Saturday 13 January 2018

Local Love | Native Shoes Vancouver Flagship Opening

I made it into an official media picture! I am sitting in the red and black plaid scarf! | Photographer Ben Owens
It is always really exciting when a local Vancouver-based company grows into a successful globally recognized brand. Native Shoes first came to fruition in 2009 and has since exponentially increased their style offerings. As soon as this space became available on the market, Native Shoes did not hesitate and secured it as their first brick and mortar location. Gastown is the perfect fit for Native Shoes and the shop is gorgeous.

I was immediately drawn to the west wall, a stunning Monolithic moss installation of varying shades of green. The coolest part about the wall is that all of the moss is collected from forests surrounding Vancouver. Since the wall is living, it is misted daily to ensure it remains healthy. Affixed to the wall is Native Shoe's mantra, "Keep it Lite" which casts a lovely glow. It stands for both the "lite-ness" of their shoes as well as the philosophy of not taking things too seriously, but instead focusing on putting smiles on people's faces. The wall and sign makes me so happy because I love the refreshing earthy smell from the moss. 

I seriously want the moss wall in my home because it has such a nice refreshing smell. Plus, the green is gorgeous! Accent wall anyone?

When I am shopping for sneakers my biggest requirement is comfort. Strappy heels or cute flats will most likely be uncomfortable, but my sneakers cannot be. Native has done an excellent job at designing a shoe that is not only aesthetically cute, but are a joy to wear. 

The majority of their shoes are molded from EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), which gives the footwear its iconic lite-ness. Newer styles are featuring other materials, but everything at Native Shoes remains "Beast Free." No animal products are used in the making of their shoes and they take it seriously because even the glue is beast free which is why Native is PETA approved! Besides the inherent lite-ness, the EVA overtime molds to the contour of your foot making it almost like a custom fit.

I got a pair of AP Mercury LiteKnits in white and they are seriously amazing. EVA and knit material is so light weight and since it also shapes to your feet, it almost feels like you are barefoot. For sizing, I Native Shoes to fit true to size. Both my Vans Classic slip ons and Nike Free Runs are a women's size 6.5 or 36.5. I like them being a bit snug, so the shoe almost feels like a sock. 

The current silhouettes are Native Shoes are definitely lifestyle and not meant for working out. They are great for day to day at work or running errands. In the summer I want to pick up a pair of Jeffersons which are constructed from a single piece of EVA. It is a bit embarrassing, but my feet always set a lot in the summer which means my shoes start to stink. The Jeffersons are perforated making it breathable and more importantly, I can just hose them down when they really start to smell. 

Native Shoes is dedicated to creating light weight shoes that are 100% Beast-Free. All of the materials right down to the glue is completely vegan. So if you have been searching for vegan shoes, I highly recommend popping into Native's Vancouver flagship located at 14 Water Street in historic Gastown. 

Products received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own. Affiliate codes used. 

AP Mercury LiteKnit in Beet Red | Photographer Ben Owens

AP Mercury Liteknit in White
Stunning living monolithic moss wall with their mantra "Keep it Lite" in neon lights

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