14 Sustainable Men’s Shoe Brands Your Feet And The Planet Will Love
Sustainable Men’s Shoes
In 2019, over 24.3 billion pairs of shoes were produced worldwide. This number is mind-boggling because there are just under 8 billion people on the planet. Not to mention that a large percentage of the world’s population can barely afford a single pair of shoes.
The scarier part is that the footwear industry poses serious threats to our environment. During the manufacturing process, toxic chemicals are released into nature, and large quantities of carbon dioxide are emitted, contributing to climate change. And what about the impact of the millions of pairs of shoes that are disposed of each year?!
Just like fast fashion, the shoe industry is very harmful to the environment and factory workers, and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to it. Whether you are looking for boots, sandals, sneakers, or dress shoes, try to support eco-friendly footwear brands that do not harm people and the planet.
Shoes are made from different materials, and as you want them to be durable, these materials aren’t always perfect in terms of sustainability.
Fortunately, there are more and more sustainable footwear brands to choose from! Here is a list of 14 men’s shoe brands your feet and the planet will love!
WHAT MAKES YOUR SHOES SUSTAINABLE?
One of the most important things is that sustainable shoes are always high-quality, well-made and durable. They are shoes that you can wear for years without them falling apart. Also, remember to always buy comfortable shoes, so that you’ll actually wear them.
The shoe brand needs to be transparent about who makes them, how and where. If the brand doesn’t disclose any information, it’s probably trying to hide its shady practices. Eco-friendly shoes are also made with more sustainable materials, like natural or recycled ones.
WHAT ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIALS SHOULD YOU SEARCH FOR?
Sustainable shoes are often made from recycled water bottles, organic cotton, wool, jute, or recycled rubber. Some brands are even using innovative techniques and make their soles with algae or sugarcane!
Leather shoes are tricky, because the leather industry is very wasteful and polluting. But leather shoes generally last for years, are durable, and can often be repaired. So if you want to buy leather shoes, opt for more sustainable options, like chrome-free or vegetable-tanned leathers.
You can also find leathers that are Gold certified by the Leather Working Group, which is an organization that audits tanneries and promotes more sustainable practices within the industry.
It’s difficult to find shoes that are 100% made from sustainable materials. But check out the following brands! They are making men’s shoes that are more eco-friendly and that your feet will love!
NOW, OUR TOP PICKS FOR SUSTAINABLE & COMFY MEN’S SHOES:
Category: Dress Shoes, Boots, Sneakers
Made In: Colombia
Beckett Simonon creates handmade men’s shoes and accessories, using traditional techniques. Its made-to-order system eliminates the risk of having unsold inventory, which means resources are used only as they’re needed. The brand sells a large variety of dress shoes, including derbies, loafers, oxfords and monk straps.
You can also find the perfect boots and sneakers!
All Beckett Simonon’s shoes are made of high-quality leather that was sourced from a Gold-rated tannery in Italy. It means that the manufacturer meets the most stringent criteria, and is committed to mitigating its environmental impact.
The brand uses 100% natural waxes, water-based solvents and dyes. Each pair of shoes is also easy to resole when the soles get worn-out.Shop Beckett Simonon
Category: Sneakers, Dress Shoes, Sandals, Boots, Daily Wear
Made In: Peru, Mexico
Nisolo creates stylish footwear staples and accessories for women & men. Its pieces are all versatile and effortless to style. The brand sells men’s shoes of all kinds: sneakers, sandals, slip-ons, boots, as well as dressier shoes like derbies & oxfords.
They’re all made of leather that originates from Leather Working Group certified tanneries, which meet the highest standards of environmental responsibility in the industry. Some models even have vegetable-tanned leather outsoles.
Nisolo is a certified B corporation. Entirely carbon neutral, it offsets its carbon footprint by investing in forest conservation projects in the Peruvian Amazon.
In 2020, the company also collected more than 5,000 shoes and sent them to Soles4Souls to divert them from ending up in landfills.Shop Nisolo
Category: Daily Wear, Sneakers, Running Shoes
Materials: Eucalyptus Tree Fiber, Merino Wool
Made In: China, Vietnam, South Korea
Allbirds is a fashion and footwear brand that creates clothing and shoes with sustainable materials. This brand is awesome if you’re looking for eco-friendly men’s shoes!
It sells simple and breathable running shoes, as well as sneakers that are perfect for daily wear.
Allbirds makes its shoes using renewable materials, like FSC certified eucalyptus tree fiber or Merino wool. Midsoles are made from Sweetfoam, a carbon-negative plastic-like material that is derived from sugarcane.
The brand includes FSC certified natural rubber in some of its models, and its laces are made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester.
