Somewhere between around-the-house slipper and technical trainers lies the coveted footwear sweet spot: the everyday shoe. You know the pair because it's the one sitting in the entryway, the shoes that get you around town or out of it with just enough style to match your nice pair of jeans, without cramping your style in board shorts.
For years, this has been a space occupied by Vans and dozens of rubber-soled copycats: comfy, clean styling, and reliable. But while it's been a good ride, SAOLA has decided to change things up with its Cannon Shoe ($99.95), creating a lightweight everyday shoe that is conveniently one of the eco-friendliest kicks on the planet. Quite literally, these are shoes that look good and do good at the same time.
The Cannon takes many of the classic design elements that we loved in its predecessors (thick outsole, cushy insole, clean and simple upper) and pumps them full of Mother Nature.
For one, the shoe's outsole is made of algae, natural rubber, and cork. That's right, algae. Taken from over-polluted water to prevent further ecological damage in freshwater sources, the algae are a key ingredient in the shoe's EVA Bloom Foam, an innovative and eco-friendly approach to shoe outsoles. It doesn't hurt that the EVA Bloom Foam is ridiculously light, making the shoe a comfy option for walking long distances around town or hitting the road. The outsole also features natural rubber abrasion areas, preventing wear in common problem areas and untimely blowouts.
Instead of traditional insoles made of hard-to-recycle carbon fibers, the Cannon rocks cork insoles infused with more of the lightweight EVA Bloom Foam, providing great cushion while absorbing more moisture. For those of us that suffer from smelly shoe funk, that's some very, very welcome news.
SAOLA's daily driver also utilizes a 40-percent recycled plastic upper (the remaining 60 percent is polyurethane construction). That's roughly three to four recycled bottles in each pair of Cannon shoes. Add to that some organic cotton laces, and you have yourself one well thought-out pair of foot huggers.
But, perhaps the best part of the Cannon is that you don't need to know any of its sustainability story to actually enjoy the shoe. Aside from the shoe's freakish lightness, the Cannon pretty much sticks to the everyday footwear script, providing a comfortable experience with a clean, classic look.
Overall the SAOLA Cannon surprised and impressed, the kind of shoe that doesn't try to dominate the conversation, but leaves a lasting impression anyways.
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