FTC Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I may receive a small commission on the transaction - at no added cost to you. Thank you!
For some people, the decision to start buying only vegan shoes is bittersweet. If you truly love good shoes and are proud of your collection, the idea of never buying another pair of leather pumps can seem overwhelming, daunting and sad. Add to that emotion the concept of getting rid of your favorite shoes and it makes going vegan seem that much harder.
Luckily for all of us, leather-free shoes have come a long way in the past few years. Gone are the days of beige fabrics and large rubber boots. Now the selection includes gorgeous stilettos and cute strappy sandals.
And, as with any sacrifice you make in life, it's often easier to focus on the positive rather than the negative, like for example, now you get to go shopping for gorgeous non leather shoes. And, you won't contribute to the abuse of animals solely for their skin.
If you aren't familiar with the everyday abuses from the leather industry, I highly recommend checking out EARTHLINGS. It's a documentary of the real life situations on factory farms, and towards the end it shows us leather cows and their harrowing life journey. If you ever lose sight of why you are searching for vegan shoes, it's a great reminder.
Now what do you do with all your old leather shoes? Many vegans prefer not to throw them away because trash heaps are so un-environmentally-friendly. It's always better to donate what you don't need. But, what if you can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe at once? What many people find cost-effective is to slowly buy new leather-free shoes, and donate the old as you go. Don't put energy into feeling guilty about a shopping decision from the past-- just keep moving forward.
When purchasing new shoes, always check the labels to see how the shoe is constructed; from the sole to the toe. Look for fabric linings, a sole made from a composite product, and faux vegan leather or fabric exteriors.
You can always opt for a cheaper brand of shoe because the assumption is that they will be using man-made products rather than animal products. Payless and other stores carry plenty of man-made shoes, and Amazon sells many inexpensive pleather vegetarian shoes.
Sometimes you're looking for a higher quality vegan shoe brand, and we have several of those to offer as well.
Some of the more popular vegetarian shoe brands include Beyond Skin, Cri de Coeur, olsenHaus, and some of Stella McCartney's line. While some of these can be kind of pricy, you get what you pay for. They're usually very well constructed and can last a long time. Plus, they're so pretty!
If you're looking for a sportier brand of shoes, check out Earth vegan shoes.
For everyday casual vegan shoes, I love Simple brand's Toematillo Boot. The buttons on the back are cute and classy and I think it's a look that could go with any outfit.
Chinese Laundry makes some cute vegan sandals that are great for summer nights out, or even day-to-day errands. For a fun going-out look, check out Diba Women's Julip Boot. It comes in several colors as well as the classic black, and has a slightly rouched and scrunchy look.
Earth Rocket has some great vegan fitness shoes for men and women and uses no animal products. In other sneaker styles, C1RCA has some cute casual shoes with fun colors. Simple and Sanuk both make loafer, slip-on styles for men who want casual without the skater look.
And if you're a serious hiker, climber, or just enjoy the outdoors, you should see these vegan hiking boots.
There are new brands and styles bring designed all the time, and I tend to be presently surprised by how many shoes are accidentally vegan shoes just because they use manmade products. I like to use Amazon to search for new shoes, probably because of the potential for free, quick shipping and because they have such a large collection.