Companies and Brands

Avoid All Boot Brands Except These 15

Rick Stufflebean / iStock via Getty Images

We all know that fast fashion is bad for our planet, and bad for the people who are exploited to produce garments, and mountains of used clothing are piling up around the globe, devastating the ecology of those areas. One part of fast fashion that people don’t usually think of is footwear. Specifically boots. Boots are one part of the fast fashion industry that doesn’t get a lot of attention but can be just as bad as clothing.

Shoes can be expensive whether they are exploitative or not, so why not invest in boots that are made to last, use eco-friendly materials, have timeless styles, are comfortable, and will last you for years? We have curated a list of sustainable and ethical boot brands that will give you options for all types of weather and activity. Here is a list of ethical and sustainable boot brands for all of your boot needs that are better for the planet and better for you.

Why Are We Talking About This?

warm brown ugg boots on snow in cold winter
Source: Bondareva Elena /
You can find better boots than these, please.

Poor or bad footwear not only perpetuates a cycle of poverty but can also be bad for your body. However, it can be hard to find quality boots if you’re surrounded by the garbage that fills the aisles at your local store. We don’t know where to start looking. We wanted to highlight some of the best boot brands and help you know where to find them.

#1 Bhava

Source: Tinxi / Shutterstock
Get yourself some stylish, sustainable boots.
  • For: Women
  • Ethics: 100% Vegan, Woman Owned, Small Batch, Eco-Friendly
  • Product: Stevie Platform Bootie In Gold
  • Price: $269

The Stevie Platform Bootie was inspired by Stevie Knicks, is made with vegan leather, and features shock-absorbent natural cork insoles, with a promise of amazing comfort. Bhava also has a rewards program, free returns and exchanges, and free shipping over $299. Each shoe from Bhava is handcrafted in small batches in Spain or Mumbai in top-of-the-line altiers. Bhava is committed to protecting the victims of the fashion industry: animals, the planet, the workers, and consumers. Its founder, Francisca, taught Ethical Fashion and Sustainable Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.


Source: Christopher Ames / E+ via Getty Images
Don’t limit yourself to boring boots!
  • For: Women
  • Ethics: Sustainable, eco-friendly
  • Product: Ryan Pro
  • Price: $139

The Ryan Pro is a square-toe water-repellent ankle boot that features pressure relief insoles, breathable and water-repellent uppers made from recycled plastic bottles, has an anti-slip rubber outsole, and is packaged in 100% recycled cardboard. Some of its functionality features offer a shock-absorbing heel rebound, double arch support, a cushioned midsole, and a pressure-relieving diamond pattern insole.

VIVAIA was started in 2020 and wants to eliminate fast fashion footwear by offering sustainable, timeless styles. Every pair of shoes sold diverts waste from landfills. Some eco-friendly materials its uses are recycled PET, sugarcane EVA, recycled faux fur, rice husks, herbal insoles, natural rubber, thermoplastic elastomers, ABS, and always recycled packaging.

Vivaia is passionate about leading the industry with its entirely green operation. They have a mission to, “create a positive impact on both the world and the people around us. We have successfully created a line of luxurious and fashion-forward footwear with exceptional quality and at a fair price.”

#3 Sezane

Source: BarbaraSimoni / Getty Images
Look at those beautiful boots!
  • For: Women, Men
  • Ethics: Recycled Packaging, Woman Owned, GOTS, Oeko-Tex, FSC, Ecovero, RWS, RMS, 75% Eco-friendly Materials
  • Product: Brooklyn Boots
  • Price: $260

The Brooklyn Boot is made in Portugal and features 100% Vegetable-tanned smooth sheep and split cowhide leather and a 100% rubber external sole. All SEZANE footwear is made in Europe in its Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish ateliers. All ateliers are audited by independent companies and are in compliance with BSCI, SMETA, ICS, and WCA standards.

SEZANE is a French fashion brand that offers footwear, clothing, bags, outerwear, bodysuits, accessories, swimwear, jewelry, and belts that are inspired by Parisian fashion. It releases four seasonal collections a year as well as monthly small-batch capsule collections. It is eco-friendly by using 75% sustainably sourced materials. Being GOTS-certified means that its organic cotton uses 90% less water to irrigate than traditional cotton. And although not entirely climate neutral, Sezane lowered its average carbon footprint by 22% in 2020.

Some of its concrete sustainable commitments include a certified B Corp, and besides its many eco certifications, has a philanthropic program called DEMAIN. DEMAIN uses 10% of global sales and 100% of the proceeds of certain dedicated designs are donated to “programs that support access to education and equal opportunities for children worldwide.” It also ensures an ethical supply chain by auditing suppliers with BSCI, SMETA, ICS, and WCA audits.

