8 Casual Walking Shoes That Are Eco-Friendly

These comfortable kicks for women and men from brands like Rothy's and Greats are made with recycled or plant-based materials.
Thousand Fell's lace-up shoe and Suavs' Zilker Gum shoe.

If you think there’s no way you could possibly make a positive impact on the environment with a pair of shoes, think again. Your contribution to helping the world be a cleaner place can be as small as just being more mindful about the clothing you wear, all the way down to your feet.

The fashion industry is the planet’s third largest polluter, according to a 2021 report. Consumers also throw away (instead of recycling) an average of 70 pounds of shoes and clothing per person annually. Though clothing manufacturers and supply chains have a long way to go in improving how our favorite clothing is made, we as individuals can still play our part to shop sustainable when possible.

Shoes are where we can start. Many brands today have hopped on the eco-friendly shoe train, with an emphasis on reducing waste and using recycled and animal-free materials. Sugarcane, aloe vera, recycled cotton, algae and even recycled plastic bottles are used to make these shoes, without sacrificing comfort. Learn more about what some of these brands have to offer and find your new favorite pair of eco-friendly walking shoes below.

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Thousand Fell women's slip-on shoe
For a shoe that you don't even have to tie up, Thousand Fell's slip-on is exactly what you need. Its structural details are made of sugarcane and coconut and it has a stain-proof and water-resistant quartz coating. Like the brand's other shoes, when you're done wearing yours, you can send them back to Thousand Fell where the company will recycle them for you. It comes in women's 5-10 and in multiple colors like purple, green, pink and blue.
Rothy's The Sneaker
Rothy's signature thread is spun from plastic water bottles and its shoes are fully machine washable, so you don't have to buy a new pair if they get dirty — unless you want to, of course. The strobel board (the green part of the shoe under the insole) is made of a comfy algae-based foam. It comes in women's sizes 5-13 and in a variety of colors including gray camo, latte, desert cat, black and sand.
Suavs Zilker Gum women's shoe
Made with 100% post-consumer recycled water bottles, these lightweight shoes are perfect for everyday wear and are packable for your next trip. They're built with sweat-wicking technology and have a non-slip gummy sole that bends with your foot movement. Color choices include slate, navy, jet black, vino and marshmallow and the shoe comes in women's 5-12.
Greats Royale Eco canvas men's shoe
Whether you want to rock this canvas shoe in its all-white state or break out your inner artist and customize them, you'll be making an impact. All components of the shoe are Global Recycled Standard- or ISO-certified. It contains no plastic and instead is made of algae, recycled cotton, natural rubber and recycled rubber. It also comes in navy and blanco gum in men's 7-15.
Native Shoes Apollo 2.0
The Apollo 2.0 is a super lightweight shoe made of a recycled elastalite insole and water-based, animal-free and non-solvent microfiber textile called Clarino Tirrenina. This shoe comes in men's sizes to 13 and women's sizes to 12.
Thousand Fell women's lace up shoe
If a shoe that's stain- and odor-resistant sounds like something you need in your life, you're going to want to clear out space in your closet for this pair from Thousand Fell. All of Thousand Fell's shoes are made from recycled bottles, natural rubber and innovative food waste like coconut husk and sugar cane. And you don't have to worry about your feet sweating and stinking up your shoes because the interior mesh liner is coated with aloe vera, which wicks away heat, keeping your feet cool, and the breathable padding is made of castor beans. These shoes come in multiple vibrant colors including orange, green, purple, pink and blue, and in women's 5-10.
Thousand Fell Court men's shoe
For a men's option from Thousand Fell, look no further than the Court shoe. Like other shoes from the brand, its design is rooted in a zero-waste approach. It's stain- and odor-resistant, has an aloe vera-coated interior mesh liner and a cushioned recycled rubber insole. It comes in men's 8-13 in an array of colors like washed acid, pink, violet and black.
Munjoi All-Dai shoe
Vegan plant-based materials make up Munjoi's All-Dai shoe, including cotton, hemp, algae and sugarcane. In collaboration with Bloom, a company that removes algae waste from polluted waterways, Munjoi created a foam padding that combines algae with sugarcane as an alternative to petroleum-based EVA. The shoe is also climate-neutral, with one pair producing 5.87 kilograms of CO2 in total calculated greenhouse gas emissions. The shoe comes in three color options: black sea, Sedona and neutral. Sizes are available for both men and women.

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