15 Best Sustainable Women’s Shoes for a Greener Footprint

Sustainable Women's Shoes. Picture of someone wearing brown boots with flowers coming out of the boots.

I’ve always believed that purchasing shoes should be seen as an investment. It’s not like any other item in your wardrobe. Shoes are not easily replaceable like a coat, nor can you adjust them for comfort like a shirt. If they feel too hot or too cold, you cannot simply get rid of them or cover them with a warmer alternative. All in all, you should choose wisely where you put your money when it comes to shoe shopping. Choosing sustainable women’s shoes can help you to ensure a greener footprint and a longer lasting investment.

While you may already have your favorite brands in mind for your next shoe hunt, we challenge you to go a step further and explore our list of the top 15 sustainable women’s shoes. We considered various sustainability factors when compiling this list of sustainable women’s shoe brands, including but not limited to cruelty-free, vegan, woman-owned, recycled packaging, fair-trade, B Corp certification, carbon-neutral practices, and the use of natural and recycled materials.

With more people trying to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, finding sustainable alternatives might prove to be a challenge. That’s why we’ve curated a list of sustainable shoe brands that are perfect for any occasion. If you want to learn more about sustainable footwear, click here to see our FAQ section. Click here for more fashion related sustainability tips.

So, next time you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes, you know exactly where to turn!

Although some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning we may earn a small commission for suggesting them, we have done our best to suggest only the best quality out there. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with the links provided in this article. In no way does this affect our description or review of their products. 

15 Best Sustainable Women’s Shoes

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Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 1: Nisolo

Image by Nisolo

Nisolo is an ethical shoe brand that has been recognized for its transparency, accountability, fair wages, and planet protection efforts, earning certifications such as B-Corporation. They offer a diverse range of footwear suitable for warm and cold weather, including loafers, sneakers, and leather boots.

Nisolo is committed to providing a satisfying work environment for its shoe producers by paying 100% living wages to promote healthy and equitable working conditions. Additionally, they prioritize environmental sustainability by ensuring 100% carbon offset in their production line, thus reducing the impact of their operations on the planet.

Best for:Casual,
Summer appropriate,
Green FootprintCertified B Corporation
100% Carbon Neutral
Leather Working Group
Climate Neutral
Fair Trade USA
Higg Index
Textile Exchange
Good On You
Price Range$70 – $270

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 2: Nomasei

Image by Nomasei

Nomasei is a French fashion footwear brand, specialising in creating elegant high-heeled sandals that are timeless and perfect for sophisticated and smart-casual occasions. They also offer flat shoes that are ideal for packing in your summer vacation suitcase.

All of their shoes are made in an Italian shoe-factory that is a family business located in Monopoli, Tuscany.

Nomasei takes pride in their transparency in the production chain and aims to use mostly ecological materials such as GOTs certified organic cotton and Reach-certified leather. They also ensure that their leather-tanning process is environmentally friendly by using metal-free substances. This means that no chromium 3 or chromium 6 is involved in their production process.

In addition to their commitment to sustainable production, Nomasei donates 1% of their turnover to 1% for the Planet, similarly to the aforementioned brands.

Best for:Fancy,
Summer fancy,
Summer Casual,
Winter Boots
Green FootprintPlastic-free packaging 
GOTS-certified organic cotton
Reach-certified leather
Leather Working Group
Metal-free leather
1% for the Planet
Price Range$250 – $500

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 3: Freewaters

Image by Freewaters

Freewaters provides functional summer footwear suitable for beach and water activities, offering a diverse collection that includes sandals, flip flops, and slippers. 

The brand has a noble mission of constructing sustainable water projects that are owned by the communities they serve, and the sales of their footwear help fund these initiatives. Freewaters has already completed multiple impressive projects in Haiti, Kenya, and the Philippines. For instance, they have built rainwater collection systems and dug over 35 wells in rural communities to provide access to clean drinking water for locals. These efforts have had a significant impact on the lives of people in these areas, allowing them to thrive and live healthier lives.

