Sustainable trainers: the best ethical, eco-friendly and vegan styles to buy now

Posted by for Fashion

Sustainable footwear has never looked so stylish – from apple leather trainers to vegan versions of your classic Stan Smith’s, these are the best sustainable and eco-friendly trainers to buy right now. 

Is there a purer love than that of a woman for her trainers? Striking the perfect balance between ‘casual’ and ‘cool’, there isn’t a single outfit that can’t be rocked with a pair of your favourite sneaks. From Converse with floral dresses to chunky dad-style trainers with slouchy suits and Stan Smith with, well, absolutely everything, there is a trainer to bring the perfect touch of laid-back luxe (and comfort) to every outfit. 

Now, thanks to the attention of fashion-forward sustainable brands, your favourite shoe just got an environmentally conscious makeover. Enter the new era of vegan, recycled and solvent-free trainers that are as planet-friendly as they are stylish. 

Nothing beats that box-fresh feeling, but as we consider the environmental impact of our trainers, we’re looking for products that minimise their impact on our planet. The next generation of sustainable footwear designers are creating styles that are deviating from the norm and incorporating ethical practices into their materials and manufacture process. Shopping a little smarter will make all the difference to our planet.

From eschewing animal leather by using apple skin leather alternatives, to laces made from recycled plastic bottles, the latest fabric innovations mean that you can get the same luxe designs you love, while supporting eco-conscious brands.

Want to update your wardrobe with a new pair of trainers while ensuring your new pair is as sustainable as it is stylish? We’ve found the best vegan and ethical trainers available to buy right now – shop our edit of the best sustainable trainers. 

Shop best sustainable trainers

  • Loci trainers

    Loci trainers
    Best sustainable trainers: Loci

    Available in 13 different colour ways, Loci’s unisex sneaker is a cult classic. Made from 100% recycled, vegan materials, this is the ultimate sustainable trainer style. 

    Shop vegan sneaker at Loci, £135

  • Allbirds Tree Dashers trainers

    Allbirds trainers
    Best sustainable trainers: Allbirds

    Allbirds’ sustainability values are truly pioneering. The brand’s all-natural shoes are made from merino sheep’s wool, eucalyptus tree fibres and sugar cane, and the laces are made from recycled plastic bottles. Not only that but they’re chic and astonishingly soft; they’re the ultimate guilt-free purchase.

    Shop Tree Dashers at Allbirds, £120

  • Clarks white suede trainers

    Clarks
    Best sustainable trainers: Clarks

    Crafted using no glue and only five pieces, the materials ares 100% recyclable. Even the laces are made from recycled polyester making them Clarks’ most sustainable trainer to date. 

    Shop Origin suede sneakers at Clarks, £99

  • Adidas Ultraboost trainers

    adidas trainers
    Best sustainable trainers: Adidas

    These Adidas runners are made from Parley ocean plastic; which is plastic waste intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before it gets to the ocean. You can also get them in 25 different colours so you’re bound to find one you like. 

    Shop Ultraboost 20 shoes at Adidas, £160

  • Rens Original coffee trainers

    Rens Original trainers
    Best sustainable footwear: Rens Original

    Rens Original is a Finland-based brand who have made trainers made from coffee waste and recycled plastic. The vegan, eco-friendly, waterproof kicks are also lightweight and ultra breathable. 

    Shop coffee sneakers in arctic black at Rens Original, £89

  • Yatay Irory trainers

    Yatay trainers
    Best sustainable footwear: Yatay

    Everyone needs an all white pair of trainers in their armoury. These slick Yatay kicks have laces made from hemp and the upper textiles of the soles are made from resins and recycled rubbers. And for extra points they are machine washable and 100% cruelty-free. 

    Shop Irori trainers at Yatak, £240

  • Converse Renew Chuck Taylor trainers

    Converse trainers
    Best sustainable footwear: Converse

    The classic high-top Converse trainer has been given a sustainable update. The Converse Renew Cotton range is made from 30-40% per cent manufacturing waste canvas and regrind rubber. You can also customise the colours of each pair to make them a unique addition to your trainer collection. 

    Shop custom Chuck Taylor All Star Renew high top at Converse, £75

  • Good News Opal trainers

    Best sustainable footwear: Good News

    Good News has reinvented the classic pump with recycled rubber soles and organic cotton uppers. Also available in stylish pastel tones and multi-coloured woven fabrics. This all white style is the most versatile of the collection, the perfect shoe to freshen up your wardrobe. 

    Shop Opal white low trainers at Good News, £110

  • Stella McCartney + Adidas Originals

    Best sustainable footwear: Stella McCartney x Adidas Originals

    The iconic trainer that needs no introduction, the Stan Smith is the wear-everywhere trainer that has earned a place in every fashion editor’s wardrobe. In collaboration with sustainable fashion pioneer Stella McCartney, this pair is made from 100% eco-friendly materials. 

    Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney Stan Smith sneaker at Net-a-Porter, £235

  • Veja Campo trainers

    Veja trainers
    Best sustainable footwear: Veja

    Sustainable powerhouse Veja is famously known for the V-10 that is probably sitting in your wardrobe right now. An alternative style is the Campo – the panels are made from chrome-free leather, lining is organic cotton and recycled polyester and the soles are made from wild rubber from the Amazon forest. 

    Shop Campo leather trainers at Veja, £115

  • Ecoalf Sandford trainers

    Ecoalf trainers
    Best sustainable footwear: Ecoalf

    These “Because there is no planet B” trainers are made with 100% recycled nylon. They’re also vegan, waterproof and breathable so you’ll be able to make them part of your everyday wardrobe. 

    Shop Sandford trainers at Ecoalf, £89.90

  • Native Apollo 2.0 trainers

    Best sustainable footwear: Native

    Are you dreaming of a trainer that goes the distance in the gym and hits all the right style notes at brunch afterwards? Enter Native and its Apollo 2.0 trainer. Solvent-based glues are the norm in shoe factories, but they are harmful and pose severe health implications to factory workers. Thankfully, brands like Native are leading the way and ensuring that their designs are solvent-free. 

    Shop Apollo 2.0 trainers at Native, £80

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Courtesy of brands 

Share this article

Recommended by Lara Faye