The company became a certified B corporation in 2016, and is 100% carbon-neutral as it offsets its entire environmental footprint.Shop Allbirds
Category: Daily Wear, Dress Shoes, Sneakers
Materials: Recycled Plastic Bottles
Made In: China
Rothy’s makes footwear from recycled plastic bottles for the whole family, combining 3D knitting technology and handcrafted assembly. The brand sells men’s sneakers and loafers, available in different colors.
They’re all super easy to dress up and dress down, which makes them a great wardrobe staple for everyday wear!
To make its shoes, Rothy’s diverts plastic bottles from landfills and turns them into its signature thread. The brand then uses it to knit sturdy, comfortable and machine-washable shoes. It harvests harmful algae from waterways to transform them into the footbeds of some of its models, which helps our marine ecosystems.
Its upper production has a 75% lower carbon footprint compared to the industry average. Rothy’s also collects ocean plastic and uses it to create sustainable bags.Shop Rothy's
Category: Daily Wear, Work-Out Shoes, Hiking Boots, Sneakers, Sandals
Materials: Recycled Plastic, Leather, Merino Wool
Made In: Vietnam, Portugal, Ethiopia, China
Vivobarefoot is a minimalist footwear brand for the whole family. Its shoes mimic the natural shape & movement of the foot, giving the impression we are walking barefoot.
The brand’s shoes are flexible, wide, and thin, promoting the foot’s natural strength and allowing us to feel the ground.
Vivobarefoot sells different kinds of men’s shoes, including sneakers, hiking boots, sandals, and other outdoor footwear that is made with recycled, natural, or biosynthetic materials.
Its leather shoes are naturally scarred and made from free-roaming cattle raised in small-scale farms. Some Vivobarefoot shoes are made of Merino wool that is Woolmark certified, which provides the highest standard quality and sourcing assurance.
The company is a B corporation, and it created ReVivo, an online marketplace for refurbished barefoot shoes.Shop Vivobarefoot
Category: Daily Wear, Sneakers, Hiking Shoes, Dress Shoes, Sandals, Boots, Slippers
Materials: Recycled Polyester, Leather, Organic Cotton
Made In: China
Created 115 years ago, Dr Scholl’s is a well-known American footwear brand that has been incorporating more eco-friendly materials into its collections.
The brand sells multiple styles of men’s shoes, from sneakers, boots and oxfords, to sandals, hiking boots, and slippers. Dr Scholl’s shoes have integrated insoles that provide cushioning and support, to make sure your feet are comfortable and healthy.
The brand uses waterless dyeing processes, and makes a large part of its shoes from recycled water bottles. Doing so, it has saved more than 20 million plastic bottles from going to landfill.
Dr Scholl’s has also partnered with Trees For The Future to offset its carbon emissions. Read this post for an in-depth brand review.Shop Dr. Scholl's Shoes
Category: Daily Wear, Sneakers, Slip-Ons, Slippers
Made In: Portugal
Baabuk is a Swiss brand that started making traditional wool slippers, but quickly expanded by launching its comfortable and cozy shoe collection. The brand sells men’s footwear, including different models of sneakers and slip-ons that are great for everyday wear.
You can even choose to customize your own pair!
Baabuk’s shoes are made of 100% Portuguese mulesing-free sheep wool that’s responsibly harvested and processed. The soles are made using natural latex or rubber. These shoes are coming to life thanks to local shepherds and artisans who use centuries-old techniques and knowledge.
The brand became a certified B corporation in 2016. In 2020, it also developed a program aiming to protect 6 endangered breeds of sheep that are native to Switzerland.Shop Baabuk
Category: Daily Wear, Sneakers
Materials: Recycled PET, Algae, Cork
Made In: Vietnam
SAOLA is a French footwear brand that makes its shoes out of recycled water bottles. Its men’s shoes are all sneakers that are 100% vegan, comfortable and ultra-light. Each pair is made with several recycled water bottles, diverting them from going to landfill. Their laces are all made of organic cotton.
The soles are created using cork, algae and EVA (rubber-like material). SAOLA has partnered with Bloom Foam who cleans lakes where there are harmful algae, and turns them into a powder that is used in the manufacturing process. Doing this contributes to cleaning 100 liters of water for each pair of soles made.
The brand is a member of 1% For The Planet, meaning that it donates 1% of its profits to organizations aiming to protect our environment.Shop Saola
Category: Sneakers, Daily Wear
Materials: Leather, Recycled Water Bottles, Organic Cotton
Made In: Brazil
Veja is a footwear brand for the whole family with a mission to design sneakers that will stand the test of time.
If you’re looking for men’s sneakers, the brand has different styles and colors to choose from.
