BANGS shoes: Responsibly sourced and totally cool
I first heard of BANGS shoes through Lennon and Maisy Stella – the sisters on “Nashville” who came to fame a few years ago with their cup game cover of “Call Your Girlfriend.” Many months ago, Lennon Instagrammed a shot of the Camel High Tops and I went to the BANGS website to investigate. As someone who is always on the lookout for sneakers to wear down to bits, these looked promising. When I saw they added the new Redwood color I was in a bind – I couldn’t choose my favorite and ended up moving on. When the company sent over a pair of the high tops I was stoked to see if they held up to several weeks of urban meandering.
BANGS – The company
Hannah Davis is the founder of BANGS. The company name comes from the Chinese character for help. She created the shoe design based off simple utilitarian boots that workers and farmers wore in China where she was teaching English. The company invests 20 percent of their net profits in helping people start businesses through the nonprofit Kiva. BANGS even lets buyers choose from a list of potential businesses to support. The shoes are created in a factory in Asia that is family owned and practices fair wages, working hours and 1.5-hour lunch breaks.
Instead of spending money on advertising and marketing, Hannah and the BANGS staff select ambassadors to represent the shoes in real life. These individuals share photos of their adventures, complete with BANGS shoes, on Instagram, effectively spreading the word and building the stoke about the brand’s products and values.
BANGS – The shoe
There are currently two styles, low and high tops, and eight colors, from White to Pine and Deep Sea. I received the Stonehenge High Tops several weeks ago. The shoes resemble Converse but they are made of a thicker material and seem like they’ll last longer. The shoes come with an extra pair of laces in a different color than the sleek monotone shoe which was a nice surprise! I assumed the shoes would offer zero support for my feet. The moment I slipped them on I was impressed – they do have cushioning and it’s pretty damn comfortable! I’ve worn the shoes only in the city but they’ve been great for dog walking, errands and touristy jaunts. I am comfortable wearing them for long periods of time while walking when other shoes of this style might require a removable insole.
I recommend wearing high socks with the high tops as the shoes can chafe the ankles without a fabric barrier.
BANGS are versatile – you can wear them with a skirt, dress or pants and the solid colors make them unique. They stand out. When wearing them, I feel like I resemble a badass Chicago bike messenger who knows how to weave in and out of traffic with a giant Chrome bag no problem. Do others think that of me? Not a clue.
Thanks, BANGS for practicing responsible sourcing and investing back in communities. And for sending over some awesome shoes – I’ve already made recommendations to a few friends and am stoked to wear these puppies to the ground one day. I’ll let you know how that goes!