Winter’s are tough. Even by urban standards, there’s rain, rain and more rain to contend with, normally on a daily basis as well as the odd bit of snow. It’s cold, you want to wear as many pairs of socks as is possible to stop getting frost bite on your toes… OK slight exaggeration there but my point being that you need a bloody sturdy pair of winter boots if you want them to see you through more than one winter.
Last year I found myself having to buy myself another pair of winter boots as my previous pair hadn’t survived the test of time. It being my first winter as a vegan I went off in set of some suitably cruelty-free footwear. I took to the internet (obvs!) and managed to find myself what looked like a great pair of black vegan chelsea boots. They looked like they were good quality and had a price tag to suit so I didn’t hesitate to order them.
When they arrived I was a little disappointed. They had clearly been photographed in a flattering light and I didn’t hold out much hope for them lasting more than one winter. But struggling to find any other vegan boots I actually liked, I kept hold of them and thought I’d give them the benefit of the doubt.
Here we are one year later and last month I dusted them off and put them back on as the rain and cold slowly began to set back in. Unfortunately they didn’t even last their first outing and let in so much water that I might as well have been barefoot.
So now I’m back exactly where I found myself last year but maybe a little wiser, or maybe not. I needed a truly good quality pair of boots that would last year after year. Because after all, buying new vegan boots every year isn’t exactly an ethical way to go about things. But the question was do all those things go together, could I find a pair of boots that I liked, that would last and that were cruelty-free? Oh and not to mention I have massive feet and find it hard to find boots that don’t make my feet look even bigger than they are!
Well, what can I say, I cracked! I couldn’t find any that I thought were really good quality and that I liked and wouldn’t make my feet look like a Hobbit’s. I strolled into a Dr Martens shop and found myself walking out with a pair of boots that I loved, knew would last and last but that had cruelty written all over them. Oh the shame!
So no, I’m not the perfect vegan. Sometimes when I get a side salad and realise its got a honey dressing I eat it anyway because I don’t want it to go to waste. And sometimes I crack under pressure and buy a pair of leather boots because I’ve had enough of endless online searches that lead to no avail.
But this is the thing about being a vegan, everyday you are faced with a barrage of non-vegan things and sometimes, just sometimes it’s a bit too much. Would you like a chocolate? No thanks, go on you know you want to *rattles chocolate box under nose. No, really I can’t! Let’s go out for dinner, oh great there’s nothing I can eat on the menu and everything is pre-made so I’ll just have chips and a side salad with aforementioned honey dressing no doubt. You’d like a winter cycling jersey, oh well all the nice ones are made of wool. I’d like a quick dinner because I’m home really late but my cupboards are empty and the health food shop is closed, good fucking luck!
But mostly it is bloody great and even if sometimes it can be testing, I know that going vegan is still the best decision I’ve ever made!