Eco-friendly Shoes

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Best Eco-friendly Shoes That Go The Extra Mile

As a customer, one of the most important subjects to consider is sustainability. You must consider the environmental impact of every product you buy. Shoes are an excellent example. When purchasing shoes, make careful to consider sustainability.

Unfortunately, buying eco-friendly shoes can be more difficult than it appears. Many shoes are manufactured in factories where sustainability is one of the least essential factors. Finding the proper one as an eco-consumer, on the other hand, takes time and effort.

How To Choose The Best Eco-Friendly Shoes

When looking for the ideal pair of shoes, performing research and obtaining as much information as possible will help you be armed with the necessary information.

Knowing your weight, build preferences, and style all have an impact on the brand of shoe you purchase. When looking for ecologically friendly shoes, you will need to do even more study because there are other variables to consider.

Here are some pointers for selecting an environmentally friendly pair of shoes.

Brands Centered On Sustainability

Many businesses place a high value on sustainability. You must ensure that a shoe firm has a track record of upholding an eco-friendly goal statement. They may produce vegan shoes or other environmentally friendly footwear.

Take a corporation at its word with caution because many companies engage in greenwashing, which is the practice of claiming to be sustainable as part of their marketing plan without actually delivering on it. 

Consider Longevity

Topics surrounding ethical consumption typically revolve around the materials utilized in the product. However, that is not the only issue you must address. When it comes to being an eco-conscious customer, longevity is a crucial topic to discuss.

You don’t want to choose a shoe composed of eco-friendly materials that will fall apart quickly. Even the greenest materials are manufactured from resources that can affect the environment when extracted or treated, so replacing them will still have a big environmental impact. Examine independent consumer review sources to assess how well the shoes keep up over time.

The Environment Matters

Understanding the environment in which you will be jogging is critical when selecting a pair of shoes. You’d want shoes that protect against the terrain and outside elements like sticks, stones, and dirt. To help prevent fatigue and exhaustion, you should also be comfortable and agile when jogging.

A rugged shoe is required for hard and rough surfaces to provide support and absorb shock impact. Smoother surfaces necessitate shoes with grip and support to prevent slipping.

Off-road shoes will also require grip and stability, which is why studs are used to prevent injury or falling. As a result, wearing these shoes on strange surfaces will destroy the studs, forcing you to start over.


Analyzing your gait will assist you in determining your pronation style. Pronation is the movement of your feet from side to side during jogging. Your stance is determined by the movement of your feet. AU Asics retailers assess your pronation and perform a test to determine the best fit for you.

Understanding one’s gait can assist in safeguarding one’s overall health by allowing one to comprehend one’s posture and movement better when jogging.


These are add-ons to shoes that aid in boosting comfort. Insoles provide additional padding to keep the feet from slipping or sliding. This helps to prevent chafing and heel pain. Bring your favorite insoles to an AU Asics fitting and feel the difference after getting your preferred choice.

Those prone to shin splints could invest in a pair of orthotic insoles to alleviate pain while also improving stability and grip while jogging. To reduce your environmental effect, seek insoles that are constructed of easily recyclable materials.

Is Brand Important?

When it comes to shoes, the brand makes no difference. Functionality and comfort are important because they protect the feet, impacting agility and movement.

Beautiful shoes can be dangerous if the proper standards are not met. Some brands offer great-looking shoes that not only appear good but also provide the right adjustments for running while taking individual foot form and pronation into account.

You are certain of getting the very best and preserving proper foot care by the distinct changes on each shoe with an assortment of different brands, styles, and colors. This allows you to choose the perfect pair while receiving expert assistance from one of the best in the field.

  • Sustainable materials – Does the brand create its shoes from recycled or sustainable materials? We sought firms that use post-consumer recycled materials in their shoes and packaging, such as fibers from plastic water bottles or recycled paper. We also took into account their use of organically produced resources such as sugar cane, castor beans, cork, and wool.
  • Transparency – How much information does the company provide regarding its production method and materials? We visited each brand’s website to establish their environmental commitment and to ensure they weren’t simply green-washing their products.
  • Ethical standards — Where does the brand make their shoes, and do they adhere to fair labor practices? In addition to a brand’s environmental impact, we looked at how they treat their employees. We specifically sought brand openness and promised to create healthy and safe working conditions at factories, as well as fair wages for employees as well as B-Corp certification.
  • Prioritize brands that do more than just create money. Look for eco-friendly shoe businesses that collaborate with non-profits to give back, such as reforestation programs.

