In this review, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Nothing New’s unique recycled shoes.
Sustainability has become increasingly important over the last several years as climate change has become impossible to ignore. The statistics are sobering, but they often leave people with a question: How can I actually help make a difference?
How sustainability is treated — especially in the fashion world — doesn’t improve things. While lots of brands are quick to talk about the issue, few focus on it.
And on top of that, many truly sustainable products are poorly made and fall apart quickly, which deters people from buying sustainably.
So when I learned about Nothing New, I’ll admit I was skeptical. I’ve had hit-or-miss experiences with sustainable footwear, so when I learned about a brand making
Over the last several weeks, I’ve tested out Nothing New’s
Nothing New: The Brand
On the surface, Nothing New might come across as the latest drop in the ocean of sustainable brands. Since many sustainable footwear companies are essentially doing the same thing, so it’s hard to stand out.
However, Nothing New quickly sets itself apart. True to its name, Nothing New uses post-consumer recycled materials instead of relying on harmful virgin manufacturing.
Nothing New’s shoes are chiefly made from recycled plastic bottles, and the brand is one of only a few working with this underused material.
The uppers, laces, tongue labels, and footbed liners are all 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. The main fabric here is what Nothing New calls Better Canvas, which feels and acts identically to normal canvas.
Other sustainable materials are at work here, too. The outsoles are made from recycled rubber and cork, and the binding is recycled cotton.
For the heel counters, Nothing New uses post-industrial recycled fishing nets, which is fitting because one of the company’s goals is to reduce the number of plastics in bodies of water.
In terms of sustainability alone, Nothing New ticks several important boxes, and their manufacturing and transparency are much better than other brands.
Nothing New Men’s Classic Low Top Review
Even though I was impressed by Nothing New’s sustainability practices, I was most curious to see whether all of that would translate into a comfortable, lasting shoe. Sustainable plastics can be hard to get right, and they can often turn out stiff and unforgiving.
I tested two pairs of the brand’s Classic Low Top
I like that Nothing New went for this clean, slim look with thinner laces. It’s a lot more refined than a Converse-style low top. The Classic isn’t really a dress sneaker, but it’s able to be dressed up enough to make it more versatile than many of the other low tops out there.
There’s a nice range of colors, too. I prefer the solid colors because they make for a more minimal shoe, but even the two-toned colorways are pretty subtle.
You have plenty of options when it comes to incorporating the Classics into an outfit. You can keep things casual with a T-shirt and jeans or go for a dressier look with a patterned button-up and chinos.
I’m a true 10.5 in most shoes, and that’s what I went with for these
Since they’re canvas
That said, Nothing New currently offers only three half sizes, so if you’re not size 9-12, you may have to size up or down.
First Impressions & Review
The shoes did feel a bit stiff in the hands, but that’s standard for many canvas shoes.
When I put the shoes on, that stiffness all but disappeared. The canvas on these
It provides a firm yet cushioned feel that’s similar to memory foam. It won’t replace a dedicated orthopedic insole, but it’s a major upgrade from options like Vans and Converse.
Thanks to those insoles, the Classics are comfortable and supportive, which are qualities most low tops lack. While I wouldn’t run a marathon in them, I could easily wear them all day. They also perform well on hard surfaces like pavement and asphalt, offering enough comfort to keep you going.
One of the reasons the Classics feel so good is because Nothing New chooses to use true stitch construction instead of cemented or vulcanized.
This not only eliminates toxic byproducts of construction but also makes for a more comfortable and durable shoe. The stitched construction is a big plus that sets the Classics apart and provides a much better wearing experience.
While there aren’t many drawbacks to these shoes, there are a couple of things to be aware of.
If you generally dislike low top
Also, you might run into problems if you have narrow or wide feet. Nothing New’s
But overall, I feel confident in recommending the Classic Low Tops to anyone who likes the style.
These shoes offer several significant improvements over most other low top
And most importantly, they’re gentler on the planet. Each pair of Classics is made of 5.6 plastic bottles and saves 160 gallons of water, which is pretty cool. These are sustainable shoes that can hold their own against any sneaker on the market.
Nothing New Men’s Eco-Friendly Ankle Socks Review
I also tried out Nothing New’s ankle socks and tested them both with the Classic Low Tops and on their own.
These eco-friendly socks are made of 35% upcycled cotton, 33% recycled plastic bottles, 30% nylon, and 2% Spandex. Compared to the Classics, the socks aren’t nearly as sustainable, which is a bit disappointing. It would be cool to see recycled or upcycled nylon used instead of virgin material.
The socks only come in one size, which Nothing New simply calls “US Men’s.” Presumably, the socks are meant to fit sizes 7-13, which are the shoe sizes Nothing New offers.
On my size 10.5 feet, these socks were snug but comfortable.
If they were any tighter, they’d be too small, so you may not get on well with these if you’re a size 11 or higher.
One of the pairs was actually too tight, which suggests that there may be some variation in manufacturing. Plus, even though the socks are 2% Spandex, they don’t stretch all that much.
That said, there’s a lot these socks do well. The fabric is soft and plush, and the cushioned heel tabs allow you to pull the socks on easily while keeping your ankles comfy.
Naturally, the socks go well with the Classic Low Tops. While the socks are on the thicker side, they also offer a good deal of cushioning, which is especially nice when combined with the EcoStep insole. Still, it’s a bit of a trade-off, and I wouldn’t have minded if they were slightly thinner.
All in all, I like these socks, though I don’t think they’ll become my go-to pairs. I’d only recommend these if you’re a size 10.5 or lower and prefer thick, snug socks.
Final Thoughts: Fairly Priced and Sustainable
Nothing New is a rare combination: a sustainable shoe brand that both delivers on its claims and produces a high-quality product.
For the money, the Classic Low Tops offer significantly more value than similar options, and they’re eco-friendly to boot. If you’re thinking about picking up a pair of sustainable
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