The Best Vegan Shoes and Eco-Sneakers Reviewed

Eco-friendly shoes probably aren’t exactly what comes to mind when searching for a new pair of sneakers. Although they might not be very popular, eco-friendly shoes offer many benefits most notably that aid in reducing pollution in addition to saving animals.

Last Updated: February 20, 2018
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By Travis Rys:

The recent update includes grammar improvments as well as an updated FAQ and Critera section.

Featured Recommendations

Xero Hana
  • Xero Hana
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight and Flexible
  • Price: See Here
Emerica Wino G6
  • Emerica Wino G6
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Heel Anchor
  • Price: See Here
Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81
  • Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • EVA Midsoles
  • Price: See Here

Purchasing a pair of eco-friendly sneakers are a great way to make a difference all while looking great in the process. In light of Spring as well as Earth Day being just around the corner, were going to share out top picks for the best vegan and eco-friendly sneakers of 2018.

 

 

10 Best Vegan Shoes and Eco Sneakers

 

 

1. Xero Hana

Xero has created quite a unique shoe and all around fantastic everyday sneaker that is vegan as well as eco-friendly. These barefoot inspired shoes feature no latex or animal products and make a great all around hiking and running shoe.
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Lightweight and Flexible
Of course all barefoot inspired shoes have to be lightweight and flexible and Xero implements these features perfectly. The canvas outer looks great and allows your foot to move and bend naturally while the elevated zero drop sole encourages proper posture.

Natural Foot Design
The Hana's unlike many other shoes on the market feature a wide toe box for fantastic comfort and room for your toes to spread out when walking or running.

Cost and Value
The cost may be a bit steep for some, but with everything considered the cost is actually quite affordable. The Hanas are most likely one of the most versatile shoes on the market allowing for running, hiking, and every day usage without a sacrifice in durability. The Vegan and eco-friendly features are also a nice touch making these one of my favorite sneakers currently available.
Pros
  • Extreamly versitle
  • Durable
  • Vegan as well as eco-friednly
  • Relatively cheap
  • Look nice
Cons
  • Stiffness complintes when first purchasing

2. Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81

Doubling as a running shoe as well as a fashionable sneaker, the Ultimate 81's boast 20+ colorway options in addition to extremely good traction and cushioning. With the inclusion of animal free materials, Onitsuka Tiger has created a fantastic Japanese inspired sneaker.
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Two Tone EVA Midsoles
The EVA midsoles included on this pair of vegan sneakers makes for fantastic flex as well as cushioning. With the inclusion of the two tone soles, the comfort that's added makes these sneakers great for casual usage.

TPU Heel
The TPU Heel included creates enhanced stability providing the runner with fantastic shock absorption and traction. A great feature for day to day walking as well.

Cost and Value
The fairly cheap price tag is quite welcome seeing as this vegan sneaker has a fantastic design and is very versatile. The materials used are very durable as well as comfortable making for a great everyday casual sneaker.
Pros
  • Versitle
  • Quality vegan materials
  • Shock absorbtion
  • Comfort
  • Look great 
Cons
  • Tight fit

3. Sanuk TKO

The Sanuk TKO's are considered to be a shoe and sandal hybrid, making for a fantastic sneaker to wear out or when going to school or work. Sanuk is known to be more of a hippie type brand originating straight from California making for some really nice looking shoes as a result.
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Vulcanized Construction
The Vulcanized construction featured on the TKO's have a Jute inspired rubber outsole and no animal products for a truly vegan sneaker.

EVA Footbed
Sanuk implemented a removable and anti-microbial innersole designed to reduce odor causing bacteria making sure your sneakers stay clean and smelling good.

