21 Pairs of Actually Cute Vegan Shoes
From comfy sneakers to dangerous heels, Tenderly has got you covered
If you’re into looking cute, or even just into “wearing shoes,” shopping vegan at regular shoe stores can be a pain. Even shoes that seem to be made from canvas often include leather in one place or another, and it’s hard to ever be completely sure the shoe you’re buying is free from animal products, unless you choose a company that’s genuinely dedicated to creating completely vegan shoes that look and feel great. Luckily, we’re living in 2019, BABY, and there are a ton of companies just like that, making ethically-produced, environmentally-friendly, sans-animal shoes that are just as beautiful, functional, and stylish as their non-vegan counterparts.
I’ve rounded up some of my favorites here — share the ones you love that I missed in the comments!
Sandals, Flats, + Platforms
Taste Leisure Sandals ($89) — Tastemaker
A perfect strap-on for carnivals, lake vacations, outdoor dates, back patios, and your kid brother’s Little League games. This vegan leather sandal looks like New England and I have a hard time imagining that they don’t smell just a little bit like boardwalk fries.
Blue Vegan Suede Loafers ($98) — Will’s Vegan Store
These shoes just make me feel good to look at. They’re not quite the color of anything natural except for the prettiest blue eyes you’ve ever seen, and the vegan suede looks so, so soft. These are made ethically in Portugal, and if you get a pair I cannot be blamed if I meet you and ask to touch your feet.
Anais Clay ($54, on sale now) — Matt & Nat
Vegan (and mostly recycled materials) brand Matt & Nat is most famous for their gorgeous handbags, but their shoes, like these cross-strap Mary Janes with a tiny heel, have a special kind of flair that says “I’m an adult.” Like, do these shoes have a mortgage? A special fridge just for wine? Do they go to therapy even when it’s not an emergency? I bet they do.
Plum Corduroy Multi-Strap Mary Jane Creeper ($80) — T.U.K.
The kind of shoe you will always admire on your coolest friend but be afraid that you couldn’t pull off yourself — well, guess what? YOU CAN BE THE COOLEST FRIEND. T.U.K. are the creeper specialists and these will have you playing keyboards in the band in no time.
Flex Sandal in Ruby ($330) — Rafa
These simple yet chic sandals are handmade in Los Angeles out of all vegan and recycled textiles. They could play a starring role in “Mamma Mia 2: Here We Smize Again,” and they’re built to give off ~effortless Grecian~ vibes, as well as the ~extremely expensive~ angle that any aspiring Insta-fluencer must eventually cultivate.
Audrey Bow ($60) — Native Shoes
These chartreuse flats are a collaboration between PETA-certified “beast free” Native Shoes and swimwear designer Beth Richards, and they’re perfect for a nightcap at the fancyish bar next to the hotel where you’ve managed to sneak in for a quick swim. This simple but eye-catching shoe will ensure no one will even notice that your bikini bottoms are soaking through your jeans.
Sneakers + Lace-Ups
Vegan Suede Milan Trainers ($95) — Will’s Vegan Store
These are classic, boyish sneakers made of soft vegan suede that’s produced in Italy (fancy!). These are the kind of sneakers your crush is wearing when you run into them at the grocery store, which means they could also be sneakers YOU wear to the grocery store, especially if you’re into getting compliments on your shoes and then saying “they’re vegan!” which is a profoundly satisfying experience from start to finish.
Iridescent Pony Oxfords ($52) — Golden Ponies
This small shoe company from Mexico creates inventive, bright vegan shoes that will stand out in any crowd. I own a pair of these and I need to tell you that YOU MUST SIZE UP. Trust me. Other that that, you should order these to wear for your birthday party, which you should have in an arcade. Just a suggestion!
Apollo 2.0 ($95) — Native Shoes
These unisex slip-on sneaks make the whole continually tempting “sneakers without shoes” thing actually doable, due to a breathable and lightweight design using their animal-free microfiber “leather.” Plus, that color! 😍
Zion Sand High Top ($60) — Bangs shoes
My husband’s sneakers of choice are Bangs, an all-vegan and ethically-run woman-owned sneaker company that donates 20% of their net profits to helping people start small businesses. On top of that, they’re cute as hell and feature a color palette built directly from a naturalist’s crayon pack, all mountains and deserts and ocean dunes.
