No matter your style, dressing sustainably is something we can all get behind. And it’s easier than ever to go green, as big-name fashion brands and small niche designers are now using recycled and natural, self-regenerating materials in their products. But if you hear “sustainable shoes” and immediately think of unfortunate felt clogs, we have some great news: These ten shoe brands are minimizing their environmental impact in the most fashionable ways possible. Think sleek sneakers, sexy boots and super comfy flats, all of which are good for the environment. Excuse us, we have some shopping saving the planet to do.
10 Pairs of Sustainable Shoes to Shop Right Now, from Simple Sneakers to Spring Sandals
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
1. Rothy’s The Mary Jane
It’s no surprise that one of Meghan Markle’s favorite shoe brands is also one of the most sustainable on the market. All of Rothy’s flats are made from recycled single-use plastic bottles (37 million and counting), merino wool and recycled foam insoles, including its newest Mary Jane style that comes with the sweetest bow detail. The brand maintains its own manufacturing facility, which gives them more control as they continue in their quest to become zero-waste. And each pair of Rothy’s is meant to last (and last) thanks to the fact that they’re machine washable.
2. Nisolo Dari Boot
When it comes to eco-chic leather boots, Nisolo reigns supreme. The brand collaborates with local Peruvian artisans on everything from the design to each handmade kick—and in return, provides fair wages and full-time employment for its artisans. This particular ankle bootie is made to be worn from day to night thanks to a super comfy insole and a soft, flexible leather outer. And that spring-friendly tan shade? You simply can’t beat it.
Buy It ($238; $202)
3. Cariuma Ibi Low
This cool and casual sneaker sold out almost immediately and then racked up a wait list of more than 5,000 people. So yeah, you could say it’s in demand. The Cariuma style recently came back in stock, but certain colors are already sold out for a second time (including the classic white). Shoppers just can’t get enough of the trainers, which are knit from self-regenerating bamboo and recycled plastics, including the laces. And we don’t blame them.
4. Everlane Court Sneaker
The whole basis of Everlane’s business is radical transparency, meaning the company is brutally honest and open about where its products are made and how they’re priced. It’s also a front-runner in sustainability as many of its products are created from recycled materials, including its newest shoe launch, the Court Sneaker. The sleek leather style comes in seven color options and uses less waste, less energy and less virgin plastic than any other sneaker. In 2020, that’s what we call sneaker goals.
5. Allbirds Women’s Tree Toppers
Quite possibly the comfiest high-tops we’ve ever stepped into, Allbirds Tree Toppers are light and supportive and keep our feet from sweating, thanks to their surprisingly breathable fabric. This specific shoe is made from eucalyptus tree fiber, which is naturally derived and renewable. All of the brand’s shoes feature a Brazilian sugarcane SweetFoam sole that’s not only bouncybut also carbon negative.
6. Reformation Rachel Sandal
Reformation has played a huge role in making sustainability cool. Since day one, this L.A. brand has put eco-friendly practices at the core of everything it does: The company has invested in green building infrastructure to minimize waste, water and energy, and it releases a quarterly sustainability report that places a huge emphasis on transparency. This particular pair of minimalist sandals is made from vegetable tanned (chromium-free) leather, which leaves behind no hazardous carcinogenic waste, unlike 90 percent of traditionally tanned leather.
7. Veja V-10 Bastille Sneaker
Another Meghan Markle fave (remember when she wore them at the 2018 Invictus Games?), Veja buys organic and ecological materials for its sneakers from fair-trade family farms in Brazil and the Amazon. It tightly monitors its production and makes each collection just six months in advance to help eliminate excess, while also partnering with a social charity that helps disadvantaged people find work. It doesn’t hurt that these are some of the most stylish kicks we’ve ever seen.
8. Tom’s Classic Canvas Slip-ons
As one of the OG sustainable shoe brands, Tom’s not only uses eco-conscious practices but also donates a pair of shoes for every one sold. At least a third of its production takes place in the communities it supports, which provides stable jobs for locals around the globe. And there’s just no denying the slip-on-and-go ease of its signature shoe style.
9. Native Shoes Ellis Sandals
These comfy, supportive sandals are made without any animal products (hello, soft, water-resistant vegan leather). Native might be best known for its children’s slip-ons, but it also makes great women’s and men’s styles, like these sporty sandals that are created through a low-emission manufacturing process.
10. Matisse Caty Western Pointy-toe Bootie
Made by artisans in family-owned factories, this California-based footwear brand is a gold mine for trendy boots, like this goes-with-everything suede pair. It employs fair labor standards by auditing all factories to ensure workers are compensated accordingly and uses recycled leathers and textiles whenever possible. Matisse even goes so far as to reduce its water waste and work with clean leather tanneries—all without sacrificing style.
Why You Should Trust Us
PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.