Last Updated on November 19, 2021 by April
Are you looking for a new pair of stylish vegan sneakers for your daily commute?
There are a lot of options when it comes to vegan footwear, but with so many options, it can get overwhelming to figure out the best vegan sneaker brand for your lifestyle.
This article will go over the most popular questions about vegan sneakers and help you decide which cruelty-free brand you should get your next pair from.
Reasons to Switch to Vegan Shoes
There are many reasons to switch to vegan shoes, but an important reason is that you will be doing your part in the environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint just by switching to sustainable vegan shoes, assuming you choose the right brand.
Not all brands in the vegan footwear world are created equal. There are some brands that will sell you on the idea of living cruelty-free, however, the materials used in their shoes are still harmful to the environment.
This is commonly due to the production methods and the use of plastics. Be on the lookout for brands that find creative ways to make their vegan shoes more eco-friendly than their traditional counterparts.
Another reason to switch to vegan shoes is for the animals. It may seem silly to think about shoes when you know that other things are happening in the world. However, it’s important to remember that these animals are still being hurt and killed for clothing and food.
At the end of the day, your money is a vote for changes you would like to see in the world. Your purchasing habits add up over time and encourage companies to make the right choices.
What Animal Products Are Used in Traditional Sneakers?
Leather is the most commonly known animal product used in traditional sneakers, but this material isn’t just found in shoes. You can find leather in wallets, belts, jackets, and coats.
Next to leather, suede is a very popular material used in non-vegan footwear. Suede is a type of leather made from the underside of the skin. Animal hides are softened with water before being split into layers, which are then shaved off one by one to create suede.
Plastics are another animal-derived material that you will find in most casual sneakers. Plastic laces and soles are commonly made with animal fat. This is due to the slip agents that reduce friction.
A material in traditional sneakers that many do not realize isn’t vegan is the glue. The collagen from animals is an ingredient that is sometimes used in shoe glue. Thankfully, many shoe brands have switched over to vegan glue options.
Materials Used in Vegan Sneakers
Now that you know about some of the animal-derived ingredients in traditional sneakers, it’s time to look at the most popular materials used to make vegan shoes.
Surprisingly, vegan-friendly materials are often superior to their non-vegan versions. They tend to be more durable and have less discoloration than materials such as leather and suede.
One favorite vegan material for sneakers is faux leather. Faux leather is a type of material that does not contain any animal products and looks just like traditional leather shoes.
Just like leather, suede also has a vegan version. Vegan suedes are commonly made with cork and polyester microfiber. Microfiber is a type of synthetic material that looks like suede, but it’s much more durable and easy to clean.
Another common vegan material for sneaker soles is gum rubber. This natural rubber is derived from the sap of trees, which does not contain any animal products.
A more recent trend in vegan sneakers is the use of 100-percent recycled plastics. This type of plastic allows for a better fit and can be reused up to seven times longer than traditional leather materials.
Best Vegan Sneakers Brands
Here is a list of quality vegan shoe brands you should check out. Not only are they ethical, but they are also very functional and stylish.
Minimalist No Sock Required Sneakers
The perfect shoe for those on-the-go adventures, Suavs Shoes can take you from work to hiking to happy hour without ever having to wear socks. Since these shoes are very breathable, you can be at ease knowing they stay smelling fresh.
Channeling a trendy athleisure design and featuring a gum sole that is soft on your feet and grippy, these sustainable knit shoes will keep your feet safe without requiring too much effort.
They’re also easy to pack flat or roll up for when you’re out traveling the world – it’s the comfort of flats with an urban cool factor!
Want an easy street-style outfit? These sneakers can be paired effortlessly with jeans, tights, leggings, or skinny trousers; dress them down with a sweatshirt or cover up during colder seasons by layering them over festive socks.
My Favorite Styles: The Zilker Gum and The Legacy Sneakers.
Now you’re ready to give your day the necessary fuel it needs. Paired with anything, these slip-on shoes from Avre are meant to be low maintenance and be able to take on all that comes their way. The 3D stretch fabric ensures that no matter what you throw at them, they will retain shape and be ready for your next adventure!
With an integrated platform sole designed for comfort, these cool cats are sure to make any outfit shine brighter. The best part? These functional kicks are made out of environmental materials so now every step is eco-friendly!
Anti-Slip Rubber Soles & Waterproof Coating
Whether you’re looking for footwear to work at the office, to play in the park, be lazy on the couch or just chill with friends these shoes are designed for comfort and style.