Minimal or No Leather

Shoes mostly include leather, and leather is the most polluting material in the fashion industry. Hexavalent chromium is used in the shoe industry to toughen hide into leather. Unfortunately, hexavalent chromium is a hazardous substance. When inhaled continually, it causes lung cancer, nasal sinus cancer, and nose cancer.


The issue with non-environmentally friendly shoes is that they do not degrade quickly. Later, they leak poison (dangerous chemical content) and fossil fuels into the environment. Here’s a simple litmus test: Take note of the parts that go into making your shoe. Now consider this: Are the materials biodegradable?


Did you know that synthetic cotton uses a high number of chemicals in its manufacturing process? According to research, most heavy shoes are always composed of materials that are relatively unfriendly to the environment. Make sure that your environmentally friendly sneakers are not composed of synthetic cotton.

Synthetic or Plastic Rubbers

Traditional shoes are made from plastic, leather, or rubber. Most running shoes have one distinguishing feature: a rubber outsole.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the production of synthetic rubber results in the emission of more waste than the total volume of rubber produced. With almost 20 billion pairs of shoes produced each year, several rubbers were included in the measures.

Why Should You Buy Eco-Friendly Shoes?

Eco-conscious and eco-friendly are terms used to describe things that are designed with the environment in mind. A corporation must commit to sustainable manufacturing techniques, the usage of sustainable materials, and how much energy is utilized to make each product in order to generate eco-conscious products. 

This involves a commitment to use less water and fewer (or, better still, zero) chemicals in production, as well as considering the number of carbon emissions produced as a result of production, the types of fibers used, and the quality of life provided to the employees who make the things.

In other words, making eco-friendly objects, including shoes, is a more involved procedure than most mass-produced commodities.

As a result, many eco-friendly brands are more expensive due to the higher amount of care required to bring them to life.

The beauty is that the more attention paid to the manufacturing process, the higher the quality. While the larger price tag may make you cringe, knowing that the things will last considerably longer and have a lower environmental impact is well worth it.

It is critical to preserve the universe and achieve sustainability, and man has a crucial role to play.

We harm the environment by how they manufacture shoes. Unfortunately, the more we buy those shoes, the more we suppress sustainability. According to records, shoe manufacturing companies create more than 20 billion shoes each year.

Our ecology is suffering, and we must all do our share to help. The best way to accomplish this is to avoid shoes that hurt the environment and instead choose for the next big thing – eco-friendly sneakers.

Most Environmentally Friendly Shoe Material

Are you concerned about buying eco-friendly shoes? Many shoe manufacturers aren’t making sustainable, ethically-sourced options, so it can seem impossible to find shoes that won’t wreak havoc on the environment.

But don’t despair! There are more materials becoming available and sustainable technologies are growing each year. By researching the most eco-friendly shoe material, you can make a more informed choice while shopping.

We’ll look at the most environmentally friendly shoe materials and why they stand out from other less green alternatives.

Recycled Tires

As you might expect, the amount of rubber required to meet the global demand for shoe soles is extraordinarily large. As a result, it stands to reason that firms such as Timberland, SoleRebels, and Indosole are reusing used rubber tires for the soles of their new footwear.

We need to find new ways to reuse used car tires, and shoes appear to be one excellent option. Every year, 300 million tires wear out and are discarded in the United States alone. Fortunately, because of several excellent initiatives over the last 25 years, the EPA reports that 80 percent of all tires discarded are now recycled.

Timberland has used recycled tires for its boots since 2008, but it is only now, in 2020, that there is a major focus on using recycled rubber for all shoes. The new emphasis on climate change has resulted in a significant increase in the number of shoemakers that use eco-friendly materials.

Indosole, founded in California, is one of the most successful eco-friendly shoe firms. Indosole makes their soles from the sidewalls of automobile tires, as well as the inner tube, which they transform into straps and toe caps.


The arrival of pineapple leather was probably one of the top news stories in vegan fashion last year. Mercer Amsterdam, a Dutch footwear business, made waves when they debuted a line of footwear built with the breakthrough proprietary material Piatex.

The Dutch footwear firm uses Piatex as a vegan substitute for leather. Natural pineapple fibers have been shown to help control the temperature within your shoe, resulting in less foot sweating.

The shoes are created in conjunction with Piatex, an alternative to leather made from pineapple leaves. Piatex is an eco-friendly and cruelty-free material, according to the brand.

