And the way they're made is less wasteful than conventional shoe production.
If you have ever been to Vancouver, Canada, you'll know that it rains a lot. In fact, there are times when it seems never to stop raining. So perhaps it isn't surprising that the ultimate waterproof sneaker would be designed and developed in that city. If you haven't heard of Vessi before, and you're fed up with having chronically wet feet, then your life is about to change for the better.
This ingenious sneaker company has figured out a way to make shoes that are sleek and stylish, while remaining 100 percent waterproof. It sounds impossible, but it's true; these sneakers will keep your feet dry in the rain, while dodging puddles (or not), and in icy slush. And they're not sealed up like rubber boots; these shoes still allow your feet to breathe, which means that, even when the sun finally comes out and the temperature warms up, you'll still want to reach for these shoes on a daily basis.
"How does it work? With a million tiny holes in the membrane layer, water in vapour form (sweat) and heat can pass through the tiny holes but water molecules are too large to pass. This means the waterproofing will last the lifespan of your shoes... Unless of course you create a larger hole in the material!"
TreeHugger readers will be pleased to know that Vessis are vegan. They used engineered alternatives to leather and suede, as well as water-based adhesives in place of the usual animal-based glues.
The production process, which takes place in Taiwan, has been redesigned for lower impact: "Each pair is made with 30 percent less water, 600 percent less energy consumption, and less material trim waste by 97 percent in comparison to conventional practices." This is done by creating a 3D tubular knitted upper, rather than using the conventional practice of cutting the upper out of a piece of material that typically generates 30-40 percent waste.
In honor of its two-year anniversary, Vessi has launched some special edition colors and custom lace packages made from recycled water bottles, which you can check out on the website. And take a look at the reviews while you're at it; the number of happy, satisfied customers speaks to this brand's remarkable versatility, comfort, and verified weather-proofing. Here at TreeHugger, we like products being built to last, using careful and conscious production methods, and Vessi is doing precisely that.