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Since Nike bought converse, what is a good brand of shoes to support?

Now that nike has bought Converse, what brand of shoes should I support?
Im sorry to waste space here with this question, but now that Nike has bought out Converse, what shoe brand is a good one to support? My old Converse are getting too thrashed! I need smt that is not leather, not a huge corporation, preferably American made (or humanely constructed) and not made by children/others in sweatshops. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks

Shoes of the revolution 21.Sep.2003 18:40


Adbusters is going to release a line of shoes with the black circle(or whatever its called) on them. I can't wait to get a pair.

You could always go to thrift stores.

by the way.. 21.Sep.2003 18:47


the preorders are currently 60$, but i think its worth it. go to  http://www.blackspotsneaker.org/

New Balance 21.Sep.2003 19:29

Den Mark

New Balance has maybe three U.S. factories. So they make shoes here. But they also have factories elsewhere, so you have to look at the little label inside the shoes to see which are made where. I buy only their U.S.-made shoes, to signal the company to make more shoes here.

Adbusters 21.Sep.2003 20:03


I don't think $60 is a cheap pair of shoes.

If they sold them for $20, they'd be making a statement. But I guess they have expenses...

New Balance... 21.Sep.2003 20:10


it's absurd to buy only New Balance shoes from the US factories because the money goes back into the same corporation that is running sweatshops overseas so it makes absolutely no difference. You're supporting the sweatshop operations just as much. Look at the big picture.
It's like buying a salad at McDonalds.

Yeh 21.Sep.2003 21:35

Den Mark

I was thinking the same thing, even as i was posting that. I know what you mean. I do know tho, that NB has been expanding its U.S. operations. So maybe at the same time it's cutting back its foreign operations? That's what i've been hoping for, anyway.

a lot are vegan too if you care 21.Sep.2003 22:55


i don't find it absurd to buy shoes you know are made in the us, even if they do employ overseas labor to make some of their shoes. shit, if you see an option and you opt for american made ones that's better than not. motherfuckers gots ta have shoes.

New Balance are leather 21.Sep.2003 23:08


Arent New Balance made of leather though? I dont wear animal products. Thanks for all the suggestions!

American made 21.Sep.2003 23:15


I dont care if theyre American made, really. I only care if its made humanely.

another alternative 21.Sep.2003 23:29


you can always go here:

If you have to buy something, buy it used 22.Sep.2003 00:40

Ed Harley

virtually everything a person "needs" to survive in our techno-industrial utopia - with the possible exception of underwear - can be bought used. there is actually almost no reason to buy anything new. there's enough of everything out there that almost nothing new needs to be produced.

Not if you're a runner 22.Sep.2003 01:11


If you're a runner and you want to limit injury, you cannot buy used shoes. I'm not arguing with your ideology, but we're talking shoes here.

new balance 22.Sep.2003 02:40


pretty sure new balance is vegan. a few ex's of mine were vegan and had vegan new balances but i dont know if its all or some or what.

Best Shoes to Support? 22.Sep.2003 09:22


Those you find in a dumpster. Seriously. Every dollar you spend on attire is one more dollar spiraling through the capitalist system. Make shoes, dumpster shoes, borrow shoes, go without shoes. You know, or buy em. It's none of my business, but you did ask....

Don't Dumpster Exercise Shoes... 22.Sep.2003 09:40


Sorry, Catwoman, but the previous poster was right.....dumpstered shoes (and probably thrift-store shoes as well) can be bad for your feet if you run or do other vigorous exercise in them.

I don't run, but bike and threw shot put and discus in college, and pulled a foot muscle because I wore my training shoes after they had worn out - couldn't walk without pain for about a week, and the pain went away after getting a new pair of athletic shoes.

buy shoes and support the zapatistas! 22.Sep.2003 11:27

just got back from chiapas

also, the zapatistas in mexico make leather shoes (so this is only if you're willing to wear leather), which is one of the ways they can bring in income to support their autonomous communities. all the money from the shoes goes directly to them- so you know you are giving to a good cause. i don't know where you can buy them from the U.S. (they're sold in stores throughout Chiapas), but maybe you could start by contacting Global Exchange- they might know how to obtain them from here.

adbusters shoes 22.Sep.2003 12:40


Does anyone else think it's strangely ironic that AdBusters is selling and marketing shoes? I mean, a black dot is still a logo, right? Is the point that we'd rather give our money to AdBusters than to Nike? I don't get it. Someone clue me in!

