All The Vegan Shoes: Our Ultimate List Of Cruelty Free Footwear
Why go for vegan shoes? Getting your feet into some plant-based footwear is a one stop shop for reducing carbon, preventing animal cruelty and keeping up with the latest trends. We've rounded up the best vegan shoes on the market.
Tue 14 Apr 2020
What are the options when it comes to vegan shoes?
Why are they such a sustainable option?
And isn’t it enough to just buy from a sustainable footwear brand?
From big names like Adidas, to smaller green brands like Insecta, our vegan shoes ultimate list will show you how many amazing cruelty free options are out there for both men and women.
Read on for why vegan shoes are so eco friendly, and pick the pair that best fits your your feet and your conscience.
Why Buy Vegan Shoes?
Vegan shoes will have walked nowhere near any animal products. This makes them a sustainable choice for so many reasons, and you certainly don’t have to be a vegan for it to be your best eco footwear option.
It’s always important to look at the way footwear, be it vegan or not, has been produced and manufactured. Vegan shoes are guaranteed not to have contributed to the carbon created by the animal agriculture industry or to animal cruelty.
Do you eat a mostly plant-based diet, or are you totally vegan, for environmental reasons? The climate-related argument for not putting animal products on your plate goes for what you wear on your feet as well.
Make sure you check out our sustainable shoes feature for a full break down on why choosing eco friendly footwear is so important for the environment.
How Vegan Shoes Are Better For The Environment
According to this article by PETA, ‘animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined.’ Of course, shoes that contain leather will be the product of animal agriculture. Beef is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to carbon emissions, so if you want to reduce your carbon footprint considering vegan footwear is well worth your while.
Bear in mind that unless a shoe brand markets its footwear as vegan, it is very likely that animal products will have been used to make them somehow. They could have been used in some part of the manufacture process or be in the glue used to bind the shoes.
Vegan Shoes Are A Huge Fashion Trend
If you want to keep up with the latest fashion trends, vegan is pretty hot right now. According to retail platform, Edited, the number of products described as ‘vegan’ increased by 52% in 2019, compared to the previous year, and it's continuing to grow in 2020.
Leading figures in the ethical fashion industry have helped feed this cruelty free fire. Stella McCartney is just one of the big names who advocates a vegan lifestyle.
Leather alternatives are rapidly growing in quality and popularity too, so you won't have to give up the suede or leather ‘look’ if you don’t want to. By buying plant leathers, you are supporting a new area of the tech industry, and helping it improve.
By choosing any of the excellent vegan shoes in this eco-friendly footwear list, you’ll be lightening your carbon footprint and protecting animals, the environment and the planet.
Scroll through these options, pick your favourites, slip them on and let us know how your first sustainable stroll goes.
We’d love to hear how you made your decision and whether you're pleased with it, in our friendly facebook community.
All The Vegan Shoes: Our Ultimate List Of Cruelty Free Footwear
Adidas Outdoor have released their most sustainable hiking boot yet - the vegan adidas TERREX Free Hiker Parley. Made from upcycled waste collected from beaches and coastlines across the globe by Parley Ocean Plastic, you’ll get the same high-quality features you’d expect from the brand’s standard range. The styles come in four different colours, two of which you can even have personalised for free!
These Italian-made luxury vegan shoes look like they’ve just walked straight off a high fashion runway, except at Aera you can be sure every part of the product is made of all-vegan materials. The manufacturer is at the top of their game in pioneering eco-friendly leather alternatives, investing in lower plastic-content and 100% solvent free materials. Did we mention they offset their environmental impacts by a whopping 110%, too?
Astral prove that being eco-friendly and vegan definitely doesn’t have to slow down adventures. Water sports enthusiast? Check out their self-draining and fast-drying non-slip styles. Is hiking more your thing? They’ve got you covered with their ventilated, lightweight trail hiking shoes. Whatever your style, these shoes have a low eco-impact but are tech-savvy enough to help you hit the ground running for a weekend in the wilderness.
BANGS means ‘help’ in Mandarin, and that’s exactly what this vegan sneakers brand strives to do. Inspired by its founder’s travels in China, they create a range of vegan-friendly canvas shoes for everyday adventures. The brand endeavour to help entrepreneurs by putting 20% of net profits towards start-up businesses around the world, and partner with a third-generation manufacturer to ensure goods are ethically produced and sourced.
