The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Bhavastu #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Bhava
The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Yatay #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Yatay
The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Rothy's #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Rothy’s

8 Vegan Shoe Brands For Your Ethically Conscious Feet


They say, “If the shoe fits…” 

But who wants to “fit” into something that came at the cost of an animal’s life?

Simply put, we don’t need to sacrifice an animal just to have a cute pair of winter boots.

We’re not the only ones who think so. 

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help.  

To give your toes a sneak preview, Yatay’s biobased sneakers utilize a vegan leather made out of corn. Just as innovative, 8000Kicks makes sneakers from hemp and algal blooms.

And NAE will blow your socks off with their range of vegan fabrics, like recycled polyester and Piñatex (pineapple-based leather). 

Before your feet get too far ahead, stomp down to the end of the article for more on how we created this list of vegan shoes

*This post contains affilate links

1. 8000KICKS

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by 8000Kicks #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by 8000Kicks
About 8000Kicks

As a maker of ethical sneakers using hemp fabric, there are—dare we say—8000 reasons to love 8000Kicks

The Portugal-based company is one of the best vegan shoe brands to step foot in the ethical shoe market. They’re waging war on plastics with their durable, sustainable, and natural materials. 

8000Kicks keeps it simple with one style (for now)—the Explorer V2—available for both men and women.

8000Kicks’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The best vegan shoes may just be made out of hemp.

Not only are these kicks made of strong hemp fiber uppers and the world’s first hemp insole, but they have a foam bottom made out of algal blooms. 

These blooms can end up destroying marine ecosystems so turning them into biodegradable foam negates double the damage.

Products made from hemp fabric retain its beneficial properties, making them antimicrobial, flexible, durable, splash-proof, dust-proof, anti-bacterial, and very sustainable. 

Unlike its mind-altering cousin, cannabis, it’s also 100% legal in every country. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

The superstar hemp that goes into these vegan running shoes is sourced from China, Romania, and France. 

Factories in China and Portugal (with decades of experience making hemp shoes) lace up and stitch together the final products. Details like specific manufacturing locations for products and average salaries are shared in 8000Kicks’ FAQs.

To quell any concerns about manufacturing in China, they assure us that China is tops hemp manufacturing.

Because hemp grows well there, this allows them to keep their supply chain smaller. Factory automation helps maintain high quality standards and pay better salaries than countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia. 

Both factories are regularly inspected to ensure they meet ethical conditions. 

Green business practices:

The carbon footprint of these shoes is 4.1kg of CO2 (roughly equivalent to driving a car for 13 miles). 8000Kicks aims to reduce that where possible, and both factories use renewable energy to power a portion of their production. 

With locations in both the UK and USA, they try to ship domestically to minimize shipping emissions. 

This also helps anyone looking for US vegan shoe brands.

Available: 8000Kicks

2. BHAVA

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Bhava #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Bhava
About Bhava

Bhava doesn’t botha with leather.  

With more than a billion animals slaughtered every year for leather, their shoes are made to protect the #1 victim of fast fashion: animals.

They have been, and always will be, an animal-free company, making them one of the top luxury vegan shoe brands. 

Considering the other victims of the fashion industry—the planet, the workers, and us—Bhava’s shoes are made to protect. This even goes for your ankles and feet, as their shoes are NYC street test-driven for durability and comfort. 

Their line of women’s vegan dress shoes (boots, winter boots, flats, heels, wedges, sandals, and more) keeps your conscience clean while shattering glass ceilings. 

Bhava’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Bhava’s list of materials is long but 100% animal-free, including eco-ultrasuede, cork, wood, rubber, and organic cotton. 

Bhava’s vegan leather is free from aromatic amines, formaldehyde, PVC, phthalates, azo-dyes, and chrome. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Many of Bhava’s vegan shoes for women are handmade in Alicante, Spain by talented artisans out of materials largely imported from Italy. 

Some pairs are crafted by India’s first 100% female-owned footwear maker.

Green business practices:

The shoe and textile industries are known for pollution. Areas in which fashion is heavily produced are considered to be some of the worst toxic zones in the world.

Bhava is helping to clean up the industry’s act by knowing where and how their shoes are made and using natural, organic, and recycled fabrics. 

Available: Bhava

3. NAE

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by NAE #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by NAE
About NAE

Care for environmental sustainability and a vegan philosophy make NAE (which stands for No Animal Exploitation) one of the best ethical vegan shoe brands

In just over a decade, they have amassed a global following for their high-quality characteristic of Portuguese footwear.

