I’ve gotten pretty good at packing over the last year or so, but picking which shoes to take is always a struggle. Without fail, the pair of shoes I spend ages deliberating on is the one that never even makes it out of my suitcase. To combat that, I’ve been doing some research to find versatile, 100% vegan shoes for every season and just about every occasion. From sandals to heels to boots, my picks combine comfort and cuteness, so you never have to sacrifice one for the other!
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Matt & Nat is the first place I look for vegan shoes and bags. They have great staple items, like these black flats which can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Depending on the type of vacation you’re on, you might be doing a lot of walking. For that, I recommend Nike Roshe. Not only is the design gorgeous, but the Roshes are like a pillow for your feet. Nike has never given a clear answer as to whether the adhesive on all their shoes is vegan, but the general consensus is that it is. Adhesives used on footwear are almost exclusively synthetic.
Flip flops are a must for any beach vacation, and who does beaches better than the Brazilians? Havaianas are pricey for flip flops, but they’re worth it for the comfort and quality. The metallic tones are my personal favourite.
I bought my first pair of Sanuks last year and the next day I went back and bought another. These are hands-down the comfiest sandals I’ve ever worn! Plus, they come in so many cute colours and patterns that it’s hard to pick just one. My only advice is not to get them soaking wet. They’re made of yoga mat material, meaning they won’t dry well.
Birkenstock has a decades-long reputation of creating comfortable, durable sandals, but did you know they offer vegan ones, too? They come in several styles, including the classic Gizeh.
White Converse Chuck Taylors made a huge comeback last summer. They’re such an easy and versatile shoe that it’s no wonder everyone loves them. Unfortunately, Converse has – rather rudely – stated that their shoes cannot be considered vegan. As soon as I found out, I was on the hunt for vegan converse alternatives. I came across these ones from Ethletic, a fully vegan, ethical shoe company. They look just like Converse and they’ll only cost you a little bit more.
Again, Matt & Nat is a great place to start vegan shoe hunting. These ankle boots are great for fall. They’re simple enough to dress up or down depending on what kind of look you’re going for. The Potter lace-up boots give you a little extra protection on cold days.
Finding vegan winter boots is a lot more challenging for those of us travelling to harsh climates. Keeping our toes toasty on that trip to Iceland is a must, but that often means sacrificing style. What’s more, winter boots almost always contain animal products. If it’s not leather, it’s wool. There are some options, though. These Slushees from Steve Madden are high quality and about as fashionable as good winter boots get. I love Steve Madden, so I’m happy to see some vegan shoes in their collection! Surprisingly, Keds also makes a winter boot for those who prefer something shorter.
Before I became more conscious of what I was putting on my feet, Uggs were my go-to winter boot. I hated the style at first, but they were so comfy and warm and socially acceptable that I eventually gave in. I’ve just recently learned that Pamela Anderson has a line of vegan shoes called Pammies that are a lot like Uggs, only cuter! Check out the Mavericks and Classic Cove styles.
Maybe you’re travelling for a wedding or conference, or you need some heels for a classy dinner. Whatever the occasion, Stella McCartney’s got you covered. Acknowledging that it’s difficult to produce high-fashion, high-quality shoes without using leather, McCartney finds a way to make it work. While most of her shoes will cost you a small fortune, some can be found for a reasonable price, like these classic black pumps.
Faryl Robin x Free People also does an amazing strappy heel perfect for parties.
If there’s a particular style or colour you’re looking for, check out Beyond Skin. All of their shoes are absolutely gorgeous.
As the number of vegans worldwide grows, so will our options for vegan shoes, handbags, and clothing. Fashion is moving in the right direction, and I, for one, am excited to see just how creative designers can get with synthetic materials.
Are there any vegan brands you really love? Were you pleasantly surprised to see some of your favourite brands have vegan options? Leave me a comment with your thoughts!