Learning about what foods and products to avoid when you’re at the beginning stages of your vegan journey can be an overwhelming task. There are so many products around us that come from animals or have harmed animals in some way.
It doesn’t have to be , though. The best way to transition into a fully vegan lifestyle is to start with the things that are the easiest to change and then move on to the next thing until everything you wear and use is vegan. This doesn’t need to happen overnight. Do your research and give yourself time to make the switch.
An easy place to start after changing your diet is by changing your wardrobe to make sure that everything you wear is vegan and that future products you buy are vegan too. If you haven’t already read my vegan fashion guide for a comprehensive list of vegan clothing brands and fabrics, you can check that out here.
In that guide, I mentioned that despite popular belief, most leather that is used for commercial leather products does not come from cows that are killed for the meat industry. Most leather comes from cows specifically killed for their skin. Due to legal and religious restrictions on cow murder in India, the cows used for leather go through a long, tiring, and dangerous journey from the farm to the slaughterhouse. They lead horrible lives and die even more gruesomely.
But thankfully, it is very easy to avoid using leather products. Because leather is more expensive, it’s cheaper to buy non-leather shoes and they’re easily available everywhere.
Most non-leather shoes are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or polyurethane which is harmful to the environment. Depending on where you live, wearing PVC might be the easiest option for you, especially if you’re on a budget.
If you live somewhere that isn’t too hot and want to add an edgy, rocker vibe to your style, check out Dr. Martens’ wide range of vegan shoes and boots
These Vegan 1460 Ankle Boots will look great with a pair of black, skinny jeans and bright-colored socks. They’re also perfect for jumping into the mosh pit or protesting at an anti-vivisection rally.
Dr. Martens shoes used to last a long time, but they’ve changed their manufacturing practices over the years. Many people have complained that their shoes fall apart too quickly now. I personally haven’t worn Dr. Martens since I was a teenager, but if you are nostalgic for the 90s or just need a heavy-duty boot, you can give those a try and see if they last. They still look cool at least.
For something that is comfortable and sporty, Adidas has a lot of vegan shoe options that range from cheap to more luxurious. Plus, they have sales online and at their stores all the time!
These Superstar Vegan Shoes are a classic Adidas style and go perfect with a pair of jeans or shorts and can even be worn with a nice suit if you want to look like you made your money off cryptocurrency.
Converse All Stars are another classic shoe style that looks great with both casual and formal outfits. I love these classic high-top sneakers in black. They come in all different colors and patterns. You can even customize your own sneakers. Most of their shoes are vegan, but a few styles are made from leather. Just read the label and description to make sure.
H&M has a lot of vegan sandals, sneakers, heels, and flats. If you want something feminine but comfortable, these black mules are perfect for going to the beach or on a Tinder date. The heels are short, so you’ll be able to easily run away if your date starts talking about their headless doll collection.
There are so many eco-friendly vegan shoe brands popping up all the time. They are also more affordable options now. It’s amazing what can be made into vegan leather!
Piñatex makes leather from pineapple leaves! They have worked with luxury brands as well as affordable brands to put out a great range of vegan leather shoes, clothes, and accessories.
These Silvery Chic Pina Pinatex stilettos are sleek and eye-catching. They’re perfect for the club or dinner at a fancy, vegan restaurant. Wear them with a matching silver dress or a classic little black dress and you’ll feel like the hottest person in the room.
These Anas Bleu mules are giving very “mom going to the store to buy quinoa,” but they still look unique and stylish. You can check out more styles here.
Appleskin uses the leftover apple waste to make sustainable, eco-friendly, and fair-trade apple leather! Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather has a great selection of apple leather shoes for all gender expressions. These vegan ankle boots are a sleeker and more comfortable answer to the classic Dr. Martens boots. I think they look better than Dr. Martens and the price is about the same. Good Guys is also a fair-trade company and completely vegan, so that’s also a big plus!
If you want something luxurious, sexy, and unique, then check out these Shroom Above-the-Knee-Boots by Stella McCartney. I feel like I would break those needle heels in two seconds and fall on my face, but if you’re an advanced, high-heel wearer, which I’m totally not, and you have $1,250 to drop on boots, then try those out!
Stella McCartney is the most well-known luxury vegan fashion brand. She’s been around for a long time and is always working with up-and-coming vegan textile companies, including Mylo leather which makes vegan mushroom leather!
Nat-2 has these silver, futuristic-looking sneakers made from upcycled aluminum foil. They’re also fair trade, and due to the nature of the material, each pair are unique.
There are so many vegan shoes for every price point and every style. You can live a vegan lifestyle and still look good. If you can’t afford to replace all your leather shoes right away, that’s fine, you can replace them one-by-one. Just remember to read the shoe labels to make sure they’re vegan before you buy them and enjoy your vegan journey!