Product Review: El Naturalista Viandante Shoes


El Naturalista recently introduced the Viandante collection for men, featuring hand-stitched vegetable-tanned leather, outsoles crafted from 100 percent natural rubber, and anatomically designed insoles made from recycled cork.

Treated with river stones to temper the hide naturally, the leather sports a textured grain that gives it both resilience and flexibility. The recycled cork insoles are designed to fit the contours of the foot, allowing your weight to be distributed over the entire sole as you walk, absorbing impacts and protecting your sensitive spots. Meanwhile, the 100 percent rubber forming the outsoles bends with ease, while remaining more hardy than its non-biodegradable synthetic counterparts.

We managed to test-drive a pair of Viandante shoes in the most grueling of walking environments: New York City. Here's what our reviewer had to say:

Although a little stiff in the beginning, after a week of breaking them in, the shoes were very snug and comfortable.

I was very surprised at how they held up in the rain, especially after an unexpected storm. (And I didn't do anything to treat them, yet there was no discoloration.) They appeared to be very waterproof, more so than my regular sneakers, and my socks didn't get wet at all.

Starting at approximately $170 a pair (at Boulder Running Company), the shoes are available in a variety of colors, including orange, red, gray, and black. ::El Naturalista

Tags: Shoes