Embracing a more sustainable lifestyle often starts with a small first step. Choosing more environmentally friendly apparel and footwear is a good way to begin this process. To complement our list of minimalist sneakers, we have put together a selection of some of the best vegan sneakers you can buy right now. Created by brands that put the environment and sustainability first, these shoes are also stylish, comfortable, and extremely durable. On this page, you can find sustainable sneakers made from hemp, recycled plastic bottles, or innovative materials like organic cactus. Regardless of their composition, all of the sneakers included on our list blend simple elegance and comfort in an eco-friendly build.
What is sustainable footwear?
Sustainable footwear refers to products that go through design, manufacturing, and distribution processes which minimize the impact on the environment. This often involves the use of locally sourced natural materials and production methods that conserve energy and reduce waste. Manufacturing sustainable sneakers also requires ethical and socially responsible production systems, often completed on a smaller scale.
Which are the most sustainable sneakers?
The most sustainable sneakers reduce their carbon footprint or have a neutral carbon footprint. Companies who focus on sustainability often collaborate with non-profit organizations to either source traditionally polluting materials (like PET or algae bloom) to create footwear or to reduce their products’ environmental impact with reforestation programs.
Is vegan leather comfortable?
In the past, vegan leather shoes sometimes featured tough synthetic materials that also contained toxic particles. However, footwear brands now use the latest technology to ensure their vegan sneakers are as comfortable to wear as possible. Extremely durable and environmentally friendly, modern vegan fabrics provide a great combination of strength and flexibility.
What are sustainable shoes made of?
Sustainable sneakers and shoes come in a variety of materials that are as innovative as they are durable. You can find plant-based sneakers made from recycled or upcycled materials that include anything from cacti to algae. Cork, vegan suede and leather, organic cotton, or recycled rubber are also some of the other materials used to make sustainable footwear.
ekn footwear Muku Runner
A vegan sneaker inspired by retro futurism.
Taking inspiration from 1970s runners, Muku blends retro and futuristic design cues in a clean and versatile style. The upper is made of recycled vegan leather as well as mesh and nylon textiles made of recycled PET bottles. For more comfort, ekn footwear used a recycled EVA midsole and insole that provide cushioning while walking. Other features include a high-quality Vibram outsole and organic cotton laces. These vegan sneakers are also sustainably and ethically made. Crafted by hand in Portugal, the Moku Runner is produced in small runs. You can choose between three colorways: Slate, Blizzard, and Tangerine.
Saucony Men’s Jazz Low Pro Vegan
A comfortable sneaker made from canvas and hemp.
Part of the Saucony collection, these Men’s Jazz Low Pro Vegan sneakers contain no animal products or derivatives. They feature a canvas and hemp upper with a slim fit and a shock-absorbing EVA midsole with a low profile. The textile lining and the cushioning insole ensure more comfort, along with the padded collar and tongue. Finally, the XT-600 triangular-lug rubber outsole offers great traction on a wide range of surfaces. If you like these sustainable sneakers, you can find them in four different colors. Apart from our favorite Charcoal/Orange version, you can also select between Navy, Black/Oatmeal, or Gray/Red.
Adidas Stan Smith
A classic design made more sustainable.
One of the most popular sneakers ever made, the adidas Stan Smith shoe made its debut in the 1960s. Naturally, the footwear brand has adapted the beloved silhouette for the more environmentally conscious consumer. The new, upgraded Stan Smith is green, both literally and figuratively. adidas used recycled materials for the upper (up to 70%) along with synthetic leather and other vegan alternatives to animal-derived materials. Likewise, the outsole is greener than ever before with a blend of 90% natural rubber and 10% recycled rubber. Plus, the company uses a more streamlined manufacturing process that reduces waste. While we love the classic Cloud White/Green/Core Black version, adidas offers other 24 colorways for these sustainable vegan sneakers.
Thousand Fell Men’s Lace Up
A minimalist sneaker that goes with everything.
