Friday, August 7, 2009


THE NAKED MAUI JANE with Natural Hemp




July 23rd, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

PATAGONIA is often thought of as one of the forerunners of “least harm” production and manufacturing MOs. It’s footwear makes use of eco friendly natural and synthetic materials, (hemp, PRIMALOFT® Eco, EcoStep a Vibram® formulated compound with 30% recycled scrap rubber, POLI-CORK™ 70% recycled open cell foam,), water based solvents, recycled packaging etc.

Which is all and good but if there kickers don’t function as billed, or are NOT eye-candy catching, they don’t sell.

Which probably explains the new RAW ELEGANCE COLLECTION, billed as “unpretentious sophistication in four designs: Bandha Boot, Bandha Strap, Bandha T-Strap and Banda Ankle.”

Tricked out with some recycled content, i.e. the 20% recycled EVA footbed with full grain leather and synthetic lining for cushioning and support, all options have primo full grain leather uppers, come in wear with everything neutrals (sable brown), and fun shades like Fall ’09 “it” color Vivid Violet.

Style wise, we think these are good transition shoes from hiking trail to dinner out…as the comfort level is high (heel cushioning technology) and after a day of activities, we’re wanting to wear flat shoes that don’t look geeky. Even city slickers will like the feminine feel of these lightweight shoes.

Graceful ballet flats in nifty mesh/nubuck leather (MAHA BREATHE) or in natural hemp/nubuck leather (MAHA) belong to the RUSTIC ELEGANCE COLLECTION…and have special traction on the soles.

Also new for Spring 2010 is the super light weight trail runner Tsali (T is silent/named after the Smokey Mountains Trail)-that are gender specific for men and women. There are a whole lot of technical features that get the two thumbs up including the newish X-Dynamic lacing system for a precise, secure fit, 20% recycled EVA footbeds, forefront shock absorption and flex grooves for protection and flex, high frequency welded TPU that backs up the lacing system for even more arch protection, moisture wicking/ventilating air mesh upper, and reflective webbing and heel for high visibility. (around $100).

Nine Trails is a new slightly heavier cross training, trail friendly shoe (men’s and women’s) with a DWR treated silicone molded synthetic leather for upper protection and durability, and extra rubber on the toe and heel for mountain jaunts.

Both of the aforementioned models (part of the Velocity Collection) have the new multi-density sticky rubber outsole that “provides 360 degree wet/dry traction in varying conditions.” As the rockslide factor is what turns us way off of running in wet conditions, it’s a refreshing change to have confidence on the grip.

The most green ped covering?

The SUGAR & SPICE Mary-Jane style flats with glueless construction. Snap easy removable outsoles (made from 70% hevea- milk from the trees- natural latex rubber) from the full grain, nubuck leather uppers, lends some versatility to this shoe that can go from nature trails to urban canyons. The unique construction of this Tech Casual sample makes them great travel shoes.

We live in flip-flops during the summer, which is why we love the vegan friendly ROUND PIN LIFT option with triple density EVA for construction for cushioned support.

...with the FLY AWAY -recycled nylon webbing

We also can’t imagine any guy not walking with swagger in casual kickers coined WHINO LACE or WHINO WALKER. Both sport natural hemp uppers that breath and have 70% recycled polyurethane foot beds with 100% recycled covers for comfort and support.