Run Barefooted 22.Sep.2003 12:59


It's possible, but all kidding aside I wish I knew a solution. Runners like myself need the proper support or face all kinds of problems, though back in the 60's we didn't have all these fancy shoes for running. I guess we did have more injuries then as I think about it. I have New Balance and Asics. I refuse to buy Nike for their work practices and their shoes are just plain ugly, not to mention none of them fit my feet properly.

Yeah Zapatas, it's pretty stupid 22.Sep.2003 13:12


I also think it's a little hard to choke down the $8 or $9 price tag for a magazine.

As far as shoes go, here's what their oh-so-gritty website says:

"For years, Nike was the undisputed champion of logo culture, its swoosh an instant symbol of global cool. Today, Phil Knight's Nike is a fading empire, badly hurt by years of "brand damage" as activists and culture jammers fought back against mindfuck marketing and dirty sweatshop labor.

Now a final challenge. We take on Phil at his own game - and win. We turn the shoes we wear into a counterbranding game. The swoosh versus the anti-swoosh. Which side are you on?

Adbusters has been doing R&D for more than a year, and guess what? Making a shoe - a good shoe - isn't exactly rocket science. With a network of supporters, we're getting ready to launch the blackSpot sneaker, the world's first grassroots anti-brand. You can help launch the blackSpot revolution.

Is it possible to take Phil Knight's billion-dollar marketing momentum and, in a quick judo-like move, slap him onto the mat with the power of his own PR thrust?"

I've always felt that Adbuster's use of the same manipulative imagery as advertising might be indicative of a moot point, and this shoe thing only furthers that feeling. It's good stuff for college-bound teenage neophytes, but when it gets down to it, everything they do is image. Does "the revolution" really need marketing?

veganshoes = birkenstock 22.Sep.2003 14:00

Pro-Choice Portlander

Vegan Shoes sounded interesting so I visited the website:
Turns out, veganshoes.com is a division of BirkenstockCentral.com

Now, bear in mind this is hearsay, and I don't have any references to back this up. But I once learned, from a friend who used to work at Planned Parenthood (this was some years back), that Birkenstock was on Planned Parenthood's "boycott list" or something like that - because Birkenstock was donating money to anti-choice organizations.

Whether this was the entire Birkenstock organization, or just one or more of the local Birkenstock stores here in Portland, I never knew.

And I never verified this information independently, so consider it hearsay, and out-of-date hearsay at that - my information is something like ten years old.

Still, it's something to think about, isn't it. Can't you just see a bunch of right wing corporate execs laughing their way to the bank with the money they made marketing products to a population whose ideas are diametrically opposed to their own.

Okay, now for reality check. Any researches care to check on this? Some quick searches haven't turned up anything incriminating, but my own day job precludes putting much more time into this., so I invite others to see what you can to do either confirm or squelch this rumor.

Adbusters 22.Sep.2003 15:11


Adbusters is just using people's ideology to make money. It is so obvious. I will buy the shoe that works best for me. I know I'm at odds with almost everyone here, but I don't have much of a problem with Nike.

I've been to Indonesia before Nike, and after. People were making more money and had more jobs after. Jobs with Nike, and other American companies are better than most jobs in Indonesia. If you take those jobs away from them, they will suffer more than now.

It is a very tangled web, and we are being played from multiple sides.

I wouldn't ask anyone to do anything against their conscience. I'd just like to say that the matter is much more complicated.

