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Vegan Shoes: The 31 Best Vegan Shoe Brands in 2021

This post may contain affiliate links (see full disclaimer here). This means if you make a purchase after clicking, I may get a small percentage of the sale, at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Vegan shoes have come a long way in the last decade, thanks to innovative vegan shoe brands and advances in eco-friendly vegan leather.

Today you can find vegan shoes that are fashion-forward and eco-friendly, in a huge range of styles and for all budgets!

Some of the vegan shoe brands I’ll be reviewing are:

Further guides for vegan shoes

Vegan sneakers

Vegan mens shoes

Vegan boots

Vegan Chelsea boots

Vegan ankle boots

Vegan knee high boots

Vegan sandals

Vegan heels

Vegan designer shoes

 

The best vegan shoe brands

 

Etiko vegan sneakers

Based in Australia, ships worldwide

Features: 100% vegan company, sustainable

Etiko makes ethical vegan trainers. The name ‘Etiko’ is derived from the Greek word for ethical. If you’re looking for classic vegan white sneakers that are also eco-friendly and people-friendly, most of their products are fair trade and they pay a living wage. 

They also use organic cotton and natural rubber. Etiko uses FSC certified recycled cardboard and paper packaging and aim to avoid plastic as much as possible (and use biodegradable and compostable plastic when they have to use it).

They have slip-ons and Converse style high- and low-top sneakers in classic colors like black, white, blue and red.

Find Out More

 

Matt and Nat shoes

Based in Canada

Features: 100% vegan

Matt & Nat has a huge range of vegan shoes to suit all tastes, from sneakers to slip-ons, sandals, flats, boots, heels and more.

One issue to be aware of is several sources point out they still use PVC, which is an environmentally-unfriendly leather alternative. Since there are so many alternatives available today, many companies have switched to more eco-friendly alternatives, but Matt & Nat has not, so shop carefully and avoid the PVC.

Find Out More

 

Nae shoes

Based in Portugal

Features: 100% vegan, eco friendly

Nae shoes are beautifully designed, PETA certified vegan and sustainable. 

They use eco-friendly materials such as cork, recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, airbags and pineapple leather.

They've got a wide range of shoe styles, from vegan combat boots and sneakers to pumps, boots and sandals.

Find Out More

 

Allkind shoes

Based in the UK

Features: 100% vegan, uses some recycled materials

Allkind is a British vegan footwear brand ideal for your sustainable fashion needs. Their production is sweatshop-free and use sustainable materials such as recycled polyester, organic cotton and recycled rubber. They're a newcomer to the scene, too, starting production in March 2020.

Allkind selection of faux leather shoes includes vegan loafers, boots and sneakers. They even make vegan slippers with vegan wool and vegan suede.

Find Out More

 

Taylor + Thomas vegan shoes

Based in LA

Features: 100% vegan, uses sustainable materials

Taylor + Thomas is a luxury vegan shoe line from Los Angeles. Founder Jessica Taylor Mead and Elizabeth Thomas James wanted to create a line of designer vegan shoes that would epitomise style and also be vegan and eco-friendly. 

They use FSC certified wood, recycled rubber, castor beans and more for their cruelty free shoes.

Their shoes are mostly classic styles, such as Chelsea boots, loafers and heels.

Find Out More

 

Beyond Skin vegan shoes

Based in the UK

Features: 100% vegan, uses some recycled materials

One of the first vegan luxury shoe companies, Beyond Skin was founded in 2001. I've owned several of their shoes over the years and they were all well-made and durable. My favourite feature was the stamp on the sole of the shoe that said 'Genuinely Not Leather'.

They have a wide range of style, including sandals, boots, heels, trainers and bridal shoes.

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Mireia Playa

Based in Spain

Features: 100% vegan, uses sustainable materials

Mireia Playa is based, like me, in Barcelona. Mireia, who created the brand, discovered a dearth of quality vegan footwear after going vegan, and paired up with her father, who'd worked in the shoe industry over 30 years, to create a new line of vegan shoes.

They use recycled polyester, a bio-based material made with recycled fibers and corn and soles made out of 100% organic latex. The shoes are made in Lyon, France.

Their range includes sandals, boots and sneakers.

Find Out More

 

Bhava

Based in the US

Features: 100% vegan

Bhava is a vegan shoe company with one of the most unique ideas for boots I've come across - they sell boot 'uppers' that attach via straps onto short boots, transforming them into knee-high or over-the-knee boots. Now that's one way to be eco-friendly and save space!

As well as boots, Bhava also sell vegan sandals and wedges.

Find Out More

 

Good Guys Don't Wear Leather

Based in France

Features: 100% vegan, uses sustainable materials

The first 100% vegan shoe company in France, Good Guys Don't Wear Leather aims to use as sustainable as possible of materials, including apple leather (created using waste from the food industry), canvas, rubber and a material made of vegetable seeds and cereals. 

They make apple leather sandals, plus trainers, vegan clogs and boots.

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Cult of Coquette

Based in the US

Features: 100% vegan

Cult of Coquette was born when founder Bebe Roxana couldn't find a vegan version of the Louboutins she had wanted for years and decided to create her own.

If you're looking for a killer pair of vegan heels, Cult of Coquette has you covered.

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Minuit sur Terre

Based in France

Features: 100% vegan, uses some sustainable & recycled materials

I love the look of Minuit sur Terre's designs (and just bought my first gorgeous pair of sandals from them), especially their boots and sandals.

They also make vegan sneakers out of eco-friendly apple leather!

They also use Oeko-Tex certified recycled materials in some of their vegan leather shoes.

Find Out More

 

 

Noize

Based in Canada

Features: 100% vegan

Noize is a Canadian company that specializes in vegan outwear, especially ultra-warm coats (they are based in Canada, after all!), but now they make shoes, too.

