Ethically-made products for ethically-minded women.
Price: $275 – $450
Eco / Ethical: made to last in Minnesota and New York
I spent too many years believing I’d never find a pair of boots that were warm, comfortable, aesthetically appealing, and ethically made. I’d start every winter with a plan to buy “the” boots and then give up, spending the season clad in entirely impractical shoes – from thin leather booties, to Converse, to heavy clompers better suited for shoveling snow. During this time, my friends – and my favorite boutiques – were all raving about the clogs from the New York based brand, No.6, but I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of wearing clogs during a Minnesota winter, or that a wooden-heeled shoe could be comfortable or practical.
Oh, but they are. Not only are No.6’s clogs extraordinarily comfortable, they also look great in that simple, effortless way that allows me to wear them with just about anything, and get compliments everywhere I go. They certainly aren’t the sleekest shoes in my closet, but they are some of the most versatile, and they’ve become my official winter go-to.
No.6 Clogs are handmade to order in Minnesota and New York and feature durable, lightweight (imperative for clogs!) wood bases, skid-resistant soles and leather, nubuck, suede or shearling uppers that have been treated to be water repellent. The break-in process was not my favorite (and if you are half-size, I recommend sizing up or contacting No.6 for sizing guidance), but after a few days of wear they mold to your feet, making socks unnecessary. I’ve worn my navy suede and shearling clogs in some serious snow and they still look like new – though I do treat them each season and wipe off salt after wearing (most of the time!). No.6’s clogs can also be easily resoled, extending their life indefinitely, and the brand provides replacement hardware, shoelaces, and heel stickers upon request. So while the price is on the higher end, you more than get what you pay for.
I’m never going to be one of those people who looks forward to winter, but I will admit it is far more manageable with a pair of No.6 clogs.
Rita Mehta shops for a living and talks a lot. She launched her website, The American Edit, and podcast, Why Do We Have Things? so she’d have a place to talk about some of the things she’s most passionate about: American made design, responsible manufacturing, and conscious consumption. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter.