In 2009, the large sandal company where John Eades worked went through a massive round of layoffs. At that point, John decided to reach out to his childhood friend Michael Ferreri about starting a sandal company of their own.
“Layoffs are great to prod those things along,” Michael said.
The duo started Vere Sandals, which makes flip flops here in the USA using a recyclable material called PLUSfoam. PLUSfoam can be used in sandals over and over again without losing any of its performance, Michael said.
Michael’s background in finance coupled with John’s experience in the industry helped them launch Vere Sandals. The burgeoning trend toward USA made helped give them traction.
“People started wanting to know where things are coming from,” Michael said. “We started up and everyone was screaming for it, and here we were.”
Vere is very conscientious about its footprint on the environment – using materials like PLUSfoam and recycled polyester webbing that can be broken down and reused when a sandal is out of life – but, first and foremost, Vere is committed to making comfortable, high-quality sandals.
“You don’t want to have blisters on vacation,” Michael said.
Some eco-friendly materials are just not comfortable and don’t hold up. Vere avoids those in favor of ones that do the job, and do it well.
Vere sandals are made in Geneva, New York, in what was once an empty industrial space.
“We want to be the leader in making a responsible sandal,” Michael said.
Mini Review – Women’s Vere Josie Sandal
To say I’ve put my Vere Josie sandals through the paces may be an understatement. I’ve been testing them for close to a year now, and in that time I’ve used them to:
- take short hikes in the Teton Mountains
- stroll for hours along Costa Rican beaches
- attend the Outdoor Retailer trade show, where I easily cover 5 to 10 miles a day for three days straight
- wear to the office
- slip something comfortable on my feet after a full day of running or mountain biking
I love these sandals. I love their look and feel. And, I love that that they’re USA made and constructed out of recyclable foam. They’re definitely my go-to footwear whenever it’s not snowing out.
I do want to point out that after dozens of miles they are showing some wear and tear. The webbing on my left sandals is starting to tear, thanks to being ground down by sand and saltwater while I was vacationing in Costa Rica. (Honestly, I hardly fault the sandals for this level of abuse.) And, the leather under my big toe is starting to crack.
The sole of the sandals are still going strong with most of the traction still intact. And the foam in the sandal itself is as comfortable as ever.
The good news is that when these sandals do bite the dust, I can send them back to Vere to be recycled, and rest easy knowing I’ve kept trash out of the landfill.