Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Image by Cariuma #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
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Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Image by Brave Gentleman #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Brave Gentleman

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight

The SJ Team


The fashion landscape is rapidly changing, and there is nothing more ‘sole’ destroying than seeing shoes end up in a landfill. 

We definitely don’t want to step on anyone’s toes when we say that sometimes, finding second-hand shoes that fit correctly is like running a marathon. 

Men deserve to have ethical shoe options (that aren’t the last pair of smelly worn-out sneakers on the rack).

Luckily, there are a few brands treading slow fashion waters to create sustainable men’s shoes that ensure style stays in-step with eco-friendly principles.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a brand link below. Learn more here.

Ethical & eco-friendly Men’s Shoes We’d Wear Any day of the week

Thousand Fell has tested their sustainable shoes for men up to 2.4 million steps, ensuring an extended life to fulfill your active lifestyle. 

Join 8000Kicks in saying “yes we cannabis!” as they create hemp shoes for everyday wear.

Or become one of the Brave GentleMan who struts around in a classy collection of men’s sustainable dress shoes.

Need to jog your memory on how we pick the best brands?

Take the shortcut down to our eco-friendly men’s shoes criteria.

1. Thousand Fell

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Thousand Fell #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Thousand Fell

About Thousand Fell

Thousand Fell is a New York-based recycled shoe brand revolutionizing and modernizing the way we interact with the life span of our shoes. 

With durability and recyclability at the forefront of their mission, they are the first to make a completely closed-loop shoe. 

After reaching the tested 2.4 millions steps, all eco-friendly shoes for men—flat court shoes, sneakers, and slip-ons—can be sent back for donation, taken apart to reuse certain materials, or simply biodegrade. 

Thousand Fell’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Don’t let the exterior of these men’s recycled shoes run rings around you. They may look like leather but are in fact made from recycled bottles with a recycled rubber outsole.

The interior utilizes materials like sugar cane, coconut husks, and palm leaf fiber from food scraps. 

A natural quartz barrier provides stain and water-resistance.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Materials are locally sourced in Brazil where a family-owned factory is responsible for production. 

They are currently a Textile Exchange member and are in the process of becoming B Corp Certified.

Green business practices:

Send in your used Thousand Fell sustainable men’s shoes for a $20 reward—on top of the rewarding knowledge that they’ll be revamped and donated, turned into new upcycled men’s shoes, or recycled by third parties.

They offset carbon emissions and water use, ship in FSC-certified cardboard boxes, replace tissue paper with organic cotton reusable tote bags, and deliver locally in NYC via bike.

Community & charitable giving:

In partnership with Soles4Souls, returned shoes are refurbished and given to those in need. 

Their 1% For the Planet partnership allocated funds towards charities that work to help the environment. 

Available: Thousand Fell


2. 8000Kicks

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by 8000Kicks #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by 8000Kicks

About 8000Kicks

Feel like you’re floating? 

We promise these sustainable shoes for men made from cannabis aren’t the culprit (other than being extremely light and comfortable). 

8000Kicks is bringing back a historically prominent (not to mention durable and sustainable) material, showing us that learning from the past is often the way forward. 

We’re talking hemp, which they use to create the world’s first waterproof vegan shoes and their sustainable backpacks.

You’ll find both casual sustainable men’s shoes and active-ready sneakers.

8000Kicks Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Both the insoles and the upper fabric are made from hemp fabric, making them antimicrobial, antibacterial, and naturally water-repellent. 

The soles come in two materials: recycled rubber or Bloom Algae, which blends harmful and invasive algae with foam to create a biodegradable cushion.

Supply chain & labor practices:

8000Kicks has two main factories (one in China and one in Portugal), carefully selected for quality of production and reputation. 

Representatives who live locally regularly audit the factories for fair working conditions, wages, and treatment of the workers. 

In Portugal, the factory provides access to free education and healthcare.

Green business practices:

Besides using sustainable materials which cuts their carbon emissions from the standard 100 kg to 5 kg, all products come in recycled cardboard and corn starch, biodegradable mailers. 