Best for:Summer Casual,
Beach appropriate,
Flip Flops,
Green FootprintLow Carbon Emission 
Grassroot Outreach
Price Range26$ – $80

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 4: Cult of Coquette

Cult of Coquette is a women-owned brand established in Tucson, Arizona, in 2008. The brand is committed to providing cruelty-free women’s shoes that are both elegant and beautiful. Their collection offers high-heeled chic footwear for women, perfect for dress-up events and evenings out. At the same time, all of their shoes are ethically produced. 

Cult of Coquette is a PETA-approved fashion brand that exclusively uses vegan materials to create their entire collection.

Best for:Contemporary,
Green FootprintCruelty-free
PETA approved
Price Range$135 – $270

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 5: M. Moustache

Image by M. Moustache

M.Moustache is a French shoe brand that goes beyond just creating stylish footwear for all seasons. The brand is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment year after year. Their extensive collection includes a variety of sandals and espadrilles that are perfect for summer days, as well as a range of boots – both flat and heeled – that are ideal for colder weather.

M.Moustache is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint and invests significant resources towards achieving this goal. The brand has already achieved 100% carbon neutrality and aims to further reduce its carbon impact by 50% by the year 2023. They use vegan materials, such as vegan suede, which reduces carbon output by 67% compared to standard suede.

Moreover, M.Moustache encourages its customers to contribute towards a more sustainable future by dropping off their old, unused shoes. The brand then donates the shoes that are still in good condition to the Restos du Coeur, a French charity, and recycles the rest. The recycled materials are crushed, heated, and shaped into plates which are then mixed with recycled rubber from production waste to create new, eco-friendly M.Moustache shoes.

Best for:Casual,
Running Shoes,
Summer Footwear
Green Footprint100% Carbon neutral
Recycled production
Price Range105$ – 280$

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 6: Organic Garments

Image by Organic Garments

Organic Garments originated from a deep respect for nature and people. Wanting to create garments and footwear that are long-lasting and durable, Organic Garments have created shoes made exclusively from plants and recycled materials. Pineapple, hemp, and recycled TPE are the foundation of Organic Garment eco-friendly shoes.

Organic Garments is dedicated to saving the planet one footstep at a time using recycled packaging, ethical labor, and renewable materials. These unisex sneakers make sustainable fun and comfortable at the same time!

Best for:Sneakers
Green FootprintVegan,
Circular economy
Uses B-Certified Fabric
Recycled TPE
Recyclable Packaging
Price Range$115+

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 7: Verney Store

Image from Verney Store

Portuguese vegan shoe-brand offering a wide array of smart-casual footwear for both summer and winter seasons. They also produce sneakers for the more athletic-minded customers. 

Verney Store takes pride in their commitment to the circular economy, designing their products using materials sourced from other industries. These include innovative materials such as apple, hemp, recycled plastic bottles, recycled clothing. Their entire collection is 100% vegan, with not a single product containing any animal-derived materials, including glue. This brand’s sustainable focus showcases their dedication to creating eco-friendly, animal-friendly footwear without sacrificing style or quality.

Best for:Sandals,
Green FootprintVegan,
Circular economy
Price Range$65 – $190

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 8: Blueview

Image from Blueview

Another awesome company on our list committed to making 100% environmentally friendly shoes! Blueview makes sustainable shoes for both men, women and kids which are guaranteed to break down and compost at the end of their lifecycle.

Using a plant based polyurethane foam as the foundation of the shoes and hemp and eucalyptus yarn for the upper portion, Blueview created a shoe for all day comfort and impressive durability. We were impressed with the dedication and creativity of the their surfer-loving founders who were committed to making the first fully biodegradable shoe.

Best for:Casual for the Whole Family
Green FootprintVegan,
Biodegradable Plastic
Hemp and Eucalyptus
Certified Organic Cotton
Price Range$50 – $140

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 9: Saola

Image by Saola

Saola is a brand of vegan footwear based in France, offering a diverse range of sneakers for both men and women in various colours and designs that can adapt to any situation.

Saola also actively participates in wildlife preservation. They collaborate with several organizations, such as the World Land Trust to protect from deforestation and desertification as well as supporting the restoration of degraded habitats. They also belong to the international organization 1% for the Planet, where they donate 1% of their turnover to environmental causes.

