Cream and beige lace up vegetable-tanned leather boots by LANIUS.
03 Jun
Cream and beige lace up vegetable-tanned leather boots by LANIUS.

The Ultimate Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Shoes

Shoes are a core part of any outfit, and finding ones that match your morals and your style can be tricky. Here’s our ultimate guide to more ethical and sustainable footwear to suit your needs.

Stroll through our curated sustainable shoe round-up

They are everywhere and in overwhelming numbers, but somehow, shoes are never easy to find. The perfect pair of shoes is something of a unicorn, as it has to be perfect either for every occasion or a very specific one. Rain, shine, evening, casual, or exercise, shoes represent our state of mind as well as our sole transportation mode. When it comes to finding the perfect sustainable shoes, it adds an extra layer of sole-searching, but we promise its worth it for the fulfilment you could never find in the cheap and questionably-made non-choices that are under everyone’s noses.

To help you out on your quest, we’ve created the ultimate guide to ethical and sustainable shoes separated by category for easy browsing. Step on up and take a look.

Sneakers

CARIUMA

Rated: Good
white sneakers by brazilian brand cariuma

The Ibi – Ships internationally from Brazil

CARIUMA is a sustainable Brazilian sneaker brand that wants you to feel super comfortable while providing effortless style in organic canvas, leather, and suede styles. Find CARIUMA's shoes in US sizes 5-13.

See the rating.

Shop CARIUMA.

Veja

Rated: Good
A close up of someone wearing the Veja Alveomesh sustainable sneakers in cream and peach.

V-10 Alveomesh Sneakers – Ships internationally

 

Veja is a French brand designing ecological and fair trade footwear, and is also a sustainable fashion pioneer. The brand uses eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified cotton and vegetable-tanned leather! Veja pays its co-operative cotton growers and rubber tappers between 30% and 100% above the world market price. By not advertising, Veja is able to invest more money into strengthening its ethical practices. You can find Veja shoes in women's EU sizes 35-46, and men's 35-47.

See the rating.

Shop Veja.

Shop Veja @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Veja @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Veja @ Outerknown.

Shop Veja @ Threads 4 Thought.

Shop Veja Kids second hand @ Retykle.

Stella McCartney

Rated: Good
stella mccartney sneakers

Eclypse Low-Top Sneakers – Ships internationally

A member of the Ethical Trading Initiative and Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Stella McCartney has set some excellent environmental standards across the luxury fashion industry. Stella uses some eco-friendly materials, including recycled polyester and organic cotton, and has a strategy in place to reduce waste across its entire supply chain. It has also adopted the ETI Code of Conduct that includes a living wage definition.

See the rating.

Shop Stella McCartney @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Stella McCartney Kids Pre-Owned @ Retykle.

Shop Stella McCartney Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Stella McCartney.

Wildling

Rated: Good
Light blue Kul sustainable walking shoes by Wildling.

Kul – Ships internationally from Germany

Wildling is a German footwear brand that encourages novice and experienced walkers alike to rediscover pleasant, natural walking. Find the shoes in EU sizes 36 to 48.

See the rating.

Shop Wildling.

Etiko

Rated: Great
eco friendly alternative to Converse by Australian ethical brand Etiko

Low Cut Sneakers – Ships internationally from Australia

Etiko is an Australian designer of organic, eco-friendly, and fair trade clothing and shoes. The brand constantly sets the bar for upholding and campaigning the human rights of people working in traditionally exploitative industry supply chains. Find the clothes in AU sizes 8-20, and the shoes in UK sizes 3-13.

See the rating.

Shop Etiko.

Womsh

Rated: Good
White chunky sole appleskin vegan sneakers by Womsh.

Vegan Bianca White – Ships internationally from Italy

Fashion and sustainability can go together and Womsh is the brand that proves it. Its shoes are entirely designed and manufactured in Italy, and its clothing range is made from eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton. Find most shoes in EU sizes 35-42, and clothes in XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Womsh.

NOAH

Rated: Good

White Vegan Sneakers Sammy – Ships internationally from Germany

NOAH creates cruelty-free and 100% vegan shoes and accessories. This German brand's high-quality and long-lasting shoes are hand-crafted in Italy, using a small proportion of eco-friendly material. Find them in EU sizes 35-42.

See the rating.

Shop NOAH.

Shop NOAH @ Immaculate Vegan.

ID.EIGHT

Rated: Good

Hana White Crinkle – Ships internationally from Italy

ID.EIGHT is an Italian brand that was born from the meeting between Dong Seon Lee and Giuliana Borzillo, both come from the world of footwear, where they worked and met. Together they have created a collection of sneakers with a refined design and at the same time sustainable and ethical. The shoes are made in Italy with low environmental impact materials from food industry waste such as apple peels, grape stalks and seeds, pineapple leaves, recycled cotton and polyester.