#4 NAE

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Boots for all kinds of weather and activities.
  • For: Women, Men, Unisex
  • Ethics: Vegan, Sustainable, Eco-friendly Materials, Recycled Materials, Cruelty-free
  • Product: Lou- Brown Knee High Boot
  • Price: $95.50

The Lou-Brown Knee-High Boot is made from a CO2-free manufacturing system. It is made from vegan leather made from pineapple fiber and features a paperboard agglomerate, microfiber-lined insole, and an ecological water-resistant microfiber upper.

Nae is a Portuguese vegan footwear brand that is dedicated to creating shoes with “No Animal Exploitation,” which is what NAE literally stands for. It uses innovative, lower-impact materials like 100% recycled PET bottles, OEKO-TEX certified microfibers, recycled car tires, 100% organic cotton, apple skin, corn, recycled thermoplastic, natural cork, and pineapple leaf fibers (a material it calls Pinatex®). NAE works with pineapple farmers to give them an additional income stream by buying the pineapple leaves, which are normally discarded.

Nae is taking steps to ensure safe and fair working conditions for every step of its production line. Nae is transparent in tracing its supply chain, including verifying that no harmful chemicals are used at any step in the production process. It is also PETA-certified vegan, which means that no animal products or by-products at all are used. Another sustainable material NAE uses is cork, which is not only sustainable, it is also highly durable and is naturally moisture-wicking. Cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, which grows back and doesn’t cause any harm to the trees.

#5 Thesus (Alice + Whittles)

Source: wundervisuals / E+ via Getty Images
Feel good about the boots you buy.
  • For: Women, Unisex
  • Ethics: Vegan, Ethically Made, 95% Recycled Materials, Climate Positive
  • Product: The Allegra Weekend Boot
  • Price: $139

Thesus makes Women’s boots for rain, snow, and all-weather in between. The Allegra Weekend Boot is sustainably and ethically handmade. It has a seam-sealed water-resistant nylon upper made from repurposed marine plastic, an anti-slip rubber lug sole made with natural and recycled rubber, a removable gel insole, temperature control lining, a water-based vegan glue to bind the upper and soles together, and threads and laces made from 100% recycled PET Bottles.

Thesus is a Toronto-based company that exclusively manufactures in Portugal. It believes in moving to the community of the factories it partners with to make sure that every person involved in the production process is located in regions that support a decent standard of living. It is a regenerative company that is climate-positive by only using net-positive materials and diverting waste.

Something Thesus does to ensure fair treatment in its production line is transparently tracing the supply chain at every step of the way, including the final production stage. Although not vegan, it uses wool, which is a sustainable animal-derived material.

#6 Christy Dawn

Source: South_agency / iStock via Getty Images
Manly boots don’t have to be bad boots.
  • For: Women, Unisex
  • Ethics: Regenerative, Vegetable Tanned Leather
  • Product: The Yoko Boot
  • Price: $498

Christy Dawn is a fashion brand that carries eco-friendly footwear. The Yoko Boot is a classic riding boot that features a pull-on style with a subtle heel, a vegetable-tanned leather outsole and stacked leather heel, and a split top lift on a handcrafted outsole. Along with dresses, tops, outerwear, loungewear, bottoms, accessories, unisex styles, and bridal, Christy Dawn also offers a pre-loved category. Clothing is locally made with surplus fabric

All footwear is entirely handmade by artisans in Guatemala and uses top-grain leather. Christy Dawn is ethically made and only partners with people, factories, and communities that pay a living wage, and benefits, and provide respectful and dignified working standards. It is committed to allowing you to shop Farm-to-Closet, by using regenerative farming.

All of the cotton produced in its own Oshadi Farm Haus uses centuries-old methods to farm, gin, weave, vegetable dye, and block print all cotton material. Its farm has drawn down more than 2 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere, increased biodiversity in the soil, and has helped farmers gain financial independence. Christy Dawn also boasts the very first Regenerative Alpaca Collection of clothing.


Source: Photo by William Campbell / Getty Images News via Getty Images
Shopping for shoes and boots can be annoying.
  • For: Women
  • Ethics: Vegan, Cruelty-free,
  • Product: Hedy Ankle Boot
  • Price: $498

Named after Hedy Lamar, The Hedy Ankle Boot is made with vegan leather with glitter made with 100% recycled materials. Included accessories are reversible double-wrap ankle straps to elevate the style. The lining is 100% TENCEL made from cellulose fiber of wood pulp, a zipper made from recycled PET bottles, and even comes with a dust bag made from recycled PET bottles.

VEERAH is a woman-owned designer vegan shoe company based out of New York City. It uses PVC-free vegan calf leather that uses algae blooms to make its iconic cushioned insoles. Its algae lining is impact-absorbing and replaces more than 30% of petroleum that traditional memory foam uses.

