I’m taking hippie to new heights, literally.

That’s thanks to a pair of El Naturalista heels I got to review. Called the Dome N762, these shoes have a cute, red leather top — and a rubbery-looking, upside-down zigurrat-like heel. The result? A funky and functional — or crunchy and clompy, depending on your tastes — pair of eco-friendly heels.

These burlap-sack hued, nubbly rubber heels got their inspiration from another crunchy design — environmentally inspired architect Nader Khalili‘s Eco-Dome (aka Super-Adobe) houses, made basically by laying earth-filled sandbags on top of each other to form a coiled, terraced structure. That building technique’s still taught at the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture in Hesperia — so by wearing El Naturalista’s Dome shoes, I’m sort of wearing a local design!

Whatever your opinion about the chunky, blocky heels, if you try these El Naturalista heels on, you’ll have to admit one thing: They’re super comfortable, despite the height. That’s because of the gentle cushioning provided by the natural recycled rubber used in the outsoles and heels. The stuff bends easily, absorbs impact, and according to El Naturalista, lasts longer on your feet but degrades faster than synthetic materials post-use.

The green aspects of the Dome heels extend to the shoes’ less crunchy parts — like the recycled polyurethane footbed and the pull grain leather uppers, which were treated with river stones and vegetable tanned. Want to wear domes on your feet too? You can find El Naturalista shoes — which come in many designs, most of them with less funky-looking heels — at local and online shops. Prices at Amazon range from around $55 for slip-on clogs to $300 for stylish boots.

Green buildings inspire eco-friendly shoes
El Naturalista's "Dome" shoe line gets its funky design inspiration from green buildings called Eco-Domes.