Shoes with Soul (5 Places to Buy Shoes and Feel Good)

May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

If you are female and you live in New York City there is about a 95% chance that you are a shoeaholic. Not only do you feel the constant pressure to keep up with the metropolitan stylings of New York but the city also KILLS your shoes. Seriously. You walk everywhere, there is dirt, trash, salt, sand, curbs, etc and etc just waiting to break your heels and deteriorate your soul (pun intended).

But  I am not pretending to be a fashionista  in the least. However, (due to a bout of insomnia that left me browsing the interweb until the wee hours of the night with a very abused credit card) I went on a bit of a shopping spree. I was on the hunt for cute and comfortable shoes. The real kicker (again, pun intended), I was looking for shoes that would make me feel very UNguilty for shopping for shoes (especially when my closet is literally overflowing with shoes and my bank account merely lets out a meek echo of emptiness when a purchase is made).

So here is a list of 5 places to buy fantastically practical, cute and comfortable shoes online AND make a difference.

1.Sseko Designs

I was introduced to Sseko Designs by a friend and fell in love immediately. I love how elegant and unique they are and also how you can change the straps and colors! Then I found out about what Sseko Designs actually is and immediately ended up buying a pair.  Sseko Designs is a unique company that hires female students in Uganda. In Uganda there is an odd 9 month gap in between Secondary school and University. Often it is difficult to find employment for this time. Sseko Desigsn hires these students who then work and live together while earning money. I believe more organizations should think of programmatic structures like Sseko Designs that treat temporary problems with permanent solutions.

2. Toms

This one is the one that most of you know about. They are seen EVERYWHERE and are super comfortable. Toms has done a great job in creating comfortable and stylish shoes that people want to buy while keeping them eco-friendly and helping to supply children in need with shoes as well (look out for Toms on a future What Went Right blog). For every pair of shoes you buy from Toms, they will donate a pair to a child in need. So while I ended up buying 2 pairs, I figured I really got a deal, 4 shoes for the price of 2!


This company is one of my favorite companies ever. It is centered around East Africa, where I am personally attached to, and all of their shoes are made from completely recycled materials from the area. Their mission, “providing you with fashion forward sandals from recycled materials while providing security and financial freedom for our families” is so great and just oozes with motivation and  productivity. They are making a company with a huge market and are allowing community members to find employment and learn about running a successful business at the same time. Not to mention the shoes are cute. My favorite sandal is the Safi.

4. Keen

If you have outdoor plans this summer, Keen shoes are a great place to stock up on outdoor, adventure friendly shoes. These shoes are tough, durable and comfortable! For every shoe you buy, Keen donates $5 to Kiva, an organization that allows people to make small loans to entrepreneurs around the world. Great for women, men and kids!

5. FitFlop Manyano Sandal

Okay, to be honest I am NOT a fan of FitFlop shoes. I think a lot of times their shoes can be fugly and I mean yeah it would be nice to think that by just wearing shoes I could get in shape, but I’m not sure how much I believe it. So I was skeptical when I was about to look at one of their shoes where 100% of the profits goes to a women’s collective in South Africa where these sandals are handbeaded. However, these shoes are CUTE. Whether they help me tone up or not I would for sure wear them. So not only are you donating to a great collective, wearing cute shoes but you’re also toning your ass and calves. Really it doesn’t get much better than that.

So  if you needed an excuse to go shopping, here are 5! Go on and spend some money!


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