Most of them are made of high-quality leather that comes from tanneries certified Gold by the Leather Working Group, which promotes more sustainable ways of producing leather.
The lining of Veja shoes is made of organic cotton and recycled polyester. The brand also uses other sustainable materials, like recycled water bottles, sugar cane, and chrome-free leather.
I love that Veja is very transparent about its carbon footprint, where it comes from, and it even discloses the individual carbon footprint of its shoe models. It also follows fair trade principles and works directly with small producers.Shop Veja
10) Ocean Refresh
Category: Beach Footwear, Sneakers, Daily Wear
Materials: Recycled PET
Made In: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Holland, Brazil
Ocean Refresh sells footwear made from recycled ocean plastic, including water bottles and ghost nets.
Its men’s sneakers are made of recycled PET and corn fiber.
The brand uses old tires to create recycled rubber soles, and recycled cork to make insoles. It assembles its shoes with water-based glues, and adds organic cotton laces.
You can also choose Ocean Refresh’s beach footwear, like flip-flops or sliders. They’re all non-slip and water-resistant!
The company offsets its emissions from every sale, and its shoes are certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex. It also has a recycling program to give its customers’ worn-out shoes a new life.
Ocean Refresh regularly donates part of its profits to ocean conservation charities, like Ocean Generation, The Marine Conservation Society and Surfers Against Sewage.Shop Ocean Refresh
11) Sole Rebels
Category: Sandals, Boots, Sneakers, Slip-Ons, Daily Wear
Materials: Organic Cotton, Recycled Tires, Leather
Made In: Ethiopia
Sole Rebels was founded to blend creative artisan talents with the traditional Ethiopian shoe made with recycled tires.
If you’re looking for colorful men’s shoes, this brand is for you!
It offers a wide range of models, styles, patterns and colors. You can choose between a variety of sneakers, boots, sandals, and other shoes that are great for everyday wear.
All Sole Rebels’ shoes are handcrafted by Ethiopian artisans, and made with sustainable materials such as organic cotton, jute, or koba plant fiber. Soles are made from recycled car tires, and the brand’s sustainable leather comes from raising free-range animals on a small scale.
The company also commits to paying its artisans 3 times the industry average in the country.Shop Sole Rebels
Materials: Cotton, Leather, Jute
Made In: Kenya
Ubuntu is a Kenyan brand that creates colorful shoes, bags and accessories for women and men.
The brand sells unisex espadrilles that are the perfect shoe for the summer, whether you spend the day at the beach or in the city.
They are handmade in Kenya, crafted by Maker Mums who are offered full-time employment and health insurance.
Ubuntu shoes are made from 100% East African cotton and high-quality locally sourced leather. Their soles are traditionally produced using jute. These shoes are breathable and very sturdy, and you can wear them all day long.
If you don’t know which ones to choose, you might want to consider getting Ubuntu’s red Afridrilles: 20% of each sale is donated to the Global Fund, which fights against HIV and AIDS.Shop Ubuntu
Category: Daily Wear
Materials: Hemp, Cotton, Sugarcane, Algae
Made In: China
Munjoi is an innovative footwear brand that creates the perfect minimalist shape-shifting shoe that adapts to your lifestyle and needs. The brand’s only pair of shoes is a unisex model, available in 3 colors, but it’s extremely versatile.
There are 4 ways you can wear these shoes, as you can easily turn them into sneakers, sandals, mules and slides.
Having a 4-in-1 shoe means that you will need fewer shoes, so you’ll have more space in your closet and it’s a lot less wasteful.
This pair of shoes is climate neutral, and almost entirely made from plant-based materials. Its knitted fabric is a combination of hemp and cotton, both very breathable materials for your feet. The sole is made with a sustainable foam that is composed of algae and sugarcane.Shop Munjoi
14) Kingdom of Wow
Materials: Cotton, Jute
Made In: Cambodia
Kingdom of Wow sells espadrilles and wool slippers that are ethically handmade by small artisans. The brand offers 3 classic models of espadrilles for men, each in a neutral color to make it easier to style with your clothes. They are all 100% biodegradable and vegan.
I love the versatility and flexibility of this timeless Mediterranean-style footwear!
Kingdom of Wow’s footwear is made from naturally cooling jute soles with breathable cotton uppers. This combination of natural materials makes them perfect to wear in warm weather, as they help keep your feet cool and breezy.
The brand offsets its carbon footprint by supporting the conservation of natural rainforests in Cambodia, where its production workshop is located.Shop Kingdom of Wow
About the Author
Eva Astoul is a French freelance writer, specializing in content related to sustainability, simple living, and a growth-focused healthy lifestyle.
She runs her own blog, Green With Less, to inspire people to live a more minimalist and sustainable life.
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