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What I think About My Vegan Dr. Martens Sandals

Vegan Dr Martens Sandals - Blaire Dr Martens - Best vegan shoes
British iconic footwear brand, created by a German doctor, Dr. Martens is famous for their chunky boots, which have evolved from strictly workwear to punk must-haves to fashion-girl staples.

Since 1940s Dr. Martens only made footwear cut from leather. But with the rise in veganism and growing demand for leather-free products, Dr. Martens finally dropped their first vegan collection in 2011. The collection comprised of two of its most iconic styles - the 8 eye boot and the 3 eye shoe. Ever since its launch, the sales of vegan Dr. Martens boots have sky rocketed and the brand has introduced various new styles and colors to its animal-free collection.

While Dr. Martens cult combat boots with tough leather upper, air-cushioned sole, and yellow stitching are what the brand is most known for, they are so much more. Docs are also available in a wide range of styles available from shoes to sandals that all have an edge that is distinctively Dr. Martens.

On one of my trips to San Francisco a few years back, I spotted Dr. Martens store and was excited to see their vegan range. The sales lady explained that while their regular collection also had shoes made without leather, the other components like glue in those shoes could be animal-derived. However, they can guarantee that their vegan collection is completely free from animal materials.
While I loved the vegan doc boots, considering it was summer, I picked up their vegan Blaire sandals in gorgeous cherry color. The enduring style and durability of these chunky sandals with their minimalist look was hard to resist. I asked them to pack the shoes I was wearing and buckled my fresh vegan sandals I just bought to endure the long walk I had on my schedule.

Here's a low-down of the vegan sandals from Dr. Martens I have in my shoe closet since 4 years now.

Comfort? I wore the sandals for ~6 straight hours the day I purchased them. While I loved the comfortable soles, I have to say after about an hour of walking, the sandals felt too heavy (I was told the leather version was even heavier). After a few hours, I even had a shoe bite at the back, because I tied the buckle too tight (don't make that mistake). This day was the longest I wore these sandals and I swore to never wear them on days that would require long walking hours.

Ever since that day, I have worn the Blaire sandals hundreds of times, and love how versatile they are. I can pair them with dresses, to denim and a nice shirt. I absolutely love them. They are comfortable, heavy but you don't feel that unless you have to walk in them for hours.

Quality and durability? These timeless pair of well-made sandals don't look faux at all. You can hardly tell its not made from leather, unless someone tells you. They're sturdy, durable and look as good as new even after 4 years.

Ethical score? On the sustainability meter, when it comes to the eco-credentials Dr Martens have a lot of work to do to improve their impact.

Dr. Martens uses one of the most popular leather substitutes, polyurethane (PU), which is prized for its suppleness and resemblance to real leather. PU is certainly not the most sustainable materials out there, it is after all plastic. But considering it is extremely durable, I'd pick this over a pair of leather shoes any day. One big downer, which I later discovered was, the sole of these sandals are made from PVC - the worst leather-alternative when it comes to its environmental-friendliness.

The good news is, Dr. Martens has introduced recycled materials in some of its styles. I'm hoping, cruelty-free and completely eco-friendly Dr. Martens collection is not too far away.....

All Dr. Martens shoes are packaged in shoebox made from 100% post-consumer waste, also recyclable, and it is printed with soy ink.

So how ethical are Dr. Martens? I'd say that while the brand is making a start by introducing cruelty-free shoes that don't come from harm to the animals and taking small steps to improve labour and environment ratings, there's a lot of scope for improvement.

I would love to get my hands on Dr. Martens vegan boots - but only when they drop a collection that's environmental friendly too. Until then, I am happy with these vegan sandals.


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