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21 Aug

The Ultimate Guide to More Sustainable Sneakers

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On the hunt for your new favourite everyday sneaker? Discover our top picks for more ethical and sustainable sneakers below.

The most daring responsibly-made kicks on the market

Sneakers have always maintained their status as a staple piece. Rain, snow, or shine, a versatile pair of sneakers is a closet favourite that transcends seasons. Unlike our functional running or gym shoes, which stay on our shelves for a few years, “trend” sneakers are replaced more often. As a product of the fast fashion industry, consumers are trained to run out to buy a new pair of sneakers as soon as the previous trend has lost its momentum. But investing in a pair of more ethical, high quality shoes and learning how to take care of them is ultimately more sustainable for the planet and for your bank account.

Here’s the lowdown on the more sustainable sneaker trailblazers that are prioritising people, the planet, and animals.

Lastly, we understand that even sneakers made to last have a lifespan⁠—so when your shoes cannot handle another mile, consider donating them to Soles4Souls or Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program, which eliminates waste and gives new life to an “old” product. With that, happy browsing.


Rated: Good

Sneakers – Ships within Europe from Germany

“Love Fashion, Think Organic, Be Responsible” are the maxims of LANIUS. The brand uses lower-impact materials, like GOTS certified cotton. All LANIUS facilities are SA8000 certified and it is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. These sneakers are made from wool, so not one for the vegans.

Find the shoes in EU sizes 36-42.

See the rating.



Rated: Good

Vegan Snik – Ships internationally from Italy

“Womsh” is an acronym for Word of Mouth Shoes, referring to shoes that communicate and convey a message of sustainability and respect for the environment. In 2014, the Italian brand began producing more sustainable footwear, combining traditional craftsmanship with more ethical production. Their effortless and fresh design fuses Stan Smith and Golden Goose making a statement without ever saying a word. By using non-toxic, raw materials Womsh limits the production of hazardous waste and harmful emissions. While not entirely vegan, the brand does boast an extensive animal-free line.

Find the shoes in EU sizes 35-42 for women, and 40-46 for men.

See the rating.

Shop Womsh.

1 People

Rated: Good
top view of laces side of sneakers and person in classic white Boras sneakers by 1 People

Boras Classic Sneakers – Ships internationally from Denmark

1 People is a Danish-designed lifestyle and luxury brand. Blending Scandinavian colour palettes and minimalist design, it thoughtfully crafts pieces like the Boras Classic Sneaker using certified materials. Made from innovative biomaterial VEGEA, flaunt these comfortable and versatile, vegan kicks season after season.

Find them in sizes 37-41.

See the rating.

Shop 1 People.

Will’s Vegan Store

Rated: Good
top front view of pair of grey knit sneakers and side angle view of shoe resting on its pair by Will's Vegan Store

LDN Biodegradable Sneakers – Ships internationally from the UK

Made only with biodegradable materials, the casually cool and uber comfortable LDN sneakers from Will’s Vegan Store are a carefully designed marvel. Super breathable and lightweight, its mixed Tencel and cotton linings keep you staying cool while its natural insoles give you that extra support. Will’s Vegan Store produces animal and human friendly women’s and men’s footwear and accessories at more 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.


Rated: Good

OCA Low – Ships internationally from Brazil

CARIUMA is a more sustainable Brazilian sneaker brand that wants you to feel super comfortable while providing effortless style in organic canvas, leather, and suede styles. These off-white canvas kicks are perfect for walks in the park, city, and pretty much everything in between.

Find CARIUMA’s shoes in US sizes 5-13.

See the rating.


Shop CARIUMA @ Good.


Rated: Great
white low cut etiko sneakers

Low Cut Sneakers White – Ships internationally from Australia

Etiko is a small family owned business that has won several sustainability awards and all products are vegan and Fairtrade certified. The Australian brand produces more ethical hi-top and low-cut sneakers in a range of colors to suit any style or outfit.

Find the shoes in UK sizes 3-13.

