Tuesday, March 28, 2023

9 Luxe, Leather-Free Mules and Clogs and How to Style Them


Toes are out. Show us your heels in these luxe, leather-free mules and vegan clogs perfect for dressing up or down in the warmer weather.

Lockdown style doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Will the world be a kinder, more comfortable place if all of us are, too? There’s only one way to find out: lean into it. Or, rather, step into it with ease in these luxe vegan clogs and mules.

Rubber is fast replacing unethical and unsustainable animal leather, and those Crocs keep finding ways to stay afloat: Justin Bieber just wore a pair to the 2022 Grammys. And Questlove accepted his Academy Award in a pair of Crocs. That was a custom pair designed by artist Nastassja Swift. The Roots drummer also wore a pair of Crocs designed by Salehe Bembury to the Grammys (where he also won for Best Music Film).

But you don’t need a red carpet to get in on the action. From sexy to beach-ready, these luxe clogs and mules are perfect warm-weather footwear, especially if you’re overdue for that pedicure.

Styling mules and clogs

These ’70s fashion staples have made a resurgence in the past few years and are available in a wide range of styles, colors, and price points — meaning there is a pair out there for everyone. 

With their simplistic slip-on features and favorable versatility, they are ideal for those looking for easy and comfortable footwear options. They are the perfect combination of comfort and style, and you will find yourself reaching for them all year round, the cold winter months included. So grab your favorite Birkenstock NZ clogs and embrace winter in style. 

All-black elegance

There is nothing chicer than an all-black ensemble. Whether it is a classic little black dress, black jeans with a matching top, or a stylish jumpsuit, there is an unspoken power that resonates from this fashion choice. 

Adding a pair of faux leather clogs with added gold buckle details stands out against the neutral backdrop, projecting class and refinement. For added warmth, throw on a pair of black stockings and a fitted blazer with accents to match the shoes. It will quickly become your go-to outfit for the workplace and girls’ night out. 

Comfortable and stylish

By design, clogs are meant to be the epitome of comfort. And nothing encapsulates this better than the Birkenstock Boston Clog, a fan favorite among influencers and celebrities. Available in a variety of colors and styles, this particular clog focuses primarily on comfort. 

It is ideal for at-home cozy slippers or popping out for coffee with friends. And as the temperatures drop, they will keep your feet warm. 

A bit of edge

You might not normally connect clogs with edgy fashion, but don’t count this footwear out just yet! It all comes down to picking the right style to create your desired effect. For the colder months, replace your standard combat boots with sleek clogs.

Match them with thick black socks, boyfriend jeans, a cozy sweater, and a faux leather jacket; your fit will be fashionable and warm. If you live in a climate not plagued with snow and ice, you can up the edge factor by opting for a platform clog, although this might be safer to bring out in summer. 

Adding color

Fashion is often about experimentation. You don’t know what works for you and what doesn’t without taking some risks with your wardrobe. If you feel unsure where to start, your footwear might just be your option. When clogs came back into fashion, designers took this as an opportunity to push the boundaries of the familiar.

And these days, you can find clogs in wild and creative designs, color combinations, and unusual fabrics. With a toned-down outfit like a simple bar of jeans and a neutral-tone sweater or hoodie to build onto, bright and bold clogs will inject much-needed color and give you a fun opportunity to experiment well into winter. 

Business casual

Ditch your traditional heels in favor of comfort, and try something new by exploring the world of platform clogs. They are far more comfortable than any high heels you currently have in your wardrobe and are also highly appropriate for the working office. 

Pair them with tailored trousers and an oversized blazer for a chic business casual attire, or combine them with black stockings, a knee-length dress, and a dark, fitted blazer for your next business meeting. You will elevate your professional looks without compromising on your comfort levels. 

Denim dream

Unsurprisingly, if you love the denim-on-denim look, there is a clog option for you. Denim is an excellent material for winter as it stands up well to adverse weather conditions, keeps you warm, and has been a staple in closets for decades. 

Patchwork denim clogs will add a fashionable and alternative style element to your outfit. The contrasting wash colors will match perfectly with your jeans or denim jacket. If you choose to go for a whole denim look, keep the additional pieces of your outfits, like socks, shirts, and accessories, minimal and neutral in color. You want the denim to be the highlight of the look. 