These eco-friendly men’s shoes are 95% natural, but they are currently working on a shoe recycling program.

Community & charitable giving:

8000Kicks has planted over 12,000 trees to offset carbon emissions and donated over 10,000 hemp masks to firefighters and police officers.

Available: 8000Kicks


3. Allbirds

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by AllBirds #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by AllBirds

About Allbirds

New Zealand is well known for many things, but two that immediately come to mind are Lord of the Rings and sheep. 

While there’s no hobbit-inspired shoes here to discuss, it is the merino wool from the sheep that the ethical men’s shoe brand Allbirds felt a pull towards (not the ring). 

Across the range of sustainable basics and shoes —slippers, tennis shoes, slip-ons, hiking shoes, and high-tops—Allbirds is laser focused on improvement.

For something light and versatile, check out their Tree Dasher sustainable running shoes.

Allbirds Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Choose between ZQ-certified merino wool uppers or FSC-certified TENCEL™ lyocell uppers.

Their SweetFoam™ midsoles come from sustainably-sourced sugarcane, the laces from recycled plastic bottles, and the insoles (partially) from castor bean oil.

Supply chain & labor practices:

All suppliers follow the Certified B Corp’s Code of Conduct which ensures there is no forced labor, work conditions are safe, and wages meet or exceed industry standard. 

They produce ethical men’s shoes in two factories that employ water and energy-saving practices: one LEED-certified in Hai Phong, Vietnam and the other WRAP-certified in Shenzhen, China.

Green business practices:

Wool reduces energy consumption by 60% compared to synthetic fabrics.

Already a carbon neutral business with goals to be carbon net zero by 2030, Allbirds shoes are shipped in 90% post-consumer recyclable cardboard.

Their ReRun resale program allows you to send in your gently-used men’s sustainable shoes which are tidied up and resold at a lower price.

Community & charitable giving:

If shoes can’t be resold, they pass them on to Soles4Souls.

Available: AllBirds


4. Brave GentleMan

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Brave Gentleman #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Brave Gentleman

About Brave GentleMan 

As the first vegan lifestyle menswear brand in the world, they live up to their name.

Brave GentleMan believes consumers have the power to “fund the systems they want to see flourish” by buying products that don’t support animal cruelty in the fashion industry.

You’ll find everything from sandals and casual sneakers to eco-friendly men’s dress shoes and boots.

 Brave GentleMan Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The majority of their sustainable vegan men’s shoes are made with weather-resistant, polyurethane microfibre which bears UNE-EN ISO and OEKO-TEX certifications

If you prefer men’s shoes made of recycled materials, the Revenant sneakers use waste-diverted cotton and polyester to create the uppers and vulcanized rubber soles.

All soles are cemented, giving the shoes moisture-resistance and allowing them to be easily resoled and repaired.

Supply chain & labor practices:

This men’s ethical shoe brand prides itself on following a “total ethics” business framework, ensuring fair treatment and working conditions for those in their supply chain. 

Their products are made in a vegan footwear factory in Brazil. 

Green business practices:

In addition to recycled shoes for men, Brave GentleMan makes organic cotton clothes and tailor-made suits to reduce textile waste.

Available: Brave GentleMan


5. Cariuma

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Cariuma #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Cariuma

About Cariuma

Looking for casual eco-friendly men’s shoes to handle board sports with style?  

The friends and founders of Cariuma developed their product in Brazil, and promise their shoes to be “good-looking, crazy comfy, and consciously made”.

These skate-style sustainable sneakers and slip-ons will have you nailing your ollies in no time. 

For some classic high-tops that never go out of style, check out the OCA High line.

Cariuma Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Cariuma incorporates a wide range of sustainable materials including OEKO-TEX-certified bamboo, GOTS-certified organic cotton, BCI cotton, and natural rubber.

Brazilian sugarcane, mamona oil (an organic plant-based alternative to petroleum), and sustainable cork make up the comfortable insoles.

Their vegan line (which makes up 65% of their shoe range) has labels, laces, and uppers that are designed with GRS-certified rPET (recycled plastic bottles).