Simple, versatile, and sustainable, the Thousand Fell Men’s Lace Up sneakers may be the perfect choice for those looking for more environmentally conscious footwear. Made from recycled PET bottles, natural rubber, and food waste-derived materials, these sneakers are completely vegan and animal friendly. Apart from their minimalist good looks, the shoes also feature a design that focuses on everyday comfort. They come with an aloe vera-coated, soft-touch mesh liner that is breathable as well as moisture wicking and odor resistant. The recycled yoga mat insoles offer great cushioning, while the specially designed foam padding provides support and comfort while walking. These sneakers are impressively durable, but the company also offers a recycling service for shoes that have reached the end of their life.
Matt & Nat Oak Vegan Running Shoes
A minimalist and versatile design.
Following the motto “Live beautifully”, US company Matt & Nat produces sustainable footwear, accessories, and apparel with elegantly simple designs. The Oak Men’s Running Shoes represent the brand’s style and philosophy perfectly. Like other Matt & Nat products, these sustainable sneakers are vegan and cruelty free. They come with PU leather uppers in either Olive or Black with matching laces. Inside, there’s a woven label with a brand logo, but otherwise these vegan sneakers are ultra-minimalist. The clean aesthetics thus makes them ideal for almost any outfit and occasion.
8000Kicks Explorer V2
Splash-proof sneakers made from algae bloom.
Designed to be the most comfortable and eco-friendly sneaker ever made, Explorer V2 from 8000Kicks is sustainable and stylish. The shoes combine hemp uppers with hemp insoles and outsoles made of algae bloom to offer a green twist on classic sneakers. 100% vegan, the Explorer V2 sneakers are also incredibly durable. Hemp is not only strong, but it also has natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. The company treated the hemp uppers with a proprietary coating that further protects the material from splashes, stains, and dirt and makes the sneakers easy to clean at the same time. These vegan sneakers are designed and manufactured in Portugal and come in seven colors.
Saola Shoes Cannon W Dark Gray
Blending recycled plastic, cork, and algae foam.
Easy to pair with anything, the Saola Shoes Cannon W Dark Gray vegan sneakers are also designed with the health of the environment in mind. They feature an upper made of 3 recycled plastic bottles as well as an outsole made of natural algae foam and EVA. Inside, there’s a natural cork and algae foam insole with an EVA support for sustainable cushioning. Other features include organic cotton laces and cork accents. Ultra-lightweight, these sneakers are also breathable and durable. And if you want to put this eco-friendly design in perspective, just keep in mind that with each pair made from harmful algae bloom, the company contributes to the return of 11 gallons of clean water to nature.
A runner-style sneaker with a vintage-inspired detail.
Los Angeles-based brand Clae has been making minimalist, handmade sneakers using sustainable methods since 2001. However, with the Runyon Microgray Comfrey Vegan Suede the company takes things further on the environmentally conscious front. These sustainable sneakers feature only vegan materials. Created from recycled plastic bottles, the upper features recycled mesh and synthetic suede panels. Apart from a recycled mesh lining, the shoes also feature recycled flat nylon laces. A vintage-inspired tongue adds a stylish touch to the design while a classic EVA running sole offers optimal cushioning. Plus, these vegan sneakers come in 11 colorways.
Clae Bradley Cactus
An innovative design that uses organic cactus.
Another sustainable design from Clae, the Bradley Cactus sneaker takes the concept of vegan footwear to another level. The innovative shoes feature uppers made from a plant-based, organic cactus material and they come with a 100% natural rubber outsole. The cotton canvas lining ensure more comfort while walking, along with the molded EVA footbed. Other features include a neoprene heel accent and flat recycled nylon laces. Bradley Cactus also comes in recycled cardboard packaging. We love the vibrancy of the green version, but you can also order these vegan sneakers in black or white.
Grenson Shoes Sneaker 1
A design inspired by 1970s tennis shoes.
Stylish and minimalist, Sneaker 1 from Grenson reinterprets the aesthetics of the 1970s tennis shoes in a versatile design. These modern classics boast a smooth microfiber upper instead of a leather shell to offer a vegan-friendly alternative to traditional sneakers. The easily recyclable microfiber material is not only eco-friendly, it’s also durable and lightweight as well as breathable, anti-bacterial, and washable. Grenson used a similar material for the lining, which has the same breathable structure but also absorbs humidity. Apart from specially designed insoles made of recyclable paper board, these sustainable sneakers feature rubber or EVA outsoles.