Support this PETA approved brand if you’re in need of ethical shoes and want to take advantage of ecological materials, design, quality, and (let’s not forget) style. 

They have several unisex options and many specific fits for both men and women: boots, sneakers, heels, sandals, and vegan work shoes

NAE’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

NAE makes use of natural, recycled, and synthetic materials. Everything is eco-friendly and animal-free and some is OEKO-TEX certified.

You’ll find the perfect fit with materials like Piñatex (made from upcycled pineapple leaves), organic cotton, cork, recycled PET, rubber, and vegan leather (a mix of cotton, polyester, and mostly-recycled nylon). 

You can even search for shoes by your material of choice. 

Also expect to find a few less-sustainable materials, like polyurethane (PU) and microfiber, but these are certainly avoidable.  

Supply chain & labor practices:

Certified and ethical factories in Portugal manufacture NAE’s vegan athletic shoes (and every other style for that matter).

Green business practices:

NAE’s manufacturing process is carbon-neutral with steps taken to minimize chemical and water requirements. 

Inclusivity:

Inclusivity isn’t typically a footwear focus, but we should mention again that NAE has a range of unisex footwear taking one giant leap for gender neutral fashion.

Community & charitable giving:

A partnership with the ReMove Project means that ocean plastic can become your favorite pair of new cow-free kicks. 

Available: eBay | NAE

4. STELLA MCCARTNEY

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Stella McCartney #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Stella McCartney
About Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney is one of the big brands making waves in the world of sustainable fashion, especially for vegan-friendly footwear and accessories. 

While Stella and her brand have gone through several changes since she started her fashion house in 2001, they’ve always been fur free. 

Stella herself is actually a lifelong vegetarian. 

While they still use ethically sourced wool in some products, they’re one of the best vegan shoe brands in the UK with plenty of non-wool options.  

One peek at their A to Z manifesto (with values like accountability, sustainability, and zero waste) and you know they mean business “being a responsible, honest, and modern company.”

If you’re looking for luxury vegan women’s shoe brands, you’ll probably want to wiggle your toes into one of Stella’s unique and runway-ready pairs of sneakers, boots, flats, sandals, heels, and wedges. 

Stella McCartney’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The best Stella McCartney vegan shoes are those that make use of sustainably grown wood (viscose), rubber, organic cotton, or recycled nylon.

Other pairs make use of vegetarian leather, a blend of polyurethane, cotton, and recycled polyester.

The leather is also coated with 50% vegetable oil, a renewable and natural resource. Others are made from ECONYL (recycled nylon) and elastane. 

As you can see, there are still a fair amount of synthetic fabrics (and some ethically-sourced and recycled animal products) used by the brand, so make sure to check the product details to be sure that perfect pair aligns with your values.  

Supply chain & labor practices:

The brand supports the people in their supply chain with respect, dignity, and a fair wage. They annually report to the Ethical Trading Initiative to ensure their partners support ILO standards of workers rights.

76% of the materials that go into these vegan shoes for women are sourced in Italy; the remaining come from Hungary, Spain, China, Portugal, and India. 

Green business practices:

Stella’s team produces cruelty-free leather free of solvents and in a way that minimizes water and energy requirements. 

Additionally, they have an audit system (called EP&L) that measures their emissions, water use, water and air pollution, land use, and waste.

This ultimately helps them make more sustainable decisions and reduce their impact year on year. For more details, check out their Eco Impact Report.

All this is their effort to make the circular economy a reality, something they’re striving for through partnerships with organizations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and The RealReal online consignment shop. 

Community & charitable giving:

Stella McCartney supports a range of charities, including Animals Asia, ASPCA, BioPlanet USA, Meat Free Monday, and more.  

Available: Stella McCartney

5. ROTHY’S

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Rothy's #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Rothy’s
About Rothy’s

Rothy’s is committed to putting the planet and people first. 

This is possible thanks to eco-friendly materials, 3D knitting, and durable shoes designed to look as good as they feel and last a really long time. 

Women and kids can choose from a range of casual vegan shoes, including flats (with or san bows), loafers, sneakers, and sandals. 

Rothy’s’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Rothy’s uppers are knit from their signature thread spun from repurposed plastic water bottles. 

Their outsoles are made with eco-friendly and non-toxic rubber, recycled TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), or luxe vegan leather (which we’ll be inquiring as to the exact materials used).

