The Top Eco-Friendly Shoes

We’ve been doing some research on sustainable shoes for a while now. We looked into their  production, mission, types of sustainable materials, and of course affordability to limit the impact on your wallet while also supporting our fine planet.

First off, here’s why shoes manufacturing is so devastating to our planet. 25 billion pairs (yah, that’s billion with a B) of shoes are manufactured world-wide each year, almost none are made sustainably, making the textile industry the world’s second largest polluter behind oil and gas. The mass-production of shoes negatively impacts our environment and 60% is due to materials, so naturally our top five companies/shoes really stand apart from the rest of the industry in that department

Our top five includes Saola, Allbirds, United by Blue, Vivobarefoot, and Adidas’ Parley shoe, and Indosole. These companies are dedicated to changing the status quo by integrating sustainable manufacturing, reducing their carbon footprint (lol FOOTprint), reintegrating recycled materials such as plastic bottles, polyester, cork, bloom foam, and more. 

Lets look a bit closer into each company's product and mission towards a more sustainable future.

 
 

The company is named after the endangered animal SAOLA, aka the asain-unicorn. How cool is that! At the moment they sell sneakers/running shoes high and low top as well as slip on casual shoes. Also, each pair of shoes contains 4-5 recycled plastic bottles! They’re also a certified B-Corp and member of 1% For The Planet! Checkout our Saola Brand Review to learn more and get our 20% off code to your next pair of eco-friendly shoes! Here’s what they got. If you want to learn more about their story, checkout Colin’s interview with Gui Linossier on the Protect Your Wild Podcast episode 85.

THE KICKS

Cannon - $99.95

Men’s Dark Olive - Women’s Light Grey

A classic canvas style with updated materials.

  • UPPER: Canvas 100% Recycled + Mesh 80% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Bloom Foam

Men’s Cannon Dark Olive

Men’s Cannon Dark Olive


Cannon Knit - $99.95

Men’s Dark Grey

The same classic look but using recycled knit for the upper.

  • UPPER: knit 80% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Bloom Foam.

Men’s Cannon Knit Dark Grey

Men’s Cannon Knit Dark Grey


Semnoz II - $99.95

Men’s Dark Denim - Women’s Clear Sky

Comfy casual shoe that fits in at work or the bars.

  • UPPER: Canvas 100% Recycled + Knit 90% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork  + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Recycled EVA + EVA.

Men’s Semnoz II Dark Denim

Men’s Semnoz II Dark Denim


Havasu Knit - $79.95 

Women’s Rose Gold

Lightweight and breathable slip on for the summer

  • UPPER: knit 80% recycled PET.

  • INSOLE: Natural Cork + Bloom Foam.

  • OUTSOLE: Bloom Foam.

Women’s Havasu Knit Rose Gold

Women’s Havasu Knit Rose Gold

 
 

Allbirds is dedicated to using renewable resources not only in the shoes they produce but also in the packaging which is 90% recycled cardboard. Materials such as castor bean oil, merino wool, tree fibers, and sugarcane are common place in their shoes. Allbirds is building solar plants and wind farms around the globe to replace coal and are dedicated to being a carbon neutral organization.

THE KICKS

Wool Runners - $95 

Men’s - Women’s

  • UPPER: Superfine Merino Wool

  • INSOLE: Merino Wool fabric + castor bean oil 

  • OUTSOLE: low-density foam 

  • LACES: 100% recycled polyester = to one plastic bottle 

Men’s Wool Runners Tuke Midnight

Men’s Wool Runners Tuke Midnight

Review: (Matt B.) - These are some of the most comfortable shoes that I've ever had the pleasure to wear. Plus they look great! I also love that they are easy to clean and keep fresh! 


Tree Runners - $95

Men’s - Women’s

  • Tree UPPER: eucalyptus pulp + mesh knit 

  • INSOLE: Merino Wool fabric + castor bean oil 

  • OUTSOLE: low-density foam

  • LACES: 100% recycled polyester = to one plastic bottle

  • EYELETS: bio-based TPU 

Limited Edition Sunkissed Tree Runners

Limited Edition Sunkissed Tree Runners

Review: (Zachary G.) - My buddy and I both purchased Allbirds and we always recommend them! Next up is some vibrant colors. Super comfy shoes!