Cost and Value
The Sanuks are a fantastic budget everyday sneaker if your on the lookout for a pair of vegan shoes. With a hippie inspired design and fantastic materials you really can't go wrong!
Pros
  • Look great
  • Removable inner sole
  • Moc toe construction
  • Padded collar
  • Vulcanized contruction
Cons
  • Complaints about durability

4. Emerica Wino G6

4. Emerica Wino G6
Considered one of the biggest competitors to classic Vans sneakers, the Wino G6 by Emerica provides a "heel anchor system" and double wrapped construction for durability and comfort. In addition, the Wino's contain no animal products making for a great sneaker whether you skateboard or not.
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Heel Anchor System
In addition to the 10+ colorways offered by Emerica, the Wino's also feature a heel anchor system that works to protect your feet from impacts as well as keep you comfortable when out skating or walking.

Tuff Cuff Collar
As you may have noticed, the collar on the Wino's are a bit bigger than what you may see on a typical sneaker. Emerica implemented what they call a "Tuff Cuff" collar that works to prevent irritation on your Achilles tendon, a fantastic feature for every day usage.

Cost and Value
Emerica has created an all around fantastic vegan shoe that's great not only for skateboarding but for everyday use as well. At a very affordable price tag, the Wino G6 is worth every penny considering it's fantastic features and good looking design.
Pros
  • Prevent Achilles tendon irritation
  • Very comfortable
  • Look great
  • Affordable
  • Lots of great colorways
Cons
  • May start to tear after everyday wear

5. Jambu Sparrow-Vegan

5. Jambu Sparrow-Vegan
Whereas all the vegan women's shoes on this list so far have been more casual, the Sparrows however are a great running and water proof hiking shoe. In addition, the Sparrows are also eco as well as vegan friendly making use of recycled rubber and microbuck leather without sacrificing overall quality.
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Water Proof
One of the main selling points of this shoe is the fact that it's waterproof. Many vegan running shoes don't have this feature and it's certainty a welcome addition. The quick-drying mesh allows extreme water proofing suitable for tackling any adventure.

All Terra Traction Soles
The outer soles on the Sparrows are suitable for any terrain due to their unmatched traction that sticks to even the slickest surfaces. As an added feature, the bungee cords on the top of the shoe ensure the sparrows adapts with your feet when out hiking to provide maximum comfort and flex.

Cost and Value
At a relatively mid range price tag, the sparrows are a great vegan option for any hikers or runners out there. The waterproofing in this pair of sneakers is a fantastic addition and defiantly adds to the overall value of the shoes.
Pros
  • Great traction
  • Waterproof
  • Eco and vegan friendly
  • Flexable
  • Multi-use
Cons
  • Lack of color options
  • Lack of arch support

6. Saucony Jazz Low Pro

6. Saucony Jazz Low Pro
The Jazz Low Pro's are one of the best vegan sneakers you can currently get your hands on! With their unique look, the Low Pro's contain no animal products or derivatives making them truly a fantastic vegan shoe choice.
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High Quality Components
As mentioned above, Saucony has of course chosen not to include animal products in their shoes which makes them a great choice for those looking to live out their vegan lifestyle in every aspect of life. The shoe uppers are made of hemp and canvas make them extreamly high quality as well as good looking.

Durable
The outer soles on the Jazz Low Pro's are made from high quality rubber making them durable for long walks or a day at work. The shaft of the shoe itself measures 3 Inches from the arch for a great comfy and durable fit.

Cost and Value
If your passionate about living a full on vegan lifestyle, the Jazz Low Pro's by Saucony are definitely the shoes you should shoot for. They feature fantastic products and a durable build without sacrificing a gain in weight.
Pros
  • Completely vegan
  • High quality products
  • Durable
  • Comfy
  • Nice pair of everyday sneakers
Cons
  • Tread on the shoe can be a little lacking

7. Etnies Jamesons 2 Eco

7. Etnies Jamesons 2 Eco
Etnies in an effort to make their products more eco-friendly has started the "buy a shoe plant a tree" restoration program. As a result, the Jamesons 2 are made from recycled rubber and plastic in order to make their shoes more eco-friendly.
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50+ Colors
Just like the Stan Smith Sneakers by Adidas, the Jamesons 2 come on over 50 color ways making sure you can match your apparel perfectly.