Leather and suede models feature materials sourced from LWG Gold-Rated tanneries who recycle all water. None of the leather is sourced from land that contributes to deforestation for animal farming. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Certified B Corp Cariuma follows ILO wage standards, paying well above the minimum and continuously supporting labor/human rights. 

Cariuma’s manufacturing is WRAP- GOLD certified and audited annually for compliance to their Code of Conduct. 

Cariuma rates the traceability of their materials, aiming for 100% tier one traceability.

Green business practices:

Sporting a protective toe cap and entirely stitched outsole, the fair trade sustainable men’s shoes are built to last, not built to landfill.

To minimize excess material waste, they’re creating a program that will allow them to reuse or recycle more resources. 

Carbon neutral shipping in 100% recycled and recyclable boxes and paper dyed with soy based ink keeps their footprint (and yours) smaller.

Community & charitable giving:

Two trees get planted in the Brazilian rainforest for every shoe purchase. Their partner, CEPAN, is a Brazilian NGO specializing in ecological restoration.

Available: Cariuma


6. Kane Footwear

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Kanes Footwear #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Kanes Footwear

About Kane Footwear

Kane Footwear is a first of its kind, creating a sporting rehabilitation shoe for injured athletes. 

Unlike other eco-friendly shoe brands for men, they offer just one unisex slip-on (in many colors): the Kane Revive.

This bio-based EVA shoe uses specific biomechanics determined by orthopedic surgeons to stimulate feet and muscle recovery.

They’re also washable and quick drying, important for athletes on the go. 

Kanes Footwear Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Kane utilizes RestoreFoam™, a renewable source of Brazilian sugarcane which captures CO2 and creates the ideal cushion for healing. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Their B Corp certification is pending, but they support and believe in using “business as a force for good, by balancing purpose and profit”. 

Green business practices:

As this is a fairly new company, we look forward to seeing more developments on their green business practices, which currently includes using FSC-certified packaging.

Community & charitable giving:

Kane Footwear is a 1% for the Planet member.

Available: Kane Footwear


7. Baabuk

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Baabuk #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Baabuk

About Baabuk

What started with a Christmas gift of Russian Valenkis felt shoes turned into an idea for family-run Baabuk.

This Swiss, ISPO Gold award-winning brand creates ethical sustainable men’s shoes to be worn in and worn out, either at home or out and about.

Choose between Sky Wooler high-tops, Urban Wooler low-tops, casual wool slip-ons, or sustainable slippers.

Baabuk Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The Sky Woolers and Urban Woolers both have mulesing-free Portuguese sheep wool uppers, but differ in their soles (TPU Thermoplastic versus a rubber and top-grain Nubuck leather). 

The slippers and boots instead feature New Zealand wool for water treatment and recycling usage reasons.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Baabuk has a fully traceable supply line and ensures safe work environments, no child labor, and 25% above the national average wage. 

This Certified B Corp works with manufacturers in Nepal due to their “long standing history with wool production”.

Green business practices:

Baabuk’s shoes are hand-crafted or made with machines over 100 years old. The tradition, knowledge, and skills associated with wool is key to providing local jobs and keeping traceability at the forefront. 

They’re machine washable and you can buy a repair kit for $5 to prolong the life of the shoes.

If you’d like to return an item, they encourage gifting it to someone instead and getting 50% off your next order. This “U-Turn” incentive reduces shipping emissions.

Community & charitable giving:

In collaboration with ProSpecieRara, The Miss Baabuka Project was born to ensure the survival of six rare and endangered sheep breed populations in Switzerland.

Available: Baabuk


8. Nisolo

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Nisolo #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Nisolo

About Nisolo

Beginning as a leather shoe company in Peru, Nisolo has turned into an ethical fashion movement, waiting for the shoe to drop with fast fashion’s impact on the environment.

They are determined to demonstrate that ethics should be the norm through their collection of sustainable bags, shoes, and accessories.

From huarache sandals to sustainable dress shoes for men, Nisolo covers everyday and professional footwear needs.

Nisolo Designs’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

These eco-friendly men’s shoes combine rubber soles with genuine leather uppers, 100% sourced as a byproduct and 95% LWG-certified.