The pineapple leaves used to make the shoes are a byproduct of pineapple harvesting for retail sale. Mercer Amsterdam has successfully developed a new eco-friendly substance from something that would otherwise decompose or be disposed of in landfills.

Not only are the shoes more environmentally friendly, but the pineapple leaves used are sourced from local pineapple farmers in the Philippines, supporting local economies and improving the country’s exports. Pineapple leather tanning also consumes substantially less water, generates less waste, and contains no toxic chemicals or animal materials.

It’s no surprise that several other eco-friendly footwear makers are now using pineapple leather.


Bamboo continues to be one of the world’s most versatile, functional, and environmentally benign materials. Everything from bedsheets to bowls and cups to curtains has been given a bamboo makeover in recent years.

Bamboo shoes are now being produced by an expanding number of footwear companies. Bamboo is a very efficient material that uses far fewer resources to manufacture than traditional materials like leather, suede, and cotton.

Cariuma, for example, has designed beautiful shoes made primarily of bamboo and recyclable plastic. Cariuma’s production method does not employ any harsh or hazardous chemicals, unlike some other bamboo makers.

Instead, they heat the bamboo fibers to produce powdered charcoal, which is then combined with recycled PET plastic to produce a unique thread suitable for making shoes.

Cariuma has also silenced opponents of eco-friendly materials by making bamboo shoes that are extremely sturdy and will last for years.


There is no doubt that cork is one of the world’s most environmentally friendly building materials. It is now utilized in home construction for flooring, stiff insulation, exterior finish, floor underlayment, acoustic wall coverings, and countertops.

Cork is now poised to enter the world of footwear. Cork appears to be the ideal material for shoes because it is lightweight, elastic, and flexible. It is also far more environmentally friendly than its competitors.

Every nine years, cork is removed from trees without damaging them, and it is a 100 percent renewable resource. Nike is now experimenting with cork for its eco-friendly shoe line, while the orthopedic company Sole has created fantastic shoes from the substance.

Using cork also contributes to the sustainability of cork forests, which are among the most sustainable woods on the globe. Not only may the trees be harvested for cork every nine years, but they can also live to be 200 years old!

Organic Cotton

Cotton is one of the most widely used commodities on the planet, but its manufacture is neither environmentally friendly nor efficient. As a result, organic cotton has been more prevalent in fashion during the previous decade.

Organic cotton must be produced without the use of pesticides, fertilizers, or hazardous chemicals. This permits cotton farms to remain sustainable by preserving soil fertility and harvesting chemical-free cotton.

Organic cotton takes far less CO2 to produce due to the lower levels of fuel and energy necessary to farm the material. The absence of chemicals allows for a more natural agricultural practice, which eliminates any harm to workers or nearby wildlife.

Rawanique, for example, has had great success in developing handmade organic cotton shoes that are naturally hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, and long-lasting.

Recycled Plastic

Throughout the year, there was an increase in the number of news stories about the plastic pollution catastrophe. Videos from Bali, Indonesia, revealed a gorgeous ocean with more plastic drifting about than fish, and more people became aware of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), which is largely composed of discarded plastic.

One of the most effective steps we can take to combat plastic pollution is to reuse and recycle as much plastic as possible. Shoemakers rapidly recognized that they could now produce eco-friendly and fashionable shoes out of plastic garbage.

Rothy’s, a San Francisco-based company, has achieved tremendous success with its plastic shoes. Their flats have become highly popular among female office employees in the United States, presenting an eco-friendly and ultra-comfortable alternative.

Rothy’s sneakers have upper knits made entirely of recycled plastic bottles. The bottles are hot cleaned and disinfected before being fused together to form a fiber that can be woven like yarn.

According to National Geographic, the globe has approximately 6 billion metric tons of plastic waste that can be reused. Using recycled plastic reduces the energy necessary to generate new materials while also helping to clean up the environment.

Best Major Retailers for Eco-friendly, Sustainable & Recycled Shoes

Did you know the fast-fashion industry is responsible for 10 million metric tons of CO2e emissions per year AND a staggering amount of global water usage? The way we consume and dress can have devastating effects on both people and our planet.

Not everyone is ready to join the minimalist movement, though. You don’t have to give up fashion altogether if you want to be sustainable — you just have to make better choices when shopping.

The good news is major retailers are now carrying eco-friendly and recycled shoe brands! In this article, we’ll review some of the best major retailers offering sustainably and ethically made shoes so you can show your support for eco-friendly fashion!