If you’re looking for a wide variety of vegan shoes, PETA approved Beyond Skin have got you covered. With hundreds of styles to choose from including flats, heels and boots, you can feel stylish without feeling guilty in these vegan beauties. The vintage-inspired designs are ethically handcrafted in Spain using eco-friendly materials, including vegan leathers and plant-based coatings. Look no further for your next party pumps.
Collection & Co
British accessories brand Collection & Co create simple yet beautiful trend-led vegan shoes, made ethically in limited quantities at a family-run factory in Greece. Regular projects are developed to source and produce their environmentally conscious materials, which include Piñatex, a natural fibre derived from pineapple leaves, and recycling discarded fishing nets. You’ll find accessories like bags, hats and sunglasses to pair with your shoes, too.
Etnies x BLOOM
Etnies have released their most environmentally conscious collection yet, with the help of the innovative material, BLOOM. This plant-based foam is made from renewable algae biomass and is used as an eco-friendly plastic substitute - it actually cleans the environment. Every vegan friendly pair in the collection means 225 water bottles of clean filtered water are returned to the environment, and 21 balloons worth of CO2 are stopped from entering the atmosphere. Science!
Foncène is an East London based family-run footwear ateliers, dedicated to making vegan shoes that combine a Parisian elegance with London’s innovative, creative style. Developing one unique model each year, 2020’s Isobels are handcrafted by artisans to order, eliminating any excess and making them feel that much more special. The style is inspired by traditional tap and ballet dance, and is totally free from cruelty.
Funky Kalakar are all about practicing circularity in an effort to navigate a path through the environmental crisis, and we certainly want to walk that path with them in this upbeat footwear. They use an ancient Indian vegetable dying technique to create their vibrant, vegan colours and patterns, and use a combination of natural, recycled and upcycled fabrics. Who knew tyres could look so good?
Green Shoes like giving their customers as much choice as they can, and so they like to do things a little differently. Rather than offering a separate range of vegan designs, the brand’s bespoke production service can produce any of their sustainable shoes in vegan material made from hard-wearing microfibres. You can even order free samples of this material to see if it’s to your liking before ordering a pair.
Tyre waste is a big problem, from the excessive amount of dumping sites and their inability to decompose to the toxic oils and fumes released when they’re burned. Indosole collect tyres from around Indonesia and cut them into durable, flexible soles for their vegan shoes, meaning each and every pair is unique. The skilled artisans construct the shoes with completely vegan materials, like organic canvas, banana leaves and even grass.
If you’re a fan of vintage fashion, then we promise you’re going to love Insecta. With uppers made from vintage clothing, recycled cotton or recycled plastic bottles, these vegan beauties are totally upcycled, including recycled rubber soles and even recycled plastic toecaps. The brand decided to coin our new favourite word ‘ecosexy’ to describe their values of both ethics and aesthetics - we’re definitely not jealous they got there before us...
Joya De Terra
Brazilian vegan shoe brand Joya De Terra want you to start going barefoot - or at least as good as. The innovative designs are made with naturally pliable coconut fibres, and help to mobilise every joint in your feet (did you know there are 33 in each one?) by moulding to your shape as you wear them. Better yet, the completely natural materials make each pair breathable, antibacterial and 100% biodegradable.
Komrads strive to go where no brand has gone before, and it certainly looks like they’re succeeding. After a lot of trial and error and plenty of testing and retesting, the brand were able to produce the innovative APL vegan sneaker - a shoe that looks stylish and sweet...amazingly, it’s made from apples! A completely circular product, the material is breathable and durable, and definitely an interesting talking point.
Glitzy, glam, and handmade in Italy - we wouldn’t blame you not associating ‘vegan’ with these terms. But luxury footwear brand Mink are here to prove otherwise with their vegan-friendly high heels that, quite frankly, Joan Collins would have approved of. From the same guys who turn out heels for brands like Christian Louboutin, you’ll find no animal products in these beauties but materials that are recycled, organic and sustainable.
It’s all in the name - NAK, or 'No Animal Killed', believe in beautiful, high quality shoes that have nothing to do with harming animals. Mixing British style with Italian craftsmanship, vegan alternatives to leather are used to create a variety of both men’s and women’s styles fit for any occasion. Better yet, NAK’s vegan leather is waterproof, breathable, durable and lightweight. What’s not to love?
