6 vegan brands that make genuinely great shoes
Footwear is still an area of eco-living that can prove a bit of a challenge. With veganism on the rise, thanks to millennials and an increased awareness of all things eco, demand for shoes that satisfy both an interest in the aesthetic and a desire for no animals to be harmed in the making is on the up.
Like fashion, there are still only a fraction of the brands that have forayed into vegan beauty, despite there being nearly double the internet interest.
Here’s our round-up of the best vegan shoe brands around right now…
1. BANGS Shoes
Founded by Hannah Davis, inspired by a stint teaching English in China, BANGS Shoes are simple and sustainable. Thanks to that, the justifiably price tag and the savvily millennially-orientated branding (check out the Instagram — with a cool 109k followers), they’ve been picked up by the cool crowd. And, bonus: 20% of the net profits go to helping worldwide entrepreneurs realise their business ideas.
Upside: The minimal, cool aesthetic.
Downside: As it’s an American brand, the P&P is pricey.
Ever since they were brought to the fashion forefront by Emma Watson in late 2016, Veja has been making its mark on the eco style scene. Repeatedly selling out on Net-A-Porter despite the £69-and-up price tag, the French brand’s vegan styles are made from recycled plastic bottles and wild rubber.
Upside: The designs are as good as non-vegan brands.
Downside: They aren’t cheap.
Birkenstock are one of the best-known vegan shoe brands, despite having only grown the cruelty-free offering in the last few years. With the classic cork sole, the leather uppers have been swapped with Microfibre, created from fine synthetic fibres.
Upside: They look exactly the same as the classic styles and they’re slightly cheaper.
Downside: In recent years, Birkenstocks haven’t been wearing so well.
4. Dr Marten
Most people have owned a pair of DMs at some point in their lives so it’s only a good thing the quintessentially Brit shoe brand have forayed into animal-free footwear. With a growing vegan range, there are now versions of the classic boots and brogues, as well as sandals and rucksacks.
Upside: They’re built to last, so not only are they cruelty-free but they won’t need replacing for a while.
Downside: If you don’t like the DM look, they’re not for you.
5. Matt & Nat
When the vegan accessories brand branched out into shoes, their first sneaker style Bonaventure was pretty much constantly sold out. Now they have expanded into sandals, slides, brogues and pumps, all with the same simple, capsule wardrobe aesthetic.
Upside: The styles are classic and varied, so you could feasibly buy all but your sports footwear.
Downside: Some are a little frumpy.
It can be hard to find anything but a day shoe, but American brand RAFA more than fills that gap in the vegan footwear market. Fun, fashiony styles in a whole palette of shades — from classic strappy sandals to mules — designed and hand-crafted by LA artisans.
Upside: The quality.
Downside: The $350 price tag, plus P&P.
What’s your favourite vegan brand? Contact us on social media @BALANCELDN…