Saturday, June 10, 2023

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9 Luxe, Leather-Free Mules and Clogs


Toes are out. Show us your heels in these luxe, leather-free mules and clogs perfect for dressing up or down in the warmer weather.

Lockdown style doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Will the world be a kinder, more comfortable place if all of us are, too? There’s only one way to find out: lean into it. Or, rather, step into it with ease in these luxe clogs and mules.

Rubber is fast replacing unethical and unsustainable animal leather, and those Crocs keep finding ways to stay afloat: Justin Bieber just wore a pair to the 2022 Grammys. And Questlove accepted his Academy Award in a pair of Crocs. That was a custom pair designed by artist Nastassja Swift. The Roots drummer also wore a pair of Crocs designed by Salehe Bembury to the Grammys (where he also won for Best Music Film).

But you don’t need a red carpet to get in on the action. From sexy to beach-ready, these luxe clogs and mules are perfect warm-weather footwear, especially if you’re overdue for that pedicure.

Best leather-free clogs and mules

Why ditch the leather? Long a fashion staple, brands are swapping out leather to increase their sustainability efforts. Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of human-caused climate change,—about 15 percent—and that means animal textiles are a problem, too.

Leather tanning also presents a host of environmental problems. Chrome tanning, one of the most common tanning methods, is highly toxic to workers as well as a common contaminant in waterways and landfills.

Vegan alternatives to cow leather, however, can be quite the opposite—supporting regenerative crops, made from recycled materials, and using up food waste, are just some of the innovations in the space. Try for yourself with these super sexy, super fun clogs and mules.

1. Simon Miller Bubble Clog

These stunning Simon Miller clogs are smooth and soft featuring a minimalistic design and a thick, supportive platform. The LA-based brand bridges fashion and lifestyle, with a nod to mid-century mod, and a playful take on classic luxury. Made in Portugal from vegan leather and rubber, these clogs are sure to bring the compliments whether wearing them day or night.

2. Bottega Veneta Puddle Rubber Slingback Clog

Step into the future according to Bottega Veneta with these super sleek slingback clogs. Made entirely from rubber, the slingback strap makes them a perfect clog for a light hike or beach stroll. They’re perfectly suited for a brunch outing, too. Made in Italy, with Bottega Veneta’s meticulous eye for detail, this cult-favorite luxury brand bridges minimalism and luxury, and these clogs are proof.

3. Birkenstock Boston Vegan Clog

What would a clog list be without Birkies? The classic Boston clog was a staple for the counterculture of the 1970s, and the vegan version is stepping the brand into the future with its iconic cork-latex footbed and its BIrkibuc vegan nubuck upper. A signature staple that dresses up or down and never goes out of style, these German essentials are an eco closet must.

4. Stella McCartney Falabella Clog

Leave it to Stella McCartney to bring gold chains to sustainable footwear. A leader in sustainability, McCartney has always eschewed leather, finding creative ways to deliver style and function without harming animals or the planet. Enter: the Falabella Clog. A slingback with a Vibram platform sole, the Italian-made clogs are a mix of rubber, viscose, and polyurethane for comfort that will give Crocs a run for its money.

5. Ganni City Mule

Ganni is stepping big into its sustainability commitments, and that includes footwear, too. After announcing its recent plans to phase out all animal leather, these stylish mules are made from 50 percent recycled rubber and recycled polyester lining. Made in Portugal and coming in a number of colorways, these are the slip-ons to take you from your Sunday farmers market stroll straight through to sunset cocktails.

6. Prada Foam Clog

Prada is well on its way to becoming synonymous with recycled nylon, but with these foam clogs, it’s making the case for rubber as the new leather. Versatile and soft, these slide on like clouds and keep your feet feeling afloat even after hours of standing. Perfect for a beach party, festival outing, or just around the house, you’ll never want to take these off.

7. Gucci Perforated Platform Mules

Whether you’re after style first or comfort, Gucci is making sure that you don’t have to choose in the Platform Mules. Made with a chunky perforated sole, you’ll feel your weight distributed as you glide through your day. Rubber through and through, you’ll wonder why shoes are ever made from anything else.

8. Balenciaga x Crocs Tulip Platform Sandal

Crocs and Balenciaga deliver the best of all worlds here in an open-toe clog sandal with a one-inch platform heel and supple leather-like rubber. The tulip print screams spring weather, but these will do you well through to the first frost. Slide in and stay in whether out for a night of drinks and dancing or sipping coconuts on the beach.

9. Sylven Cass Mule

The Cass is Sylven’s first-ever slip-on mule and it’s a gorgeous offering. The soft vegan nappa leather and regenerated rubber sole are handcrafted in Italy for comfort and style. Wear these to the office and then out to dinner without skipping a beat. They’re the perfect slides that will make you itch for a reason to get out of the house and show off your heels.


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