Wet weather, no problem

If you have rain to deal with during winter, you understand the importance of finding shoes with sturdy rubber soles that won’t slip and slide on the wet ground. Rubber clogs are a great investment option because they can be utilized during the winter months while effortlessly transitioning into summer, especially for your next vacation to the beach. 

Although they won’t necessarily keep your feet completely dry, they will provide an easy shoe option for quickly going to the corner shop or visiting friends. Additionally, the rubber material is flexible enough to allow you to double up on thick winter socks. Furthermore, rubber is famously known for being incredibly easy to clean, allowing you to get them dirty without a worry. 

Best leather-free vegan clogs and mules

Why ditch the leather? Long a fashion staple, brands are swapping out leather to increase their sustainability efforts. Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of human-caused climate change, — about 15 percent — and that means animal textiles are a problem, too.

Leather tanning also presents a host of environmental problems. Chrome tanning, one of the most common tanning methods, is highly toxic to workers as well as a common contaminant in waterways and landfills.

Vegan alternatives to cow leather, however, can be quite the opposite — supporting regenerative crops, made from recycled materials, and using up food waste, are just some of the innovations in the space. Try for yourself with these super sexy, super fun clogs and mules.

1. Simon Miller Bubble Clog

These stunning Simon Miller clogs are smooth and soft featuring a minimalistic design and a thick, supportive platform. The LA-based brand bridges fashion and lifestyle, with a nod to mid-century mod, and a playful take on classic luxury. Made in Portugal from vegan leather and rubber, these clogs are sure to bring the compliments— whether wearing them day or night.

2. Bottega Veneta Puddle Rubber Slingback Clog

Step into the future according to Bottega Veneta with these super sleek slingback clogs. Made entirely from rubber, the slingback strap makes them a perfect clog for a light hike or beach stroll. They’re perfectly suited for a brunch outing, too. Made in Italy, with Bottega Veneta’s meticulous eye for detail, this cult-favorite luxury brand bridges minimalism and luxury, and these clogs are proof.

3. Birkenstock Boston Vegan Clog

What would a clog list be without Birkies? The classic Boston clog was a staple for the counterculture of the 1970s, and the vegan version is stepping the brand into the future with its iconic cork-latex footbed and its BIrkibuc vegan nubuck upper. A signature staple that dresses up or down and never goes out of style, these German essentials are an eco closet must.

stella clog

4. Stella McCartney Elyse Slingback Platform Clogs

Leave it to Stella McCartney to make the fiercest sustainable footwear. A leader in sustainability, McCartney has always eschewed leather, finding creative ways to deliver style and function without harming animals or the planet. Enter: the Elyse Slingback Platform Clog. A slingback with a Vibram platform sole, the Italian-made clogs are a mix of rubber, viscose, and polyurethane for comfort that will give Crocs a run for its money.

5. Ganni City Mule

Ganni is stepping big into its sustainability commitments, and that includes footwear, too. After announcing its recent plans to phase out all animal leather, these stylish mules are made from 50 percent recycled rubber and recycled polyester lining. Made in Portugal and coming in a number of colorways, these are the slip-ons to take you from your Sunday farmers market stroll straight through to sunset cocktails.

6. Prada Foam Clog

Prada is well on its way to becoming synonymous with recycled nylon, but with these foam clogs, it’s making the case for rubber as the new leather. Versatile and soft, these slide on like clouds and keep your feet feeling afloat even after hours of standing. Perfect for a beach party, festival outing, or just around the house, you’ll never want to take these off.

7. Gucci Perforated Platform Mules

Whether you’re after style first or comfort, Gucci is making sure that you don’t have to choose in the Platform Mules. Made with a chunky perforated sole, you’ll feel your weight distributed as you glide through your day. Rubber through and through, you’ll wonder why shoes are ever made from anything else.

8. Balenciaga x Crocs Tulip Platform Sandal

Crocs and Balenciaga deliver the best of all worlds here in an open-toe clog sandal with a one-inch platform heel and supple leather-like rubber. The tulip print screams spring weather, but these will do you well through to the first frost. Slide in and stay in whether out for a night of drinks and dancing or sipping coconuts on the beach.

9. Sylven Cass Mule

The Cass is Sylven’s first-ever slip-on mule and it’s a gorgeous offering. The soft vegan nappa leather and regenerated rubber sole are handcrafted in Italy for comfort and style. Wear these to the office and then out to dinner without skipping a beat. They’re the perfect slides that will make you itch for a reason to get out of the house and show off your heels.

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