Best for:Casual,
Flip Flops 
Green FootprintVegan,
Recycled Plastic Bottles,
Seaweed-based footwear,
Certified Organic Cotton © laces,
cork-based insoles
Price Range$50 – $140

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 10: Momoc

Image by Momoc

Momoc makes beautiful women’s footwear which uses only vegan and recycled materials. They offer full-day comfort while also being stylish enough for a day at the office or a night on the town! They are quality-made footwear made in Spain and they often try their best to source local suppliers to maintain a tight supply-chain and a superior product.

Momoc ensures sustainability by looking to reduce water consumption and CO2 emissions. Their shoes are pleasantly packaged in a plastic-free bag box made of organic cotton, perfect for storing shoes or other accessories for travel. The company also donates 2% of profits to organizations who aim to reforest and reintegrate animals into their natural habitat.

Best for:Casual,
Green FootprintVegan
Circular Based
Zero Waste
Recycled Materials
PETA certified
Recycled Tires
2% to Reforestation
Price Range$50 – $140

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 11: Kunoka

Image by Kunoka

Kunoka is a Belgian footwear brand that specializes in producing casual footwear, including loafers, sandals, sneakers, and a variety of fancy, heeled summer footwear. 

Kunoka is dedicated to reducing their environmental impact by producing all of their products locally, thereby eliminating the need to transport materials and parts overseas via environmentally harmful cargo vessels. They also prioritize environmental sustainability by using chrome-free leather tanning processes, which adhere to European environmental-protection standards and regulations.

Best for:Casual,
Green FootprintChrome-free leather,
Leather Working Group
Price Range$250 – $400

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 12: Dooeys

Image by Dooeys

If you want the ultimate sustainable indoor house shoe look no further than Dooeys. These shoes are made from recycled apple skins, sugarcane, cork, and recycled plastic bottles to give you a pair of shoes that are breathable, comfortable and designed for comfort.

Dooeys produces their shoes ethically in Portugal, making small batches of shoes to prevent over production. They have a good selection of different styles and colors and they make a great gift for anyone working from home.

Best for:House
Casual Indoor Footwear
Green FootprintSustainable Materials
Apple Leather
Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
Ethical Labor
Price Range$130+

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 13: Pulaski

Image by Pulaski

A Mexican high-end shoe brand dedicated to  using exclusively vegan materials in their footwear. Their website boasts a nice range of summer shoes, including espadrilles, loafers, flats, platforms and sandals. The brand’s commitment to sustainability is further exemplified by their efforts to source all their materials from within Mexico, thereby reducing transport distance and minimizing their environmental impact.

Best for:Summer casual
Green FootprintVegan
Price Range$700 – $999

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 14: Psudo

Image by Psudo

Psudo shoes are perfect for anyone who is on their feet all day. Made in the USA out of recycled plastic bottles, Psudo shoes make you feel as though you’re walking on clouds! Psudo has eliminated laces, making their shoes easy to slip on and off.

With fun-loving colors and styles, these are the perfect sustainable sneaker for both men and women.

Best for:Sneakers
Green FootprintMade from Recycled PET Bottles
On-demand manufacturing
Made in USA
Price Range$150 – $320

Sustainable Women’s Shoe # 15: Pikolinos

Image by Pikolinos

Established in 1984, this Spanish leather shoe brand has gained global recognition for their exquisite artisanal designs. They offer a diverse collection of summer flat sandals and winter boots for women. 

Pikolinos is deeply committed to sustainability and has taken significant steps to reduce their environmental impact. For example, they eliminated all plastic from their packaging and instead use 100% recycled cardboard boxes. Additionally, they are continually working to improve their carbon-neutral footprint and have implemented programs for more sustainable tanning processes that do not use chrome. 

As a member of the Leather Working Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible leather production, Pikolinos is dedicated to building a sustainable future.

Best for:Summer casual,
Winter casual,
Green FootprintMember of the Leather Working Group,
a community for responsible leather.
100% plastic-free packaging
100% recycled cardboard boxes
100% carbon neutral (scope 1 & 2)
30% energy consumed is renewable
Price Range$150 – $320

Q & A

How does sustainable fashion help the environment?

The fashion industry is responsible for generating 10% of the world’s carbon footprint. This industry creates more greenhouse gas emissions than both international aviation and shipping combined. In addition, it is among the top five polluting industries due to unregulated and dirty manufacturing practices. Yet shockingly, a large majority of the clothes we wear end up in landfills, despite the fact that 95% of them could be reused or recycled. This is why recycling and upcycling fashion plays a key role in saving our planet. By utilising pre-used garments, we can significantly reduce the environmental impact and promote circularity for a sustainable future. 

