Little green Vegan Shoes for Kids standing on the blanket

Vegan Shoes for Kids

Vegan shoes for kids have become more and more popular in the last couple of years. They are not only a better solution for our environment, but they are a great choice for developing kids’ feet. 

Thanks to the time we live in, there is more and more opportunity for finding suitable footwear for everyone in your family. Therefore, we created this blog to thoroughly explain to you what are vegan shoes, why should you buy them, and where to find them.


What are Vegan Shoes?

Vegan shoes are footwear that doesn’t contain any animal-derived materials, such as wool, leather, suede, fur, hair, or any other animal parts.

Plant-based vegan shoes can be made from bananas, mushrooms, or apples, but this doesn’t mean you can eat them. They also use other synthetic materials such as polyurethane (PU), microfiber, or rubber. 


It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between animal-derived leather and animal-free versions when looking at these materials.

Vegan shoes can be quiet, stylish, comfortable, and sustainable footwear. They last a long time; thus a lot of brands claim that shoes can be passed from one kid to another.


What Materials Vegan Shoes Use?

Vegan shoes typically consist of the following materials:

  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Polyurethane leather
  • Rubber plastic

Unless the shoes are labeled vegan, you should check that the retailer does not use glue derived from animals. Sadly, there are still glues that are made from animal tissue or bone. 

If you are not sure, you can always contact the retailer and ask about the uses of animal-derived glue or any other product.

Even though there are many choices, there seems to be no perfect shoe option. It all comes down to one thing, if you are not choosing leather, you are choosing plastic. 

The good news is that there are companies that make products you can follow your morals as closely as you can.


Are Vegan Shoes Environmental Friendly?

Vegan shoes are much more environmentally friendly than leather ones! But, there is more than meets the eye. 


Even leather-free shoes have an impact on the environment. These shoes are made mostly from PU (polyurethane), polyester, and nylon manufactured using toxic materials.

However, most of these companies make significant efforts to minimize the impact. They replaced the traditional, high-toxic PVC with the less dangerous plastic polymer –  polyurethane

Besides that, vegan-driven companies are trying to use water-based rather than toxic solvents for bonding PU to the shoe’s fabric.

Many of them also have the PETA-approved vegan shoe label. This means that they are crafted with PVC- and phthalate-free PU vegan leather, natural and recycled rubber, and cotton.

Luckily, the number of innovative recycled materials and naturally sourced fibers is rapidly growing. This means that it is becoming much easier to find shoes that are as sustainable as they are ethical.


How Long Do Vegan Shoes Last?

Vegan leather, such as PU and PVC, has two to five years of life expectancy. When we take into consideration the lower cost and the animal rights considerations, we can agree that this is durable enough.

Every product can vary widely in terms of quality. Vegan shoes for kids are widely available and make an excellent investment! 

How long will kids’ shoes last depends on the kid itself. How well they take care of them and how often they wear them will also help determine shoes’ longevity.

We know that this sounds like a mission impossible, but parents can help with these things. You can try to clean kids’ shoes properly and teach kids how to take care of them. 

Besides, kids will probably overgrow them since their foot is constantly developing. In this case, these sustainable shoes can be passed down to another kid or a sibling, which is always great!

Overall, generally speaking, vegan shoes withstand years of kids’ play. 


What to Look for When Buying Vegan Shoes?

Look for vegan shoes that have all of their components (including the top, inner & sock, and outer sole) made of materials that aren’t derived from animals. 

That means no fur, suede, or leather unless it’s explicitly been labeled as vegan. You can always check the shoe symbols printed on the bottom of the shoe to determine material composition.

PVC and polyurethane are vegan but they are not the most desirable materials. So when shopping for vegan shoes, we want to look out that they are ethically produced all around. This means that we should look beyond just shoes made from vegan materials.

Whether you are looking for Running shoes for kids or just some everyday sneakers, ethical shoes come down to three main criteria:

  • Materials and fabrics
  • Ethical sourcing
  • Corporate responsibility

When searching for vegan shoes, keep these things in mind.


Organic fabrics and materials

Typically, ethical wool would be OK, but wool is out because we’re seeking vegan shoes.

Another thing we want to avoid is leather products. We are opting for more sustainable faux vegan leather options instead.

We are looking for fabrics manufactured from natural inputs such as hemp, organic cotton, jute, or other sustainably produced renewable resources like rubber that are highly favored.

In order to ensure that these materials are sustainable, look for certifications from the USDA-Certified Organic or the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification.

Sustainable and recycled materials are also acceptable, mainly because they tend to be vegan. Recycled PET (mostly from plastic water bottles), recycled polyester, and recycled EVA all assist in minimizing our carbon footprint and divert trash from landfills. 


Brand’s corporate responsibility

The good thing to do is to look for brands that go beyond the sustainability of their products. 

To find these companies, you can look for in-house recycling programs, environmental programs, sustainable shipping practices, and other actions that demonstrate a genuine desire to do better business and be a force for good.


Where Can I Find Vegan Shoes for Kids?

Shopping for vegan kids’ shoes is not easy; however, it is much easier than a decade ago. Whether you are shopping for a baby’s first shoes or even indoor shoes for kids, it is always a plus to make sure they are vegan-driven footwear.

Thanks to raising awareness of how vital quality shoes are, today’s market is filling in with eco-friendly stores.

Vegan shoes for kids are mostly available in online stores from vegan companies like:

We know how vital kids’ feet are, so it is crucial to give them the right support in their foot development

With these 6 companies worldwide popular for crafting vegan shoes, you will have peace of mind about every ingredient. 

However, if you decide to go shopping at a shoe store, just look for the “PETA-Approved Vegan” logo. This will ensure that the footwear is vegan and that you do not have to worry about their products for crafting them. 

Another thing you can do is to look for the symbols on the tag. 

An animal-hide rug symbol indicates an item made from animal products. A diamond or crosshatch symbol indicates that a product is vegan. 



Vegan shoes for kids can be hard to find, but it has become more available thanks to rising awareness of their importance.

When looking for vegan shoes, make sure that they are crafted from recycled materials and do not contain any type of animal product (including glue). Always check if the shoes have a PETA-approved label, USDA-Certified Organic, or the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification.

Taking care of the environment is simply taking care of our kids and ourselves. Choosing these shoes will also help provide proper support for a kid’s natural foot development. 

So, buying vegan shoes is a win-win situation for both the planet and kids!



  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.