Veja SDU REC Alveomesh
A dynamic style with a sustainable build.
Following on the footsteps of Veja’s SDU sneakers, SDU REC offer a more dynamic twist on the brand’s classic design. Ethically made in Brazil, these vegan sneakers feature an Alveomesh upper made with recycled PET bottles and microfiber. Faux suede panels add more rigidity to the uppers, while the soft, recycled polyester jersey lining enhances comfort. Like all Veja shoes, these sneakers boast the signature “V” logo on one side. Rubber outsoles and a removable footbed complete the design. This version combines white and lighter neutral hues with warm and dark accents, but this silhouette also comes in darker colorways.
Bleed Eco 4
Sustainable sneakers made using carbon neutral manufacturing methods.
With the Eco 4 sneakers from Bleed, you can reduce your carbon footprint AND look great at the same time. That’s because these sneakers are produced through a carbon neutral process. Bleed uses locally sourced, recycled materials to make the shoes, keeping the carbon footprint low from the beginning. By working with ClimatePartner and a reforestation program, they can ensure that the Eco 4 sneakers are truly sustainable and carbon neutral. The shoes are ethically made in Portugal and feature recycled PET and recycled cotton uppers, cork heel caps and insoles, and natural rubber outsoles made of recycled car tires. The sneakers come in Blue, Black, and White versions, all made with removable footbeds.
Gentleberg Wouter Sneakers
A timeless and versatile design.
Keep things elegantly simple with the Gentleberg Wouter sneakers in dark gray. Like other sustainable sneakers from our list, these shoes are 100% vegan and environmentally friendly. They come with onMicro vegan nubuck leather uppers and ecological outsoles made with 70% recycled rubber. Breathable and soft, the lining of onSteam® microfiber keeps the feet cozy all day long. These vegan sneakers come with a removable footbed and flat laces. Thanks to the versatile dark gray upper, you can pair them with any other color. Made in Portugal under ethical working conditions.
Vegetarian Shoes Chevron
Monochrome sneakers made with vegan materials.
Another minimalist design, the Chevron sneakers from Vegetarian Shoes offer a stylish way to elevate a casual outfit and support sustainable design. Simple and classic, these shoes feature a monochrome palette in an olive hue. The upper is made from faux suede, while the outsole is made from natural rubber. A breathable microfiber material covers the interior, enhancing walking comfort along with the inner padding. Ethically made in Portugal from quality, sustainable materials, the Chevron sneakers are both durable and timeless. They’re also great for everyday wear and can easily become a wardrobe staple.
Beflamboyant Life Cloud Vegan Shoes
Modern sneakers that feature recycled and organic materials.
The best vegan sneakers look good, feel comfortable, and last for a long time. Like these Beflamboyant Life Cloud Vegan Shoes. Made by a brand that takes its commitment to sustainability seriously, these shoes feature various recycled or organic materials. Apart from a recycled cotton upper, they also boast a recycled cotton lining, a recycled foam insole, and organic cotton laces. The outsoles are made of recycled rubber, while the foam support features an active carbon ingredient sourced from plants. Keeping true to their name, these sustainable sneakers have a light blue hue that reminds of clouds passing over the sky.
NAE Jor Re-PET Vegan Sneakers
Transforming PET bottles into running sneakers.
Portuguese footwear brand NAE (No Animal Exploitation) makes footwear and accessories from vegan, sustainable materials in ethically-run factories. The Jor Re-PET vegan sneakers are no exception. Designed as running sneakers, the shoes have sturdy but lightweight EVA soles that offer great support and traction. Similarly to other sneakers from our selection, Jor Re-PET feature vegan and sustainable uppers. In this case, the material is made using recycled PET bottles. We like the bright, summery white version of this design, but the sneakers also come in a black version.
Clae Bradley White Olive Vegan Leather
Another vegan version of the popular Bradley silhouette.