See the rating.

Shop ID.EIGHT.

Flamingos’ Life

Rated: Good
Olive and cream sustainable sneakers by Flamingos' Life.

Rancho V.3 Olive Ivory – Ships to the US and Europe from Spain

Flamingos' Life creates sneakers for men and women 100% animal-free. The brand uses eco-friendly and PETA vegan approved materials, including upcycled materials. Find the range in sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop Flamingos' Life.

Balenciaga (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Pre-Owned Balenciaga Sneakers – Ships internationally

Balenciaga is a luxury fashion house founded in 1919 by Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga in San Sebastián. The Kering-owned brand has been making some efforts to reduce its environmental impact, setting targets to reduce its direct and indirect emissions, and implementing initiatives to reduce water use.

See the rating.

Shop Balenciaga Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Alexander McQueen (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Pre-Owned Alexander McQueen Sneakers – Ships internationally

The iconic British fashion house, owned by Kering and now run by Sarah Burton (who designed Catherine Middleton's dress for her wedding to Prince William), is characterised by theatrical and bright styling. The brand has started to improve its environmental practices by setting a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gases in its own operations and supply chain by 50% per unit of revenue by 2025. It also has a policy to eliminate environmental pollution from the use of chromium and other chemicals in its leather tanning processes, and implements initiatives to reduce water use. Thanks to these policies, Alexander McQueen is on the right path and stands out from the majority of luxury fashion houses.

See the rating.

Shop Alexander McQueen Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Want more? Check out our guide to sustainable sneakers

Boots

Thesus (Alice + Whittles)

Rated: Good
sage green vegan boots by thesus

The Weekend Boot in Sage – Ships internationally from Canada

Thesus favours transparency, ethical manufacturing practices and sustainable materials as a means of creating long-lasting, positive change. Find the boots in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop Thesus.

NAE

Rated: Good
Black vegan lace up boots ethically made by Nae.

Nerea Black Vegan Boot – Ships internationally from Portugal

NAE is a Portuguese footwear, bags, and accessories brand using innovative materials to create goods with “No Animal Exploitation”. Its sustainable materials include recycled PET from bottles, OEKO-TEX® certified microfibres, recycled car tyres, natural cork, recycled thermoplastic, and even pineapple leaf fibre. Find most of the shoes in sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop NAE.

Shop NAE @ Staiy.

Shop NAE @ Urbankissed.

Will’s Vegan Store

Rated: Good
wills vegan store brown boots

Vegan Work Boots – Ships internationally from the UK

Will's Vegan Store produces animal and human friendly women's and men's footwear, clothing, and accessories at affordable prices. Find the women's shoes in US sizes 5-10, and men's in 7.5-14.

See the rating.

Shop Will’s Vegan Store.

Shop Will's Vegan Store @ Immaculate Vegan.

VEERAH

Rated: Good

Hedy Boots – Ships internationally from the US

VEERAH is an NYC-based designer vegan shoe company founded and led by women to "do good and look incredible". Its innovative apple peel leather shoe collection is crafted with cushioned insoles made from algae blooms. Each pair is transformative with interchangeable shoe accessories to create more looks with less. It is made for warriors "killin' it with kindness". Find most shoes in US sizes 5 to 11.

See the rating.

Shop VEERAH.

Good Guys

Rated: Good
black and white eco-friendly boots by Good Guys Don't Wear Leather

Oliver Vegan Chelsea Boots – Ships internationally from France

Offers

Silver vegan buckled slide-on sandals by Good Guys.

Good Guys – Vegan Buckled Slide-On Silver

JUNO is a two-strap leisurely slide-on sandal with an anatomically contoured footbed. Vegan and ethically made. Exclusive 30% off JUNO silver with code GOODONYOU30. (Ends: 10 AUG)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU30
Shop now
Gold vegan buckled slide-on sandals by Good Guys.

Good Guys – Vegan Buckled Slide-On Gold

The JUNO in gold is the ray of sunshine we needed this season: a wide fit, super comfortable slide-on sandal. Exclusive 30% off JUNO gold with code GOODONYOU30. (Ends: 10 AUG)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU30
Shop now
Black vegan buckled slide-on sandals by Good Guys.

Good Guys – Vegan Buckled Slide-On Black

The JUNO in black is the perfect classic pair of slide-ons for this summer, artisanally made in Spain. Exclusive 30% off JUNO black with code GOODONYOU30. (Ends: 10 AUG)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU30
Shop now
Brown vegan buckled slide-on sandals by Good Guys.