They’re looking into vegan leather to possibly offer sustainable vegan men’s shoes in the future.

Supply chain & labor practices:

This top-rated Certified B Corp (#1 among leather goods producers) has extensive and transparent information on their supply chain. 

Co-founders of the Lowest Wage Challenge, they’re sparking the conversation and transparency on livable wages and publishing the raw numbers. 

They work with Good Ops’ ACCOUNTABLE social impact assessment platform that evaluates wages, safety, and equality at their  factories in the USA, Peru, Mexico, and Kenya.

Their Peruvian factory workers have additional access to resources such as educational programs, yoga, and nutrition guidance.   

Green business practices:

Nisolo is Climate Neutral-certified with net zero goals. As part of this, they contribute a percentage from each product to protect the Amazon Basin forest through Ecosphere+. 

Given they’re made using classic methods and materials, their repairable shoes can likely be fixed by cobbling.

Community & charitable giving:

They also have a Shoe Reclamation Program, working with Soles4Souls which displaces shoes from landfills to those in need.

Available: Nisolo


9. Orba

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Orba #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Orba

About Orba

Orba has taken the leap as the world’s first biodegradable shoe with sights set on certification for full compostability. 

Designed in New Zealand, this men’s ethical shoe brand carries just one style of womens and men’s sustainable shoe—the Men’s Ghost Sneaker—but as we say, quality over quantity. 

Orba Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The uppers are comprised of hemp, flax canvas, and nettle, while the laces and labels are GOTS-certified organic cotton. 

Offering more unique sustainable materials, you’ll find cork, coconut husk, and sisal insoles, while the sole of the shoe is natural smoked rubber, coconut oil, and rice husk ash.

All in all, it’s 93% plant-derived and the other 7% still consists of natural materials (pine resin, titanium, zinc, and sulfur).

They’re aiming to remove the beeswax in order to offer certified ethical vegan men’s shoes.

Supply chain & labor practices:

This Certified B Corp’s main supplier is BSCI-compliant.

Smaller suppliers operate at minimum under Orba’s Supplier Code of Conduct as they aim to get all suppliers certified. 

Green business practices:

Orba’s production process is solvent free and has a water minimization plan in place. 

They take full responsibility for their product’s end-of-life, encouraging customers to return their shoes (at Orba’s cost) to make sure they can biodegrade properly.

At least until they achieve full compostability—which would truly make them the best eco-friendly men’s shoes.

Available: Orba


10. Sanuk

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Sanuk #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Sanuk

About Sanuk

This California brand oozes that laid back style, where sophisticated hippie meets stylish Dad for these eco-friendly men’s shoes. 

Sanuk produces everything from hemp shoes to men’s shoes made of recycled plastic, in “sidewalk surfers”, sandals, slides, and thongs.

Sanuk’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Sanuk’s shoes vary in materials with some featuring 100% hemp upper and others combine linen, responsibly-sourced cotton, TENCEL™, cork fabric, wool, LWG-certified leather, or GRS-certified recycled polyester.

BLOOM™ foam (repurposed algae) is the key ingredient for footbeds, soles, and insoles. 

You’ll also find natural rubber and recycled or sugar cane EVA foam components.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Sanuks’ parent company, Deckers, upholds all entities (including factories in Vietnam and China) to their Code of Ethics

Green business practices:

Decker’s and Sanuk together monitor ways to reduce their impact in corporate offices and production facilities by looking at water usage, travel footprints, waste reduction methods, and renewable energy options.

They also use FSC-certified packaging for shipping.

Community & charitable giving:

Sanuk contributes to Surfrider Foundation’s beach cleaning efforts and Pacific Pride Foundation’s work in LGBTQIA+ advocacy and education.

Available: Sanuk


11. Vivobarefoot

Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Images by Vivobarefoot #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Images by Vivobarefoot

About Vivobarefoot

After watching this brand’s documentary, Shoespiracy, it’ll seem like alot of common sense went out the window when the fashion industry began designing shoes. 

