10 of the best vegan and vegetarian shoes

The words “vegan shoes” might conjure up some pretty horrific images. But a new age of designers are dreaming up beautiful footwear that is also cruelty free. Here are some of our favourites.

vegetarian broguesThe rather unimaginatively named Vegetarian Shoes have been trading in cruelty free footwear for 21 years. What they lack in a name they make up for in style. These rather lovely brogues are made from vegetan bucky, a breathable and hard wearing microfibre that looks and feels remarkably like leather.


Vivienne Westwood vegan shoesNobody does killer heels quite like Vivienne Westwood. She captures curves and trims so beautifully. And these magnificent “mock crocs” are perfect for the vegan who loves a bit of high fashion with her tofu and mung beans. Available in both black and brown from Fashion Conscious and at time of writing were on sale.


Beyond Skin vegan shoesRSPCA Ethical Business Award winners, Beyond Skin, are one of the leaders in ethical shoes. Their vast collection never compromises on style, and these vegan sailor-esque wedges are a great illustration of that. And as well as being suitable for vegans, they use recycled materials too.


Toms shoes oliver bootsAlthough an admirer of the ethics of Toms Shoes I’ve never really liked their designs. They seem to be a brand you love or hate. Having said that, once in a while they produce something that stands out, and these knee high olive boots are such an example. And as well as being  animal free, when buying a pair you’re raising money for good causes.


Zebra print vegan shoesOk, so I may have been unduly influence by the fact these shoes are called “Esther”. But how often do you get a pair of Zebra print ballet pumps named after you? Maybe Bourgeois Boheme didn’t name them after me specifically, but it’s kind of nice to think I might have influenced them. Also available in red and leopard print … like all good Esthers are!


light grey vegan bootsI love these foxy ankle boots, not just for being stylish and cruelty free, but because I’ve seen so many similar shoes in High Street stores. Yet again it shows that anything mainstream fashion can do, ethical fashion can do better. These lovely ladies are available from Bourgeois Boheme at a very wallet friendly price of £35. As well as being free of animal products they’re made with organic cotton.


So plastic is slightly questionable in eco terms, and you could argue oil isn’t completely animal free (be it that the animals died millions of years ago – look there are some pretty strict vegans out there!). However these boots are recycled from old shoes, and the waste and the water in the factory that makes them is also reused. And just look at them – are they not beautiful? Available for a mere £78 from Fashion Conscious.


Gucci sustainable sole shoesThese ballet pumps are part of Gucci’s Sustainable Sole range. As well as being free from animal products they’re made with bio-degradable plastic. Of course bio-degradable isn’t the same as recycled, but it’s a step in the right direction and  an impressive move for a major brand. Available to buy from end of June onwards.


t-bar flatsPumps can get a little boring, but these t-bars add a bit of fabulousness to your average flat. Created by New York designer Cri de Coeur, these shoes are vegan and made with responsible manufacturers. Available from Fashion Conscious for a slightly heavy £75. Also available in shocking pink, if that’s your thing.


Beyond Skin vegan shoesLast but not least are these seriously awesome court shoes from Beyond Skin. Made using printed hemp and vegan suede, these stunning shoes are non-exploitative to animals, humans and the planet. They don’t seem to be available on the Beyond Skin website, but can be had for £65 from the Neon Collective.

Which of our ten shoes are your favourites? Let us know in the comment section below.


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6 thoughts on “10 of the best vegan and vegetarian shoes

  1. These shoes are wonderful, but my concern with vegetarian shoes is the impact on the environment. I have been a vegetarian for 35 years and a staunch believer and wearer of ethical clothing for many years too, the majority of my wardrobe is sourced from charity stores. I still wear leather shoes because of their ability to break down once they no longer are wearable, rather than wear materials that will never break down once in the landfill.

    I am a believer in buying shoes that will last and can be re-soled or repaired. I do not believe in having shoes every season. They are beautiful shoes, but there is a trend as you know with all fashion to last a season and that is it. What is wrong with wearing classic styles that never go out of fashion. It is a very hard call to make making the balance between ethical and environmental. I just don’t like the thought of a pair of shoes being around in a couple of hundred years time in their same form whereas leather with all the ethical and other issues being able to be broken down by the earth.

    • I agree with what your saying but I think in the case of many of these they’re using recycled synthetic parts. But not all and it’s a fair point you make.

      • To be fair on Veggie Shoes, they are using a factory in the UK where a lot of manufacturing capacity was stripped-out by government exchange-rate manipulation from 1979-2009. That means that they can’t just ask for a corn-starch plastic or something new; the system is best at deliverying things that were fashionable before 1979.

        Hopefully, one day a UK sneaker factory will set-up in the UK, and a factory that will make great bouncing soles in more variations.

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