Protection and Comfort
Seeing as this sneaker in particular is primarily used as a skate shoe, the low top design looks sleek and provides a lot of protection given it's lack in ankle support. The Jamesons 2 feature a faux-vulc cupsole construction and a thinly padded tongue and collar for a nice mix of comfort and protection.

Cost and Value
The Jamesons 2 by Etnies are a fantastic choice for an everyday sneaker especially if your an avid skateboarder. Ultimately these shoes look great and the eco-friendly additions are of course welcomed. In addition, the faux-valc cupsole and padded tongue really add a lot of value for quite a budget shoe.
Pros
  • A great skate shoe
  • Eco-friendly
  • Budget
  • Well built
  • Protective and comfortable
Cons
  • No vegan additions

8. Blowfish Marley

8. Blowfish Marley
Here's a great looking hippie inspired sneaker tailored specifically for women who are looking for a great pair of vegan shoes. Blowfish keeps animal products completely out of their shoes as an added benefit to their fantastic designs.
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Criss Cross Elastic Bands
The laces on this pair of sneakers are suited specifically for stretch and on the go fitting while also being very mobile when on foot.

Textured Rubber Outsole
The outer sole on this pair of sneakers is durable and great for everyday wear. In addition, Blowfish included an added toe bumper for extra protection when on the go.

Cost and Value
When considering the top of the line design this shoe features, the price being asked is far from being expensive. The vegan materials are high quality and the design is sure to be eye-catching when on foot.
Pros
  • Vegan friendly
  • 10 colors
  • Great desgin
  • Protective
  • Durable
Cons
  • Can be a little tight

9. Billabong Addy

9. Billabong Addy
Here's another great vegan friendly shoe tailored towards any women on the market for a pair of new sneakers. The Addy's are cruelty free, come in 10 colorways, and feature a great design perfect for everyday use.
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Flex Comfort Outsole
The outer sole on the Addy's are light, comfortable, and strong enough to provide protection when out and about. In essence, the outsole flexes with your foot to provide the wearer with an optimal sneaker experience.

High Quality Canvas
Billabong as mentioned in the introduction to this shoe doesn't use any animal products and still manages to create a high quality synthetic canvas that's light as well as strong. In addition, it makes the shoe look absolutely fantastic making for a great casual everyday sneaker.

Cost and Value
For such great quality it is surprising how inexpensive these shoes are. A great bargain, you may want to consider picking up more than one pair in a variety of color options.
Pros
  • High quality canvas
  • Cruelty free
  • 10 colorways
  • Flexable outer sole
  • Good looking design
Cons
  • Complaints about the shape of the shoe itself

10. Indigo Rd. Cyndy

10. Indigo Rd. Cyndy
Indigo Rd. crafts their sneakers to be lived and worn in. In other words, they attempt to balance durability with fashionable features which ends up working out fantastically in terms of the Cyndy's. The shoe utilizes synthetic fabrication and is therefore vegan friendly and still manages to be quite durable.
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Lightly Padded Insoles
One of the main draws to this sneaker in addition to it's vegan nature is the fact that they are very light while still managing to be durable. The lightly padded insole provides just enough comfort and protection necessary for a casual shoe without adding too much unnecessary weight.

Flexible Sole
In addition to lightweight soles, the outer soles of the Cyndy's are flexible and as a result are perfect for wearing everyday. The soles adapt to your feet and flex when you do adding great comfort and mobility.

Cost and Value
Besides the Addy Fashions by Billabong, the Cyndys are one of the cheapest women's casual shoes on this list. With the addition of fantastic durability and a great design it's no question why these sneakers are so popular among many, especially in the vegan market.
Pros
  • Vegan and cruetly free
  • Durable
  • Good looking
  • Flexible sole
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Lack of colors

 

Vegan and eco-friendly shoes can come in many different styles and form factors that are great at doing there own particular thing. Sneakers in specific are great every day wears, and given the vegan as well as eco-friendly products used, the shoes included in this list are extremely comfortable. Not many people out their choose to purchase vegan shoes, so I applaud you for doing so. There’s plenty of great sneaker options on this list so we hope we helped in making your choice.