These sit below a strobel (the space underneath the insoles) made out of algae-based foam. 

While their signature line is 100% vegan, they also have a collection made out of 75% merino wool. While it is ethical wool, avoid those if you want a strictly vegan pair. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Rothy’s responsible manufacturing happens in one brand-owned factory in Dongguan, China. All design takes place in San Francisco. That’s it. 

There’s no other manufacturer involved at any point in the supply chain, which is fairly unique for the footwear industry. 

Green business practices:

Constantly striving towards zero waste shoes, the brand uses a blend of handcrafted assembly and 3D knitting technology to create their vegan walking shoes. 

They’re sent in recycled/recyclable materials, too. 

Not only that, but they also carbon offset some of their emissions, through a partnership with The Envira Amazonia Project via CarbonFund. 

Perhaps their most important contribution to earth-friendly footwear is the fact that all Rothy’s products are made to last and can be machine washed (on cold) whenever they need freshening up. 

Available: Rothy’s

6. YATAY

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Yatay #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Yatay
About Yatay

Yatay makes us say “yay!” with their bio-sneaker…the world’s first!

As one of the most innovative vegan leather shoe brands, they don’t take the usual route of fossil fuel based vegan leather.

All thanks to two dedicated years of research and design before the launch of their first sneak. 

And it obviously paid off!

Choose between high-top and low cut vegan skate shoes. While these unisex shoes are minimalist and nearly identical in design, they’re available in a whole rainbow of colors so you can get the sneaker that fits your foot and your flair. 

Yatay’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Instead of petroleum-based vegan leather, strut your stuff in shoes made from bio-polyols, or polymers extracted from cereal grains (like corn). Even the laces are made from bio-leather!

What’s more, they’re backed by certifications from USDA-biobased and PETA. 

The lining keeps your feet fresh and dry, thanks to soft viscose (tree pulp) sourced from 100% sustainable plantations. 

The soles are recycled tire rubber and the waterproof exterior is made from recycled plastic bottles.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Yatay partners with master shoemakers in the Italian region of Marche who use traditional techniques married with modern technology. 

All materials are sourced in Italy. We don’t like too-small shoes, but we do love tiny, localized supply chains. 

Green business practices:

Yatay shoes are long lasting and machine washable. 

Not only do they come in a recyclable box, but it can also be used as a Backgammon board.  

Community & charitable giving:

When you buy a pair of Yatay shoes, you’ll notice a code on the heel.

Plug that into their website and they’ll plant a tree for your purchase, offsetting the emissions of the shoes.

The code can also be used for sole recycling at the end of the shoes’ life. Again, plug in your code and address on the website, receive a return bag, and ensure your shoes get responsibly recycled or disposed of. 

This happens through Yatay’s partnership with the Italian NGO Retake.

Available: Yatay’s

7. BAHATIKA

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Bahatika #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Bahatika
About Bahatika

Bahatika is aware that we have the potential to shape our future and truly make a difference. 

If we “walk with purpose”, we can take a literal step towards doing so through footwear that’s based on a passion for timeless design, protecting our environment, and respecting people and animals. 

The German-based company has people all around the globe lining up to buy their eco-friendly shoes. 

While they’re one of the popular vegan shoe brands for men, they have plenty of options for women, too.  

Styles include sneakers, sandals, boots, heels, flats, and other “elegant” options.

Bahatika’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Bahatika uses several sustainable materials, including eco-microfiber, vegan eco-leather made from corn, cork, and natural rubber.

Water-based adhesives are also used and most pairs are 100% free of toxic substances. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Many materials are sourced in Italy before being handmade in Spain under fair working conditions.  

Green business practices:

Where available, Bahatika uses DHL Green courier services to minimize its shipping footprint. 

They also use minimal packaging and biodegradable mailers.

Community & charitable giving:

Thanks to One Tree Planted, every purchase fights deforestation. 

Available: Bahatika

8. WILL’S VEGAN STORE

The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Will's #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle
Image by Will’s
About Will’s Vegan Store

#MakeAPositiveChoice with Will’s vegan shoes

The PETA-approved company has been supplying vegan essentials since people were asking, “What are vegan shoes?” Long before the vegan shoe market exploded.

The London-based and award-winning brand has vegan shoes for both men and women, including some hard-to-find kinds in the vegan shoe world. 

If you’re looking for durable, breathable, and water-resistant Chelsea boots, winter boots, work boots, and even hiking boots, Will’s will show you the way.