Leading UK brand Po-Zu offer a range of sustainable vegan shoes that don’t compromise on style. Better yet, they’re aware that vegan materials can be incredibly bad for the environment and for those working with them. They make use of materials that counteract both. These include cork, Pinatex and coconut husks, and create a light and bouncy sole that won’t take weeks to break in.
Californian brand Rafa’s luxury designs are handcrafted by a group of just 20 artisans, who are committed to local craftsmanship, eco-friendly materials and sustainable production processes. These chic styles are made with vegan recycled textiles, and make use of materials like bungee cords for laces and deadstock metal for buckles. No waste here either - each pair are made to order, ensuring nothing is produced that doesn’t need to be.
Just sayin'... pebble is not a vegan magazine. It stands for doing what you can and striving for betterment, not for perfection. You don't have to be making many or any vegan choices elsewhere in your life to join this inclusive club and proudly wear a pair of vegan shoes. You'll still be making an impactful, commendable eco-friendly choice!
What's more, thanks to all the mind-boggling tech out there nowadays, vegan shoes for him or her can be a durable, high quality footwear option regardless of your beliefs and principles.
Rens are running headfirst into a new generation of vegan shoes. A mission to tackle the waste produced by the fast fashion industry led them to produce a revolutionary technology, which they used to create their stylish and sustainable sneakers. The material, made from a combination of old coffee grounds and recycled plastic, makes these caffeinated kicks waterproof, odour-free and light on the feet.
Sylven New York
Sylven New York are committed to constant research and development around vegan leather alternatives that don’t rely solely on virgin plastics, which are environmentally damaging in themselves. Within their vegan range you’ll find innovative materials like apple leather, a fruity material that structurally imitates many properties of traditional leather, and vegan nappa, made from 100% recycled fibres.
Beach trip or summer vacay planned? US brand Third Oak are here to make sure you can stay eco-friendly even when you’re on holiday. You won’t get the sore feet after 10 minutes in normal flip flops either - these sandals are locally made to be comfortable yet durable, so they’ll last you many summers to come. Made with a unique bio-based vegan material, they’re even 100% recyclable.
As part of their Earthkeepers range, Timberland use their own ReBOTL technology to create a variety of vegan shoes and boots from recycled materials. Non-biodegradable plastic is shredded before being turned into yarns and woven into its own material - clever, right? Explore the range to see other recycled materials featured too, like rubber and PET. The brand have made sure you’ll be comfortable as well, with features including a shock absorbing EVA midsole.
Eco footwear fan favourite TOMS care about their customers, and know that the search for vegan shoes can be a continual struggle. They’ve made it a whole lot easier to shop with them with their vegan shoe collection, where you can choose from a range of canvas uppers paired with the brand’s always comfy EVA sole.
Barcelona based Tropicfeel have created vegan trainers to travel the world in, and they’ll see you through any terrain you come across along the way. The versatile and 100% PETA approved styles are completely plant-based, made from recycled and eco materials. You can feel good as you set off on an adventure in these too - 1% of sales go back towards protecting wildlife and keeping natural wonders alive.
US brand Veerah are proof that vegan shoes can definitely be sophisticated. ‘Veerah’ is Sanskrit for ‘Warrior’, and these seriously stylish designs are truly fit for the pavement-stomping vegan women warrior. Promising 100% cruelty-free production and materials, the brand also donate at least 1% of proceeds directly towards social impact causes.
Veja have you covered with their ever-growing range of vegan trainers, using a variety of innovative materials they have been produced through extensive research and development (paired with their sharp style, of course). One example is CWL, a material made from corn waste, which is both vegan and biodegradable.
Can't wait to step into your new vegan shoes now?
Hopefully you’ve found the pair you're excited to put on your eco friendly feet.
Spread the word amongst friends, brands and colleagues and let us know what you went for! Share this article and tag pebble so we know you’ve got something out of our content.
You may also like...
What to Do Next
Stay up to date with all the latest eco news and features. We plant trees for every subscriber. Every 100th subscriber wins their own tree.
Support Us On
From £3 a month. Help us invest in new journalism on topics that matter to you.
Join Our Facebook
Ask questions and share tips, recipes and your green wins in our super friendly Facebook community, the pebble pod.