From flats to stilettos, and everything in between, all of the women's footwear listed on our site is completely vegan. They're all free of leather, suede, animal by-product based adhesives, and any animal-derived materials you can name.
What is “vegan” women’s footwear?
The term “vegan” with respect to footwear, simply refers to heels, wedges, runners, boots, sandals and other footwear, that's made from natural and synthetic materials (including glues and dyes) that are not derived from animals. In addition to being ‘vegan’, the footwear is also considered ‘cruelty-free’ if none of the materials used are tested on animals.
What materials are used to make vegan ladies’ footwear?
The sole, upper and lining of vegan footwear can be made from any single material, or combination of materials, that's either natural or synthetic, so long as it's not derived from, or tested on animals. Common examples of such materials include:
- Synthetic vegan leather (made from PU, PVC, microfibre, or various other materials)
- Natural vegan leather (derived from pineapples, mushrooms, kelp, or other plants)
- Synthetic vegan suede (typically made from different combinations of microfibre)
- Faux sheep skin (typically made from polymeric fibres)
- EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate)
- Canvas (Typically made from cotton, hemp, linen, flax, or other natural materials)
- Various other animal-friendly materials
Please Note: Some vegan footwear that’s made from PVC and EVA can be recycled, or is made using recycled materials.
What styles of women’s footwear are vegan?
If it’s a shoe, sandal, boot or Kleenex box, it can be made vegan-friendly. Ladies’ vegan shoes can be made with the same look, feel and function as any type of leather or animal skin-derived shoe. For example, higher up on this page you can find the following types of vegan women’s footwear:
- Winter boots
- Rain boots
- Dressy boots and booties
- Ankle boots and booties
- Lace-up and open-toe booties
- Moto boots
- Athletic shoes
- Running shoes
- Trail shoes
- Ballet flats
- Slide on sandals
- …So many more!
Why buy shoes, boots or sandals that are vegan?
Since every conceivable style and colour of casual, dress and functional footwear can be made without the use of leather, suede, snake skin or any other animal materials and by-products, then why not buy them vegan? Vegan and cruelty-free shoes, boots and sandals can pull off the same, look, feel and function as their cruelty-derived alternatives, so why harm a sweet little animal?
Does buying one pair of vegan shoes really make a difference?
Yes, and it’s actually a very effective form of animal activism! Here’s how it works; when you buy a pair of vegan shoes you’re telling retailers, manufacturers, distributors and designers that there’s demand for animal-friendly options… and demand creates supply. The more vegan shoes leaving shelves, the more leather and suede pairs left sitting to collect dust, or end up in the discount bin. This lack of inventory turnover tells companies that the demand for cruelty-derived products is shrinking; with less demand for such products, less will be made.
Bonus: Showing your new vegan faux sheep skin boots, or microsuede pumps off to your friends, family and other people in your circle of influence will cause even more demand for cruelty-free options!
Is vegan/cruelty-free footwear expensive?
Just like leather and other animal skin-based stilettos, rain boots and running shoes, prices can vary from one model of shoe to the next, typically based on differences in materials used to make them, differences in manufacturing processes utilized, and the different brand names attached to them. As a result, some vegan/cruelty-free footwear is very affordable, whereas some is quite expensive; most falls somewhere in between.
Should I get rid of any non-vegan shoes that I already own?
This is a fairly controversial topic, and one that’s very hotly debated. Regardless of what anyone else says, it’s up to you to decide what to do with your old, non-vegan items, and how to turn your wardrobe over as it becomes more populated with cruelty-free items; only you can decide what you can afford, and what you’re comfortable wearing. Your best options might be to give your old shoes away or donate them, or keep wearing them until they’ve fallen apart or otherwise outlived their usefulness, before replacing them with a vegan pair.
What companies make vegan ladies’ footwear?
There are basically 2 types of companies that make vegan shoes for women; companies that primarily make their footwear using animal-derived materials and by-products, but choose to include vegan and cruelty-free models to broaden their market reach, for cost reduction purposes, or for other business reasons; and then there are companies that exclusively make their shoes, boots and sandals vegan-friendly for ethical, sustainability, business or other possible reasons. Some companies whose footwear is completely vegan-friendly and cruelty-free include:
- Cri de Coeur
- Bourgeois Become
- Unstitched Utilities
- Beyond Skin
How do you choose which companies to list?
We keep an ever-growing list of women’s footwear companies that we find whose entire catalogue seems to be vegan and cruelty-free. We get in touch with these companies to make sure that they don’t use any animal-derived materials or by-products in the making of their heels, wedges, dress booties, or any other footwear they produce. If we’re convinced their footwear is suitable for vegans, and they’ve got shoes listed on Amazon, then we list those shoes here in our Amazon-curated store for your shopping convenience.
Do you list vegan footwear from non-vegan companies?
Yes, but only if we have a hard time finding stock for products made from exclusively vegan companies (right now there aren’t a lot of vegan companies making winter boots, for example), and only if we can be sure that the specific models we're listing are 100% vegan. If we have a hard time getting straight and consistent answers from non-vegan companies with regard to which of their shoes are suitable for vegans, we won’t list that company’s products. Bottom line, before we list anything on this site, we have to be 100% sure that it’s vegan & cruelty-free.
But how can you support non-vegan companies?
While we still favour fully-vegan companies, we still applaud non-vegan companies for evolving and expanding into the realm of cruelty-free. We think it’s great that more and more non-vegan companies are adding cruelty-free and vegan gym shoes, stilettos, and other items to their catalogues, whatever the reasons behind it might be. And after all, would you stop buying almond milk and chickpeas at the grocery store because they sell meat? Heck no!
Check out similar product categories in our store!
Done looking at the general ladies’ footwear category, want to know what else we have to offer? Check out these pages that are similar…but possibly even better!
For companies that make vegan shoes, boots or sandals
If you or your employer makes vegan and cruelty-free footwear or any other vegan and cruelty-free product for that matter, we’d love to feature those products on our site... at no cost! Contact us at - info(at)getitvegan(dot)com - to find out more!
Some of the information for this guide on women’s vegan footwear was gathered from the following sources:
- Clothing Shoes and Accessories Buying Guides: “What Is PVC Leather?” (June 29, 2014). The Gloss. Retrieved March 9, 2017. http://www.ebay.com/gds/What-Is-PVC-Leather-/10000000178626792/g.html
- Materials: “Eco Friendly Footwear Materials – Cork! (July 24, 2009). The Planet Shoes Blog. Retrieved March 9, 2017. http://blog.planetshoes.com/2009/07/eco-friendly-footwear-materials-cork/
- Women’s: “Vegan Shoe Styles For Women Are On The Rise” Barbara Schneider-Levy (July 30, 2015). Stella McCartney. Retrieved March 9, 2017. http://footwearnews.com/2015/focus/womens/vegan-shoes-styles-women-flats-heels-photos-47737/