20 Best Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Sneakers (2021)

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.

If you enjoy these recommendations, you’ll also want to check out our guide to ethical running shoes, our vegan sneaker recommendations, and our favorite sustainable sandals for summer.

Let’s jump in.

20 Best Sustainable Sneaker Brands

1. Allbirds

Allbirds Sustainable sneakers

Sustainability: Eco-friendly materials, Certified B Corp, shoe donation program.

Price: $$ – $$$

Best for: Stylish and ultra-comfortable everyday sneakers

Allbirds are sustainable sneaker brand from San Francisco. They’re growing quickly thanks to their reputation as being ‘the world’s most comfortable shoes‘.

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 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.

2. Thousand Fell

Thousand Fell vegan sneakers

Sustainability: Vegan, recycled materials

Price range: $$

Best for: Minimalist vegan sneakers

Thousand Fell creates minimalist, stylish sneakers in lace up or slip on options.

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.

3. CARIUMA

CARIUMa sustainable sneaker brand

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.

4. Tropicfeel

Tropicfeel sustainable sneakers

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

On Running Cloudflow Sustainable Sneakers

Sustainability: Completely vegan, low-waste production processes, transparency via their Impact Progress Report, shoe recycling program

Price: $$

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. Rothy’s

Rothy's lace up sneakers in white made from recycled plastic and cotton

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.

Price: $$$-$$$$

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.

7. Etiko

Etiko sustainable sneakers

Sustainability: Fair Trade Certified, vegan, Certified B Corp

Price: $$

Best for: Vegan alternative to Converse

Etiko is an Australian brand creating sustainable sneakers from organic cotton. They’re completely vegan and free of toxic chemicals.

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.

8. Allbirds Tree Pipers

Tree Piper sustainable sneaker

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.

The Tree Pipers are available in blue, white, and gray, and they’re a great choice if you need a versatile summer sneaker. We reviewed the Tree Pipers and highly recommend them.

9. Babuuk

Babuuk Sustainable Sneakers

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

Babuuk are an awesome sustainable shoe brand making shoes for women and men.

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.

10. Veja

Vega sustainable vegan sneakers

Sustainability: Vegan leather

Price: $$$

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.

All of their materials are sourced in a responsible way.

11. Adidas x Parley

Adidas Parley sustainable sneakers

Sustainability: Recycled plastic trash turned into shoes

Price: $$$

Best for: Classic Adidas styles in recycled materials

Adidas x Parley is a great ongoing collaboration between the major sportswear brand Adidas, and Parley For The Oceans, which is an ocean conservation and awareness project.

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.

12. Converse Renew

Converse Renew sneakers

Sustainability: Upcycled materials

Price: $$

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.

13. Matt & Nat

Matt And Nat sustainable sneakers

Sustainability: Vegan, sustainable materials

Price: $$

Best for: Luxury style at fair prices

Matt & Nat are a vegan brand from Montreal creating a range of clothes, accessories, and – you guessed it – sneakers.

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.

14. Giesswein

Giesswein sustainable sneakers

Sustainability: Oil free production, ethical mulesing-free merino wool, 100% Austrian production, zero material waste or scraps

Price: $$

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.

15. Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney vegan sneakers

Sustainability: Vegan materials

Price: $$$$

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.

16. Kengos

Kengos knitted sustainable shoe in white

Sustainability: Plant based materials, completely animal-product free, no harmful glues, natural rubber, and eco-friendly dyes.

Price: $$

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.

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.

17. Yatay

Yatay sustainable sneakers

Sustainability: Vegan, sustainable and recycled materials, eco-friendly business practices

Price: $$$ – $$$$

Best for: Vegan, luxury, minimalist sneakers

Yatay’s made-in-Italy sneakers are Peta-approved, and for every pair sold a tree gets planted thanks to their partnership with One Tree Planted.

They’re a relatively new brand, having only been around since 2018.

They don’t use animal leather and instead rely on a mix of bio-polyols and recycled polyester, with the look being completed by 100% hemp laces. The rest of the shoes incorporate materials such as recycled plastic bottles, recycled rubber, recycled foam, and bio-resins.

All in all, Yatay’s sneakers are highly sustainable and look great. We definitely recommend checking them out.

18. Reebok Cotton and Corn

Reebok Cotton and Corn

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.

19. Nothing New

Nothing New Sustainable Sneakers

Sustainability: Eco-friendly materials

Price: $$$

Best for: High-tops for everyday use

Nothing New is the final recommendation on this list. They 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.

20. Tread By Everlane

Everlane Tread sustainable sneakers

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

Which are the most sustainable sneakers?

Allbirds Tree Dashers can be considered one of the most sustainable sneakers out there, closely followed by brands such as Cariuma, Babuuk, Topicfeel and Thousand Fell.

What is a sustainable shoe?

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 Sneaker Brands

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!

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