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Looking for your next pair of sustainable sneakers? You’re in the right place.
We’ve created this guide to help you find the best brands out there today making stylish and eco-friendly sneakers.
Most of the sneakers in this list can be dressed up or down and are comfortable enough to wear all day long and handle a range of activities.
As usual, you can use the contents section below to jump to specific brands in this list, or feel free to scroll through leisurely.
- 1. Allbirds
- 2. Thousand Fell
- 3. CARIUMA
- 4. Tropicfeel
- 5. On Running
- 6. 8000 kicks
- 7. Beflamboyant
- 8. Rothy’s
- 9. Etiko
- 10. Allbirds Tree Pipers
- 11. Babuuk
- 12. Veja
- 13. Adidas x Parley
- 14. Converse Renew
- 15. Matt & Nat
- 16. Giesswein
- 17. Stella McCartney
- 18. Kengos
- 19. Reebok Cotton and Corn
- 20. Nothing New
- 21. Tread By Everlane
Don’t have time to read the full article? No problem, check out our top picks below.
|Best all-rounder sneaker||Allbirds Tree Runners||•High-quality natural materials|
•Comfortable and stylish sneakers
|from $98 allbirds.com|
|Best vegan sneaker||Thousand Fell||•Minimal vegan sneakers|
•Recycled materials including recycled plastic bottles
•Sneaker recycling scheme
|from $100 thousandfell.com|
|Best for waterproof sneakers||8000 Kicks Waterproof Hemp Sneaker Use code ECOTHES for 10% off!||•World’s first waterproof hemp sneakers|
|from $135 8000kicks.com|
|Best sustainable leather sneakers||Cariuma||•Recycled leather and responsible leather sneakers||from $98 cariuma.com|
|Best for travel||Tropicfeel All Terrain Sneakers||•Waterpoof sneaker |
•Flexible and can be easily packed for travel
|from $98 tropicfeel.com|
Let’s jump in.
21 Best Sustainable Sneaker Brands
Sustainability: Eco-friendly materials, Certified B Corp, shoe donation program.
Price: $$ – $$$
Best for: Stylish and ultra-comfortable everyday sneakers
Allbirds are a B Corp, which is proof of their sustainable efforts. They also have a Forest Stewardship Council certification – that means that their materials meet standards to ensure the protection of forests around the world.
Allbirds ethical sneakers are made from of eco-friendly materials such as recycled plastic bottles, and TENCEL™ Lyocell.
If that’s not enough to convince you, Allbirds top it off by donating used and returned Allbirds to communities in need of shoes all over the world.
Sustainability: Vegan, recycled materials
Price range: $$
Best for: Minimalist vegan sneakers
The sneakers are completely vegan, made from materials like recycled rubber, coconut, sugarcane, and recycled plastic bottls.
You can wear them with our without socks, and they come in a variety of colors.
Sustainability: Sustainable materials, vegan options, plant 2 trees for every purchase, plant-based insoles, recycled shoe boxes
Price: $ – $$
Best for: Casual sneakers
CARIUMA offer a range of stylish everyday sneakers for women and men. The brand has strong sustainable credentials. For every purchase, they’ll plant two trees.
The shoes are super comfy (if you don’t believe us, check out the 1000+ customer reviews on their website!), and perfect if you’re regularly walking and need some reliable, stylish shoes.
CARIUMA use a variety of sustainable materials including bamboo, GOTS certified cotton, cork, recycled PET, and manola oil – a natural alternative to petroleum. You’ll find a variety of styles, including low and high-tops.
Sustainability: Recycled, and eco-friendly materials, 1% of sales go to environmental conservation causes
Price range: $$
Best for: Travelling and adventure shoes
Tropicfeel make the perfect sustainable sneaker for anyone who loves to stay active, travel, and look good at the same time.
Their sneakers are light weight and breathable, deisgned to be comfortable all day long, whether you’re hiking up a steep trail or exploring a new city.