Why is sustainable footwear important?

Based on a study by Quantis, the footwear industry contributes 1.4% of global GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions. This figure is striking, particularly when compared to air travel, which accounts for 2.5% of total emissions. Evidently, it’s vital for footwear brands to prioritize sustainability by adopting a more environmentally friendly approach and working towards achieving a low carbon footprint, as well as offsetting 100% of their carbon emissions to become carbon neutral.

What shoe material is best for the environment?

The choice of material for shoe production is a controversial issue that ultimately depends on individual priorities and what sustainability means to each person primarily.

Many sustainable shoe brands opt for vegan materials to produce cruelty-free shoes, thereby helping to protect animals and prevent deforestation caused by livestock farming. 

On the other hand, other sustainable shoe brands promote the use of ethically sourced leather. They believe that vegan leather is not a suitable material for footwear. Shoes need to be breathable, as feet tend to sweat during the day, but vegan leather is often made from plastic-based materials that are waterproof, impeding normal airflow and leading to discomfort. Leather shoes are generally more durable and long-lasting, and can be either decomposed or passed on to others since they are 100% biodegradable, rather than contributing to landfill waste.

Ultimately, the decision to choose between vegan or leather shoes depends on individual preferences and values, with both options offering sustainable benefits and drawbacks.

Are leather shoes sustainable?

The ethical and sustainable use of leather in shoe production is currently a topic of much debate.

Leather is 100% biodegradable material that does not harm the environment when it decomposes. In contrast, synthetic alternatives, such as vegan leathers, are made of petroleum-based plastics, contributing to the global plastic pollution crisis.

Although leather production is not inherently sustainable, it can be if appropriate ethical measures are taken. The livestock industry, which is the source of raw materials for leather, can have negative impacts on the environment, including greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. However, using leather as a by-product of the meat industry can be seen as a form of recycling, rather than sending it to landfills.

The tanning process used to turn animal hides into leather can be harmful to both the environment and human health due to the use of chemicals like chromium. Nevertheless, more brands are adopting sustainable leather tanning methods, such as vegetable tanning, which uses fewer or no harsh chemicals.

Moreover, some brands are incorporating recycled and sustainable materials into their leather shoe production, further increasing the sustainability of their products. Overall, while leather production does have some environmental drawbacks, ethical and sustainable practices can make it a more sustainable option for shoe production.


In conclusion, sustainable footwear is an important aspect of a sustainable lifestyle. The fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment, and the footwear industry alone contributes 1.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

By choosing the right shoes for you and a sustainable shoe brand, we can reduce our carbon footprint and promote circularity for a sustainable future. The choice between vegan and leather shoes ultimately depends on individual values and priorities, with both options offering sustainable benefits and drawbacks. However, by prioritizing ethical and sustainable measures, the use of leather in shoe production can be a more sustainable option.

It’s time to make a conscious effort to invest in sustainable footwear and contribute to a greener future. To read more about sustainable fashion, check out our articles on The Best Bamboo Loungewear or 35 Recycled Clothing Brands Making a Change for a Greener Future.

8 Responses

  1. I looove the shoes you suggested. And the fact that they are also environmentally sustainable is amazing. I saved the post for inspiration for next time I am looking for shoes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is such an amazing post! I love the in-depth comparisons you offer. I’ve never thought to pay attention to sustainability when it comes to shoes, but all of your points make such great sense! Thanks for sharing this important message.

  3. Avatar lindseydelossantos says:

    Wow, so many mindful choices here! You have done an amazing job of highlighting a wide variety of shoes! Thank you!

  4. These are some really cute shoes! I really love the Pulaski and the Momoc. So cute and sustainable too – love it!

  5. Great recommendations. I truly believe that purchasing sustainable footwear is a good thing in many ways. Thanks for sharing this post.

  6. This is great resource! I was on the lookout for a new pair and have great options to choose from!

  7. Avatar Lani of says:

    I haven’t thought about the importance of shoe sustainability. Indeed it is something we should all consider. Thanks for this.



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