Hop into summer with these eco-friendly kicks.
There are few things we love more than a good pair of sustainable sneakers. Perfect for casual days at the office, running errands around town, or going on weekend adventures, trainers have become our go-to shoe for summer.
It can be challenging to find sustainable trainers, as many tennis shoes are made from virgin plastics and harmful dyes. The following brands are passionate about changing the industry. They prioritize ethics and the environment in everything from materials to production, and do so while designing some of the most stylish shoes on the market.
Whether you’re shopping for a street shoe or trainers for the gym, check out these brands for your next pair of sustainable sneakers. Need a new pair of sandals instead? We’ve rounded up our favorites here.
Sustainable Features | Vegan options, organic, zero waste
Best For | Everyday, running
Price Range | 90–225
You’ve probably heard of VEJA shoes by now—and for good reason. The sneakers have been called the world’s most sustainable. Celebrities, British royalty, and fashion influencers alike have all been photographed wearing the trademark V. These sneakers are designed in Paris, France with eco-friendly materials, including wild rubber from the Amazon and organic cotton. With sleek and stylish options for men, women, and children, VEJA has become our go-to for sustainably made sneakers.
Sustainable Features | Vegan options, eco-friendly materials, recycled packaging
Best For | Everyday, slip-ons
Price Range | $50–$85
TOMS has been beloved and celebrated all over the world for its one-for-one charitable business model in which it partners with impact organizations like Save the Children to give to youth in need new shoes. As of today, it’s given away more than 86 million pairs of sneakers. The Venice-based brand uses vegan and ecologically-friendly materials, including natural hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester, and the shoe boxes are also made with recycled post-consumer waste and soy ink.
Sustainable Features | Eco-friendly materials, recycled packaging, WRAP-certified
Best For | Running
Price Range | $95–$135
Made from Nature is the motto over at Allbirds. These sneakers are made with high-quality, sustainable materials, including ZQ Merino Wool (the world’s leading ethical wool brand), eucalyptus tree fibers, and recycled plastic shoelaces. Founded by New Zealand native Tim Brown, the brand is committed to making comfortable trainers for men, women, and children that don’t harm the planet. It also partners with social impact organizations and, in 2019, Allbirds announced it was going carbon neutral.
4. Sole Rebels
Sustainable Features | Ethical production, sustainable materials
Best For | Everyday
Price Range | $120–$125
With a name like Sole Rebels, you can bet this brand is putting a twist on the standard sneaker—and, indeed, the soles of these shoes are made from recycled tire. Handcrafted in Ethiopia in a zero carbon production process, Sole Rebels uses traditional artisan techniques (like hand-spinning and looming) and sustainable materials like organic jute and Koba plant fiber to create its made-to-order footwear. The company also offers full medical benefits, wages that are three times the industry average, and transportation to and from work for disabled workers.
5. Oliver Cabell
Sustainable Features | Ethical factories, waxed cotton shoelaces, recycled materials
Best For | Everyday
Price Range | $205
Oliver Cabell is passionate about making timeless footwear. Mixing old school methods with modern-day technology, the minimalist and sustainable sneakers are one of the best examples of bespoke craftsmanship. Each pair is made with top quality materials and hand-stitched in ethical factories in Spain. Apart from transparency and quality design, one of our favorite aspects of Oliver Cabell is that the brand releases new sneakers each week—you can browse online and sign up to be notified when a new style drops.
Sustainable Features | Ethically made materials
Best For | Everyday, semi-formal
Price Range | $130–$150
Certified B Corp Nisolo offers skate-inspired high-tops and classic low-tops using ethically sourced leather and suede. Handcrafted in Peru and Mexico using long-held traditions, Nisolo offers an in-house financial literacy training program and its artisans receive living wages and benefits. (The company also offers over 100 trainings a year on topics ranging from technical skill development to yoga.) Nisolo’s earthy-toned offerings, including its chic derby shoe, are perfect for just about everything.
7. Flamingos Life
Sustainable Features | Vegan, organic cotton, natural rubber, recycled materials
Best For | Everyday
Price Range | 99.95–119.95
Flamingos Life is a Spanish sneaker brand committed to transparency and changing the way shoes are produced in the fashion industry. Its list of ethical and eco-friendly materials used is impressive: post-consumer water bottles, natural rubber (sustainably extracted from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree), organic cotton, and other recycled plastics. Flamingos Life also makes monthly donations to Waste Free Oceans for ocean clean up and educational projects. These sneakers are currently only available in Europe, but we hope it’ll expand the shipping options soon!
Sustainable Features | Cruelty-free, recycled & upcycled materials
Best For | Activewear
Price Range | $75–$125
Native creates ultra-light, ergonomic, innovative sneakers. Whether it’s using solvent-free suede, recycled polyester, or upcycled EVA foam, the casual styles are constructed using methods that aim to reduce excess fabric and keep waste to a minimum. And through its Remix Project, you can send your well-worn shoes back to Native for them to recycled and reground into versatile material that can be used for playground flooring, insulation, and more.