9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Image by Sustainable Jungle #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
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9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole”Image by Sustainable Jungle#sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Image by Sustainable Jungle

9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole”

Heather Seely

These boots aren’t only made for walking. They’re made for trekking through snow, stomping in puddles, and hiking canyons to get more acquainted with mother Earth herself. 

Just like we want our shoes to be functional and beautiful, so too do we want our planet’s natural beauty to remain picturesque.

This means making sure our footprints are made with the best sustainable boots.

Boots are one of the more difficult wardrobe items to make ethically and dispose of responsibly, so we’re putting our best foot forward to reduce our impact by scouting out the most ethical boot brands.

Before you get stomping, here’s a sneak peek at some of our footwear faves.

Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.

Ethical & Fair Trade Boots Kicking Fast Fashion to the Curb

With Bhava, you’ll feel safe knowing your eco-friendly vegan boots were tried and tested to withstand the rough terrain of New York City’s sidewalks. 

If you’re not tied to vegan-only options, we’re all about Sezane’s stylish vegetable tanned and chrome-free leather boots.

Nisolo needs to be on your radar for the most sustainable boot brands as they go the distance to implement ethical practices like top work environments and wages for their employees.

To understand how these brands balanced while walking our ethical criteria tightrope, skip down to the end of the article.

The Full List Of Eco-Friendly Boot Brands

1. Bhava

9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Images by Bhava #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Images by Bhava

About Bhava

Price Range: $125–$345

Whether you’re traversing the beach or galavanting around the streets of New York City, Bhava can match your lifestyle step-for-step.

They’re strictly a cruelty-free and vegan shoe brand that produces all manner of footwear, including ethical boots with an innovative kick.

In addition to regular sustainable knee-high boots, they all sell boot uppers that allow you to convert any of their ankle-high booties into full-length boots.

With a dark vegan leather upper and wooden platform sole and heel, the Claudia Platform Ankle Boot is 60s go-go boot meets earthy modern tree hugger.

Bhava’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Across their range of ethical heels, sandals, clogs, and eco boots, Bhava’s uppers consist of vegan leather.

We’re not sure what exact material it is, but we know it’s not PVC or PCP. It’s also REACH-compliant and free of formaldehyde, phthalates, azo dyes, and chrome. 

That’s paired with natural rubber soles, eco-suede linings, cork insoles, and some heels made with wood. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

The sustainable women’s boots are handmade by one of two main manufacturing partners in Spain and India (at the country’s first 100% female-owned footwear factory).

Factories are personally vetted for safe working conditions, but beyond this knowledge, there is limited information on their standards, supply chain, or certifications, so we will be following up.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Hats (er, shoes?) off to Bhava for using vegan leather, reducing their impact on the environment significantly as the use of animals in the fashion industry is detrimental to the planet, the workers, and the consumers.

2. Nisolo

9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Images by Sustainable Jungle #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Nisolo

Price Range: $165–$260

This Nashville-based company is a certified B-Corp with a vision to bring intentionally designed, minimalist, and ethically-made accessories to people around the globe. 

Nisolo covers all of your seasonal footwear needs, with a wide range of eco-friendly sandals for summer and an equally-impressive selection of women’s and men’s ethically-made boots for when the mercury drops. 

While we love the looks of their eco-friendly lace-up boots, we’re personally fans of the slip-on Heeled Chelsea Boots. Not only are they made with a luxuriously smooth and high-quality leather, but the chunky wooden heel provides ample stability and comfort while still providing some literal style elevation.

Nisolo’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Nisolo works with certified Leather Working Group (LWG) tanneries to collect ethically-sourced leather that is a by-product of the meat industry. 

Though they are looking into alternatives to bring vegan options into their range of footwear and sustainable handbags.

You’ll see the standard suede and rubber combination in their sustainable winter boots as well as weather-resistant leather in some of their dressier options like their sustainable booties.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Nisolo has its own third-party audited factory in Trujillo, Peru, and partners with two other factories and groups of independent artisans in Mexico and Kenya, respectively. 

In their own Peruvian factory, they provide needed employment opportunities for locals, going above and beyond to ensure fair wages and financial support like assisting with home loans. 

Their family-owned Mexican partner factory adheres to a strict Code of Conduct, which requires that wages are at least 14% higher than the local living wage.

Their Kenya-based artisans receive the same rate of higher wages, as well as learning opportunities and healthcare. 

Nisolo is a Certified B Corp and started the #LowestWageChallenge, a movement to encourage brands to be fully transparent by publishing the lowest wage in their supply chain so that improvements can be made and the status quo challenged.

They not only offer fair trade premium perks, but an in-house skills development training program with classes on finances, health, nutrition, English, physical education, and yoga.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

You won’t be chukka-ing out these ethical chukka boots any time soon, as everything here is designed for durability. Being classically constructed means these are widely repairable shoes.