We love Clae footwear and their Bradley silhouette, so we had to include another version – apart from Cactus – in our list. Part of the vegan collection, the Bradley White Olive Vegan Leather sneakers feature innovative vegan uppers as well as natural cotton lining. The molded EVA footbed provides excellent support while walking, making these sneakers a great choice for everyday wear. This version has a white upper with a hemp heel accent and matching white flat recycled nylon laces. You can also buy them in a white/dark navy version or the darker colorways that combine navy uppers with gum outsoles or black uppers with white outsoles.
Vessi Men’s Weekend Sneakers
Waterproof and breathable sneakers for everyday comfort.
All of the sustainable sneakers from our list are elegant, versatile, and crafted with comfort in mind. The Vessi Men’s Weekend Sneakers are a great example. Designed to provide the perfect blend of style and convenience, these shoes are completely vegan and sustainably made. They feature a patented knit material that is not only lightweight and breathable, but also 100% waterproof and machine washable. This means that users can explore even muddy landscapes and keep their feet dry while ensuring that they can easily make the sneakers look like new again. The Men’s Weekend Sneakers come in a lot of colorways, including limited-edition colors.
Stardog Loungewear Expedition
Sneakers made with organic hemp uppers.
Created by Stardog Loungewear with both comfort and sustainability in mind, the Expedition Sneaker makes every step feel like walking on a cloud. The shoes come with memory foam insoles and a French Terry lining that enhance the feeling of comfort. The 100% organic hemp uppers are breathable and strong as well as mildew resistant and naturally anti-bacterial. Finally, the outsole is made of rubber with a patterned design to provide a strong grip on a wide variety of surfaces. The Expedition Sneaker comes in three colors: Green, White, and Black.
Greats Royale Knit
A knit version of the popular Royale silhouette.
Designed as an environmental friendly version of their popular Royale silhouette, the Royale Knit quickly became Greats’ fastest selling shoe. And it’s no wonder. This sneaker keeps the stylish look of the original but adds sustainable materials, including an upper made from seven recycled plastic bottles. Apart from the eco-friendly uppers, these handcrafted vegan sneakers also feature cushioning footbeds made with algae foam sourced from overpopulated ecosystems. The Royale Knit sneaker comes with 100% cotton laces and a custom, natural rubber outsole that boasts a Greats tread pattern. You can find this design in four classic colors and five limited-edition colors.
Lems Men’s Mesa
A comfortable shoe for trails or urban streets.
Created with comfort in mind, the Lems Men’s Mesa shoe is also incredibly versatile. These vegan sneakers feature a breathable, quick-drying, sock-like upper made of stretchy mesh with a TPU overlay. The EVA midsole and molded PU footbed provide excellent support and cushioning, while the solid rubber outsole suits both urban streets and mountain trails. Lightweight and ergonomic, the shoe is completely vegan and comes in a suitable color: forest green with bright yellow laces. However, you can also order it in black or coastal blue, both options designed with contrasting yellow accents.
Flamingos’ Life Roland V.3 Tricolor
Sustainable sneakers made from corn, bamboo, and recycled PU.
Natural and recycled synthetic materials come together in Flamingos’ Life Roland V.3 Tricolor, some of the most eco-friendly sneakers you can buy. The uppers feature a blend of corn and PU leather, 25% of which is recycled. For the inner lining, the brand combined bamboo and PU, while for the removable insole they paired cork with natural rubber. Finally, the new Heritage outsole features natural rubber, natural silica or other conglomerates, and synthetic rubber. These vegan sneakers also come with organic cotton laces. Flamingos’ Like makes every pair of shoes in Spain, working with local suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint.
Rothy’s RS01 Sneaker
1980s inspired vegan sneakers.
Made by Rothy’s, the RS01 Sneaker draws inspiration from 1980s colors and silhouettes but features sustainable, vegan-friendly materials. Spun from plastic bottles, the signature Rothy’s knit uppers are supple and comfortable as well as strong and durable. The footbed features 20% bio-based PU, while the gum outsoles are crafted from bio-based TPU. These sneakers come with a padded ankle collar that enhances comfort, adjustable laces, a contoured footbed, and a soft, terry-lined tongue – all of which make the shoes great to wear with or without socks. Finally, both the design and the materials minimize waste. This version features a light khaki, off-white, and green colorway with off-white laces and a signature blue halo on the heel.