See the rating.

Shop Etiko.


Rated: Good
two images of people in sneaker by ABLE

Blake Sneaker – Ships internationally from the US

ABLE is a US-based clothing and accessories brands, that works with communities all over the world to make a meaningful impact, producing slow fashion that pays a living wage to women who have faced extraordinary circumstances. The neutral-toned Blake Sneaker is a versatile option that is subtle enough to pair with different styles but still stand out in a sea of plain white sneakers.

Find most in sizes 5-11.

See the rating.

Shop ABLE.

Good Guys

Rated: Good

FELIX Vegan Running Shoes – Ships internationally from France

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 to 46.

See the rating.

Shop Good Guys.

Shop Good Guys @ Immaculate Vegan.

Stella McCartney

Rated: Good
Pink and white gradient lace-up sneakers by Stella McCartney.

Gradient Lace-Up Sneakers – Ships internationally from the UK

Although many luxury brands have been criticised for their wasteful and harmful practices, British designer Stella McCartney has been committed to operating a modern and responsible business for almost two decades. Since 2012, the brand has been creating sneakers out of recycled polyester and plastic waste. While a lot of the brand’s products are vegan, keep an eye out for wool and cashmere in some cases.

Find Stella McCartney shoes in US sizes 5-11 for women, and 6-12 for men.

See the rating.

Shop Stella McCartney @ LVRSustainable.

Shop Stella McCartney Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Stella McCartney.


Rated: Good
white veja v10 sneakers

Black V Sneakers – Ships internationally from France

Made in Brazil from recycled cotton and wild rubber, these practical sneakers from French Brand Veja are perfect for pairing with your favorite pair of jeans. While the brand has vegan options, be aware that they also use leather from Brazil.

Veja shoes are offered in EU sizes 35-46 for women, and 35-47 for men.

See the rating.

Shop Veja.

Shop Veja @ LVRSustainable.

Shop Veja @ Outerknown.

Shop Veja @ Threads 4 Thought.


Rated: Good
white sneakers by noah

Dominique Sneakers – 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 more responsible material. We love these vegan off-duty white sneakers that features a removable insole.

Find them in EU sizes 35-42.

See the rating.

Shop NOAH.

Shop NOAH @ Immaculate Vegan.


Rated: Good
Someone in Winton sneakers in White/Blue by COG.

Winton White/Blue – Ships internationally from France


White sneakers

COG – Site-wide

Women's and men's sneakers and dress shoes. Made in Portugal from vegan and recycled materials. Up to 40% off (Ends: 23 JUL)

Shop now

Based in France, COG is a footwear label that creates more sustainable vegan shoes, like these classic white sneakers. All its products are made from 100% recycled materials, including natural corks, used cotton scraps, end-of-life rubber, and plastic bottles fished out of the sea.

Offered in sizes EU 35-46.

See the rating.

Shop COG.


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 hailing from the world of footwear, where they worked and met. Together they have created a more ethical and sustainable collection of sneakers with a refined design. These shoes are made in Italy with lower-impact materials from food industry waste such as apple peels, grape stalks and seeds, and pineapple leaves, as well as recycled cotton and polyester.

Find the shoes in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.



Rated: Good
Colorful Ecoalf sneakers

Prince Sneakers – Ships internationally from Spain

Love the look and feel of Nike but hate the brand’s unethical practices? Look no further. Spanish fashion label Ecoalf makes lightweight trainers from recycled PET bottles and renewable Sonora fibres. It creates long-lasting products by repurposing waste such as fishing nets, old tires, and even coffee grounds, into high-quality materials. While most of the shoes are free of animal-derived materials, they do use recycled wool and down in some products.

They come in EU sizes 35-42.

See the rating.

Shop Ecoalf @ Farfetch.

Shop Ecoalf.

Ella & Witt

Rated: Good
Colourful chunky sneakers by Ella & Witt.

