Question from Joe
I was wondering what your opinion of these shoes im planning to purchase https://wills-vegan-store.com/vegan-dock-boots-mens-tan-vegan-suede.html. When i messaged the company it said the vegan suede was created with polyurethane based materials that are similar to polyester? Are these safe to wear?
Polyurethane is a safe plastic but it can have additives that are not safe. The company specifies that the suede (but not the entire shoe!) is Oeko Tex 100 certified, so the suede itself is probably fine. The TR outsole, which is synthetic rubber is made from petroleum and can offgass. However, most shoes have this type of sole. I have never seen a work boot with an outsole made of a natural material. The most concerning component is the insole, which is made from recycled rubber. Studies show that recycled rubber, likely from recycled tires, can offgas harmful chemicals. The company is not able to tell the source of the recycled rubber. If the insole can be removed, you could replace it will a natural material. Overall, these boots are probably better than a standard pair of leather workbooks. The company seems very ethically conscious and is trying to be transparent.