Good Guys – Vegan Buckled Slide-On Brown

Looking for the perfect sandals for the summer or to wear mid-season with a pair of cute socks? Look no further. Exclusive 30% off JUNO brown with code GOODONYOU30. (Ends: 10 AUG)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU30
Shop now

Good Guys creates cruelty-free shoes for women and men, founded and designed by Marion Hanania in Paris. Through Good Guys, Hanania aims to create the perfect cruelty-free, made in Europe closet, where no animal product is involved, and the production guarantees fair trade working conditions. Find most shoes in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop Good Guys.

Shop Good Guys @ Immaculate Vegan.

Shop Good Guys @ thegreenlabels.

LANIUS

Rated: Good
Cream and beige lace up vegetable-tanned leather boots by LANIUS.

Lace-Up Boots – Ships within Europe from Germany

“Love Fashion, Think Organic, Be Responsible” are the maxims of LANIUS. The German brand uses eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified cotton. All LANIUS facilities are SA8000 certified and it is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. LANIUS' clothes are available in EU sizes 34-44.

See the rating.

Shop LANIUS.

Shop LANIUS @ Curate.

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great
Walnut brown leather lace up boots by Christy Dawn.

The Dawn Boot – Ships internationally from the US

Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women's clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The US brand rates "Great", making it a fabulous boho option for your wardrobe. Find the clothes in standard sizes XS-XL, or shop the Extended and Petite collections.

See the rating.

Shop Christy Dawn.

Looking for more inspo? Discover our favourite ethical winter boots

Heels and sandals

The Nude Label

Rated: Good
sustainable wood sandals by the nude label

The Wood Sandal – Ships internationally from Spain

The Nude Label curates comfy cotton underwear for women and men that feel as good as they look. Made from bio-vegan leather and responsibly sourced wood to create the lowest possible footprint, these lightweight wood sandals are great for a comfy and casual look.

See the rating.

Shop The Nude Label.

Nomadic State of Mind

Rated: Good
vegan rope sandals by nomadic state of mind

Romano Sandals – Ships internationally from the US

Nomadic State of Mind hand-crafts vegan sandals made of rope, up-cycled sailcloth, hemp, and recycled plastic bottles. The brand also provides jobs for workers from disadvantaged communities in Nicaragua.

See the rating.

Shop Nomadic State of Mind.

Mother of Pearl

Rated: Good
second hand shoes by mara hoffman

Pre-Owned Mother of Pearl Shoes – Ships internationally

Mother of Pearl is a sustainable and ethical luxury womenswear and accessories designer brand from the UK that celebrates individuality and authenticity. The brand uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including organic cotton and ensures the payment of a living wage across some of its supply chain. Find most products in UK sizes 6 to 16.

See the rating.

Shop Mother of Pearl.

Shop Mother of Pearl @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Mother of Pearl Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Elk

Rated: Good
Brown leather heeled sandals made by Elk.

Agata Heel – Ships internationally from Australia

A pioneer of independent Australian design, Elk was founded in Melbourne in 2004. Elk creates bi-annual collections that are informed by a design ethos where simplicity and sustainability meet innovation. Find most items in AU sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop Elk.

Filippa K (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start
second-hand heels by filippa k

Pre-Owned Filippa K Heels – Ships internationally

Filippa K was built in Stockholm in 1993, on a backbone of entrepreneurial strength focused on style, simplicity and quality. It uses organic cotton and linen and recycles off-cuts created during the manufacturing process. The brand is also certified as ‘good’ by the Fair Wear Foundation and makes efforts to follow the Fair Wear Responsible Code of Labour.

See the rating.

Shop Filippa K Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

COS (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Pre-Owned COS Shoes – Ships internationally

COS is a Swedish brand that creates timeless and innovative wardrobe-essentials. It uses some eco-friendly materials and received a score of 71-80% in the Fashion Transparency Index.

See the rating.

Shop COS Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Saint Laurent (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Pre-owned Saint Laurent Heels – Ships internationally

Yves Saint Laurent, or as it's now known, Saint Laurent, is a French luxury fashion house founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The brand has good policies to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

See the rating.

Shop Saint Laurent Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Have a look at our favourite ethical sandals for summer or our favourite ethical heels

Concerned about your carbon footprint when buying from overseas? Your questions are answered in our guide to international shipping.

Editor's note

Feature image via LANIUS, other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. We love to recommend some of the best sustainable brands, rated "Good" or "Great". We also encourage shopping pre-owned as another great way to reduce the impact of our fashion choices. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands. We may earn a commission on sales with top-rated partners made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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