Vegan Wonder

Step Into Sustainable Style: 10 Vegan Footwear Brands You Need to Know

If you’ve been on the internet over the past few years, you’ve likely heard the buzzwords “sustainable” and “ethical” applied to just about everything. And while you can find eco-friendly versions of anything from toilet paper to mattresses, there’s a growing demand for sustainable fashion – and that includes shoes.

Not only are the production processes of traditional shoes taking a toll on the environment, but there’s often a human cost, too. However, there’s good news: you don’t have to sacrifice style to save the planet. In fact, there are plenty of vegan and sustainable shoe brands out there making stylish, comfortable shoes that are good for you, animals and the planet.

How Are Sustainable Shoes Made?

Sustainable shoes can be made from a variety of materials, like natural fibers, recycled plastics and even tires. Some brands also use a closed-loop system, meaning they take back old shoes to recycle them into new ones. The process of making shoes sustainably also takes into account the workers who make them and the communities where they live.

While not all sustainable shoes are vegan, many vegan shoes are sustainable because they eschew animal products in favor of plant-based ones. And if you’re wondering whether shoes made from plants are actually good for the environment, the answer is: it depends. Some plants take more resources to grow than others, so it’s important that the shoes are made from sustainably grown plants and that the farming process is done in an ethical way.

The Best Sustainable Shoe Brands to Know Now


Allbirds’ mission is to make shoes with the smallest carbon footprint possible. They use natural and renewable materials, like merino wool, tree-based fibers and recycled materials. The shoes are stylish, versatile and incredibly comfortable. Bonus: they’re also machine-washable.


Rothy’s creates shoes from recycled plastic bottles. Their designs are trendy and they’re made to be machine-washable, so you can wear them with a little bit of dirt (or mud from a rainy day) and still get them looking like new. They make flats, loafers, sneakers and more.


Veja is a French brand that produces some of the most stylish sneakers you can get. They are committed to using fair trade and organic materials, and they work with small farmers to grow cotton and rubber in an ethical way. They’ve also collaborated with some of the fashion industry’s most renowned designers.


Cariuma is a skateboarding-inspired brand that uses natural and recycled materials to make their shoes. They have a commitment to sustainability and they focus on creating comfortable and durable shoes. They make both sneakers and slip-ons.

Thousand Fell

Thousand Fell’s shoes are made in a closed-loop system, meaning they take back old shoes to recycle them into new ones. They use innovative materials, like recycled and plant-based components, to make shoes that are both stylish and modern.


Ethletic is a fair trade and organic brand that produces shoes in an ethical way. They work with artisanal producers to create comfortable and classic shoe silhouettes. They also donate a portion of their profits to social projects around the world.


Vivobarefoot is a minimalist and eco-friendly brand that makes shoes inspired by the idea of going barefoot. They use recycled and plant-based components in their shoes and aim to make them as natural and comfortable as possible. They also have a range of shoes for kids.


Bhava makes luxury vegan shoes that are elegant and sophisticated. They use high-quality, animal-free materials and are committed to ethical and sustainable production. Their shoes are perfect for work or dressy occasions.


Indosole makes shoes out of recycled tires. They take tires that would otherwise end up in landfills and turn them into soles for their shoes. They also make shoes with other recycled and eco-friendly materials, and they have a range of styles for both men and women.

1. Birkenstock: The Iconic Brand Goes Green
While Birkenstock has always been known for their comfortable sandals, they’ve recently made strides in the sustainability space. They now use recycled rubber for the soles of some of their sandals and use leather from a tannery that has a Gold Rating from the Leather Working Group. Look for their Arizona EVA sandals, which are made from ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), a material made from plant-based materials that’s lightweight and easy to recycle.

How to Shop Sustainable Shoes

Now that you know some of the best sustainable shoe brands, it’s time to shop! But how do you know which shoes are actually sustainable? Here are some things to look for:

  • Materials: Look for shoes made from natural and/or recycled materials. Some brands use plant-based materials like cork, pineapple leaves, apple peels and more.
  • Certifications: Look for shoes with certifications that prove they’re made in an ethical and sustainable way. For example, shoes with the Leather Working Group (LWG) Gold Rating are made with leather that comes from tanneries with the best environmental practices.
  • Closed-Loop System: Look for brands that use a closed-loop system, meaning they take back old shoes to recycle them into new ones.
  • Fair Trade: Look for shoes that are made in a fair trade way, meaning the workers who make them are paid a fair wage and work in good conditions.

The Best Sustainable Shoes for Every Occasion

Now that you know some of the best sustainable shoe brands and what to look for when shopping for sustainable shoes, it’s time to find the perfect pair for you. Here are some of the best sustainable shoes for every occasion:

  • For Work: Veja‘s Esplar sneakers are a classic and they’re made in an ethical way. They’re also available in a wide range of colors.
  • For Running: New Balance‘s 880v11 running shoes are made with recycled materials and they’re designed to be lightweight and comfortable.
  • For the Beach: Birkenstock‘s Arizona EVA sandals are made with a plant-based material and they’re available in a range of colors.
  • For Hiking: Merrell‘s Moab 2 Ventilator hiking shoes are made with recycled materials and they have good traction and support.
  • For Dressy Occasions: Bhava‘s Riviera pumps are elegant and sophisticated, and they’re made with vegan leather.

There you have it! Now you know some of the best sustainable shoe brands and how to shop for sustainable shoes. Happy shopping!