Vancouver’s Native Shoes Go Red for Canada Day

Canada Day is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate than in your best red-and-whites.


Native ‘Miller’ in Torch Red, Canada Day Edition, $55.


Native ‘Howard’ in Confetti Purple, $50.


Native ‘Jefferson’ in Kermit Green, $55.


Native ‘Fitzsimmons’ in Beaver.


Native ‘Miller Kids’ in Hollywood Pink.

Native Shoes perfect for celebrating Canadian pride

I was strolling on the fringes of Gastown when I noticed a Canada Day window display with red clown wigs alongside an array of naughty crimson undergarments. As a new Canadian, I’m definitely going to don something festive. Ideally, however, it will be something I can get good wardrobe mileage out of…unlike a clown wig. Then I saw the red and white Canada Day Native Shoes.

If you aren’t familiar with Native Shoes, Damian Van Zyll De Jong—born and raised in Vancouver—founded Native in 2009. He didn’t have a fancy degree in design; Damian is a dude who grew up skate boarding and working in retail. Damian was hesitant about getting into shoes, which he regarded as a relatively saturated industry, until he considered EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate, which is the same material used to make Crocs.

I’m a fan of EVA as a clever footwear material because it molds to your feet, which is handy for all activity from low-impact lollygagging to hiking. It’s also light, shock absorbent, washable, waterproof, and odor-resistant—something I cannot say about Birkenstocks or Mephistos.

Since Crocs are not considered visually appealing to hipsters or skaters, Damian spotted an opening in the market and used EVA to create a footwear line with cool silhouettes. He borrowed the classic profiles from the Converse Chuck, the Vans Era and the Wallabee. Then this spring Native won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award for their ‘Fitzsimmons’ model, an innovative EVA hiking boot. Previous Red Dot winners include Apple’s iPad and the Benz SLS Coupe.

Native Shoes Canada Day editions are available in ‘Miller’ ($55) and the ‘Jefferson’ ($55). If color-themed holiday fashion is not your thing, hold out for Native’s reissued ‘Fitzsimmons’ hiking boots this fall. In my experience as a Canadian thus far, nothing is more patriotic than the mountaineering/outdoor thing, eh?