a tale of (vegan) cowgirl rain boot love

In case you didn’t know….it rains a bunch in the Northwest.

Portland’s rainy season is pretty much from October to April, and this makes the wintertime wait for the return of the Portland Farmers Market that much more worthwhile (and so bountiful!).

It’s a drizzle, for the most part. The frustrated East Coaster in me would like to note that you’re not going to see many big rain storms or snow storms, or that many umbrellas – but you will see rain boots. The days where the city’s inhabitants freak out over sleet (and call it snow) never fail to break my heart, but at least I have cute boots on.

So, I don’t write much about my personal style, because I don’t have much besides a fading predilection for stockings in various colors, but I am digging my streak of cowgirl rain boots. The warm Tretorn boots I bought last year cracked (and cost too much to do so!), and I get sick of buying rubber boots from Target or Payless, regardless of the charming design, that do the same.  I had originally purchased a pair from Rainco this fall based on a recommendation from a friend, and sadly, they also quickly cracked after a couple of weeks! However, I contacted Rainco with a picture and the customer service was great – assuring me that it looked like a defect. They sent me a new pair of cowgirl boots as soon as more came in, and I was wearing them before they even made the website as a new style!

To note, Rainco also courteously assured me that their cowgirl boots are indeed vegan. This was the pair I first ordered (now out in my size), and my new pair is below.

In all their new glory:

Close up of pattern:

Bring the rain.

just some vegan shoe shopping

UPDATE: A commentor brought it to light that although the Tretorn boots SEEM vegan, the little strap at the top is LEATHER.  Sure enough, I received mine and it was leather.  I decided to cut the piece off, because I really like the boots and had them shipped already, and I have notified the company of their stupidity.  What’s the point?  Their phone number is 1-877-TRETORN if you’d like to do the same.

Original Post:

I’m as guilty of over-wearing cheap, canvas Payless shoes as most people. I predominately stick to cute & comfortable shoes that I can wear to work  and keep on with my casual clothes or a skirt in my free time.  I’ll admit, Willow Rosenberg was a comfortable, revolutionary style icon to me in high school.

I’ve been hooked on mary janes and mary jane style sneakers since I was a young one, and have a hard time spending more than $50, if not $30, on a pair of shoes.  I’ve sprung for Earth Vegan (loved my Intrigues) and J-41 shoes a couple times over the years in the upwards of $100, but mentally, it’s really hard to do!  But, these are my precious feet, and I need to treat them well. Repeat…and  shop on clearance.

Earlier today, my feet were wet, I couldn’t bear to buy another well, cute, cheap pair of rain boots from Target after mine cracked within a few weeks last year, and I bought these Tretorn Skerry Vinter Shiny W boots in purple from Zappos:

The product description was very influential:

  • In either rain or snow, these playful rubber boots will help lift “dampened” spirits!
  • Rubber upper is perfect for rain-drenched days.
  • Plush synthetic fur lining is warm and comfy.
  • Vulcanized rubber midsole promotes durability.

They made jokes! It rains/mists all fall and winter and into the spring in Portland! Synthetic, warm lining! They’re Vulcan!

I’ll update with my thoughts on this purchase. If you have affordable rain boot suggestions, please share!

Moving on, I bought these J-41 Palm Vegan Slip Ons a few weeks ago:

J-41 Palm Vegan Shoes - Slip-Ons (For Women)

I really relied on my old pair of J-41 Sideline Naturals, with their sturdy, er, Jeep branded recycled materials. The most comfortable pair of durable sneakers I’ve ever owned, and so breathable! I couldn’t throw down the upwards of $100 again, so I opted for the discounted pair above from under $30 with coupons from Sierra Trading Post.  I dig the look and these are great for wearing the entire day, but in line with most reviews, I can see them wearing out easily.  I’m still wearing them right now. Be care with J-41s, some are vegan, many are leathery.

In terms of socially acceptable dress shoes, I bought these from on sale from Humanitaire in the mid-$20 range when I was in California:

humanitaire purchase

Cuteness attack.  I just have to remember and remember to wear solid colors when I put them on.  Really fine to walk in as well.

Now, in terms of shoes on my wish list:

Eleanor Shoes by Novacas at MooShoes There’s just something about these.

More J-41s from Pie Footwear on NE Alberta Street:


These were the one pair of shoes in Pie that I was really, really eyeing.

And a pair of these Keen Erin Ballerina shoes without leather, please!

Keen Erin Ballerina