They’re quick-drying, and contain a blend of features to make them waterproof, comfortable, lightweight, and slip-on.
Tropicfeel’s production process is transparent, and they donate 1% of their sales to protect the environment for future generations.
5. On Running
Sustainability: Completely vegan, low-waste production processes, transparency via their Impact Progress Report, shoe recycling program
Best for: Running, hiking, and being active
On Running makes high-performance sneakers which are perfect if you’re looking for a pair that are up to the challenges of your active lifestyle.
On make road and trail running shoes, as well as hiking boots, all with their signature sole.
In terms of sustainability, we’re impressed. All of their shoes are vegan (we reached out to them to confirm this), they use a range of recycled plastics and polyesters, and they have a transparent supply chain to help you understand where your sneakers came from. On Running also release a transparency report which shows their environmental impact, challenges they’re facing, and documenting their progress.
One final initiative we like is their Cyclon subscription service. When you sign up for it, you’ll get a new pair of Cyclon running shoes on a timescale that you choose, and you can send back your old pair to be turned into new shoes.
6. 8000 kicks
Sustainability: Plant-based materials, made with hemp fibers and algae-bloom soles, completely vegan, and carbon neutral.
Best for: Waterproof, plant-based sneakers
8000 kicks are reinventing sustainable sneakers, bycreating waterproof kicks from naturally anti-microbial and Thermo-regulating hemp fibers.
8000 kicks present the world’s first hemp insole, which is super supportive and extra comfortable. They have also partnered with Bloom Foam to create a light yet durable foam sole from algae blooms – which can be detrimental to marine ecosystems if not controlled.
The hemp fiber outer is coated in an eco-friendly waterproof membrane, making these sneakers 100% waterproof.
Sustainability: Vegan handmade sneakers from sustainable materials. Every pair supports in the planting of trees. Recycled, plastic free packaging.
Price range: $$
Best for: Minimalist vegan leather sneakers
Beflamboyant are a refreshingly different vegan sneaker brand, creating high-quality sustainable sneakers, from sustainable and cruelty-free materials.
This PETA-approved brand creates unisex vegan leather sneakers ethically in Portugal. The vegan leather is made from corn, and the heel and laces from recycled PET.
We’ve personally tested Beflamboyant’s new Manimal sneakers and were really impressed at how high-quality the vegan leather looks and feels in person. The inner lining is made from bamboo, a renewable, natural material which is naturally breathable and moisture wicking.
Sustainability: Using natural materials such as hemp and cotton. Turing millions of recycled plastic bottles into their signature thread. They are working towards zero waste and a carbon-neutral supply chain.
Best For: 3-D knit and handcrafted, fully machine washable sneakers in cool neutral shades.
Rothy’s is a stylish, sustainable shoe brand with a difference. They are leading the industry on a push for production circularity by 2023. Their collection of shoes are durable, comfortable, and fully machine washable, so you can enjoy them for years to come. Rothy’s is also piloting their shoe recycling program this year.
Their signature recycled thread has recycled millions of plastic bottles and diverted 100 tonnes of virgin plastics out of the ocean. In addition, they work with natural fibers such as cotton and hemp for their iconic shoe collections.
Sustainability: Fair Trade Certified, vegan, Certified B Corp
Best for: Vegan alternative to Converse
The brand is Fair Trade Certified and transparent about its supply chain.
Etiko has a wide range of styles available, and they’re a great alternative to popular brands like Converse or Vans.
Sustainability: Eucalyptus upper, sugar cane midsole, carbon neutral, Certified B Corp
Price: $$ ($95)
Best for: Smart-casual summer shoes
The Tree Pipers are the latest addition to Allbirds‘ line up of sustainable sneakers.
These low-top, lightweight, minimalist sneakers are made from sustainable materials like sugar cane and eucalyptus, and are completely carbon neutral as the brand offsets all carbon created during the manufacturing process.