Nisolo is Climate Neutral-certified and offsets its carbon emissions through a partnership with Ecosphere+ to tackle deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.

For more, read their impact report.

Community & charitable giving: 

Their circular shoe reclamation program minimizes their contribution to landfill waste by donating returned or damaged shoes to Soles4Souls.


9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Images by Able #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Images by Able

About ABLE

Price Range: $148–$165

What started as a small, handcrafted scarves initiative to create jobs for Ethiopian women leaving the commercial sex industry has now turned into an empowering business where women are ABLE to do everything they set their minds to.

Pair one of their dresses or jumpsuits with a set of black or brown sustainable boots, and you’ll feel confident knowing your investment in high-quality items is investing in the welfare of women.

The selection is small, but surprisingly unique, from standard sustainable ankle boots like the everyday essential Dorset Bootsto recycled croc skin boots.

ABLE’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Instead of using alternatives, ABLE works to use what already exists by upcycling various kinds of deadstock leather—including Napa, nubuck, microsuede, and crocodile.

Other materials in these sustainable women’s boots include cotton laces and natural rubber soles. We are unsure if these virgin or recycled materials. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

90% of ABLE’s workforce are women and their partners are based in Ethiopia, Brazil, Mexico, China, India, Portugal, and Tennessee. 

They support their staff by providing partial ownership in the company, full maternity coverage, options for 100% health coverage, and infertility and/or adoption assistance. 

These measures are huge considering only 32 countries provide paid maternity leave.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

This ethical shoe brand has a lifetime guarantee, so if your daily foot-powered commute creates some wear and tear, they will repair or replace them for you, ensuring the longevity of your item.

ABLE’s other products are sustainable, too, like their 100% recycled silver jewelry and eco-denim manufacturing.

Denim scraps are donated for housing insulation.

4. Christy Dawn

9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Images by Christy Dawn #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Images by Christy Dawn

About Christy Dawn

Price Range: $358–$388

Slow fashion icon Christy Dawn is all about honoring Mother Earth through a spiritual and sustainable connection, believing what we wear should be circular and created with environmental intention. 

Their upcycled vintage-inspired clothing range includes upcycled dresses, tops, bottoms, loungewear, and footwear—including sandals and sustainable leather boots.

They offer a small handful of brown or black sustainable boots, like the knee-high Yoko Boots, a modern cowboy boot with a gorgeous, handcrafted natural patina.

Christy Dawn’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


These ethically-made boots are created from untreated, naturally textured, upcycled deadstock leather (outsole included). 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

All Christy Dawn products—from dressed-up boots to dressed-down sustainable loungewear—are produced in Los Angeles.

Not only are these ethical boots made in the USA, but sourced there as well, considering all deadstock fabrics come from other textile companies in L.A.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Their Farm-to-Closet Initiative includes a partnership with Oshadi, leasing 50 acres of land to turn it into a regenerative cotton farm.

Community & charitable giving: 

They provide the option to buy a plot through their Land Stewardship Investment program, which contributes to the farmers’ salary, seeds, fertilizer, and more, helping you get from soil to dress. 

The brand regularly gives back through local fundraisers, like campaigns to provide low-income neighborhoods in L.A. with fresh and healthy food.


9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Images by Sustainable Jungle #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Images by Sustainable Jungle


Price Range: $139–$199

VIVAIA is a recycled shoe brand that knows a things or two about making sustainable women’s boots that are as functional and as they are fashionable.

If you’re in the market for ethical ankle boots with flair, the Regina Pro Square-Toe heeled boots are a boot-iful choice.

We personally own these boots and adore how warm yet breathable the soft, recycled stretch knit upper is. You’d never guess it’s also water-resistant!

VIVAIA’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


VIVAIA’s gives virgin plastic the boot with their use of biobased and recycled materials, like rice husks, herbal foam, recycled PET, and carbon-free natural rubber.

They do use some traditional TPE and EVA foams, along with wool in one model of over-the-knee boots. All other styles are vegan.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

VIVAIA’s recycled boots are made in a renewable energy powered factory in Dongguan, China, visited regularly to ensure ethical standards and fair wages are upheld.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

They ship in specially-sized recycled boxes to reduce shipping materials and bulk.

Community & charitable giving: 

Their donor partners include SOS Children’s Village, Dress for Success, and UBCF Breast Cancer. 

6. Thesus

9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole”Images by Thesus#sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Image by Thesus

About Thesus

Price Range: $198

Looking for eco-friendly ankle boots in Canada?

Formerly Alice + Whittles, Thesus produces some of the most sustainable boots on the market. 

With an ambitious goal to create boots with 100% traceable and sustainable materials, we will definitely want to #BeOutside to test The Weekend Boot and Anyday Rain Boot, well, any day of the week!

