanded and made my shoes fit too tight, rubbing for hours on my toes, which actually didn’t hurt until afterwards.

So, last year, I was looking for open-toed sport sandals–I wanted nothing touching my toenails!–and the ones in the link above fit the bill perfectly.  Plus, I loved the girlie flowers on them which, as it happens, matches this year’s Tiffany blue toenail polish.  However, I have flat worn those sandals out!  I am still wearing them, but am in desperate need of a new pair.

In the market for a replacement today with this lots more walking and hiking on tap for this summer (including a trip with Earl again this August), I decided I wanted another sport sandal, but something with a closed toe to protect my newly grown back toenails (it took a full year as I was warned it would!).

The shoes had to be vegan, close-toed but open on the sides, breathable, stylish, and, hopefully, orange, this year’s fashion color.  So back to J-41 I went and was rewarded with this pair of “Seabreeze” sport sandals in coral and cream on sale for $39.99 at Boscov’s online, a $50 discount!  The shipping was hefty at almost $10, but the price was still far better than most of these non-vegan sandals (like Keen, Merrel, and Teva) which run in the $70-90+ range before any shipping is added.

I can hardly wait to kick-it in my new J-41s!

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My Latest Vegan Shoe Purchase–How Bloomin’ Cute Are These?!

Jambu J-41 Jolie Vegan Wedge

Back in July, I shared my then new discovery: J-41–Adventure On vegan shoes with their Jeep technology and cool styling.  I still wear them every day to walk the dogs…I even wore them with a cute dress to school on Friday!  My husband thought  the ensemble looked great.  And he wishes that the company made shoes for men.  But, alas, it’s a chicks only thing!

Now that it’s September and school has been in session for a week–I’m so lucky…I LOVE my students!–I’ve been thinking less about summer hiking and more about how to look stylish in work clothes while keeping my tootsies comfy with a lot of standing and walking on hard surfaces every day (think linoleum over concrete).

Fortunately for me, J-41 makes vegan dress shoes that aren’t too dressy or expensive.  I was giving up hope after a fair amount of online searching until I thought of revisiting J-41.  I mistakenly thought they only make athletic shoes.  Wrong!  There were several options to choose from; I selected the Jolie Vegan Wedge with a sexy little peep-toe, and their characteristic tiny floral pattern.  I also love the cutouts.

Though the shoes have a little bit of a “cloggish” feel to them, I don’t think they look too “hippy-ish.” Do you?  Why do shoe manufacturers think that vegans want to either wear 1) the 21st century equivalent of “earth shoes, ” 2)  RIDICULOUSLY high caricatures of a platform shoe, or 3) super high end designer shoes?  (Don’t get me wrong in regard to the latter…the mind is willing, but the pocketbook isn’t!)

These were around $70 on Amazon–so easy and no shipping charges!

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The Perfect Vegan Shoe for Gals on the Go–J-41 Adventure On!

Jeeps are for girls!  Read on…

On Monday, I posted on FB about my 8.5 mile hike with my good gal pal, Katherine Jackson.  But I didn’t mention it here, as food was not really the focus.  Getting to and from Lake Drummond in The Dismal Swamp on  a 90+ degree day was!

While I loved our time together, the exercise, and the beautiful lake, I’m not so wild about all of the mosquito/fly bites I came home with on my calves and ankles, though it was my own fault.  While we were slathered in sunscreen, we neglected insect repellant.  At any rate, worse still is my bruised big toenail on my left foot.  I was wearing good shoes, so I’m not sure what happened other than that I had discarded my last pair of footies–holes had appeared in every one–and wore a pair of my husband’s athletic socks which I had to kind of “squish” into my shoe because the socks were too big.

Last night, I finally acknowledged a true injury, so I soaked it in epsom salts, rubbed it with alcohol, and iced it this morning.  But it is apparent that I cannot wear closed in athletic shoes, footies that fit or no, until this toe heals, and I walk miles every day with our dogs even when I don’t hike.   I REALLY hope I don’t lose the nail.

So, I woke up this morning resolved to find a solution made more urgent by the fact that  my beloved cousin, Earl, is coming from Houston on August 8 specifically for day hiking.  Do you ever feel almost “called” to stop in a store where you rarely, if ever, shop, knowing that they will have what you need?  Well, that happened today with Off Broadway Shoes.

