About 30 million Americans, or one-eighth of the population over the age of 18, are vegetarian or vegan. And we don’t want to wear animals any more than we want to eat them. So designers the world over are answering the call for eco-friendly, animal-free fashion. Whether they have committed to becoming more sustainable and animal-friendly, are including more vegan options, or simply enjoy working with high-quality, skin-free materials, designers who produce shoes that don’t hurt animals are taking a step in the right direction. Here are some of our favorite finds from some of the best-known brands.
New Balance offers several styles that are perfect for running a 10K or just running to beat the crowd to the Beyond Burgers. PETA staffers are scooping up these:
Keds are back with the same cloth comfort in fresh new prints and patterns, including:
And you can even pull a Father of the Bride move and get married in sneakers decked with glitter, crystals, satin, or bows.
Old Navy’s prices are so good that you can give your entire shoe rack a guilt-free reboot.
We’re going gaga for Superga sneakers—can you really blame us with prints like these?
It’s date night done right in an LBD and H&M’s:
In love with labels? You can pore over loads of cool finds at Nordstrom, including these:
PETA and animal friend Stella McCartney has been doing vegan fashion since before it was cool.
If you’re looking for men’s sizes, we didn’t forget about you. There are loads of choices for the gym, the beach, or a night on the town. These are just a few of our picks:
And there are so many more. Our selections represent just a small sample of the countless animal-free offerings that are readily available in every style and at every price point. To find kind footwear from companies that share your aesthetic, look for materials including vegan leather, polyurethane, faux leather, faux suede, microsuede, canvas, textile, rubber, linen, synthetic leather, PVC, cotton, or labels that read “manmade.” To avoid wearing animal-derived products, steer clear of leather, natural leather, suede, calfskin, mohair, wool, cashmere, silk, and, of course, fur, crocodile, alligator, snake, lizard, and ostrich.
Leather must always be treated with a toxic soup of chemicals to keep the skin from rotting. The Higg Materials Sustainability Index found that animal leather has almost three times the environmental impact of polyurethane leather. The only truly animal-friendly and sustainable footwear is vegan. Get more helpful tips for veganizing your closet with PETA’s easy vegan shopping guide.
Note: These companies cannot guarantee that the glue used in their shoes is vegan. We’ve opted to include them because their products are widely available. The more popular these otherwise animal-friendly shoes are, the more vegan options will be made available in the future.