vegan shoe materials 1

Vegan Shoe Materials

Are you aware that leather shoes aren’t the only option for fashion-conscious vegans?

In today’s world, it is easier than ever to find vegan shoe materials – from vibrant synthetics and cotton to natural plant-based alternatives.

vegan point toe flat shoes
Vegan Point Toe Flat Shoes

But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which types of Vegan Shoe Materials are best suited for your style and budget.

That’s why we have compiled all the information you need in one place; this blog post will highlight some of the most popular vegan shoe materials and detail their unique characteristics to help inform your buying decision.

Overview of vegan materials used to make shoes

These are the most commonly used vegan materials in the creation of vegan shoes:

Apple Leather

Apple leather is a relatively new and innovative material for sustainable footwear that is made from waste apple cores and peel. It has a similar appearance to traditional leather but without the harm to animals.

This vegan shoe material is surprisingly durable, breathable, and water-resistant, making it perfect for everyday wear.


Cork is a natural plant-based material made from the bark of cork oak trees. It is eco-friendly, biodegradable, and water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for vegan shoes that are both stylish and sustainable. Cork has a unique texture and appearance that adds character to any shoe design.


Hemp is a versatile plant-based material that has been used for centuries in various industries. It is highly durable and can be blended with other materials to create a wide range of textures and colours. Hemp shoes are known for their comfort, breathability, and ability to withstand wear and tear.

Recycled Materials

More and more companies are now using recycled materials such as plastic bottles, rubber tyres, and old clothes to make vegan shoes. These types of synthetic materials not only reduce waste but also have a much lower environmental impact compared to traditional shoe materials. Plus, they can be just as stylish and durable as any other type of material.

Microfibre Leather

Microfiber leather, also known as faux or vegan leather, is a synthetic material that closely resembles real leather. It is made from ultra-fine fibres that are tightly woven together, giving it a soft and luxurious feel.

Microfiber leather is often used in high-end fashion and can be treated to have similar qualities to genuine leather, such as water resistance, supreme comfort and breathability.


Pinatex is a sustainable and vegan-friendly material made from pineapple leaf fibres. It is a by-product of the pineapple industry, making it an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic leathers. Pinatex has a unique texture and can be dyed in various colours, making it a popular choice for fashion-conscious vegans.

Benefits of using vegan materials for shoes

Apart from being cruelty-free and environmentally friendly, vegan shoe materials also offer a range of benefits that make them a great choice for any ethically conscious consumer.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Durability: Contrary to popular belief, vegan materials can be just as durable as traditional leather. With proper care, they can last for years.
  • Breathability: Many vegan materials, such as cork and hemp, are highly breathable and can help keep your feet cool and comfortable.
  • Water Resistance: Some vegan materials are naturally water-resistant or can be treated to become waterproof. This makes them perfect for all weather conditions.
  • Versatility: Vegan materials come in a variety of textures, colours, and styles, making it easy to find the perfect shoe for any occasion.

Care tips for vegan shoes

Just like any other type of shoe, vegan shoes require proper care and maintenance to ensure they last as long as possible. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Read the label: Different vegan materials may have specific cleaning instructions, so be sure to read the label before cleaning your shoes.
  • Use gentle cleaners: Harsh chemicals can damage vegan materials, so opt for mild soap and water when cleaning.
  • Air dry: To avoid shrinking or damaging your vegan shoes, air dry them instead of using a dryer or heat source.
  • Invest in quality: Like with any type of shoe, investing in high-quality vegan materials will ensure that your shoes last longer and maintain their appearance.
Vegan Waterproof Hiking Boots
Vegan Waterproof Hiking Boots

Why you should choose vegan shoe materials over non-vegan options

The answer is simple – it’s better for the planet, animals, and your conscience. Traditional leather production involves awful animal cruelty and toxic chemicals, and contribute to deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

By choosing vegan shoe materials, you are reducing your carbon footprint and supporting ethical practices in the fashion industry.

Additionally, vegan materials offer endless possibilities for creative designs and are often more affordable than genuine leather. So not only are you doing your part for the environment, and animals, but you are also expanding your fashion choices.

How to find reliable sources for vegan shoe materials

With the rise in popularity of veganism, there is now a wide range of companies that offer vegan shoe materials. However, it’s essential to do your research and make sure you are buying from a reliable source. Look for certifications such as PETA-Approved Vegan or Vegan Action to ensure the materials used are truly cruelty-free.

You can also support small businesses like Vegan Supermarket UK that sell the best vegan shoes and materials. These businesses often have a more transparent supply chain and can provide information about the sourcing of their materials.

WVSport Cross vegan Trail Boots
WVSport Cross vegan Trail Boots

Different styles and designs of vegan shoes available on the market

Gone are the days of plain and boring vegan shoes. Nowadays, there is a vast variety of styles and designs available for all preferences. From casual trainers to sky high heels, here are some popular vegan shoe options.

First, there are classic designs made from vegan leather or microfibre leather that mimic the look of traditional leather shoes. These can come in various colours and styles, including loafers, boots, and sandals.

For a more casual and sporty look, you can opt for trainers made from materials like canvas corn leather, hemp, or recycled plastic. These often come in fun patterns and vibrant colours, making them perfect for everyday wear.

For a touch of luxury, there are high-end vegan shoes made from materials like Pinatex and cork. These can range from elegant pumps to statement boots, all while staying true to ethical and sustainable values.


Are vegan shoes more expensive than traditional leather shoes?

Not necessarily. While some high-end vegan shoe brands can be reassuringly expensive, there are also many affordable options available.

Can I find different types of vegan shoe materials in online stores?

You can also find a more extensive range of vegan material options online from online retailers or larger companies. The demand for vegan products is increasing, so it’s becoming easier to find a variety of options.

Do vegan materials offer the same level of comfort as traditional leather?

Yes, many vegan materials are highly breathable and comfortable for everyday and workwear. However, it’s essential to find the right fit and style for your feet, just like with any other type of shoe. So be sure to try different options and brands to find the perfect fit for you.

Insulated vegan dock boots
Insulated vegan dock boots


Choosing vegan shoe materials for your chosen style is not only a compassionate and responsible choice, but it also offers many benefits for the consumer. From durability and versatility to helping protect the environment and animals, there are plenty of reasons to make the switch to vegan shoes.

With more options available on the market and increased awareness about ethical fashion practices (and conversely, unethical fashion practices), it’s easier than ever to find stylish and sustainable vegan footwear.

Also, don’t forget to properly care for your vegan shoes to ensure they last as long as possible. By following simple tips and investing in quality materials, you can enjoy your vegan shoes for years to come.

Women's blue vegan Loafers
Women’s blue vegan Loafers

So next time you’re in need of a new pair of shoes, consider choosing a cruelty-free and environmentally friendly option – your feet (and the planet) will thank you.

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