Guest Post: Yes, Sensible World-Saving Shoes Can Be Cute, Too

The coveted TOMS Yellow Calypso Canvas Wedge!

It’s no secret that I don’t own any sensible shoes. I actually thought I did at one point, but at a playdate last week, my friend giggled at my little red wedge-heeled sandals and said, “Those aren’t sensible. These are sensible.” Then she stuck out her foot and showed me her hiking boots, which were tucked over her super cool army pants. A few minutes later, her son lost his boomerang on the roof of a nearby pavilion, and she basically scaled the thing to get it down. (It looked pretty awesome with the army pants and all, like we were suddenly in a spy movie.)

Had it been my child’s boomerang, it would still be on that roof. Does that mean I’m going to wear hiking boots to the park next time? Probably not. Unless they start making them in a stiletto. (Do they?) But the truth is, there’s more to a sensible shoe than just style. Truly great shoes are shoes that look good and feel good, in more ways than one. Here are my favourites:

El Natura Lista

The pair of El Natura Listas I own are the aforementioned red wedge heels. (I got them at Trove in Toronto.) They’re (reasonably) comfortable and (exceptionally) cute, and they’re constructed by a company that ascribes to some pretty strict codes of both eco and social responsibility.


The TOMS slogan is “One for One”, and what that means is that for every pair of sustainably constructed shoes you buy from them, they will purchase one pair of shoes for a child in need. Talk about win-win! I’m coveting a pair of the Calypso Canvas Wedges in yellow. And although I abhor flats, I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist a pair of the Vegan Wrap Boots (in red, natch) for much longer. Tiny TOMS shoes for kids are also available.

Simple Shoes

They make shoes for the whole family, starting at infants. (And they also make bags. Just saying. I’m a sucker for a cute bag, and the Nordic Knit is calling out to me. What it’s saying is, “You need a weekend purse!” I wholeheartedly agree.) Simple Shoes is committed to making products that are completely sustainable, and they rate their shoe’s eco-friendliness on a “Green Toe” rating system of “good, better, and best”. It’s completely transparent, and you always know what you’re getting. I’m in the market for a new pair of running shoes, and the Carousel Grommets (they come in suede or leopard print) have a bow instead of laces. Sign me up!

–Marissa Stapley of Saving the World in Sensible Shoes

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