VANS ROwley are vegan! 22.Sep.2003 15:48

ANIMALLOVER beholdtheconcreteearth@hotmail.com

hey, yeah i gave up on converse since their factory moved to Indonesia and they were bought out by nike, and theyre too fuckin trendy! Right now ive got a pair of Vans Geoff Rowleys the original classic kind and they have all textile uppers and the website sez their vegan. And they look really cool too. As far as I know, theyre made in the USA, but they could always be made in some sweatshop. But heres the website!
 link to shop.vans.com

Devoted Vegan and Animal Lover

Adbusters, shoes, &c 22.Sep.2003 16:24


Complaining about a $6.50 price tag for a magazine? Do you expect them to just pay for the publication themselves? Last I checked they weren't in line for big-ass advertising checks from Altria, Coca-Cola, Gap or GM. Christ, do you have to suspect EVERYONE of somehow trying to fuck you? The whole black dot notion is the promulgation of an anti-logo...plain and simple. Purchasing their shoes (and you can bet your ass they're going to be responsibily manufactured) might put a couple of bucks in their pocket, but why the fuck not? If you're going to buy a pair of shoes, why not support a magazine which is at once stridently anti-capitalist and extremely fucking clever? Is it profit when a non-profit does the profiting?

The cats at Adbusters have gotten off their fucking asses and DONE SOMETHING. They've put together a really sharp magazine which promotes OUR AGENDA and gets noticed outside our circles. You've got a beef with that over some pissant dogmatic gripe over the profit you can only PRESUME they're making on each pair? Christ, why not bitch-slap your mother while you're at it? It's not like she did anything but feed your tired ass for 18 years... Fuck!

. . . 22.Sep.2003 16:27


Sixty dollar shoes!

...Adbusters 22.Sep.2003 16:31


They cost like eight or nine dollars.

Thrift stores have shoes in excellent condition 22.Sep.2003 20:49


It's quite possible to find shoes in practically brand new condition in thrift stores. I've found several pairs that had no signs of wear whatsoever. Same goes for yard sales.

magazines 22.Sep.2003 21:29


I don't buy magazines anymore. I go to the library or read online.

yet more shoes 22.Sep.2003 22:38



all of these have animal-free shoes. places such as vegetarian shoes and ethical wares are made without sweatshop-style exploitation.

also - new balance does have several vegan shoes. as well as several leather ones...trying to find vegan shoes that don't involve human repression is an extremely tough one. i personally love my vegetarian-shoes' boots which have now been re-stiched once and re-soled twice (over 5 years of daily wear)...

good luck

ads and adbusters 22.Sep.2003 23:20


adbusters costs what it does because it has no paid advertisements.

here's how it works. magazines sell adspace for money. the more people who buy the magazine the more it costa advertisers to advertise there), THIS IS THE MAIN SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR MAGAZINES AND PERIODICALS.

Adbusters doesn't take part in this. its pretty simple. they provide the ENTIRE magazine online for free whereas capitalist mags and papers make you pay for full viewing rights, even if that price is your demographic information and your email address (which they sell or rent to their advertisers for some extra backdoor cash)...

The people who buy Adbusters or blackdot gear or what-have-you support the operations of the magazine, their ability to keep going and promoting culture jamming, buy nothing day, etc. And lets not forget, anti capitalist magazine editors, writers, assistants, etc live in a CAPITALIST WORLD where the rent is due on the first, continuous exposure to instant ramen causes skurvy, and high speed internet access, digital media tools and canadian herb are not free.

Garmont Vegans 24.Sep.2003 10:29


I bought Garmont Vegan Hiking boots recently and am very pleased with them.
The 2002 men's version is on sale at myhikingboots.com for $69.

pangea 24.Sep.2003 17:03


if you do a search for pangea - that store has shoes that are both people (no sweatshops) and animal friendly

union made 15.Mar.2004 13:33

cheshy cheshy_02@yahoo.com

there is a online store nosweat.com, where they sell union made converse look alike. The hoes are made in the U.S. and the workers are treated well.

efficiency and participation 10.Jan.2005 17:35

potter down south

Great to see a debate like this about shoes. I think there are two prime points to made, which have been touched on yet not elaborated:

One, whatever you buy, make sure you need it, and get all the use out of it you can. The debate shouldn't be about how to best consume, but about how to consume less.

Two, sidestepping the dominant system -- while respectable, admirable, and fully encouraged -- is not good enough. We need alternatives. I'd be much more enthused about blackspot, or vegan shoes, or whichever if I knew that the folks making them were organized according to self-managed and participatory principals with the income being distributed according to effort and sacrifice. Just cause someone's working in the US doesn't mean they're earning a living wage, much less engaging their full capacities as a human being. (And if that piques your interest, have a look at www.parecon.org )