[GUIDE] to vegan footwear for summer – with both UK and US options

[GUIDE] to vegan footwear for summer – with both UK and US options


Here we go! Some places to get fashionable trendy and/or classic vegan shoes!

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” [Source](https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/definition-veganism)

“Why should i care”/FAQ/concerns

1. “But, leather is breathable” first off vegan footwear can definitely still be breathable, and secondly, it’s summer so this is mostly about sandals, so your toes will be out anyway!
2. “Vegan shoes are clunky/unfashionable/not in my size/expensive/difficult to find” – gurl I got u. This is not an index of every store available including those hippie stores with clunky shoes it’s a list of stores that to me are specifically *not those things*
3. “What’s the point everything is miserable anyway, we’re all gonna die etc.” – reducing suffering is always worthwhile and if you’re interested in ethically made clothing, animal rights and environmentalism are an important consideration too alongside workers’ rights
4. “It’s just too difficult” – I’ve made it super easy 🙂
5. “But my feet are wide/narrow/need medical shoes/etc.” First at least look and see what’s available. And second, be honest with yourself and stop making excuses (maybe). Everyone’s feet hurt when they wear cheap shoes all day. That has nothing to do with what material they’re made of. I thought that leather shoes helped my sweaty feet and back pain, but when I really looked at things, I realized they honestly make no difference, leather or non-leather, and I was making excuses for not taking the time to find alternatives.
6. “What about the glue?” The cheapest brands on the list are only non-leather and aren’t certified vegan and don’t advertise their shoes that way – but they’re vegan enough, in my opinion. The mid-range brands have certified vegan lines and those are (VL). The rest of companies are officially vegan and are labeled as (V).

**Price guide: GBP and USD**
£ £1-30 ($1-45)
££ £31-60 ($45-90)
£££ £61-120 ($91-180)
££££ £121+ ($181+)

**My perspective & style:**
20something. Live in UK. Have job where I’m on my feet all day, walk a lot, outdoors and indoors, and dress code is casual but still professional. Not quite business casual but not anything goes casual either. My style is kinda basic and sometimes trendy with vintagey elements. High-waisted jeans (skinny or flare), western belt, black ankle boots and thrifted blouse tucked in with a jacket (faux leather biker, a satin bomber and a long brown checked coat are my current go-tos) is pretty much me right now, but I go a bit hippie in summer.

Let’s get to it! Just to restate:

**This is not meant to be an index of every vegan shoe brand/line available. There are other sites that do a great job of that.

These are brands that I believe are classic style, high quality and/or trendy. Brands have been selected based on fashion, popularity, and variety of selection, (and my personal taste!) NOT on comfort/practical/athletic/wearable/the fact that it exists.

If you know of other vegan brands, let me know and I’ll edit them in, *if they are fashionable.* This is not the place for extra comfy handmade hippie shoes even though I’m they’re very nice. A separate post can be made for that. This is fashion advice for people who also want to stay vegan – clunky hippie shoes aren’t the only option! **

**My recommendations**

**UK**

**Cheap**

New Look £
Size UK9/US11 and wide
How long do they last? 1 yr
Style: trendy with a pretty wide selection of basics. Good going out shoes.
Pro: cheap, long wear for price, acceptable quality
Con: not a long life for shoes, faux suede is really ugly and low quality

Asos (UK and US) £+
Wide range of sizes (UK9/US11 and wide) and search by non-leather option available
Style: varies. I’ve found Asos’ own brand shoes to be low quality and their sizing to be off, but they stock tons of brands.

*Other options exist everywhere on the high street where you can buy cheap shoes. Again, not an index – only giving best options in my opinion and experience.*

**Middle**

(VL) Vans ££
Size 9UK/US11 avail in some colours
choose the specific vegan section of their website
Style: skatery but still quite neutral

Teva ££ (UK: check Asos)
Size 9UK/US11 avail. Very true to size.
A lot of their styles are vegan! Check their FAQ. Much comfier than they look.
Style: athletic and practical, but that look is having a bit of a moment right now. Their more expensive sandals are a little more fashionable. You don’t need the bits of leather on the straps really! It doesn’t add much of anything, visually or comfort wise.