Other innovative materials are used for its stylish footwear like apple leather, and offer removable accessories to give each shoe multiple looks and versatility with less carbon footprint. VEERAH has a 1-10-100 Battle Plan where 1% of revenue goes directly to social impact causes, 10 paid hours per quarter are offered to employees for volunteering or taking self-improvement courses, and for every 100 customer feedback surveys it receives, VEERAh is partnered with She’s The First to sponsor a one-year scholarship for female scholars.


Source: David Redfern / Redferns via Getty Images
Boots you can be proud of.
  • For: Women
  • Ethics: GOTS Certified, SA8000 Certified facilities, Fair Wear Foundation member, Vegetable Tanned Leather
  • Product: Lace-up Boots
  • Price: €249

The Lace-up Boot is made with chrome-free bleached 100% vegetable-tanned leather and features a weatherproof sole, internal zip, and a high-mounted strap. It is fairly made in Romania.

LANIUS is a German slow fashion brand that offers high-quality and low-impact clothes. “Love Fashion, Think Organic, Be Responsible,” are the tenets that guide LANIUS. LANIUS is a 100% climate-neutralized company that goals to be completely transparent in its supply chain, offer a repair service, and always continue to improve sustainability practices.

Because Lanius is GOTS certified, that means that the cotton used is grown without the use of harmful chemicals and meets strict environmental criteria. Lanius also minimizes its textile waste by reusing some of its offcuts. Lanius excels in its use of low-impact non-toxic dyes, that protect the environment and you.

#9 Nisolo

Source: FatCamera / E+ via Getty Images
Get boots for kids and boots for yourself.
  • For: Men, Women
  • Ethics: Certified B Corp, Leather Working Group, Climate Neutral Certified, Real Leaders Top 100 Impact Brand
  • Product: All-Weather Mateo Boot
  • Price: $130

The All-Weather Mateo Boot is a fashionable boot with sneaker-like comfort and work boot function. You can wear them to the office or on your next hike. It features a custom CellFit ™ memory foam removable insoles, waterproof leather upper, lightweight shock-absorbing wedge rubber outsole, gusseted tongue, and speed hooks.

Nisolo is a certified B Corps that uses a Leather Working Group-certified tannery and provides 100% living wages, and 0% net carbon. All partner factories are required to sign and agree to the Nisolo Code of Conduct which offers benefits including healthcare, professional development, leadership training, and further education opportunities.

Nisolo reduces its environmental impact by diverting recycled materials in its shoes. This promotes a circular economy and revives materials that would otherwise be piling up in landfills. Although not vegan, Nisolo uses an impressive eco-friendly leather tanning process that uses chrome-free dyes and other toxins. In addition to its use of renewable energy in its production like solar and wind power, Nisolo’s is a brand that is trying to do good for the planet. Nisolo also ensures that workers in the final stage of production are paid a living wage.

#10 Will’s Vegan Store

Source: Erik S. Lesser / Getty Images News via Getty Images
You don’t need to be in the military to get good boots.
  • For: Men, Women
  • Ethics: Vegan, Recycled Materials, Certified Carbon Neutral, OEKO-TEX certified, REACH certified
  • Product: Goodyear Welt Chukka Boots
  • Price: $200

These sleek Chukka Boots are made with 100% Italian vegan leather and feature solid rubber replaceable outsoles, deep insoles made from recycled material, and fully lined with two types of tan vegan suede and minimal lacing.

Will’s Vegan Store is a London-based vegan shoe brand that was founded in 2012. It has a mission to supply high-street vegan footwear at the same price, same style, and same quality as non-vegan professional shoes. It works with a factory in Portugal and uses vegan leather and suede sourced from Italy. Will’s Vegan Store wants to make it easy for people to choose and transition to a vegan lifestyle.

In an effort to reduce its climate impact, Will’s Vegan store utilizes renewable energy in its production line. As its name suggests, Will’s Vegan Store is PETA-certified vegan, meaning that it absolutely doesn’t use any animal or animal-derived materials.


Source: sbrogan / Getty Images
Those are some good-lookin’ boots!
  • For: Unisex Adult, Kids
  • Ethics: Woman Owned, Responsible Wool Standard Certified
  • Product: Bobbi Kids Rain Boot
  • Price: $59.95

The Bobbi Kids boot is 100% vegan, 100% waterproof, cushioned from ankle to toe, has arch support, added grip and tread on the sole, tested to be worn in below-freezing temperatures, and is versatile enough to be worn as an everyday boot.

MERRY PEOPLE is an Australian-based company that makes rainboots that can be worn in any weather and in the office. It uses sustainable materials such as natural rubber, neoprene lining, and vegan glue.