Wool Loungers - $95 

Men’s - Women’s

  • UPPER: Superfine Merino Wool

  • INSOLE: Merino Wool fabric + castor bean oil 

  • OUTSOLE: low-density foam

Limited Edition Kereru Moonstone Wool Loungers

Limited Edition Kereru Moonstone Wool Loungers

Review: (Mark W.) - This is my second pair of Allbirds wool. My first pair (runners) convinced me that this is THE most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn. I bought this second pair only to wear in the house (my wife’s rule is no shoes in the house unless house shoes worn strictly in the house). I suffer from a bad case of plantar fasciitis (I’m a runner)...and these shoes have been a savior for my feet and have contributed tremendously to the healing process! For Allbirds, I’m all in!! 


Tree Toppers - $115

Men’s - Women’s

  • Tree UPPER: eucalyptus pulp + mesh knit 

  • INSOLE: Merino Wool fabric + castor bean oil 

  • Sweetfoam OUTSOLE: carbon negative green EVA 

  • LACES: 100% recycled polyester = to one plastic bottle

  • EYELETS: bio-based TPU 

Kauri Jo Tree Topper

Kauri Jo Tree Topper

Review: (Beth A.) - I like this shoe, is cute and comfy. I do have to say all the hype was a little overblown. They're a normal pair of good shoes with the bonus of being made from sustainable products.


Men’s Tree Loungers - $95

Men’s - Women’s

  • Tree UPPER: eucalyptus pulp + mesh knit

  • INSOLE: Merino Wool fabric + castor bean oil 

  • OUTSOLE: low-density foam

Kauri Marine Blue Tree Loungers

Kauri Marine Blue Tree Loungers

Review: (Natalie Y.) - My husbands loves them, they took no time to break in, super comfortable, and his feet don’t sweat in them.


Tree Skippers - $95 

Men’s - Women’s

  • Tree UPPER: eucalyptus pulp + mesh knit 

  • INSOLE: Merino Wool fabric + castor bean oil 

  • OUTSOLE: low-density foam

  • LACES: 100% recycled polyester = to one plastic bottle

  • EYELETS: bio-based TPU 

Allbirds_August_ReFresh_TR_SKPR_Kauri_Zin_M_BTY_54933ae4-be99-4cc8-94d5-b6bda968210a.jpg

Review: (Sharon M.) - So soft and cushiony. Love these but will get one half size larger next time.

 
UBB+logo.png
 

United By Blue is a certified B-Corp and whenever you buy one product from them, one pound of trash is removed from our great planet! Be sure to check out our interview with their founder Brian Linton, on episode 92 of the Protect Your Wild Podcast. United by Blue is legendary for their use of bison fur that was once wasted.

THE KICKS

Jasper Wool Eco Chukka - $149

Men’s - Women’s

  • UPPER: Australian Merino Wool + BisonShield Insulation 

  • INSOLE: Recycled Cork 

  • OUTSOLE: Rice Rubber 

  • FOOTBED: Bloom Algae Foam  

UBB Chukka.jpg

Review: (Sourced from UBB website) - Donnie: These are the most comfortable shoes eveaaaaah! Its like walkin, no glidin' on sunshine,.....on mushrooms, yeah!

 
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Adidas is one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the world and they have come out with a shoe which utilizes recycled plastic! Adidas has a campaign (run for the oceans) to promote the recycled shoe. Each shoe contains the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles of waste (Forbes magazine).

THE KICKS

ALPHABOUNCE + Run Parley Shoe - $100 

Men’s - Women’s

  • Supportive Forgedmesh upper; Highly breathable and lightweight air mesh upper

  • Bounce+ energized cushioning midsole

  • Upper: Parley Ocean Plastic, yarn that’s sourced from recycled plastic

alpha bounce run.jpg

Review: (Berikcio) - This shoe benefit the environment and your feet. The comfort was best a balanced of firmness and springy, my opinion was better than boost.