Vivaia’s Recycled Shoes for Men & Women

Vivaia is one of the best major retailers for eco-friendly, sustainable and recycled shoes. They offer a range of men’s and women’s shoes made from recycled materials, ensuring there are no new additions to waste in landfills.

Vivaia believes that fashion can be stylish and conscious at the same time. Their high-quality, long-lasting shoes also make them an excellent choice for both performance and comfort.

All Vivaia’s shoes are handmade with upcycled materials, reducing their environmental impact. They use water-safe glues in order to adhere the materials together and create fashionable designs.

The outsoles on their shoes are crafted using 100% re-used rubber instead of newly produced material.

Deux Mains Shoes Made from Recycled Tires

Deux Mains Shoes is one of the best major retailers if you’re looking for eco-friendly, sustainable, and recycled shoes. They recognize the waste produced by shoes made with new materials and have created a unique solution by giving tires another life in their shoes.

All styles are handmade with recycled tires, hang tags made from paper extracted from recycled coffee grounds, and boxes made from responsibly sourced materials.

Deux Mains Shoes is also dedicated to creating jobs in emerging countries, providing customers with ethically-made footwear that looks great both on them and for the world.

Nae’s Vegan Shoes

Nae’s Vegan Shoes is one of the best major retailers for eco-friendly, sustainable, and recycled shoes. Nae’s Vegan Shoes offers shoes that are 100% vegan, made from recycled materials such as plastic straws and cork, ensuring their products are not only good for the environment but also stylish and comfortable.

They also offer a range of styles suitable for both men and women. Not only this, but Nae’s also uses fair trade practices to ensure that every pair of their shoe lines up with their commitment to ethically conscious business principles.

Indosole’s Flip-Flops Made with Natural & Recycled Materials

Indosole is an excellent retailer for eco-friendly, sustainable, and recycled shoes. Their flip-flops are made of natural jute and recycled rubber that offers a comfortable fit while also being environmentally friendly.

The unique design offers great ventilation as well as Traction Cork technology which gives better grip on wet or dry surfaces. Additionally, Indosole is committed to reducing their carbon footprint and uses sustainable business practices throughout the production process.

Rothy’s Shoes Made from Recycled Water Bottles

One of the best major retailers for eco-friendly, sustainable, and recycled shoes is Rothy’s. Their line of shoes are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles. These comfortable, stylish flats come in a variety of colors to suit any outfit.

The production process creates exceptionally durable, lightweight and soft shoes using yarn crafted from a thermoplastic material that decomposes in less than ten years. They also provide recycling options for worn-out Rothy’s shoes which help to reduce your carbon footprint even more!

Final Thoughts

As you look for ways to go more eco-friendly in your daily life, don’t forget to evaluate the quality of what’s on your feet. Footwear can be a major polluter, but it doesn’t have to be.

By choosing shoes made out of sustainable materials and manufactured with ethical practices, you can make an impact each time you take a step. Not only is it better for your wallet but better for the environment too.

Just remember that eco-friendly shoes don’t always mean expensive ones. You’d be surprised at how affordable some sustainable shoes are if you know where and what to look for!

Purchasing eco-friendly shoes can be difficult but not impossible

When looking for eco-friendly shoes, there are numerous variables to consider. Make sure you do your homework to choose a pair that is both healthy for you and the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I tell if a shoe is environmentally friendly?

The simplest method to achieve this is to use the litmus test mentioned above. Take note of the shoe’s components and assess whether they are made of renewable resources. If they are, your shoe is environmentally friendly.

What are the top shoe brands that sell eco-friendly shoes?

There is a growing awareness of the advantages of employing eco-friendly materials in the production of shoes. As a result, most major brands, including Nike and Adidas (among many others), are changing their manufacturing processes to aid with environmental protection.

Are eco-friendly sneakers appropriate for all people?

Absolutely. Everyone should use renewable, eco-friendly sneakers. Wearing eco-friendly shoes helps the environment thrive naturally.

Are eco-friendly shoes biodegradable? 

Yes. Some eco-friendly shoes (particularly vegan sneakers) are biodegradable and will not harm the environment. Vegan shoes are made entirely of plants and do not include any leather.

Are eco-friendly shoes manufactured by hand?

Yes, to some extent. Some eco-friendly shoes are handcrafted. However, this does not exclude machine-made shoes from being environmentally friendly. The materials utilized in production are all that matter.

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