Ultra cushioned and narrow, modern shoes can actually be detrimental to our foot health and functionality.

Vivobarefoot works on the premise that barefoot is best.

Since that’s not socially acceptable, they designed a minimalist collection of the best sustainable shoes for men for supporting the foot’s natural shape.

Vivobarefoot Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Vivobarefoot’s materials aren’t at the top end of sustainability (using virgin polyester), but their virgin oil-based materials are soon to be replaced with natural, plant-based, and recycled oils. 

They have incorporated recycled plastic bottles and algae blooms into several pairs of recycled plastic men’s shoes.

Among their natural materials, you’ll see wool, ethically-sourced leather, hemp, and cotton.

Supply chain & labor practices:

As a Certified B Corp, their factories in Vietnam, Portugal, and Ethiopia are regularly audited and adhere to Vivobarefoot’s Code of Conduct.

The kid’s school shoe is part of their Soul of Africa range which seeks to empower the local community.

Green business practices:

By partnering with a 3D printing foundation to create custom-fit shoes, they reduce manufacturing waste.

Completing the circle of recycled shoes for men, their Revivo program repairs old footwear or refurbishes them for resale. It’s only up and running in Australia and New Zealand currently.

Community & charitable giving:

Vivobarefoot takes away the cushion and gives us a real impact.

Their Livebarefoot Fund is an impact hub leading research in regenerative shoe making processes. It focuses on education, advocacy, and indigenous community involvement.

Available: Vivobarefoot


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How We Found The Best Sustainable Shoes For Men

Men have long been overlooked in the growing sustainable fashion industry, so we’re jumping up and down to see sustainable men’s clothing and sustainable men’s shoe brands taking the lead. 

But what is a sustainable men’s shoe brand?

We always implement our sustainable and ethical fashion criteria when determining who should make the list (regardless of gender).

Materials: 

Let’s start with a stroll through the most eco-friendly materials for men’s shoes.

Natural materials are always the most sustainable materials. These commonly include organic cotton, linen, hemp, lyocell fabric, cork, and natural rubber.

Leather uppers are also still common, and while ethical leather might sound oxymoronic, leather is still valuable in footwear because of its durability. If leather is involved, we make sure it’s either recycled or byproduct leather tanned with vegetable-based substances.

Because synthetic fabrics are nearly unavoidable in footwear we look for recycled material men’s shoes or those that blend synthetics with biobased materials (like BloomFoam algae and castor bean oil blended with traditional EVA foam).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

The businesses should have codes of conduct and a transparent, traceable supply chain to ensure the fair treatment, pay, and conditions of all suppliers in the production of their goods. 

Certifications help prevent greenwashing among men’s ethical shoes but keep in mind they’re not perfect either. Read up on B Corp greenwashing to stay informed.

Green business practices:

From product recycling or carbon offset programs to low waste shipping methods, there are dozens of ways these eco-friendly shoe brands for men can be more eco-friendly still.

Community & charitable giving:

While some are still finding their feet, brands that give back to their communities and show their care for people over profit definitely fill some big shoes.


Final Thoughts On Ethical Men’s Shoes

With over 90% of shoes still ending up in landfill, it is imperative that shoe brands change their approach to focus not only style, but sustainability. 

For something as frequently used and important to our physical health, these ethical men’s shoe brands are on the right track by looking at their materials and questioning the status quo. 

Pop quiz: what is the most sustainable men’s shoe brand?

Whatever is on the label of those already on your mudroom floor.

But if you can’t read that label anymore and the outsoles are almost as worn down, first learn what to do with old shoes then take steps toward replacing them, whether that be through gently-used options via online thrift stores or supporting sustainable shoe brands for men.

If you want to tread lighter on the planet and see those closest to you join in, share this article and refer back to it when it’s time to invest in a new pair of sustainable kicks.

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Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Image by Baabuk #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle
Sustainable Men’s Shoes: 11 Brands Stepping Into the Spotlight Image by Kanes Footwear #sustainablemensshoes #bestsustainablemensshoes #sustainableshoesformen #ecofriendlymensshoes #sustainablejungle

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