GOODALL Sneakers in Red and Beige – Ships internationally from Germany

100% vegan and PETA certified, Ella & Witt is a cutting-edge German brand that offers sneakers, boots, and more. Believe it or not, these colourful sneaks are made from corn leather and recycled PET bottles as the carrier material.

Find shoes in sizes 41-47.

See the rating.

Shop Ella & Witt.


Rated: Good
Black low top sneakers by Komodo

Eco Sneako – Ships internationally from the UK

UK brand Komodo puts people and the planet first with its responsibly-sourced range of menswear and womenswear. These classics do that and much more for your everyday aesthetic. The label uses some more responsible materials, including GOTS-certified cotton and hemp, and ensures that most of its suppliers pay a living wage to their workers.

Find most of the range in UK sizes 8-16.

See the rating.

Shop Komodo @ Staiy.

Shop Komodo @ Immaculate Vegan.

Shop Komodo.


Rated: Good
man wearing nae sneakers

Edda Maxi Sole Sneaker – Ships internationally from Portugal

NAE is a Portuguese footwear brand using innovative materials to create shoes with “No Animal Exploitation.” These fun sneakers and the rest of the brand’s footwear line feature lower-impact shoe materials including recycled PET from bottles, recycled car tires, natural cork, recycled thermoplastic, and even pineapple leaf fibre. Bonus, the brand is 100% vegan.

Find NAE shoes in US sizes 5-10 for women, and 8-12 for men.

See the rating.

Shop NAE.

Shop NAE @ Staiy.

Shop NAE @ Urbankissed.

Flamingos’ Life

Rated: Good
Pearl coloured retro '90s sneakers by Flamingos' Life.

Retro 90s Pearl Gesso – Ships to Europe, the UK, and the US from Spain

A blast from the past. Flamingos’ Life creates retro-style sneakers for men and women 100% animal-free. The brand uses more responsible and PETA vegan approved materials, including upcycled materials.

Find the range in sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop Flamingos’ Life.

Shop Flamingos’ Life @ Good.


Rated: Good

Risby Trainer – Ships internationally from Australia

A pioneer of independent Australian design, Elk was founded in Melbourne in 2004. Although their sneakers are not vegan and made from cow leather, their tanneries are audited by the Leather Working Group. Elk also uses renewable energy in its supply chain and reuses most of its offcuts to minimize textile waste. Like its tanneries, Elk’s facilities are audited and follows a Code of Conduct that covers all the ILO’S Four Fundamental Freedoms principles.

Elk shoes come in women’s EU sizes 36-42.

See the rating.

Shop Elk.


Rated: Good
Loci ethical white sneakers

LØCI X REED NINE – Ships internationally from the UK

LOCI is a UK-based footwear brand that offers vegan shoes and is committed to creating more sustainable luxury. Handmade in Portugal, these sneakers are 100% vegan and designed for maximum comfort.

Find pieces in EU sizes 36-47.

See the rating.

Shop LOCI.

Nike (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Pre-Owned Nike Sneakers – Ships internationally

Nike is an American sportswear and activewear manufacturer. The brand has good policies to audit suppliers in its supply chain, but it is not taking adequate steps to ensure payment of a living wage for its workers. By buying Nike second hand you're helping keep clothes out of landfills and helping protect workers by slowing down the fast fashion cycle and the relentless demands on low-paid workers in the supply chain.

See the rating.

Shop Nike Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Gucci (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Pre-Owned Gucci Sneakers – Ships internationally

Founded in 1921, Gucci is an Italian luxury fashion house that produces menswear, womenswear, as well as shoes, bags, and other accessories. The brand has good policies to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but still uses exotic animal skin. The good news is that you can find many of Gucci's modern luxury pieces second hand.

See the rating.

Shop Gucci Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

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. Alexander McQueen is on the right path and stands out from the majority of luxury fashion houses.

See the rating.

Shop Alexander McQueen @ Vestiaire Collective.

Learn how to take care of your sneakers

Editor's note

Feature image via LANIUS, all 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 more 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.

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