(VL) Doc Marten £££
UK9/US11 available
if you want DMs there’s no real reason not to buy the vegan version 🙂 guilt-free and still totally cute and will last just as long as they’re high quality. They’ve made a sandal version of DMs too!
Style: punky and grungy

(VL) Birkenstock £££
same as the DMs! There’s no reason not to when the alternative is right there
Style: very basic American college girl but a little bit trendy right now too

**Here’s where the good stuff starts!!**

(V) Matt & Nat £££
No size 9 (I think?)
Style: sleek, minimalisty but quite middle of the road. A blank canvas – not statement shoes. Won’t dominate your look. [Really chill heeled nude faux suede block heel sandals](http://mattandnat.com/shop/shoes/elysa-sand)

(V) Good Guys ££-£££
(France but reasonable shipping to UK at €15-20. Pay for returns)
Many styles are unisex which means a size UK9/US11 is available in unisex styles (EU41 in their brand fits me, an actual UK8.5, perfectly). No US9 in women’s only styles.
Style: where minimalist and classic meet. Simple sandals and classic oxfords. Very high quality, beautiful packaging. Would recommend. This is my top recommendation right now!
[I have these bright red faux suede unisex buckle back sandals](http://goodguys.bigcartel.com/product/alec-red-veg-suede)

(V) [Insecta Shoes](https://en.insectashoes.com) ££-£££
(From Brazil. Free worldwide shipping and detailed size charts. Pay for returns)
Style: classic oxfords, some with cute (if a bit twee) patterns and some basic ones in solid colours. They have some cut open oxford sandals (not in size UK9/US11) and really cute regular sandals (not in size UK9) too. Stock varies as their shoes are recycled but they have an email list so you can get an email when they get new stock in.
[Chunky sandals with a leafy print](https://en.insectashoes.com/collections/argia/products/orquidea-strap-sandal)
[Black oxfords with a rose pattern](https://en.insectashoes.com/collections/scarabeus/products/gabriela-oxford)

(V) [Ahimsa](https://en.useahimsa.com/collections/women/) ££-£££
Brazil – don’t remember about shipping
Style: [basic and preppy low heel flats are what I want](https://en.useahimsa.com/collections/women/products/a2110301)

(V) [Melissa](http://m.shopmelissa.uk) ££
No size 9UK/US11
Style: futuristic, weird, plasticky, with a very feminine twist. Think bows and beads. really unique! [mostly known for their flats](http://www.nonnon.co.uk/women/vw-ultragirl-19-black-pin.html)
I have no idea which is their official site!!!!

(V) [Avesu.eu](https://www.avesu.eu) £-££+
(Based in Germany, flat rate shipping to UK.)
Stocks a variety of brands and styles. Some size 9UK/US11 available but not enough to make it worth looking.

(V) [Bourgeois Boheme] ££££
Does not stock UK size 9/US11. Provides measurements of shoes.
Style: some look more suitable for older women, the cork can be quite hippie looking on some, others are very neutral with broad appeal. [They have pinatex sliders!!!! Of course you want pinatex shoes!!!!](https://www.bboheme.com/victoria-pinatex)

(V) [Beyond Skin](https://www.beyond-skin.com/womens/essential.html) £££
Does not have many UK size 9/US11.
Style: classic to glam shoes with a wide range of selection. Good for the office, some for going out. Feel sort of Londony. Love and want but not much selection for me.

**Designer**
(V) Stella McCartney ££££
No size 9/US11
£400+
Style: a little boho, a little glam, a little trendy. They’ve got a shit ton of [those weird huge LV-style sneakers rn](https://www.stellamccartney.com/gb/stella-mccartney/sneakers_cod11421108fj.html#dept=main_shoes)

**USA**

(V) Mooshoes (Shipping to UK is $40)
Caution: it looks like they convert sizes based on a bourgeois Boheme listing I saw and when ordering it’s definitely worth checking the size on the brand’s website.
Excellent selection, wide range of prices and styles including BC Footwear (which that company doesn’t ship to UK). House brand Novacas looks great.