Ramos Real Estate ($97) — Keep
All vegan + cruelty-free shoemakers Keep teamed up with indie band Real Estate to make these gorgeous indigo mid-rise sneaks tie-dyed by craftspeople in Rajasthan, India. Alex Bleeker from the band says the design was inspired by the Grateful Dead, which is cool, and net proceeds from sales of this shoe all go to the ACLU, which is even cooler.
Clemente Slip-Ons ($40) — Toms
TOMS brand shoes are famous for 1. being an ethical company that provides one pair of shoes to a person in need for each pair of shoe that is purchased, 2. being the absolute best shoe to have lying around your house for when you need to step out and “bending down to put on a shoe” is too much work for you. This particular pair is a beautiful lilac and is made of a breathable canvas material that’s perfect for the end of summer and for welcoming our good friend autumn.
Heels + Wedges
Danita Rosette ($69) — B.A.I.T. Footwear
These feminine (and yet surprisingly sturdy!) pretty-in-pink peep-toe wedges from all-vegan brand B.A.I.T. will have your crush climbing ferris wheels, writing a letter every day, and building you a dream home in no time.
Capela Black Open Back ($100) — Nae Vegan Shoes
Sometimes you just need a basic black pump that goes with everything, but shopping for one when you’re avoiding leather can be a major pain. Luckily, Nae is a dedicated vegan company from Portugal that’s providing the service every woman or man with a throat to step on (metaphorically speaking) needs — vegan “eff em up” pumps.
Lottie Floral Print Block Heel Mules ($120) — Beyond Skin
These floral print satin shoes are made in Spain and would be a great finishing touch on a wedding guest outfit. The 3.5 inch heel is just tall enough to make you feel like an NBA player, while also being sturdy enough to, hopefully, not cause a career-ending injury on the court (PSA: please don’t play basketball in these shoes).
Hey Simone 3" Heel ($115) — Susi
Susi is a woman-owned all-vegan shoe company based in Los Angeles, and their heels are for vegans who don’t want to sacrifice elegant modern style just because they’re not into leather. The Hey Simone heel is named for Simone de Beauvoir, who once wrote “I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.” Same!
Boots + Booties
Ayiya Black Vegan Suede Desert Boots ($159) — Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather
Cool boots from a cool company with a cool name, these “desert boots” feel like a fit for: bass players, people who are really adept with microdosing psychedelics, ceramicists, anyone with an Eames lounge chair, and activist lawyers. I’m not sure I’m cool enough for these, but I want to be.
Swirly Swirls Unisex Cowboy Boots ($525) — Kat Mendenhall
These boots are made for walking, working outside, and two-stepping. They aren’t cheap but any Texan can tell you that a truly great pair of boots never is, and finding a pair this good-lookin’ made of a proprietary microfiber vegan leather… an opportunity of a lifetime, really.
Cicada Booties in Dots ($160) — Insecta
These little booties made in Brazil of recycled material would be such a casual and yet classy touch for fall, whether you’re going back to school or just easing back into a full work week after going hard during Summer Fridays.
Florida Yellow ($120) — B.A.I.T. Footwear
’60s inspired boots that feature a Curious George’s dad level of yellow and clear panels that make them perfect paired with a flowery vintage shift dress and outrageously long (non-mink, obvi) fake lashes. If you really want to complete the look, chop off any hair you’ve got into a Mia Farrow-esque pixie.
Low Amber Velvet Ankle Boot ($385) — Sydney Brown
Like tiny, beautiful woodland animals, but they’re shoes. These faux-velvet boots are handmade in Portugal and they are the soft brown hue of a newborn fawn, or perhaps a well-worn plush rabbit that comes to life when loved properly. The beechwood heel (unique in each pair!) gives them an added air of romantic rendezvous at a beach bonfire during the winter.