Sneakers have come a long way since your first pair that lit up every time you took a step. From worn-out gym shoes to stylish accessories, sneaker trends are constantly changing. There’s countless styles, colors, patterns—you name it. But one thing that hasn’t changed is how most shoes end up in landfills.
According to the Better Shoes Foundation, less than 5% of shoes are currently being recycled. The foundation explains that for footwear to be more sustainable, companies should consider “designing a shoe without the unnecessary materials or features” and using long-lasting materials.
That’s where these options come in. We’ve picked nine sustainable sneakers that are durable, comfortable, and—best of all—planet-friendly. Some styles use plant-based materials while others use recycled polyester, and all of them are great picks for when you’re on the go.
9 Sustainable Sneakers for Your Everyday Needs
1. Cariuma OCA Low Sneaker, $79
For every pair bought, Cariuma plants two trees! The company uses carbon neutral shipping, premium natural materials, and recycled packaging. And with over 5,000 five-star ratings, you can purchase a pair knowing you won’t have to compromise ethics for comfort.
2. Rothy’s The Sneaker, $125
These adorable pointed sneakers come in various colors and patterns. Rothy’s turns discarded single-use plastic bottles into thread to weave all its products. The shoes are also handwoven for a unique, trendy look, and they’re knit true to size to minimize waste.
3. Italic Cadence Leather Sneaker, $75
These elegant shoes are perfect for anyone looking for a blend of casual and professional. The Cadence sneaker comes in five colors for a sleek, minimalist look, all made from sustainably sourced Italian leather.
Not only are these sustainable sneakers cute, but they’re also made with recycled leather. These shoes are made to last and avoid tanned or dyed materials to reduce waste. Everlane is working to eliminate the use of new plastics, so these shoes will be shipped to you in recycled plastic and sustainably sourced cardboard materials.
These kicks from Matisse are under $100, making them a less costly option than most sustainable sneakers. They’re also made with PETA-approved vegan leather with a unique leopard print overlay.
6. Outerknown Veja Esplar Leather Shoes, $120
White sneakers never go out of style—they’re a staple in most wardrobes. What’s awesome about these sustainable sneakers is the level of comfort from the organic cotton, recycled polyester, and natural rubber. They’re made responsibly, built to last, and are super stylish.
7. Nisolo Elayna Sneaker, $130
These sneakers from Nisolo are made with eco-friendly and responsibly harvested materials. They’re the perfect blend of adorable and ethical, made to minimize negative environmental impacts. A percentage of your purchase will even be donated to an environmental non-profit.
8. United by Blue Forsake Maya, $100
The Forsake Maya sneakers have lightweight, breathable nylon to wick away moisture. United by Blue also has an amazing sustainable mission: For every product purchased, the company removes one pound of garbage from oceans and waterways. They also use a variety of ethically sourced materials, including recycled polyester and organic cotton.
9. ThredUP Thrifted Sneakers, Prices Vary
You don’t have to buy new in order to score a great pair of sneakers. One of the most planet-friendly things you can do is thrift a pair, whether that’s via an online thrift store like ThredUP or at a local shop. Not only is doing so sustainable, but it’s also much more affordable.
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