Years ago, I purchased my all time favorite summer walking shoes there.  It was one of the designs that resulted from the Nike/Cole Haan partnership.  I wore them for two seasons unti they finally had to be retired.  (In fact, I bought a pair of unworn Nike/Cole Haan slip-ons this summer at a consignment store thinking they would be my go-to summer shoes even though the size was smaller than I normally wear.  Sadly, however, they kill my feet, though they were comfy in the store.)

Though Off Broadway didn’t have any Nike/Cole Haans, they did have a brand I wasn’t familiar with called J-41 which combines Jeep technology with style, comfort, eco-friendliness, and animal friendliness in their Vegan Collection!  The style I chose, “Hampton,” is from that collection.  And they match my sky blue Vespa. 🙂

According to their website–and the shoe box–“J-41™ products are made with 100% recycled and recyclable packaging. All J-41 outsoles are constructed with partially recycled rubber. In this small way we hope to do our part to help save our great outdoors for future generations. Recycle On.”

Not only that, but these Jeep designed shoes are said to be trail rated, contain compressed rubber with superior traction and durability, and boast toe and heel bumpers for protection against the elements.  Plus, the Jeep Memory Foam Footbed is removable and contoured to cradle feet.  Sounds good to me.  And look at those cute–but not too cute–little flowers!

I wish I hadn’t wrecked my toe, but I think I did the best I could for shoes to baby it while it heals.  If you are similarly on the go, I hope you’ll check them out.  You can purchase them online and they have a number of closed-toe styles.

Adventure On!

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Hot Vegan Platform Sandals by Madden Girl

No, I won’t be serving these on a platter, blooming or otherwise, but I had to share this exciting find…

I just purchased this sexy pair of vegan platform “Kenji” sandals by Madden Girl in taupe for a mere $47 (that is not me in the photo)!

Don’t you think they’ll spiff up just abut everything I might wear this summer and even early fall?

If you’re thinking, “I could never wear a heel that high,” wait!  Until the last few seasons when platforms made a comeback, I couldn’t either.  In fact, yesterday at graduation–yes, we have unleashed 400+ more PAHS students on the world (and I hate to see them go!)–several teachers with tired feet at 4 in the afternoon were asking how I could wear the (totally hot) Marc Fischer shoes I had on all day.  The answer is “Platforms, baby!”

If you haven’t already, check out Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique to fill quite a few of your fashion needs and desires, including these shoes.

Walk lightly on the earth, but leave a big, stylish vegan shoe print!


Photo credit: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique.

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Vegan Boots from Aerosoles are Stylish and Comfy "to Boot"

When our beloved “Veggie Dog,” Webster, passed away recently at the age of 16, I indulged in a little retail therapy. The only thing it really improved, though, was my wardrobe.
Still, I was delighted to find that Aerosoles makes stylish–even sexy (especially the “Risky Pizness” pair pictured at top)–and ultra comfortable vegan boots.
If, like me, you’ve found that Internet searches for “vegan/vegetarian shoes/boots” or even “faux leather shoes/boots” turn up limited options, then you may be as delighted as I was to learn of these selections from Aerosoles. Fortunately, a mail order catalogue came to my house and I was able to peruse it. You have to look carefully, though, as many of the boots are real leather and some of the styles come in both leather and faux leather.
In addition to the Risky Pizness pair which I have in faux brown croco (top), I have the “Wonderlust” wedge pair in faux tan leather as shown (center), and I have the “Risotto” pair in “Blue Emb,” a dark denim blue (bottom). When they arrived, I loved the looks of all of them, but feared I wouldn’t be able to wear the two higher pairs. A lot of aerobics in the ’80s (on a padded floor without shoes as insisted upon by the studio owner) has left me with sometimes sensitive joints in my big toes. But I can teach/walk all day in cozy comfort with all of these boots and can’t recommend them enthusiastically enough.
When I purchased my three pairs, they were all on sale and I was able to buy them, including shipping, for $250 total. I thought that was a bargain for shoes that I alternate virtually every day. As of this post, they are still on sale–I believe the discount is even steeper than when I purchased–so if you need a little post-holiday lift, go here and browse under the “boots” tab.
Photo Credit: Aerosoles website
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