ALPHABOOST Parley Shoes - $150

Men’s - Women’s

  • Yarn made in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans: some of the yarn features Parley Ocean Plastic

  • Thin lining; Durable Adiwear outsole

  • Flexible Bounce midsole cushioning

adidas alpha boost.jpg

Review: (TatiRengifo) - Product solidarity, which contributes to the protection of the oceans against plastic leave aside the performance and fashion. I love them! 

 
vivo barefoot logo.png
 

Vivobarefoot creates shoes with ZERO biomedical interference and have ZERO impact on the environment. They innovate to make as little shoe as possible! Also have repair services to resole and repair damaged laces. This company works closely with indiginous shoemakers to make shoes foot by foot from locally sourced materials!

THE KICKS

Primus Lite II Bio - $160

Men’s - Women’s

  • Vegan

  • Plant-Based Bio upper Sorona (textile), No-sew Susterra (TPU);

  • Outsole - 45% Natural rubber, 10% Bloom outsole & 45% synthetic

  • Performance insole -made with 10% BLOOM - an algae-based alternative to synthetic and petrochemical EVA

Primus Bio.jpg

Review: (Ashica) - These are great for training and casual wear.
I have worn them through a few HIIT workouts and they have held up well. I also love the color (green). It's a great change from my usual black.


Primus Lite - $140

Men’s - Women’s

  • No-Sew Construction – durable, flexible, minimal design

  • Breathable Recycled PET Mesh – to keep feet cool

  • Non-Marking rubber outsole – thin and durable

  • Weight- 115g

Primus Lite.jpg

Review: (C. Cole) - Vivo is the best shoe I have found for ultra minimalist and wide toe box. It's almost like walking barefoot. I like this model. I wear them daily.


Ultra III Bloom - $95

Men’s - Women’s

  • Vegan

  • Highly flexible and lightweight

  • Bloom - an algae-based alternative to synthetic and petrochemical EVA

  • Very minimal shoe! 

ultra 3 bloom.jpg

Review: (Curt S.) - Nice shoe, but are considerably longer than the other (6 or 7 pairs) Vivobarefoot shoes I've purchased. The also feel a bit thicker through the sole, and don't give the "barefoot" feel I'm used to from the brand. Still, they are nice comfortable shoes.


 
IndoSoleLOGO_website.png
 

Indosole is yet another B-corp meaning they meet the highest social and environmental business standards. Now the most impressive feet (get it? Yeah we’re good) that Indosole has achieved is keeping their prices down! So often, people shy away from sustainable products and brands because their prices are just hard to justify. Now you can get some ECO-nomical footwear that’s helping make a dent in our tire problem. Also (yet again) checkout our conversation with Kyle Parsons, a founder and the prez of Indosole on (you guessed it) the Protect Your Wild Podcast episode 91!

THE KICKS

ESSNTLS Flip Flops - $35 - $40

Men’s - Women’s

  • 100% repurposed tire outsoles (soles with soul)

  • Contoured natural rubber footbed/midsole

  • Waterproof vegan uppers

Color Block Leaf & Light Leaf

Color Block Leaf & Light Leaf


PRAHU - $60

Men’s 

  • 100% repurposed tire outsoles (soles with soul)

  • Custom dyed canvas uppers w/ embroidered woven logo

  • EVA foam insole w/ arch support and heel padding for comfort

  • Responsibly crafted - no animals or fuel powered machinery involved

 
Men’s Prahu Stone

Men’s Prahu Stone


PANTAI - $55

Men’s - Women’s

  • 100% repurposed tire outsoles (soles with soul)

  • Custom dyed canvas uppers

  • EVA foam insole w/ arch support and striped denim footbed

  • Responsibly crafted no animals or fuel powered community

Women’s Pantai Army

Women’s Pantai Army


You’ve got lot’s of options here and in the next 5 years or so, we’re expecting a continued EXPLOSION in sustainable footwear. Just remember to pay attention to their materials and how they give back! If you haven any other shoes you’d like us to checkout, be sure to leave a comment AND if you’ve owned any of these shoes, let everyone know what you think about em! This list will continue to expand but until then, we recommend you check out Oliberte and Timberland if you must have animal skin boots.

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