We’ve personally tested the Allbirds tree pipers and love them, you can find out more about our thought here.
The Tree Pipers are available in blue, white, and gray, and they’re a great choice if you need a versatile summer sneaker.
Sustainability: B-Corp Certified, wool sourced from mulesing-free sheep, follow traditional, ethical processes when producing their sneakers. Pay their workers 25% higher than national averages, hiring process to promote diversity.
Price range: $$ – $$$
Best for: Comfy minimalist wool shoes
First of all, they’re a B Corp, part of the global movement of business as a force for good. They meet all the guidelines for social and environmental performance and ensure their processes benefit their workers, community and environment.
Their wool sneakers are sourced from sheep in Portugal and New Zealand. In Portugal, their sheep live in the protected Serra da Estrela Natural Park, a large protected area, and are all mulesing-free. The farms in New Zealend are chosen for their sustainable water and soap washing processes that involve recycling to make sure no local water sources are polluted.
Babuuk’s sneakers are minimal, stylish, and comfy.
Sustainability: Vegan leather
Best for: Vegan alternative to popular brands like Nike
Veja sneakers are instantly recognizable by the signature ‘V’ logo.
They create a range of sustainable vegan sneakers that are cruelty-free and ethical.
They’re stylish, too. In our opinion, Veja’s sneaker designs rival any other leading sneaker brand in terms of looks, and as most of their sneakers have a minimalist design they can be dressed up or dressed down as you please.
13. Adidas x Parley
Sustainability: Recycled plastic trash turned into shoes
Best for: Classic Adidas styles in recycled materials
The Adidas x Parley shoes look great. You’ll find some of Adidas’ popular trainers in there such as the Alphabounce.
The trainers are made from at least 75% upcycled plastic trash collected from beaches and coastal communities. As well as this, they’re produced in low energy, low water usage process meaning you get the benefits of sustainability combined with the performance of Adidas shoes.
14. Converse Renew
Sustainability: Upcycled materials
Best for: Ethically made Converse
You probably don’t associate Converse with ethical sneakers, but as it turns out, they’re making some interesting shoes to promote upcycling.
They have a few different versions of the Renew shoes. Firstly, they do one-of-a-kind Chucks made from recycled and previously used jeans. They collaborate with Beyond Retro, a sustainable fashion brand, and vintage retailer, to source the pre-used jeans that can be turned into shoes.
As well as this, they have a range of shoes whose upper is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
If you’re a Converse person, it’s definitely worth checking out the Renew range for your next pair.
15. Matt & Nat
Sustainability: Vegan, sustainable materials
Best for: Luxury style at fair prices
Like Veja, their selection of shoes are minimalist and stylish, and can definitely be worn with a wide range of outfits.
Another benefit of Matt & Nat’s sustainable sneakers is that they’re actually very affordable, considering their style. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for some new fashionable minimalist sneakers.
Sustainability: Oil free production, ethical mulesing-free merino wool, 100% Austrian production, zero material waste or scraps
Best for: Minimal and comfortable wool sneakers
Giesswein is a third-generation family-owned Austrian brand creating a variety of ethical minimalist sneakers.
Their sneakers are made with 100% mulesing free merino wool, which is breathable, waterproof, and super comfortable.
The brand makes all of their shoes in Austria, with zero material waste, zero oil usage, and high-tech water recycling systems.
We’ve tested Giesswein’s and can confirm that the quality is high, and the comfort isn’t going to let you down.
17. Stella McCartney
Sustainability: Vegan materials
Best for: High-fashion sneakers
Stella McCartney is a completely vegan brand and always has been. It’s impressive considering the scale of their operations.
They use a variety of sustainable materials instead of the materials sneakers are traditionally made from.
For example, the recycled polyester they use has a 24x lower impact on the environment than Brazilian calf leather does.
If you’re looking for luxury sneakers, Stella McCartney is a great option.