 

Criteria for Choosing the Best Vegan and Eco-Friendly Shoes

 

Vegan and Eco-Friendly Materials 

Of course when making a list on the top vegan and eco-friendly shoes, the quality of the materials used in each shoe has to be taken into account when choosing each sneaker. In the case of our list, the materials we chose had to be top of the line.  In many cases, vegan and eco-friendly materials can sometimes be of low quality because the company wants to reduce manufacturing costs. Every shoe included on our list is reliable and of great quality so you should have no problems wearing them on a day to day basis.

Synthetic Leather

Since leather is an animal derived product, synthetic leather is a great alternative used in many vegan shoes put on our list. Being made from a mixture of plastics, these have a huge advantage as they require minimal care and don’t crack or fade easily compared to regular leather. In addition, synthetic leather is just as strong and is a great vegan shoe alternative.

Hemp and Canvas

Both of these materials are great for vegan shoes as they both feel and look great while on foot. The durability that comes with canvas makes it a perfect material for vegan shoes as it’s quite durable due to it’s multi-layer weave of fibers. Hemp, also, is a great choice as seen when used in the stitching of the Jazz Low Pro’s by Saucony; these are quite breathable compared to synthetic leather.

Textile

Similar to canvas, textile is also a weave of fibers but is more flexible compared to the more traditional canvas mix. A combination of both textile and canvas is very popular among not just vegan and eco-friendly shoes, but “regular” shoes as well. As shown in the Cyndy Women’s Sneakers by Indigo Rd, a textile and canvas mix is utilized to ensure the sneaker is both mobile and durable at the same time. Of course vegan friendly fibers have to be used in the textile mix or else it wouldn’t be considered animal free in the first place. Materials such as, organic cotton, linen, and peace silk are all popular and great choices.

 

Shoe Style

To provide a great mix of casual and athletic vegan and eco-friendly shoes, the style of each sneaker had to be versatile and suitable for a specific niche. Athletic shoes will be a bit lighter and lower cut while casual shoes will of course look a bit more flashy. Both were included in our list each with their own unique features to achieve the best possible vegan and eco-friendly shoe experience possible.

Running Shoes

In the case of running shoes, the Saucony Jazz Low Pro’s are of course a great example of a casual as well as athletic pair of vegan sneakers. Running shoe designs are durable and provide great ankle support in addition to comfort making for a great versatile and all around great sneaker.

Minimalist and Barefoot Shoes

A great unique option lies in the Xero Hana’s as they were added to our list because they provide a great all around minimalist look in addition to a design that’s great to walk and run in. The Hana’s are also very lightweight and and very versatile as they double as both a casual and full on athletic shoe.

Casual Shoes

The rest of the sneakers featured on our list fall under a casual category which are considered more of a fashionable type of sneaker. Shoes included in this category have to be comfortable, and durable enough to withstand every day wear.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Q. Why buy eco-friendly/vegan shoes?
In terms of the environment, the shoe market in specific is not a very eco-friendly one. Manufacturing in general is the main cause of this problem as eco-friendly materials and even vegan materials are much more expensive that what you could normally use to make a shoe. In the end, it’s really up to you when choosing to purchase shoes if you want to go the eco-friendly/vegan route but I would implore you to give it a try and experiment with the lifestyle as a whole.

Q. How do you know something is 100% vegan?
The materials used for each shoe is listed on Amazon as well as on the companies website for you to check out. Vegan materials include anything that’s obviously plant based or not derived from animals.

Q. Are vegan shoes machine washable?
I personally recommend hand washing your shoes but for information on machine washing please check out the company website of which you purchased your shoes from to find a more in depth answer. Generally it varies from shoe to shoe so it’s hard to give an exact answer.

 

Sources

  • https://www.fluevog.com/customer-service/faq/
  • https://www.racked.com/2017/10/5/16424572/vegan-shoes-boots-sneakers

 

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