The Low Classic VEGAN Suede Dark NAVY sneakers are made with 100% breathable vegan materials propped up with rubber soles that will have your feet not slipping during adventures wherever they lead you.
Furthermore, this eco-friendly item removes 1 tonne of CO2 emissions, making it a climate-positive footprint shoe.
100% Waterproof & Lightweight
Put your feet first with the Vessi Everyday Move Sneakers. If you are very busy and always on the go, these are the shoes for you. Designed to be as comfortable as they are attractive, these versatile kicks will help you conquer your day – no matter what it throws at you.
Live in a rainy city? These shoes are 100% waterproof. Have trouble putting shoes on quick enough? These sneakers have easy on and off pull tabs.
Breathable With Lightweight Support
Looking for lightweight sneakers that you can enjoy a morning walk with? The Sky Trainer Knit sneakers from Freewaters could be the perfect fit for you. These stylish shoes have the appeal of a barefoot sneaker but with a bit more support. So if you aren’t quite ready to forgo foot support, these shoes are the answer.
Washable Recovery Shoe for Athletes
Meet the Revive slip-on, a sugarcane-based recovery shoe.
Over 75% of the shoe is composed of BounceBack foam, a sugarcane-based alternative to traditional fossil fuel-based EVA. The carbon sequestered during the sugarcane’s growth process is stored in the foam, making it a carbon negative material.
On top of their commitment to sustainability, Kane is also dedicated to whole-body wellness. Their shoe features active recovery designs that help take pressure off of your muscles and provide full-day comfort.
All-Weather Running Shoes
The Primus Lite III All Weather are the perfect pairs of shoes for both runners and walkers to train with. With their minimalist design, lightweight build, and flexible grip these sneakers will support every movement you make.
They ensure a foot-strengthening workout on any surface without weighing down your feet or adding any extra moisture to them! The best part is that you get a 100-day trial. If you don’t like them, send them back.
Handmade in Ethical Factories
Gone are the days when fashion and comfort couldn’t reside in one place. Cast aside your old sneakers with the Cariuma OCA sneaker’s signature design. These sneakers are made of high-quality, raw materials for a super comfortable feel.
With lightweight cushion technology on top of the rubber sole, they’re durable enough to carry you through any terrain. You’ll love their classic cap-toe design that is the perfect accompaniment to just about any look you throw together!
Avesu Vegan Shoes
Handmade with ethical conditions in Portugal, the cool retro design of the Alder Snow sneaker pays homage to its roots as an indoor sports shoe. It’s not just authentic—it’s sustainable.
Nae Vegan Shoes
Getting rid of one pesky problem – waste. You’ll love these Nae sneakers made with an eco-friendly material – recycled plastic bottles! A light EVA sole and polyester laces make them perfect for running anywhere your heart desires.
FAQ About Vegan Sneakers
Why do people still wear sneakers that use animal products?
The number one reason why people are still wearing non-vegan shoes is simply out of habit. Not everyone knows the negative effects of their actions until someone brings it up to them.
Please be kind to people who are not yet aware of the consequences of their purchasing habits. A gentle nudge in the right direction is much more likely to influence their outlook than negativity and judgment.
Are most sneakers vegan-friendly?
Unfortunately, most sneakers are not vegan-friendly, but there are more vegan options than ever before. You can find great designs and styles at most mainstream stores.
What sneaker brands are full vegan?
There are many sneakers brands that use entirely vegan products to make their designs.
Examples of these companies include:
Will’s Vegan Store
Divadi Vegan Shoes
Cult of Coquette
Matt and Nat
Are Veja sneakers vegan?
Not all Veja sneakers are vegan yet. As of right now, around 1/3 of Veja’s offerings are vegan. Fear not though! This should be seen as an opportunity.
Buying from popular shoe brands with vegan offerings is a great way to influence the industry. By convincing brands like Veja to place more focus on cruelty-free materials, other brands will follow.
Is Adidas vegan?
Just like Veja sneakers, not all Adidas offerings are vegan. Make sure to check the product descriptions before making a purchase to ensure you are getting a vegan sneaker.
Does Nike make vegan sneakers?
Yes, Nike has some great vegan sneakers made from mesh and synthetic leather.
Are Vans vegan?
Vans is a huge brand with many styles, both vegan and non-vegan. Be sure to check product labels before buying.
Are APL sneakers vegan?
The TechLoom Pro, Ascend training shoes and TechLoom Phantom running shoes from APL are all vegan.
I hope you found this list of vegan sneakers brands useful. Do you have a favorite vegan shoe brand? If so, let us all know in the comments. Thanks for reading. : )