Sustainability: Plant based materials, completely animal-product free, no harmful glues, natural rubber, and eco-friendly dyes.
Best for: Unique designs to help you stand out
Kengos is creating unique and sustainable knitted sneakers from plant-based, renewable materials, including eucalyptus, corn, cotton, and cork.
Instead of using synthetic rubber, polyester, or adhesives, they opt for natural rubber and a unique knotting design to hold their shoe together. The bespoke 1Knot™ construction method allows every pair of Kengos to be easily dissembled at the end of their life cycle and recycled.
We’ve personally tested Kengo’s sneakers, and love the refreshing simplicity of this shoe, not forgetting to mention, they look very unique.
This sustainable sneaker brand will help you stand out from the crowd with its cool designs. Kengos come in 7 vibrant colors, all created with environmentally friendly dyes.
Sustainability: Eco-friendly materials
Price: $$ – $$$
Best for: Classic sneaker silhouettes in eco-friendly materials
Reebok is another major sneaker brand investing in sustainable practices.
Their Cotton + Corn range is quite unique. They say it’s the only shoe available made from 75% USA-certified bio-based content. The uppers are made completely from cotton, and the soles are made from a corn-based rubber alternative.
The long term goal for the Cotton + Corn line is to have a shoe you can bury in your backyard. Hopefully, that’s because of old age, and not because you simply don’t like them.
20. Nothing New
Sustainability: Eco-friendly materials
Best for: High-tops for everyday use
Nothing New make low and high-top sneakers that are simple, but stylish.
Every pair uses 5.6 plastic bottles that are repurposed into canvas, which saves ~160 gallons of water per pair when compared to traditional 100% cotton canvas sneakers. They also use materials like recycled cotton, organic cotton, and post-industrial recycled fishing nets.
All of their recycled plastic meets the Global Recycle Standard so you know they’re not cutting corners when it comes to sustainability. The outsoles are made from recycled rubber and cork.
What’s more, they’re super comfy. The Ortholite Eco-Step insoles will keep your feet happy all day long.
Sustainability: Plastic reduction, eco-friendly leather, recycled materials, carbon offset program
Price: $$ – $$$
Best for: Casual sneakers that can be dressed up or down
The sole in everlane’s Tread sneakers is 94.2% free from virgin plastic, compared to most sneaker soles which is made entirely from plastic. They use recycled and natural rubber that would otherwise go to the landfill, cutting emissions by 54%.
It’s worth nothing that Everlane’s shoes use real leather, so if you’re looking for a vegan shoe, these aren’t for you. On the bright side, the leather is sourced from a Gold Certified tannery, with a 46% lower carbon footprint than most leather tanneries.
The inside of the shoes is made from recycled plastic bottles, using around 9.5 bottles per pair.
Everlane has also partnered with NativeEnergy to offset their carbon emissions, making these sneakers carbon neutral.
Frequently Asked Questions
Allbirds Tree Dashers can be considered one of the most sustainable sneakers out there our editor Bethany has tested these herself and loves the comfort and style. These are closely followed by brands such as Cariuma, Babuuk, Topicfeel and Thousand Fell.
When choosing a sustainable shoe look for the following:
• Produced ethically, supporting workers with fair wages and safe working conditions, look for companies with transparent supply chains.
• Made using sustainably sourced or recycled materials.
• No toxic dyes or chemicals used to produce the colours.
• If leather, ensure it is responsibly sourced.
• Produced either carbon neutral or with lower CO2 emissions.
Wrapping Up – Best Sustainable Sneakers
If you’re in need of a new pair of sneakers and care about the planet, look no further than this list.
These brands are some of the best out there right now, and you can trust that they’ve all been built to last, and look good.
If you know any more sustainable sneaker brands that deserve a spot on this list, leave a comment below or shoot us an email and we’ll check them out!
Make sure you read our sustainable socks guide, to pair with your new sneakers… you can thank us later.
Thanks for reading. 👋
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