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  • Writer's pictureElliot Figueira

Vegan Yeezys - Introducing the Zero Zero One Sneaker

Updated: Feb 17, 2019

Okay, so maybe these aren't ACTUAL Yeezys.

But in my opinion, they're close enough. The world of ethically-produced, #Vegan #sneakers has been begging for a shoe that feels modern and groundbreaking.

And finally, Vegetarian Shoes brings us a pair of kicks that falls in line with one of the most talked about #footwear trends of the last few years - the "Dad Shoe."

Also known the "Ugly Sneaker" or the "Chunky Shoe," this fad shook the #fashion world to its core.

The general concept is simple - these are sneakers your dad would wear. We're talking big, chunky trainers that look like they have no place in the fashion world. For extra points, wear these sneakers with jeans.

I have yet to work up the courage to push it that far.

Some would say that the Dad Shoe is an extension of #normcore. This fashion trend basically involves dressing up like #Seinfeld. On purpose.

Why are people dressing like this?

Because it's ironic, of course... It shows that you don't care about the fashion world. Normcore means that you're so far removed from "trendiness" that you're intentionally as far away from being "cool" as humanly possible.

At the end of the day, it's a fashion statement.

But wait a second... if Normcore is all about showing you don't care about fashion... then why would you follow another fashion trend...? How does that make any sense?

Just... Nevermind.

We'll talk a lot more about Normcore in the future. For now, let's get back this amazing Vegan sneaker.

I'm SO glad Vegetarian Shoes decided to make this shoe. There's really no other sneaker like it on the Vegan/ethical market right now.

I get it. For a lot of people out there, the 001 Trainer probably just looks like a regular shoe. Nothing special, right?

Well, from my point of view, it's obvious what Vegetarian Shoes was trying to do with this shoe. With that understated, slightly retro shape and that chunky sole, this is definitely a Dad Shoe.

And when you look at the other Dad Shoes out there on the market right now, it's pretty clear where Vegetarian Shoes drew their inspiration from.

From top left to right: Balenciaga Triple S, Yeezy Desert Rat, and New Nalance 990v4 "1982"

I'm not suggesting that Vegetarian Shoes copied anyone here. Far from it. It's pretty obvious that the Zero Zero One Sneaker is a unique, special shoe with a totally one-of-a-kind shape and silhouette.

Vegetarian Shoes is just doing what any sane brand should be striving towards - they're trying to stay relevant.

When you look a the Balenciaga Triple S, the Yeezy Desert Rat and even the old New Balance sneakers from the 80's, you can definitely see a lot of similarities.

The smooth microsuede upper of the Zero Zero One gives it a luxurious vibe, and that chunky, wavy sole is mandatory for any Dad Shoe these days.

Speaking of the sole, this is definitely one of my favorite features.

In my opinion, the sole is what really sets this sneaker apart. It looks adequately futuristic, adding tons of flair to the shoe and rising halfway up the sneaker in some places. Chunkiness achieved.

Vegetarian Shoes claims that this is a "squishy sole," but that's honestly a little misleading. There's nothing really squishy about it. The sole is solid, hard, and very supportive.

Sure, it bends enough to remain comfortable... But don't get the wrong idea - it's not like memory foam or anything.

And even though this shoe looks pretty futuristic, don't expect it to feel lightweight and super athletic. I get the impression that this shoe wasn't designed for marathons.

I'm not saying it's heavy, but it feels like a "fashion sneaker" more than anything. That being said, it's a very comfortable walking shoe, and the microsuede upper is soft and form-fitting.

At the end of the day, the Zero Zero One Sneaker serves its purpose as a cool, modern sneaker that fits in with the latest fashion trends.

I almost wish Vegetarian Shoes had gone a bit further with this sneaker. Call me crazy, but I think they could have made the sole even chunkier.

The upper might also benefit from a few more flashy details. Maybe some mesh thrown in there, like the Balenciaga Triple S. Just a few more subtle touches, and the shoe would have been a little more eye-catching.

The fact that Vegetarian Shoes pulled some of their punches is understandable. After all, they want a sneaker that appeals to a wide range of people. They probably can't afford to "experiment" in the same way as some of the fashion giants out there.

photo credit:

Let's talk about the brand for a moment.

Vegetarian Shoes is probably one of the best-known Vegan footwear brands in the world. This award-winning company strives to keep their production as ethical as possible.

For example, the Zero Zero One Sneaker was ethically produced in Portugal. The EU has strict labor laws and regulations, so we can be pretty confident that the people who made this shoe were treated well and paid fairly.

Fun fact: Portugal has a strong shoe making tradition that stretches way back to the Middle Ages.

Contrast this with the Balenciaga Triple S and the Yeezy Desert Rat. These shoes are worth hundreds - even thousands of dollars...

And yet they're still made in China. We can safely assume that the labor conditions in these factories are much worse than those in Portugal, and the workers are probably paid much, much less.

I got my pair of Zero Zero One Sneakers for about $150 Canadian.

For that price, I got a pair of great sneakers that were ethically produced by respected professionals in Portugal.

In my opinion, that's one hell of a deal.

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