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What are Vegan & Vegetarian Shoes Made of? A Guide to What You Need to Know

Black Lace Up - Vegan Collection

Good news, guys! Finding vegan and vegetarian-friendly shoes isn’t as tricky as you might think. We stock brands that produce an ever-changing range of stylish and high-quality vegetarian and vegan boots and shoes. Hooray! But what’s the difference between vegan and vegetarian shoes? And what are vegan shoes made of, if not leather? We’ve investigated and brought you some of our key veggie brands.

So, what makes a shoe vegan?

Those of you who are new to veganism might not know what vegan shoes are made of. Well, let us explain… Vegan shoes are quite simply made without the use of any products or ingredients of animal origin. So, every part of the shoe, from the sole unit to the upper lining, laces and even eyelets, is made from alternatives to animal-based fabrics. These non-leather shoes are mainly man-made cotton, canvas, and pleather, as well as natural rubbers. Vegan shoes are also suitable for vegetarians.

What about vegetarian shoes?

Vegetarian shoes don’t use leather but can often be made using other animal bi-products like wool and beeswax. This means that while veggie-friendly, they’re not suitable for vegans – sorry, guys!

All products that are vegan or veggie are clearly identified as being just that on their product page, so browsing is easy, and you can be confident when ordering a brand new pair of shoes. Or a bag; we have some of those, too. You’ll be spoiled for choice when our new season range arrives; watch this space. Ladies’ brand L by Miss L Fire is all vegetarian-friendly and hot new styles are on their way.

Etnies Jameson 2 Eco in Black and Grey
Etnies Jameson Eco

Brands to watch

Our favourite vegan/veggie producing brands of the moment are Dr. Martens, who’ve created their iconic 1460 8 Eye boot (main image) in vegan-friendly materials, compete with their signature bouncing sole. Etnies are another favourite, with their vegan skate shoes – Jameson Eco. Sales of this product also help reforest rainforests, which is pretty sweet.

Igor Mustard Yellow Wellington Boot for Kids

Finally, we don’t just cater for big feet – check out the Igor range for little ones, and your kids can wear vegan-friendly shoes, too.

Shop vegan and vegetarian friendly.