Top 7 Yom Kippur Shoes for Boys in 2014

Featured Image for Boys Article - Summer

Sure, boys have it easy on Yom Kippur—until they’ve undergone their bar mitzvah, they’re free to eat and drink all they like. That’s why it’s important to lay down the law early when it comes to leather: start them on the forbidden stuff early, and by the time the heavy transition comes up, they’ll have no problem saying “no thanks” to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We’re joking, of course. Sort of. The flip-side to Yom Kippur shoes for boys is that many of them can pass for normal footwear on any other day, since leather isn’t as common in kids’ shoes. But avoiding garish Croc clogs and colorful sneakers at synagogue is still a wise idea.



Looking for Yom Kippur shoes for girls, too? Check out our next article for seven girls’ shoes that scream “I atone for my sins!” without causing the girls to, you know, actually scream.   Like this page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to be notified.


Check out the Yom Kippur Shoes New Logo

yom kippur shoes logo, header

After many weeks of work, we’re pleased to unveil our new logo!

The goal of the new logo was balance the fun and the seriousness of our holiest of days.

New Logo Aspects

Some of the things to notice with the new logo include the following:

  • Two representative/distinctive colors: Blue: indicating Knowledge, Trust, Tranquility, Calm, Peace, Cool) Orange: indicating Creativity, Invigoration, Unique, Stimulation.  The blue is also in the family of the blue in the Israeli flag
  • Serif lettering:  This gives the site an aura of earnestness that is fitting the Day of Atonement
  • Inclusion of laces in the lettermark to show that there is some merriment too.

Love it the new logo?  Hate it?

Let us know what you think.

What Types of Yom Kippur Shoes Exist?

Sneakers: types of yom kippur shoe.

There is only one rule when it comes to types of Yom Kippur shoes: no leather. Everything else is kosher, from Biblical substitutes like wood and palm leaves to materials Moses never dreamt of: plastic, polyester, canvas and pleather are all technically safe under Jewish law. Some rabbis may grumble at modern styles and comforts bypassing Jewish law, but it’s not our fault if the Torah assumed we’d still be wearing straw sandals in 3,000 years.

What Types of Yom Kippur Shoes are there?

So what types of Yom Kippur Shoes exist? Some are comfortable but ugly, others match a dress but aren’t great for long-term wear. Here are some conventional substitutes that have gained popularity throughout the years:

  • Sneakers – The most common solution for a number of years, sneakers are comfortable for hours. The problem, of course, is that they don’t match formalwear, which some modern synagogue-goers consider inappropriate.
  • Crocs – A recent addition to the list, those old plastic clogs aren’t too common in society unless you’re a child at the beach. But Crocs produces a number of leather-free, breathable and comfortable shoes including sneakers and boat shoes; however, some congregations dismiss them as looking too informal, and they clash
  • Toms – These hemp/rubber slip-ons aren’t the most formal, nor the most cushioned—but some Jews prefer them as Yom Kippur shoes for that very reason. They also come in modest solid colors as well as stylish plaid patterns, though the color fades somewhat quickly.
  • Vans – Similar to Toms, Vans are lined by canvas rather than hemp, with thicker rubber bottoms and traditional white laces on top. While Vans are a high-school rite of passage for most, that doesn’t stop Jews from adopting them as Yom Kippur shoes when the time comes.
  • Vegan fashion – A number of eco-conscious celebrities like Natalie Portman and Stella McCartney have begun producing high-end vegan shoes for high-end prices, which have the added benefit of looking chic safe as Yom Kippur shoes. Faux-suede and pleather dominate these runways with physical outlets in New York. Of course, if you can pony up several hundred dollars for a pair of shoes, you might want to wear them more than once per year.

Either option poses moral dilemmas: shoes that clash (sneakers, crocs, Vans) tend to be physically comfortable, while those that blend (any high-end vegan style) eschew the luxury problem by disguising themselves as leather, perhaps even misleading fellow congregation members. Ultimately, it depends on your personal values, and how you choose to atone before God on this holy day.

What shoes do you wear on Yom Kippur? If you’re like us, and don’t think religion and fashion should be mutually exclusive, like this page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to be notified of the top styles for women, men, boys, and girls in 2014.

What Are Yom Kippur Shoes?

Yom Kippur Shoes can't be made of leather. That's good news for this lady.

Have you ever gone to synagogue on Yom Kippur, looked down at the ground and noticed something… different? Instead of modern leather shoes, many will wear “Yom Kippur shoes”: sneakers, sandals or Crocs clashing with their dressy suits and skirts.

Why the fashion faux pas with Yom Kippur Shoes?

The answer dates back to a line in the book of Leviticus, which commands, somewhat vaguely, that shoes made of leather are forbidden to be worn on Yom Kippur. In the centuries that followed, the reasons for this ban have been hotly debated: some argue that the rule pertains to physical comfort; others claim it’s financial status; more commonly, people interpret it as a purely outdated symbolic gesture and ignore it outright, preferring to stick with fasting as a way to humble themselves before G’d. There’s no debate around the origin, however: from Biblical times until today, leather shoes have been considered a luxury. This contrasts the moral groundwork of Yom Kippur, which demands Jews strip themselves of all civilized luxuries—eating, sex, perfumes, bathing and, of course, comfortable footwear, which has led to the creation of Yom Kippur shoes. The problem, some protest, is that non-leather shoes weren’t comfortable in Biblical times. (Think wooden sandals, or slippers made of cork and palm leaves.) Today that’s just not true: we’ve got synthetic sneakers and rubber sandals.

So do we follow the Bible’s literal meaning, or its implied one?

Many choose the literal one, with good reasons: wooden shoes are hard to find; outside of Israel, the weather’s much colder in October; and poor arch support can cause serious damage when you’re stomping around on hard modern concrete. By trading in luxurious leather for Yom Kippur shoes, modern Jews are still humbling themselves before G’d aesthetically and morally, but adapting the rules to fit the contemporary world. That’s what led certain shoe manufacturers to focus specifically on creating Yom Kippur shoes. Blending ancient traditions with modern logistics, it’s now possible to abide by Biblical law and not look like a 12-year-old from the ankle-down. Yom Kippur shoes are made of anything that isn’t leather, such as rubber, synthetic faux-leather and canvas. Toms and Crocs have become recently popular, though it’s hard to find affordable shoes that match synagogue attire. That’s where Yom Kippur shoes come in. Taking cues from vegan-friendly shoe designers, Yom Kippur shoes blend Jewish tradition, fashion and basic needs to ensure a smooth, modest day of atonement every Yom Kippur.

What types of shoes should we wear on Yom Kippur?  If you want to learn more, like this page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to be notified when the next article is live.