Crocs are cool and comfortable, but they don't offer much in terms of arch support. The same can be said of Yeezy's popular Foam Runners but at least they keep your foot in place. Then there's the Merrell Hydro Moc, a similar slip-on that's probably best saved for campsites and creeks. All of these are similar, but they're nothing like LA-based brand Rose In Good Faith's new slip-on, the Plastic Soul, because it's made from recycled sex toys.
Sure, making a shoe out of discarded dildos surely sounds like a vapid PR stunt, but this collaboration isn't really doing anything that revolutionary — or inappropriate. Clothes and shoes are made from recycled materials all the time — water bottles, recovered ocean plastics, sail cloths, tents, etc. — and the dildos were fair game, according to Doc Johnson COO Chad Braverman, the executive that worked with Rose In Good Faith to turn the samples and rejects into raw material.
"We met with David Teitelbaum, CEO of Rose In Good Faith, a while ago and really hit it off. We always wanted to work together but didn't want to rush it. We were waiting for the right time and right collaboration that made sense. After he saw our facility, David reached out, pitching the idea of a shoe made out of our materials, which eventually evolved into this upcycled concept," Braverman says. His business has been family-owned and -run since 1976, when his father first started making "marital aids." Chad was in his teens when he learned what his father did. Until then, he told The New York Times, "I just thought he was in the Mafia."
Making dildos, couples' toys and, now, foam clogs is a far cry from organized crime, but this is the first collaboration of its kind for Braverman, who wants to push Doc Johnson into the mainstream. (Los Angeles Magazine called his company the "Procter & Gamble of sex toys.") To raise brand awareness, releases like this are essential, but they also have to be good — and this one is.
"The shoes are a proprietary blend of TPE," Braverman says. "Doc Johnson provided the material, and then it took about two years of Rose and Doc working together to develop the process and figure out how to grind up and blend the defective dildos with EVA [foam] to create the final material. The insole is all-natural cork, and that's material Rose worked with a supplier to provide."
The final product is an injection molded sneaker with a raised arch and a comfortable cork insole. These additions are not found in the aforementioned shoes — Crocs, Yeezys, etc. — and make wearing these all day, well beyond your four walls, far easier on the knees. Plus, they're less odd-looking than most clogs. They're neither bulbous nor plane-like, just a little chunky and pretty sleek.