Saola Shoes Review

 
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Saola shoes hit the market just a few years ago (founded in 2016) with arguably the MOST eco-friendly shoes on the market. They’re currently based out of France (those Frenchies have been killin it with their environmental efforts lately!) and can be found in retailers across the US and around the world including REI, Huckberry, Amazon and more. Be sure to checkout Colin’s conversation with their founder Guillaume Linossier (Gui for short) on the Protect Your Wild Podcast to get the full story behind the brand and their founder. Let’s dive in here. BUT FIRST we get you yet ANOTHER exclusive discount to a kick ass brand!

Use Code: aldalifestyle20 for 20% off your new kicks at saolashoes.com

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ABOUT SAOLA SHOES

Saola has two primary purposes as a brand:

  1. And I quote “Create kickass shoes that not only look cool, but also implement as many recycled and bio-based materials as possible.” (Shout out to them for having the balls/ovaries to curse on their website haha)

  2. Support organizations dedicated to preserving wildlife and the habitats that they live in.

To do that they have first partnered with 1% for the Planet which has pretty well become a standard for environmental companies these days, which for Saola funnels through to the Mwalua Wildlife Trust. This is a grassroots organization in Kenya who’s primary focus is to provide sustainable water systems for the native wildlife that have been suffering from climate change induced droughts that have been devastating the plains of Africa and are getting more severe. So 1% of each product you buy goes towards this cause, and I think it’s a good one as we’re in the middle of a mass extinction…

In addition to their giveback program, Soala is helping solve one of the biggest polluters in the game, the textile industry second only to oil and gas. Footwear is naturally a massive piece of that, and over 60% of the environmental impact of shoes is due to their materials so naturally that is where Saola really stands apart from the rest. So you get the gist of what they’re all about, but a company is only as good as it’s products so let’s break that down.

PRODUCT BREAKDOWN

Like I said before, it all comes down to the materials!

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  1. Bloom Foam is probably the most innovative material being used here that you’ve never heard of. Put simply, harmful algae is harvested from lakes, dried and mixed in with EGA (this type of synthetic foam) to make up the insole and outsole of the shoe.

  2. Recycled plastic used primarily for the upper of the shoe makes good use of those shitty plastic water bottles giving them a second life. They also use recycled canvas for their Cannon model.

  3. The top layer of the insole is made of cork. In case you don’t know, you can harvest cork off of the same cork trees for literally hundreds of years.

  4. Organic cotton is also used for the laces. They got even the smallest details locked down!

Men’s Shoes

 

Cannon Dark Olive - $99.95

A classic canvas style with updated materials.

  • UPPER: Canvas 100% Recycled + Mesh 80% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Bloom Foam

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Cannon Knit Dark Grey - $99.95

The same classic look but  using recycled knit for the upper.

  • UPPER: knit 80% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Bloom Foam.

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Semnoz II Dark Denim - $99.95

Comfy casual shoe that fits in at work or the bars.

  • UPPER: Canvas 100% Recycled + Knit 90% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork  + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Recycled EVA + EVA.

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Women’s Shoes

 

Cannon Light Grey - $99.95

A classic canvas style with updated materials.

  • UPPER: Canvas 100% Recycled + Mesh 80% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Bloom Foam.

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Havasu Knit Rose Gold - $79.95

Light weight and breathable slip on for the summer

  • UPPER: knit 80% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Bloom Foam.

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Semnoz II Clear Sky - $99.95

Comfy casual shoe that fits in at work or the bars.

  • UPPER: Canvas 100% Recycled + Knit 90% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork  + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Recycled EVA + EVA.

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THE VERDICT

In full transparency I haven’t tried on any of their shoes YET… I will. But when it comes down to it Saola meets all of our criteria. They have a strong, clear giveback program and are super detail oriented with all of their materials. What I would like to see down the road is more models being being created and incorporating more new materials! I believe it’s bound to happen as long as they can continue to get support and awareness around their brand. In my opinion Saola deserves some love and I hope to see them continue to innovate and grow.

Check them out at www.saolashoes.com

Or on Instagram @saolashoes