Sustainable Fashion

6 of the Latest Sustainable Sneaker Launches—To Keep the Planet Happy and Your Feet Fresh

Tamara Pridgett

Photo: Stocksy/Mal de Ojo Studio | Graphic: Well+Good Creative
Inspired by the 2021 theme for Earth Day, “Restore our Earth,” Well+Good is running a monthlong series called “Planet Hope” with expert-led content focused on food, clothing, sustainable living, and everyday activism. Check back for actionable advice for how to work each focus into your life in an ongoing, meaningful way.

Accessories can transform any look, and in our opinion, one of the best accessories is sneakers. They take any outfit to the next level and we can't forget how comfortable they are. Plus, you can rock sneakers with anything—dresses, leggings, suits, you name it, and you don't have to worry about your feet getting sore after walking a block or two in them. If you love sneakers but also love the earth and care about major issues we're facing today such as waste and pollution, you may be rethinking your purchasing habits when it comes to sustainable sneakers.

While you don't have to go to the extremes and never purchase a pair of sneakers again, you can take more conscious actions such as investing in shoes that are made from sustainable materials, considering the lifespan of those shoes, and what happens to them when you're finished wearing them. FWIW: The footwear industry is making strides when it comes to sustainability and brands are becoming more conscientious about how they're contributing to waste and climate change. The latest sustainable sneaker offerings help reduce waste without sacrificing the attributes you love the most about sneakers: comfort and style. Don't believe us? Check out the best sustainable sneakers on the market right now.

6 of the best sustainable sneakers

Adidas Stan Smith — $85.00

Every sneaker lover knows that the Stan Smith shoes are a classic. This iteration of the Stan Smith was designed with Primegreen, which is a series of high-performance recycled materials, according to the product description and 50 percent of the upper is also made from recycled materials. These shoes can go with anything from your favorite tennis fit to a suit.

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Allbirds Tree Runners
Allbirds Tree Runners — $95.00

These sneakers are made with eucalyptus tree fibers (seriously!), sourced from South African farms that minimize the use of fertilizer and rely on rainfall instead of irrigation. According to Allbirds, instead of using cotton, these fibers reduce their water usage by 95 percent and cuts their carbon footprint.

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nike space hippie 04
Nike Space Hippie 04 — $130.00

These sustainable sneakers are “a story of trash transformed,” according to the Nike product description. They’re made up of at least 25 percent of recycled material by weight. The upper is made from recycled water bottles, T-shirts, and yarn scraps, and the midsole is made from recycled Nike Grind material. All of that aside, these shoes will look great with your go-to leggings and sweatsuits.

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New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6 — $135.00

This is technically a hiking/trail shoe, but fashion is about making your own rules! The collar and tongue are made with recycled foam, and the tongue badge is made with recycled cork.

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Steve Madden Valerry
Steve Madden Valeryy — $69.00

These sneakers are equal parts cute and eco-friendly. The outsole is made from previously-loved shoes, recycled synthetic rubber, and “other materials leftover from the footwear industry.” The upper and laces are made from recycled polyester derived from used plastic water bottles.

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Adidas Ultraboost 21 — $180.00

The Ultraboost recently got a makeover, and runner or not, you’re bound to love it. This iteration is made with Primeblue, “a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic.” These shoes are great for training, walking, and everything else in between.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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