In an effort to reduce its textile waste, MERRY PEOPLE donates its unsold products to charity. It is concerned about workers’ rights by partly tracing its supply chain in the final production stages. Merry People is making strides in treating animals well by sourcing its wool in ways that are certified by the Responsible Wool Standard. It also doesn’t use leather, down, fur, angora, exotic animal skin, or exotic animal hair.

#12 Koio

Source: Ted West / Getty Images
Show off your boots!
  • For: Men, Women
  • Ethics: LWG-Certified Leather, Recycled Materials
  • Product: Milo
  • Price: $335.75

The Milo is a workwear-inspired lace-up boot that is handmade in Tuscany, Italy. The Milo features Koio’s PerformLug ™ sole, LWG-Certified Italian cow leather upper, lace-up front, and utilitarian moc toe, a cushioned insole, and threaded with waxed cotton laces.

“Every pair passes through the hands of 42 craftspeople before it’s deemed complete. Koios are designed to look refined when dressed up with tailoring and feel cool when paired back with denim. In other words, they’ll work beautifully for every occasion.”

Koio is a brand that is on its way to improving its ethics. Because Koio’s production is exclusively handmade, that reduces the climate impact and waste that other mass-produced brands incur. By visiting its suppliers regularly, Koio demonstrates a higher commitment to improving the labor conditions of its production downline.

#13 Plae

Source: Kerkez / Getty Images
Good boots can also be comfy.
  • For: Kids, Adults
  • Ethics: Sustainable, Recycled Materials, Non-Toxic
  • Product: Thandi Waterproof Boot
  • Price: $100

The Thandi Waterproof Boot is a snowboot that is flexible, and breathable and features active traction, removable insoles, and extra insulation. It uses puffy quilted poly, suede nylon, and embossed sued materials.

“Every kid knows how to play. The question is how do we keep playing once we grow up?” Plae believes that everyone should play and have durable footwear that supports that! Plae uses its Eco Ortholite ® and PORON ® Vive ® for the most comfortable insoles and durable wear.

You can also customize any pair of shoes to put in a thicker insole, add accessories, etc. The brand also partners with podiatrist Dr. Mark Weiss, so you know that these shoes will do good for your feet. Plae shoes are machine washable, come with free shipping and returns, and are made in a solar-powered factory with non-toxic glues and dyes.

#14 Native

Source: ferrantraite / E+ via Getty Images
Take your time getting the right boots.
  • For: Everyone
  • Ethics: Vegan, SBTi-approved, Recycling Initiative
  • Product: Kensington Treklite Child
  • Price: $33

The Kensington Treklite Child Boot is an adventure-ready shoe that features water-resistant uppers, elastic side panels, a removable foam insole, a thermoplastic rubber outsole, and a slip-on design.

According to Native: “We believe in creating a better world one tiny step at a time. That said, we support and champion the tiny activists among us. Those who commit themselves to taking small steps toward positive change. And we extend an open invitation for everyone to join us on our journey.”

Native has a recycling initiative called The Native Remix ™ Project recycles shoes that get sent in and gives them new life by grinding and repurposing the bouncy lightweight materials that Native shoes are made from. These materials can be made into seating, playground flooring, insulation, and more. So far, it has created 5 playgrounds across Canada. You can receive a free shipping label to send your used shoes back.

#15 Petit Nord

Source: Christian Feldhaar / iStock via Getty Images
Find boots for every occasion.
  • For: Kids
  • Ethics: Recycled Materials, Vegetable Tanned Leather, Recycled Packaging, Europe Sourced Materials
  • Product: Shearling Winter Boot
  • Price: $140

The Shearling Winter Boot comes in 8 different colors and is free from PTFEs and PFCs. It’s also made with vegetable-tanned leather in a chrome-free process and uses recycled and upcycled materials. This medium-tall boot has curly shearling cuffs and a zipper tape that’s made from recycled PET bottles and is completed with a lightweight and durable winter sole made from recycled TR.

PTFE and PFC have been correlated with child and fetus developmental delays, and decreased fertility, and can be a hormone disrupter. Petit Nord products are handmade using 100% natural, 100% vegetable-tanned, 100% biodegradable, and 100% chrome-free leathers and suedes. The traditional tanning process, which accounts for 90% of the world’s leather is detrimental to human health and has a negative climate impact. Petit Nord is proud to use a process that is tanned by organic substances, plants, and fruits and never involves toxic chemicals.

Petite Nord uses materials entirely sourced in Europe and handmade products in 4 family-run workshops in Portugal. It is committed to protecting kids from overexposure to toxic chemicals. Its goal is to one day achieve 100% ecological footwear and clothing.

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