Are you searching for the best sandals to wear this summer? We all want to wear comfortable clothes and shoes during the warmer weather. However, that can be a problem for someone practicing a sustainable lifestyle for various reasons. Many sandals include leather and other materials from animal skin and fur. And if you’re reading this article, you’re likely one of the many people who are not okay with wearing animal products.
Regular footwear manufacturers may also use harmful products and processes to create shoes. Our skin is sensitive, meaning it can easily develop allergic reactions to the toxic chemicals used in production.
Vegan sandals offer an excellent option for everyone. Well-manufactured vegan sandals are incredibly comfortable because they provide proper arch support and various styles. Keep on reading to find 11 brands that sell the best vegan footwear.
Vegan sandals and shoes are footwear items produced with zero animal products. As such, those of us looking to shop ethically and protect animal welfare can choose various shoe styles that shun animal cruelty and the environmental impact of farming livestock.
The animal products used to produce shoes are leather, silk, fur, and wool.
On the other hand, vegan shoe manufacturers are changing the footwear industry for the better by producing vegan sandals, shoes, sneakers, and eco-friendly flip-flops. They often use plant-based materials like microfiber, cotton, pinatex, corn leather, natural rubber, and recycled polyester or plastic (although still plastic, it is better than virgin plastic).
These materials benefit the environment by reducing the burden of rearing animals for their hides. The nature of the materials used to produce vegan sandals also makes them durable. 11 Brands that Sell the Best Vegan Sandals
Note: Some of the brands we’ve featured have vegan lines yet also have products using leather and other animal products. Check the materials and look for dedicated vegan categories to ensure your vegan purchase.
Features: nubuck leather, stretchy strap
The founders of Jambu & Co established the brand in 2010 to create shoes inspired by the outdoors. Jambu shoes are water-resistant, keeping your feet dry during winter. The soles of your feet will sit comfortably on the contoured memory foam used to line their vegan sandals. The memory foam provides support and comfort to the feet.
Jambu’s vegan sandals and shoes cost between $50 to $150. They are part of the vegan brands, making waves in the fashion industry. They use a type of vegan leather called Nubuck to create stylish sandals. You can style them with casual and beach wear. The sandals come in various designs and colors, like black, brown, red, blue, and yellow.
Features: vegan, animal cruelty-free, washable, adjustable buckles
Birkenstock is an ethical shoe company established in 1774. The brand started as a one-person business in 1774 in Germany. It grew and expanded, with a high commitment to ethical operations. Their primary mission is protecting the environment, so the brand continuously tries to find ways to improve, including using environmentally friendly materials for production.
Birkenstock uses various vegan materials to create fashionable footwear alongside their standard lines. They use nubuck leather, wool felt, jute, copper, and brass to make vegan sandals. The footbed of their sandals is durable and improves the well-being of your foot. They use cork, natural latex, and jute to create the sole of the sandals. The natural materials they use increases the moisture control of their vegan sandals.
Also, 98% of the adhesives used by Birkenstock are water-based and solvent free. Keeping to sustainable shoe making, they use natural latex from the resin of rubber trees. Their sandals come with adjustable straps and metal buckles. They have a wide range of vegan sandals, including platform and wedge styles for women that pair well with stylish laid-back, casual summer outfits.
Features: recycled plastic bottles, recycled paper
Teva is a sustainable shoe brand that uses recycled materials to create eco-friendly sandals and shoes. You can trace the origins of Teva back to the Grand Canyon in 1984. You can shop from Teva because they believe in conducting business in ways that are harmless to the environment.
Teva aims to impact the environment, consumers, and their employees positively. Teva has multiple policies that guide them away from harmful business practices like animal cruelty and water waste. They use renewable, plant-based, and recycled polyester fibers and recycled materials from plastic bottles to create stylish sandals.
To keep Teva sandals away from landfills, Teva has a recycling program allowing customers to return their worn sandals. Then, they recycle the used sandals into new ones.
Also, they use recycled paper to produce their packaging materials. Adhering to its sustainability goals as a business saved 401,000 trees over the last six years. They also removed over 72 million plastic water bottles and 68,000 pounds of polyester fiber and textile scraps from the environment.
Teva has a wide range of designs that come in over 10 colors. They are very comfy and protect your feet from blisters, even on hiking trips. Teva also sells flip-flops, flats, slip-on, and boots.
Features: recycled waste, chemical-free strap,
Established in 2003, Keen is part of the brands making shoes with recycled materials. They keep waste away from the environment by recycling it to create new shoes. The waste used varies; it could be coffee beans, leftover car airbags, denim, and agricultural waste. Keen uses denim waste to create shoes, coffee beans to create flip-flops, and agricultural waste to make soles.
The brand benefits the environment in three major ways. They reduce the waste in landfills, use less raw materials, and produce low greenhouse gas emissions. Keen’s sandals are free from harmful synthetic chemicals known as Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Features: recycled microfiber, cork, organic cotton, hand-painted, vegan leather.
Bhava is a vegan shoe company founded by Francisca Pineda in 2012. Francisca is a Parsons School of Design graduate with over 20 years of experience in the fashion industry. Bhava is a select brand that avoids animal leather to create vegan shoes.
