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One year on from purchase & I’m a fully fledged believer in Berlin’s most unbelievably comfy shoes. Buckle up for a journey through black holes & Bauhaus beginnings in our Atheist Shoes review…

Atheist Shoes Review - Kitten Testicle Boots

Atheist Shoes – Das Kitten Testicle Boot

Day one of my new boots. That rare occasion when an online purchase surpasses expectations.

I reached out to Atheist Shoes designer and founder David Bonney before buying my pair and he’s kindly provided MoMa readers with a €10 off Atheist Shoes voucher. I better get started on why you’ll want to own a pair first. Let’s go…

€10 off voucher: MoMaMoShoes

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Discovering Atheist Shoes

My one year old leather boots from Atheist Shoes are the quirkiest titled, best designed, comfiest shoes I’ve ever owned. So I wanted to write an Atheist Shoes review and take you on a design themed journey from their Bauhaus beginnings, creative roots in Kreuzberg and to the traditional shoemakers of Porto whose craftsmanship make it all possible.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
~ Leonardo da Vinci ~

A few years ago a dapper dentist friend interrupted his Northern Soul Facebook postings with a link to Atheist Shoes declaring them the finest shoes in his collection. Being a sucker for design simplicity I was drawn in by the minimalist, classic style of the shoes and the general ethos of the company to make the best shoes they possibly could. Their ethical philosophy came with a refreshing dose of playful irreverence which suited me just fine.

If there’s no Creator how did Atheist shoes get here?

It’s a classic case of the evolutionary process at work, my friend, and it all began when David Bonney, founder of Atheist Shoes, posted some photos of his shoemaking hobby to Reddit asking if people thought he should make more of them. The internet answered with a resounding yes and David’s inbox began overflowing with order requests. A new company was born.

Atheist Shoes review - the collection

Atheist Shoes – Selection

A rainbow-kissed assortment of choices from leather ankle boots to vegan oxfords.

Using Kickstarter as a way to build on their success, Atheist Shoes soon found a loyal customer base of evidence based footwear enthusiasts. It’s worth adding that you don’t have to be an atheist to buy the shoes. Fundamentalists and fence sitters are all welcome in shoe comfort heaven.

Speaking of believers, it was a Christian friend of the company who thought it a good idea to accuse them of having ‘God shaped holes’. Without missing a beat the Atheist Shoes black hole logo was formed.

The Art & Craft of Atheist Shoes

Inspired by Bauhaus aesthetics the shoes are designed to be as simple and minimalist as possible. Only three pieces of leather are used for their uppers.

The nubuck leather is indeed the softest leather I’ve encountered. Normally reserved for high end handbags and upholstery it makes for a hardy material that somehow feels smoother than a James Brown’s slide. The soles are made of a natural rubber harvested sustainably from the Pará rubber tree.

“To find beauty in form instead of making it depend on ornament is the goal towards which humanity is aspiring”
~ Adolf Loos ~

Inside there’s a calfskin lining that isn’t glued to the leather upper like most shoes. This gives them a much more flexible feel, somewhere closer to my minimal running shoes than my old suede boots.

Are Atheist shoes worth the price?

It’s no surprise that high quality materials and highly skilled handiwork come at a price. You’re buying a hand-crafted product constructed with the finest materials. Are they the most expensive shoes I’ve ever bought? Yep. Do I regret it? Not one bit. They feel fantastic to wear and I’m confident they’ll last me way longer than my usual purchases. The price also includes free delivery to anywhere in the world and if you scroll down you’ll find our MoMa discount code for a little more off your order.

Atheist Shoes Review - Cost Breakdown

Atheist Shoes – Cost breakdown

Confirming no Bond villains are involved in the making of the shoes.

The illustration above shows exactly how your Atheist Shoes purchase is distributed. If only every company were so transparent and spent such a large chunk on quality production (and commensurate salaries).

Getting the size right

Online shopping has its perils. I once ordered 7kg of carrots online when I meant to order seven carrots. Shoes are similarly precarious. Not trying your shoes on in person can leave you with a shoebox full of unwanted carrots.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Berlin you can do exactly that in the Atheist Shoes Mitte boutique. Or follow them on Facebook or Twitter for news of their mobile shoe shop travels.

