Have you ever tried shopping shoes online? How do you look for what you want? Do you search by brand? Style? Color? Price? Which combination is the best one? Recently one of us decided she wanted to buy ballerinas. Thinking that she would wear them barefoot, she needed them to be of good quality so her feet would not smell like… rotten and honoring our intention to be as sustainable as we can, she didn’t want to just buy new shoes from anywhere. So the criteria were as follows:

  1. Style: Ballerinas
  2. Color: Black
  3. Quality: Good
  4. Brand: Don’t care about the name but do care about the sustainability policy
  5. Price: 30-60€

Let’s dedicate a few extra lines on the price aspect: from the whole range of things that make a wardrobe, if there is one that is totally worth spending money on, it’s a pair of shoes. For a variety of reasons, which are explained in the folded section. However, spending money, doesn’t mean spending a fortune. A pair of good shoes in Europe though cannot cost 10€. Such a price is at someone’s loss.

Check who might lose...

One or more of them...

Manufacturer: being underpaid
Retailer: probably left with stock and trying to get rid of it no matter what
Buyer: lousy quality of shoe materials
Environment: lousy quality of production process

Why shoes worth it?

Because good quality shoes...

protect you from germs, they don’t nurture them
protect you from injuries, they don’t cause them
help with your gait
help with your posture

Having this in mind, we did our research, trying to spot companies, brands, local stores and/or manufacturers of shoes who are working in a sustainable way. There are quite a few having a policy or a philosophy on which they base their business. However, there are not as many that actually provide evidence of their sustainable activity, like certifications and concrete numbers showing how they sustain the natural and social environment they influence.

Nevertheless, we consider it in line with Habits’ values to mention a company which seems like: it not only has a policy, but it is also certified by recognized organizations and it provides some numbers related to its activity and its progress through time. It is good to show companies like these, so that their effort is recognized and, hopefully, also rewarded. The company is called ETHLETIC. It’s basically the one that covered all criteria mentioned earlier:

  • Style: ballerinas, ETHLETIC calls them dancers and they are slightly different than the classic versions most of us are coming across in other shops.
  • Color: multiple, black included.
  • Quality: good, after wearing them for one week, so far the first signs are good. They are comfortable, the feet don’t stink at the end of the day, neither the shoes themselves.
  • Brand: their material is certified by FSC and the way they do business by Fairtrade. ETHLETIC has also been measured and evaluated in comparison with other brands in the field by rankabrand and they have been placed first among competitors for 2 times up to now.
  • Price: 30-60€. Finally a company proving that sustainable options are not high-end options. The cute “dancers” come in the decent price of 49,9€. Not cheap but not very expensive either. In our opinion: a good value for money ratio.

They arrived 3 business days after the order. If you decide to buy them, there is one thing to keep in mind though. You have to pay attention to your order. The company doesn’t encourage the return of products which means that if you need to use the relevant services, you need to bear the costs of sending the shoes back. Moreover, the communication with them is quite slow (at least by the time we experienced their services). In our case we got our money back for a one of the pairs of shoes we ordered (there was none left in the right size) and we got the other one corrected.

Had you heard about ETHLETIC before? Have you heard about any other store? Branded or not, with online presence or not… let us know. Share your experience and let’s show to people those companies that are working in a better way and should be rewarded for it.

ATTENTION: This article is not sponsored. Responses to your comments are not monitored by the ETHLETIC, they are monitored completely by the Habits Team and are taken into consideration for any modification necessary to this article.


Dora Kallipolitou
Find out more about the Habits team here

Last content update:

November 25, 2017