Shoes were one of the trickiest things for me to find to when I first went vegan. I would go out shoe shopping, find ones I liked, then search on google if they were vegan. Most of the time my search just turned up disappointing or controversial results so eventually I had to start planning ahead whenever I needed new shoes. This also has the hidden benefit of making me be more conscious of over consumption and overall buying less.
In my time spent researching, I’ve come across some popular brands that have vegan sections on their websites, as well as many totally vegan brands. I’ve compiled my knowledge into a simple guide, with hopes that it makes the decision to buy animal free shoes that much easier. So here it goes;
Toms – I will start off with my current favourite shoe brand. I have owned many pairs of Toms in my life and every one of them has been super comfortable. They have both men’s and women’s styles ranging from the classic slip ons, sandals, trainers, brogues and wedges. I’ve even gone for some Tom’s as my wedding shoes (they are due to arrive any day now!) They make things super easy on the website, if you just type ‘vegan’ into the search bar, all the options come up. My partner also got a really nice pair of brogues the other week for a wedding.
Will’s vegan shoes – This brand has some really nice looking mens and women’s shoes in a variety of styles. They look as though they are good quality, though I haven’t yet tried any for myself.
Birkenstocks – I was so happy to see that Birkenstocks have a vegan line with non leather versions of most of their styles. I picked up a pair of their classic sandals to wear at work through the summer and they look great. My only issue with them is that they are pretty wide, I should have gone with the narrow fit, and I wouldn’t consider my feet particularly narrow. Oh well.
Vans – I’ve been wearing Vans long before I went vegan, and I am so glad I can still buy them. They have a huge vegan selection of casual shoes on their website when you type vegan into the search bar. I think Van’s sneakers are the type of shoe that looks good with everything and they are pretty reasonably priced as well.
Dr Martins – I’ve had my Docs for almost 3 years now and they look almost new. I have worn them through a long snowy New York winter and a much wetter one in London and they have been the perfect boots to keep my feet warm and dry. I do have to wear thicker socks with them otherwise my little toe rubs but I don’t mind. I have gotten many complements on them and its such a good opportunity to be that vegan and spread the word that leather free looks good and is durable as well.
The Third Estate – This is a shop in Camden that I am dying to visit but haven’t made it as of yet. I have been browsing their website and they carry brands like vegetarian shoes, dr martins, wills and more. So if you are one of those people who need to see shoes in person before deciding if you like them, this is the perfect place. They also have a nice selection of vegan bags.
Vegetarian Shoes – This brand focuses mainly on good quality non leather, leather shoes. I don’t own any currently but have my eye on their chunky heeled chelsea boot for fall.
Friendship shoes – I have gone past this shop on Hackney Road many times and always thought ‘ooh a vegan shoe shop, I must go look’ yet have never actually been in. From the website it looks like they specialize in vegan leather brogues and boots.
Beyond Skin – This website has a huge range of beautiful, all vegan shoes. Browsing on the site I have found too many pairs of shoes added to my wish list. It is kind of on the expensive side, so they will be purchases for a ‘treat yo self’ day. They only carry women’s currently but the site says they have a mens section coming soon.
I’m sure there are many more brands and shops out there with the vegan goods but these are just the ones I have come across. All of these retailers are available online which makes them widely accessible in the UK and some of the larger brands like Tom’s and Van’s are available worldwide. Please let me know if you have any favourite vegan shoe brands or some accidentally vegan options from other brands, I need all the options!