Will’s Vegan Store’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Everything, down to the glue, is vegan and backed by OEKO-TEX and Ecolabel certifications. 

For uppers, they use two main materials: Italian vegan leather made from cereal crops grown in northern Europe or eco suede. All shoes have a natural and recycled rubber outsole. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Will’s works with manufacturing partners in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, where stringent EU laws protect workers with regard to employment, discrimination, health, and safety. 

All workers involved receive maternity and parental leave, compensation for victims of discrimination, fair and equal pay, and more. 

Green business practices:

The brand’s vegan leather is made in a carbon-neutral process and their shipping is carbon neutral, too, as assessed by the Carbon Neutral Protocol. 

They also use recyclable/biodegradable packaging.

Available: Will’s Vegan Store

WHY CHOOSE VEGAN SHOES

With more than a billion animals slaughtered every year for leather, vegan shoes protect the #1 victim of fashion: animals.

While not all leather is directly responsible for the killing of animals, as some is sourced as a byproduct of the meat industry, it’s still environmentally damaging.

We all know how the cattle industry is adding fuel to the climate-change-fire with methane gas production. If you eat vegan or vegetarian for that reason, it makes little sense to continue to buy leather based products, unless they’re upcycled. 

The tanning process is another cow-sized issue.

Leather tanning relies on some 250 different chemicals. We’re not just talking sodium borate and hydrogen here; we’re talking arsenic, cyanide, and chromium. 

All those chemicals make their way into the environment, into the tannery workers (who have been shown to suffer from respiratory problems and cancer), and even into us as wearers. 

If reflexology is anything to go by, feet are directly connected to every area of the body, right? So why cushion them in carcinogens and heavy metals every.single.day?

Last but not least, leather is simply not a sustainable material because, despite technically being a natural fabric when in pure form, it takes hundreds of years to biodegrade (and can’t safely biodegrade if it’s been processed via chemical means).


HOW WE FOUND THE BEST VEGAN SHOE BRANDS

At the heart (or rather heel) of sustainable and ethical fashion is the concept that fashion shouldn’t come at the cost of any creature’s welfare. 

Who really wants to slip their feet into something that necessitated the death of another being?

That’s why we looked for footwear brands that ticked the following:

Materials:

Obviously vegan materials were prioritized here, but exactly what those vegan materials are made a big (environmental) difference, too. 

Instead of petroleum-based vegan leather, we prioritized brands using bio-based materials (like corn) and vegetable-based coating oils. We did consider some plastic-based leathers, but only those made of the more earth-friendly PU rather than PVC.

Aside from vegan leather, our foot-forward-faves include hemp, recycled algal bloom foam, cork, natural rubber, organic cotton, Piñatex, recycled PET (made from plastic water bottles or ocean waste), recycled nylon (ECONYL), recycled TPU, and sustainably-sourced viscose (wood pulp). 

Supply chain and labor practices:

Cruelty-free extends beyond materials; it applies to how workers are treated, too.

We trip over transparency and traceability, especially when a brand knows where and how their shoes are produced. This means local supply chains, supply chains with only a few links, and audits of these entities. 

Some even share salary details, while others encourage traditional techniques that truly respect their talented artisans.   

Green business practices:

Green is the new black leather, so we look for additional green efforts like carbon offsets, practices to minimize water/chemical consumption, and sustainable packaging. 

The shoelace bow on top are brands with innovative practices like 3D printing to reduce waste, the option to wash/recycle old shoes, and even packaging that doubles as a game board!

Community & charitable giving:

Taking a step towards a better future, some brands are going the extra mile in their vegan boots by donating to charities, planting trees, and even partnering with nonprofits to clean up oceans. 


FINAL THOUGHTS ON VEGAN SHOE BRANDS

Shoes were made for walking—not ending an animal’s life or destroying our planet. 

Thankfully, vegan leather shoes made from natural fibers do neither. 

But what they can do is eliminate animal cruelty, minimize greenhouse gas emission, protect workers from dangerous chemicals from leather tanning, and make use of natural and renewable materials. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Boot up with one of these vegan friendly shoe brands and let’s walk over the world of unethical footwear together. 


The vegan footwear market is growing, so even if you feel like Cinderella looking for the animal-free equivalent of a glass slipper, these vegan shoe brands can help. Image by Yatay #veganshoes #veganshoebrands #bestveganshoebrands #bestveganshoes #sustainablejungle

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