They make slippers and boots that are perfect for winter weather (most are water resistant).

Find Out More

 

 

Will's Vegan Shoes

Based in the UK

Features: 100% vegan (PETA certified) 

Will's started life as a men's vegan shoe company at a time when there weren't many options in terms of vegan shoes for men. Now, they make both mens and womens vegan shoes.

They make mainly vegan versions of timeless designs in classic colors like black and brown, vegan dress shoes for men and vegan hiking shoes. They even have waterproof vegan snow boots.

Find Out More

 

Mink shoes

Based in the US

Features: 100% vegan

One of the original brands for luxury vegan shoes, Mink was founded in 2000 by Rebecca Mink. (Though not the oldest vegan shoe brand -- that is, as far as I know, Vegetarian Shoes, founded in 1990).

They're known for their heels, especially their glittery ones, and they're a favorite of celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Alicia Silverstone.

Find Out More

 

 

More vegan shoe brands to check out:

Ahimsa

BC Footwear

Call it Spring

Ethletic sneakers

Native Shoes

Novacas

Vegetarian Shoes

Olsen Haus

Susi

Stella McCartney (*not all her clothes are vegan since she uses wool & silk, but the shoes are all vegan)

Nomadic State of Mind

Koi Footwear

Collection and Co

Brave Gentleman

Piferi

Aera

Rafa

Veerah

(Kat) Von D Shoes

 

 

FAQ on vegan shoes

What are vegan shoes?

Simply put, vegan shoes are shoes completely devoid of animal products. That includes the obvious like leather, but also less obvious components such as animal-based glues (yes, they still exist!).

 

Where to buy vegan shoes?

If you're really lucky, the city you live in might have a vegan shoe store, but it's not all that common and unfortunately due to to the Covid-19 pandemic many small businesses have closed. Prior to Covid, I knew of at least four vegan shoe shops here in Barcelona, and now as far as I know only one remains open.

 

Are vegan shoes bad for the environment? Or are vegan shoes sustainable?

One very common misconception is that leather is an eco-friendly material. Many people think it's biodegradable, but depending on how it's tanned, it often isn't. The tanning process used for 90% of leather today uses chromium, according to Common Objective, which has severe effects on workers, some as young as 10 in some countries. This range from irritation to the airways to increased cancer risk.

Because leather is a byproduct of the meat industry, it has the same detrimental effects on the environment, including releasing greenhouse gases and contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon. The Higgs index, created by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, measures the impacts of materials on the environment and rates leather as the second worst after alpaca wool.

So does this mean vegan shoes are the better choice? Yes, but their environmental impact depends on what they're made from. Avoid PVC (the most environmentally damaging plastic, according to Greenpeace).

While PU (polyurethane) is rated better on the Higgs index than leather, it is still a plastic and there are better options out there.

The most sustainable vegan shoes on the market today are made of new vegan leather materials made of waste byproducts from the food industry, such as Piñatex (pineapple leather) and apple leather. Some brands on this list also incorporate recycled materials into their shoes.

 

Are vegan shoes durable?

Like any shoe, this depends largely on the manufacturer, how the shoes are made, etc. I've had vegan shoes that lasted me 10 years, and some that wore out after a year. 

 

Are vegan shoes good quality?

Again, it depends largely on the brand. You can find non leather shoes (though the glue may not be vegan - see above) at discount shoe stores, but they might not last you very long. On the other hand, you can buy hand-crafted artisan vegan shoes. It depends on your budget and what you're looking for, but you can certainly find high quality vegan shoes.

 

Are vegan shoes waterproof?

That depends on the material they're made from, but there are vegan waterproof shoes out there, for example Wills waterproof vegan hiking boots or Native Shoes waterproof vegan winter boots.

 

Are vegan shoes breathable?

There's an unfortunate misconception that vegan shoes aren't breathable and they make your feet smell! This may have been the case a few decades ago when many non leather shoes were made out of PVC plastic, but vegan leather materials have come a long way since then (and do avoid PVC - see why above).

This footwear site actually states synthetic materials are lighter weight and more breathable.

Experts recommend you rotate your shoes and don't wear the same pair every day. So if you're worried about smelly shoes, be sure to rotate shoes!

 

What are vegan shoes made of?

There are a wide range of materials used in vegan shoes these days. While PVC used to be common, it's the most environmentally damaging plastic and therefore I recommend avoiding it (see more information above). Polyurethane (PU) is a commonly used vegan leather alternative. It's more eco-friendly than leather, according to the Higgs index, but it is still plastic so you may want to look at other materials.

Other commonly used materials are cork (which is very eco friendly!), canvas and organic cotton, rubber, wood and new vegan leathers such as pineapple leather, apple leather and even mushroom leather.

 

Why buy vegan shoes?

  1. For the animals - leather is a by-product of the meat industry and all the cruelty therein (see more information on why go vegan from The Vegan Society).
  2. For the planet - leather was rated as the second worst material for the environment, after alpaca wool (also not vegan!) by the Higgs Index.
  3. For people - the tanning method used on 90% of leather on the market uses toxic chemicals that can seriously endanger the health of workers in the tanning industry, including children as young as 10 years old, causing damage to the airways and even increasing risk of cancer.

 

Pin this for later

 

Looking for more vegan shoe guides?

Check out my guide to vegan leather boots (including vegan cowboy boots and vegan work boots) here, vegan sandals here and vegan sneakers here.

Trying to find vegan bags? See my vegan handbag guide here and my guide to vegan crossbody bags here.

Click here to see all my vegan fashion & beauty guides.

 

Did I miss any? Let me know if there's another vegan shoe brand that should be on this list!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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