Tread Lightly In 11 Of The Coolest Sustainable Sneakers To Shop This Season

By Phoebe Youl
9th Jul 2021

A pair of colourful Nike shoes with a speckled sole.

If you’ve looked down recently, you’ve probably noticed that we’re living in an era of "sneakerdom".

Reliance, dependence or sneaker-attachment syndrome, whatever you want to call it, sneakers are everywhere and it’s no surprise why. The perfect commuter shoe, our go-to for weekends, casual-Fridays and well, pretty much everything—it’s become clear that sneakers are the apple of every shoe-wearers eye. 

And while the most serious of sneaker wearers will be able to tell you there’s a certain degree of status to be found in wearing the "right" pair, we’re pretty sure there’s only one type of shoe everyone should be buying right now; and that’s the sustainable sneaker.

Great for your feet (you podiatrist will love you), good for the environment, and cool-enough looking that even your most fashionable-friend will be asking where you found them, these consciously produced pairs really are made for—sustainable—walking. 

From a chrome-free suede dad sneaker to the responsibly sourced rubber soles everyone's wearing on Instagram, here’s an edit of the best sustainable sneakers on the market right now.

Adidas UltraBOOST 21 x Parley 

PRICE: $340

The long-standing partnership between Adidas and the ocean conservation organisation Parley has continued to impress us with their ethically produced sustainable sneakers. Partially comprised of Parley’s recycled ocean plastic and infused with the classic silhouette of the UltraBOOST, the soft cream colourway have made this latest collab one of the most coveted pairs to slip into. Get them here.

best sustainable sneakers

Nike Air VaporMax 2020 Flyknit

Price: $290

Nike's Air VaporMax 2020 is arguably one of the superstar drops of last year. Featuring 50% recycled materials, it was a neat follow up to the Space Hippie and another step in Nike's move towards zero carbon emissions and zero waste goal. The FastFit lacing system and heel loops are a fun upgrade on your reg laces too. Shop here

best sustainable sneakers

Cairuma OCA Low Sneakers

Price: $129

Cariuma was the shoe of the summer in the States for 2020—racking up an 8,000 person waitlist for the restock of Cariuma’s best-selling OCA Low sneaker. Cariuma sneakers are made with bamboo, natural rubber harvested without harming trees, organic cotton, Brazilian sugarcane, cork, recycled plastics, responsibly sourced leather and suede, and Mamona oil, which is a plant-based alternative to petroleum. 

We especially love their ongoing collab on the aforementioned OCA Low with the colour kings at Pantone. Channel all those moody spring vibes in Pantone pigments like “Classic Blue” or “Picante”, or keep it clean in “Moonless Night” or “Snow White”. Shop here

best sustainable sneakers

Reebok REEcycled Nano X

Price: $114

Reebok's new REEcycled collection firms up the iconic sportswear label's commitment to sustainability. We love the Nano X in this Earth-friendly edit—a fresh new spin on Reebok's iconic training shoe that is now made up of 50% recycled materials. Shop them here

best sustainable sneakers


Nike Crater Impact 

PRICE: $150

Watch out folks, the famous tick has is continuing to lend its hand towards some of the best sustainable sneakers. This isn’t the first shoe release from Nike using recycled materials but their latest drop of sustainable sneakers has been a serious flex, especially these Crater Impacts with a sole comprised of recycled old Nike goods. They come in an exceptional ‘Light bone’ colour that gives them a real strong vibe. Shop it here.

best sustainable sneakers

Good News Organic Cotton Canvas Sneakers

PRICE: $191

Your classic casual trainer just got upgraded with plant-friendly materials. Made from organic cotton canvas and with a chunky recycled rubber sole, you’ll probably never want to take these off your feet. Shop them here

best sustainable sneakers

Converse | Renew Knit 

PRICE: $159.99 

The iconic outline of the Chuck Taylor classic has been reimagined with this latest drop.
The ‘Renew’ is one of Converse’s boldest releases, it has a sock-knit like upper and is comprised of 75% recycled polyester and 25% nylon/spandex. The speckled sole is also made of crater foam recycled material and turns the ageless shoe into one of the best sustainable sneakers on the market. Shop it sustainable sneakers

Rick Owens X VEJA Rubber-Trimmed V-Knit Sneakers

Price: $356

We’ve never met a sleek pair of black kicks we didn’t like, but these really tick every box. With uppers made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and "V" logos cut from  Pebax RNew, these shoes are the perfect mix of cool and conscious, with a little of Owens' signature shade. Shop them here.

best sustainable sneakers

VEJA Esplar Suede-Trimmed Leather Sneakers

PRICE: $160

Not only is VEJA an ethical organisation that supports local organic cotton farming families, but they also make really cute sneakers (see above). With their responsibly sourced Amazon rainforest rubber soles and organic cotton lining, these leather sneakers are a wardrobe essential. Shop them sustainable sneakers

PRICE: $159

Made from ecological and sustainable materials, including sustainably sourced wild rubber, these low-top sneakers look just as good paired with denim as they do with a floral dress. Shop them here.

best sustainable sneakers

All Birds Women’s Wool Runners
PRICE: $140

Soft, lightweight, and breathable, you’d almost be mistaken for thinking these shoes are tiny clouds. Produced from New Zealand Merino wool, and with one plastic bottle being converted into every pair of laces, these sneakers are championing natural materials every step of the way. Shop them here.

best sustainable sneakers

Love sneakers? Us too. Keep up to date with all the freshest new drops right here

Image credit: The Iconic 

Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchase.

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