Target (UK shipping expensive, around $40) £
Size UK9/UK11 and wide are available
Style: y’all have been to Target, but for any UK people it’s really quite basic styles for very cheap. Much higher quality than Tesco/Asda or New Look shoes. A bit lower quality than Topshop. They’re the true “affordable/cheap but good enough” type shoes that just don’t exist here.

(VL) BC Footwear (no international shipping. US and Canada only. Also on Mooshoes) ££
Style: youthful, hippie-ish, California. Good for summer. I absolutely love this brand!

Chinese Laundry (Zappos, TJMaxx/Marshall’s, Nordstrom) (UK shipping available from Nordstrom) ££-£££
Style: trendy
Size UK9/US11 available
Check for non-leather options.

Madden Girl (Zappos, TJMaxx/Marshall’s) (not avail in UK) ££
Size UK 9/US11 available
Check for non-leather options.

Bandolino £
Order from Zappos, not from Amazon!
Style: quite classic. Some preppy or nautical style and others that fit with any style. Good selection of low heels.
Size UK 8.5 and 9 available! True to size. Comfortable.

**From a fashion perspective I would not recommend:***
Vegetarian shoes (UK): clunky, obvious branding
Will’s Vegan Shoes (UK): clunky, sizing seems off

**To be 100% sure they are vegan I would *not* recommend:**

*Topshop as I ordered shoes online that were described as manmade and when I got them they were leather.

*Amazon US as I ordered Bandolino heels that were described as manmade and when I got them they were leather.

Brands that I know use non-vegan glue
*Converse (buy vegan Vans instead!)
*New Balance

I didn’t make this post to debate the ethics or morals of being vegan, but if you have any questions, here are some reasons why going vegan is a great choice:

1. [Environment](https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/environment)
2. Cruelty (you know what leather is, own up to it and realise there are better options than killing an animal. Death is unnecessary. They’re just shoes!)
3. It’s unnecessary to buy leather over non-leather. IMO, leather shoes honestly won’t last that much longer than non-leather especially if you buy higher quality shoes. If it’s trendy, it doesn’t matter anyway because you’ll get rid of the shoes before they get that worn out anyway (which is not great, but reality unfortunately). I believe that we’ve all got to remember we’re humans on earth, we share the planet and need to preserve it for our future. It’s only shoes and if there’s an alternative, please consider choosing it.

Join us at /r/vegan, we’re really chill vegans and aren’t gonna be aggressive with anyone who has friendly questions 🙂 Please don’t go there to tell us why you think we’re wrong that’s a waste of your energy and is rude.

**Still want leather shoes for some reason?** At the very least buy secondhand from thrift shops or charity shops or eBay. Then you’re still helping the environment even though you’re maybe still creating a demand for leather shoes. And honestly – don’t knock it till you try it. I thought I couldn’t give up leather due to occasional back problems and sweaty feet which when I really looked at myself I realized were just excuses to be lazy. My shoes have never changed those two things, leather or non-leather. We all owe it to the world to do our best to leave this place a little bit better than we found it and to make choices that reduce harm to other beings and the environment ❤️

E – missed a part
E again – pls note that for quite a few of these you will still need to check the material before buying unless it is from a store tagged (V) or from a vegan line (VL)



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Comments ( 10 )
  1. Semele5183
    April 28, 2018 at 7:45 am
    Reply

    Thanks for this! There were some brands I hadn’t heard of yet so I’m excited to have a look.

    I disagree with your non-recomendation for Wills London shoes! I’ve only got the classic Chelsea boots from there but I love how they look and they’re great quality so I was planning to try some other styles.

    Seconding ASOS, especially now that “non-leather” is one of their search filter options so it saves you having to wade through hundreds of shoes checking each individually!