Atheist Shoes Review

Atheist Shoes – Bauhaus inspired and built to last

Boots, shoes and sneakers with free delivery to anywhere in the world.

Thankfully Atheist shoes have an excellent size guide on each product page (“correct about 94% of the time”) that goes hand-in-hand with their foot measuring PDF for finding the size that fits just right.

I’m usually a size 9 in UK sizing and the European size 43 fits me perfectly. I thought they might be a tiny bit big when I first tried them on but I just needed to tighten the laces and get used to the feel of them.

My one tiny criticism involves those elegantly thin laces. If I untie them too quickly they sometimes get stuck and a little knotted which can be tricky to untie (doubly so with cold fingers). But it’s a small issue that rarely occurs and reminds me to practice the ancient art of mindful untying.

Atheist Shoes Review - Das Sneaker

Atheist Shoes – Das Sneaker

The latest exercise in simplicity sees the arrival of the first Atheist sneaker. Comes in nine colours and counting.

Just how atheist will Atheist shoes make me?

As an indecisive spiritual-but-not-religious type I had no idea how quickly my new shoes would propel me towards militant-non-believer-hood. I can now confirm, after one year of regular use, that I gained around 7% more atheism (found myself listening to a Sam Harris podcast). Alas, such gains were all but cancelled out when my trusty boots performed the Miracle Of Hogmanay. I’ll get to that in a minute.

As you can see in the day one photos my Atheist boots are light grey with a perfectly silky soft surface. Their natural home is atop a velveteen pillow within a glass cabinet in a perfectly built German museum.

Atheist Shoes Review - Welcome pack

Atheist Shoes – Das Kitten Testicle Boot

Yes, Atheist, AKA: The Meaningful Shoe Company, provide food with your soles.

But I live in Scotland. Home of rain, mud, ice, fire and brimstone. I’m also the outdoors type. Shoe care prospects were not good.

“There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter”
~ Billy Connolly ~

I tried really hard for the first couple of weeks before the downpours, muddy fields and country hikes won over. So much so my friends started calling them the inappropriate shoes. When they got soaked they would turn dark grey (while my feet stayed dry), when they got muddy they would look muddy. But they always dried out well and cleaned up better than expected.

The Miracle of Hogmanay

Then the miracle happened. While celebrating New year’s Eve a friend’s football-mad boy wanted to play outside. Of course it was raining and muddy. Of course I was going to wear my inappropriate shoes. We swapped tricks like Messi & Ronaldo in Vegas while my boots got dirtier and dirtier. When I saw my sad and hungover boots the next morning they were completely and totally ruined. I’d gone too far. Waaay too far.

Caring for your Atheist Shoes. I clicked the link and got to work with a light brush and dry-ish sponge. It was a simple eraser that performed the magic though. Wish I had a ‘before’ picture of how messed up they were but you’ll just have to do with the ‘after’ one below. Miraculous or what…

Atheist Shoes Review - One Year On

Atheist Shoes – Das Kitten Testicle Boot

My miraculously clean and respectable looking boots after a full year of inappropriate use.

Atheist Shoes Review: Conclusion

I’ve never been a huge shoe person but I love my Atheist boots. If the minimalist style clicks with your own then I’m confident you’re going to love them too.

As long as they’re within your budget I don’t think you’ll find a better pair of shoes for the price. Head over to the Atheist Shoes shop and don’t forget to use our voucher for an extra €10 off your order. Enjoy!

€10 off voucher: MoMaMoShoes

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Atheist Shoes Rating

9.5

Comfort

10.0/10

Materials

10.0/10

Design

9.5/10

Service

9.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Super soft and comfy to wear
  • Hard wearing and clean up really well
  • Handmade with high quality materials
  • Ethical company with stellar customer service
  • Perfect gift for your beloved atheist (or not so atheist)

Cons

  • Thin laces are occasionally tricky to untie
  • Not cheap (but totally worth it!)