We love the latter because they are lightweight, durable, waterproof, and made of 100% recycled materials—all in a clasically stylish Chelsea design you can pair with just about any outfit.

Based in Canada, this woman-owned and led business knows a thing or two about sustainable winter boots, but their design is intended for versatility and year-round wearability as vegan hiking boots, rain boots, and more.

They also have a small collection of outdoor Terrus Clogs.

Thesus’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


There’s nothing suss about Thesus’s stuff-strutting materials.

This recycled shoe brand makes sustainable vegan boots that are 95% virgin plastic-free. Instead, the Weekend boots are made with marine plastic pollution, recycled synthetic wool, and 45% recycled rubber soles.

The Anyday Rain Boots, on the other hand, are neither PVC, leather, nor rubber, but are instead made of an innovative 100% recycled nylon upper with a recycled rubber mud guard.

Everything—down to the vegan water-based glue—has been thoughtfully chosen for light treading.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Thesus works with factories entirely within Portugal to make their sustainable and ethical boots. They’ve traveled the globe to find the best producers who share their values for ethics and sustainability. 

They also take the time to get to know the community and culture and go above and beyond to support the people they work with. 

100% of staff and direct manufacturers are paid fair living wages. Their goal is to ensure at least 75% of their material suppliers commit to paying living wages for their employees. 

Carbon commitments & green practices:

They have set a goal to achieve climate-neutral certification and become climate positive by contributing an additional 10% in offsets.

Each pair of Anyday boots diverts 1.4 kg of waste from oceans and landfills and reduces carbon emissions by 25Kg.

7. Sezane

9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Images by Sezane #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Images by Sezane

About Sezane

Price Range: $205–$450

Where vintage meets modern fashion, there’s no question that Sezane was born in the fashion capital of the world: France. 

Creating timeless pieces with quality materials, their women’s sustainable boots go all the way from ankle length to full leg length—like their Anaelle Thigh High Boots with a split leather exterior and quintessentially 1970s Parisian vibe. 

With only four collection drops a year and a monthly, highly curated selection, Sezane’s goods are highly sought-after.

Sezane’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Sezane uses a vast amount of materials throughout its range of clothing and accessories (most of which are GOTS-certified or have other sustainability certifications). 

Their boots mainly consist of ethically-sourced leather (61% of which is vegetable-tanned leather and chrome-free). Unfortunately, that’s still combined with virgin polyester, polyamide, and polyurethane for the time being.

They do incorporate some recycled PET and rubber, but we’d love to see more.

Supply chain & labor practices:

As a Certified B Corp, thir leather boots are ethically-made in ateliers across Italy, Portugal, and Spain, which are audited by 3rd parties to meet compliance of Sezane’s Code of Ethics,

These compliance criteria follow BSCI, SMETA, ICS, and WCA standards. 

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Aside from 80% of their entire range being certified eco-friendly, all of Sezane’s locations and factories run on 100% renewable energy. 

They also use 100% recycled packaging. 

Community & charitable giving: 

Once a month, Sezane donates 10% of all sales and 100% of sales from a dedicated piece to the female mentorship program Girls Inc.They also donate to DEMAIN, which funds “fair access to education, to culture and equal opportunities”.

8. Matisse Footwear

9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Images by Matisse #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Images by Matisse

About Matisse Footwear

Price Range: $20–$300

Matisse is an LA-based sustainable luxury brand that combines craftsmanship, quality, and artisanal touches to meet the needs of the modern woman.

They have an impressive (and we mean extensive) range of boots in every imaginable style from sustainable combat boots to ethical platform boots.

Or if ethical western boots are your style, giddyup on over to rodeo-stopping rhinestone-studded Nashville

Matisse Footwear’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Their Coconuts by Matisse collection uses PETA-approved synthetic vegan leather (which is PU-based, not PVC) to mimic the look and feel of luxury without the cost of animal cruelty. 

The rest are made of animal leather, though we’ll be double-checking on whether this is ethically-sourced leather or not. We would also love to see a filter on their website to make it easier to discern between vegan and non-vegan designs.

Whenever possible, they use recycled leathers or other textiles for minor components, like heel wraps, welts, uppers, and straps.

They only used vegetable-based dyes and non-animal-based glues.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Matisse works with factory partners across five countries who meet their standards with regard to fair wages and fair working conditions. 

Most of the family-owned factories have been in the footwear business for 30+ years and are all regularly audited.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

For their ethical leather boots, Matisse works with “nominated tanneries that have worked tirelessly to be cleaner and greener” by using technological advances to lessen watershed waste.

Packaging is made from 100% recycled paper products.