    I don’t know if they’re 100% vegan, but if non-leather is your main criterion then have a look at the Kurt Geiger owned brands like Carvela, Miss KG and Nine West. I’ve had some lovely faux leather and suede shoes from those that are gorgeous quality and more on the high end of high street fashion.

    I haven’t bought anything from them yet but there’s a company called NAE Shoes that have some nice styles, so I’ve got some bookmarks there!

  2. WaitwhatamIdoinghere
    April 28, 2018 at 8:54 am
    Reply

    They’re a little pricey but I LOVE my freerangers vegan shoes. I use their boots for medieval costuming though so not exactly day to day wear but their other stuff seems cute too!!

  3. idislikekittens
    April 28, 2018 at 8:56 am
    Reply

    Thank you for the exhaustive list of recommendations! I’ve personally had good luck with non-leather sandals especially.

    That said, I think your tone is a bit preachy? I can tell it’s something you’re very passionate about, which is great. I’m vegan-friendly so it doesn’t bother me but I can see how it would be off-putting for some.

  4. oenotherah
    April 28, 2018 at 11:25 am
    Reply

    This is a priceless list! Thank you so much!

    I love my Insecta shoes and all of my Ahimsa shoes. They are gorgeous, durable and I get a ton of compliments!

    I’ve also replaced all of my bags with vegan bags! My favorite brand is Baggu (the canvas bags they offer).

  5. skorokhods_rep
    April 28, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for creating such a helpful list!

    How do you avoid blisters/sweat with vegan leather shoes, especially closed toed shoes like pumps, which are usually not worn with socks?

    Also, do you notice a big difference in comfort between lower-end vegan leather and higher end vegan leather? I love microsuede but the synthetic leather pumps I’ve tried are really uncomfortable, though they’ve been mostly from lower quality to mid-range brands (F21, Zara, Bandolino etc.).

  6. princess__toadstool
    April 28, 2018 at 1:49 pm
    Reply

    Doc Martens vegan leather is like no other and I think this is the first year they have faux sandals! The vegan leather is easier to break in, too.

  7. dapplegray
    April 28, 2018 at 6:57 pm
    Reply

    It’s great that you’re helping other people who want a list like this. But I’d argue that advocating further proliferation of plastics that pollute the earth is far from “reducing harm” or “preserving the planet”. I’m not going to bash anyone for being willfully ignorant, but maybe we should at least, in your words, “own up to it”. Sure, animal deaths are easy to have knee jerk reactions about, because they’re cute and it’s an easy way to feel like a good person for protecting helpless animals, but things are rarely that black and white and there are always human consequences behind veganism (usually POC in poorer countries) that are easily written off in favor of protecting the cute animals (usually by white people in wealthier countries). At the end of the day we all have differing needs and life conditions and do the best we can to make informed choices.

    Perhaps you may say you meant no disrespect, but I find it amusingly ironic that you preemptively defend with this:

    > Join us… Please don’t go there to tell us why you think we’re wrong that’s a waste of your energy and is rude.

    …while also saying things like “own up to [cruelty]” or the multiple implications that using leather is “lazy” or “making excuses”.

  8. CatyCosine
    April 29, 2018 at 1:11 am
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I was literally just searching for a guide like this and had given up on finding any vegan rec lists that had lots of price options but were also not tooootalllyy overwhelming in the number of options.

    Also would like to add that Lulu’s is a good $ option. They have a vegan shoe section on the site and the faux suede flats I have are pretty nice; probably won’t last long, but I’m okay with that. I’m considering getting sandals from there too.

  9. crinklepop
    April 30, 2018 at 5:42 am
    Reply

    Do you know if any of them offer wide fits? My search for vegan sandals is not going well.

  10. Widowsfreak
    May 1, 2018 at 3:04 am
    Reply

    Thank you! I hope you’ll Do another one in fall. Even though I’m in the desert, I hate showing my toes. I’ll admit I’m vegan but I can’t give up leather loafers. My vegan ones get gross so fast while my leather loafers and boots have lasted years. I sometimes feel like the environmental choice is buying leather rarely instead of putting non degradable materials in the landfill every few years

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