Their sustainability practices go beyond producing animal-free products. It concerns the safety of the environment, customers, and supply chain. Bhava uses organic cotton linings, recycled microfibers, vegan leather, and embossed cork. Their vegan leather is free from PVC, phthalates, PCP, formaldehyde, azo dyes, and aromatic amines.
Their vegan shoes are popular for their durability. They craft each pair of shoes by hand to fit into modern and casual fashion styles. Most of their sandals are vegan strappy sandals, but their range of vegan shoes includes heels, clogs, and flats. They also have a section for vegan boots. Some shoes in their vegan line come with extra detachable soles.
Features: cruelty-free, vegan, recycled waste, waterproof.
Matt & Nat is the brand for you if you don't wear leather. They care about the environment's and animals' well-being, so they don't hurt animals to produce fashionable footwear. Instead, they use recycled polyurethane (PU), polyvinyl butyral (PVB) from recycled windshield resin, and recycled plastic water bottles.
Since their establishment in 2007, Matt and Natt have saved over 9 million bottles from landfills. They recycle plastic bottles into bags and shoe linings. Over 800 Matt & Nat stores across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and Germany exist. They sell up to 7 designs of vegan boots, heels, and flats.
Related: Matt & Nat also feature in our selection of eco-friendly wallets.
Features: vegan leather, animal cruelty-free
Cushionaire is a shoe brand that produces comfortable and inexpensive shoes for women. They have different shoe categories like sandals, sneakers, wedges, and dress shoes. They are a shoe brand founded by a parent company, Next Step Group. Selim Dushey founded the Next Step Group in 1998.
Since their establishment, they have created unique and groundbreaking styles in the fashion world. They use vegan leather, nubuck leather, cork, and memory foam. They have unique vegan shoe styles you can wear in a casual setting during summer or in a professional setting.
Although they are a woman-focused brand, they have a vegan line for men and children. Their vegan sandals cost between $30 to $50, kid's sandals cost as low as $24, and men's sandals cost $30.
Features: plant-based leather, hemp
Rainbow Sandals is a sustainable brand whose mission is to produce vegan shoes that will not end up in landfill space. The brand's philosophy is to repair, reuse, and recycle. Jay “Sparky” Longley created Rainbow Sandals in 1972. He started by experimenting with shoemaking in his Laguna Beach garage.
To make their vegan sandals, they use eco-friendly glue and grain leather. They also use hemp to make vegan sandals. Apart from sandals, Rainbow Sandals also sells vegan shoes and boots with efficient arch support.
Features: natural rubber, apple skin, pineapple leather, recycled PET, and cotton.
Nae is an acronym for NO Animal Exploitation. The name of this brand reflects its mission. They aim to provide animal-free and ecological alternatives to human exploitation. Since its establishment in 2008 in Portugal, they do not capitalize on animals to make its products; they use recycled and natural materials.
They use vegan leather made from a mixture of microfibers. This mix includes cotton, nylon, and polyester. They also use pineapple leather, apple skin, cotton, and recycled PET. You will find Nae’s simple designs alluring as a minimalistic lover that doesn’t wear leather.
The vegan sandals are waterproof and breathable. The fabric used to line the inside of the vega sandals has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These properties help prevent foot odor and the occurrence of allergies. Nae’s vegan sandals designs are fit for countless occasions, in and out of summer.
Features: hemp, cotton
Rawganique is a small-scale business that produces chemical-free clothing and shoes with natural and durable materials. Since 1997, they have worked with organic materials like hemp, organic cotton, and flax linen. Rawganique did not import these natural materials. Instead, they grow and process them.
The founders insist on using organic materials because they know how harmful fast fashion is to the environment and human skin. As one of the good guys, they grow their own raw materials to avoid contamination with toxic chemicals.
Also, they sew and make vegan sandals themselves without the help of unpaid and mistreated labor. A small team makes up Rawganique’s workforce. They are sweatshop-free. Rawganique is an excellent choice for someone who doesn’t wear leather. They have different styles of vegan sandals, shoes, flip-flops, and boots.
Their vegan sandals are very comfy. The shoes either have cork soles or natural rubber soles. Also, Rawganique uses biodegradable fiber-reactive dyes on its products. Your order comes with care instructions on how to clean vegan shoes because hemp isn’t washable.
Features: recycled plastic, plant-based fabrics, handcrafted
Gahalad and Asher Clark founded Vivobarefoot in 2012. They are a vegan line that aims to bring nature closer to us by creating regenerative footwear. Each of their vegan sandals is wide, thin, and flexible. They provide a powerful connection between your feet and the earth without harming your feet.
Vivobarefoot is a B Corporation-certified company that creates vegan shoes for different occasions like casual living, outdoor, and sports activities. Vivobarefoot uses recycled and natural materials to create stunning designs for adults and kids.
They use hemp, wool, recycled plastic, and algae-based Eva foam. They design the soles of the shoes to match the human footprint. Ethiopian artists handcraft the Vivobarefoot vegan shoe.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.