9. NAE

9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Images by Sustainable Jungle #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
Images by Sustainable Jungle

About NAE

Price Range: $129–$181

This PETA-approved Portuguese shoe brand makes some of the most eco-friendly and ethical boots, heels, sandals, sneakers, and more. Why?

Because NAE is an acronym for “No Animal Exploitation”.

They carry extensive options in all manner of vegan shoes for both men and women, we well as unisex options so you can vibe any which way you feel—like the Etna Grey sustainable work boots.

With many options teetering close to $100, they’re some of the most affordable sustainable boots, too.

Follow our example and try the High-Top Lace-Up Sneaker Boot. Made of a recycled PET fabric upper and lightweight, non-slip thermoplastic rubber outsole, we love these comfortable and versatile boots when we know we’re going to be on our feet all day.

NAE’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


NAE’s sustainable materials for boots (some of which bear OEKO-TEX certification) range from common (recycled PET and partially-recycled vegan leather) to innovative (Bioeco made from fermented corn starch and recycled polyester).

Other styles feature cork, organic cotton, Piñatex (made from pineapple leaf fibers), and AppleSkin leather (a byproduct from the apple juice industry). 

While there are a few instances of synthetic microfibers, they are limited. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

NAE works with four certified factories, two of which are in the north of Portugal and another two in Spain.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Whether you snag some sustainable Chelsea boots or any other style, know that manufacturing is always carbon neutral and employs other resource-minimizing techniques.

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How We Found The Best Sustainable Boots

Like most of what clothes are made of, boots also commonly include synthetics, and toxically tanned leather, and are made with zero or little regard for the shoemakers behind them. 

Fortunately, with new innovative materials, this doesn’t have to be the case. We’re excited to see that some brands are taking a stand (in durable eco-friendly boots, of course) for fair fashion with eco-friendly materials.

So what are sustainable boots?

As we’ve done with articles on sustainable sneakers and sustainable men’s shoes, we turned to our sustainable and ethical fashion guide to get to the heart and “sole” of these brands.  

Here’s what we checked, heel to toe: 


With great eco boots comes great responsibility (and materials)—but what are sustainable boots made of?

Leather is the most popular boot option and we love when brands offer ethical leather (i.e. ethically-sourced leather that’s a byproduct of the meat industry and vegetable-tanned leather). Recycled leather boots are better still.

While the leather industry has its own set of problems, the material admittedly is one of the most durable, ensuring your boots (properly cared for) last a long time. 

Then there’s vegan leather, which can be hit or miss. Oftentimes, vegan leather uses polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane, both made from fossil fuels and don’t break down (definitely not sustainable).

Other eco-friendly materials for boots include sustainably harvested natural rubber (for things like sustainable rain boots), upcycled rubber, recycled polyester, or natural wood.

Newer materials to the market include Piñatex made from pineapple leaf fibers, and AppleSkin, made from byproducts of the apple juice industry. 

Insoles can typically be made from cork fabric which is antimicrobial and biodegradable.

Most boots also have some sort of lining, as straight-up rubber or leather isn’t very comfortable. Many brands turn to microsuede made of recycled materials or regular or organic cotton here.

Supply chain and labor practices:

It’s always a “boo” when boots are made with zero consideration for the people making them.

Fair trade boots mean worker well-being is prioritized by going beyond fair pay to offer additional support/benefits for their talented teams (i.e. additional learning opportunities, healthcare, maternity leave, etc). 

Third-party audits can help assure us of this but even gold-standard certifications like B-Corp may not be 100% reliable, so pair these with your own research.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Sustainability may start with sourcing those first materials, but it shouldn’t end there. Kudos to any brand that’s using carbon offset programs, regenerative agriculture, or using eco-friendly packaging. 

Factories and buildings that are limiting their water usage or utilize renewable energy are thinking beyond just product impact and looking at the business model as a whole. 

Community & charitable giving:

Buying boots is a much better investment when your purchase is helping a brand give back. We were jumping for joy to see some of these brands giving large donations, tree planting, or supporting local organizations.

Final Thoughts On The Most Ethical Boot Companies

If you’re going on one of the many nature walks across the US, a pair of boots is especially handy, not to mention with the recent ever-changing, erratic weather patterns.

Quality, eco-friendly boots are an investment that we should take care of, and see our investment as a prized piece of our long-term wardrobe, not another fast fashion impulse buy.

Because remember: which boots are the most sustainable?

The ones you already own so first seek out some extra affordable ethical boots and your local vintage shop or online thrift store.

And so you and your friends can go romping in the snow (or city), be sure to share this article.

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9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Image by Nisolo #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle
9 Ethical & Sustainable Boots That Are Good For Earth and Your “Sole” Image by Nisolo #sustainableboots #sustainablechelseaboots #sustainableleatherboots #sustainableveganboots #ethicalboots #sustainablejungle

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