This summer, embrace the sandal tan. Whether you’re heading to the beach or strutting through an outdoor mall, everyone needs a solid pair of sandals that maximize breathability without inhibiting your stride. These sandals are cool, functional, and won’t make that “flap-flap” sound when fitted properly (sandal flappers, you know who you are). From simple poolside kicks to head-turning heels, here is your guide to the best (and comfiest) vegan sandals for all your summer fun.
This popular outdoorsy footwear company launched its US vegan line in 2017. The pared-down selection includes some of the brand’s best-sellers including the Mayari and Arizona styles. If you’re looking for something comfy and fashionable, invest in a pair of vegan Birkenstocks—they’re built to last.
2. Bhava Studio
It’s a common misconception that sandals are flat—not at this vegan shoe company. Bhava Studio’s womens sandals are all elevated by a thick wedge or sturdy, leg-elongating heel. Get some lift from the Donna Wood Clog or dress up any sundress with the flattering Ines Strappy Sandal. All styles come in a range of earthy shades—from rose gold and nude to greys and browns.
Yes, TOMS makes more than its signature alpargatas. The company still uses leather for some styles, but there are several women’s sandals made with purely synthetic materials. All are labeled vegan which makes narrowing down your choices a breeze. Check out the casual, thick-strapped Piper Flip-Flop in four fun colors and patterns. They’re great for poolside activities or running errands.
Matt and Nat
4. Matt and Nat
Those who have been vegan for a while may know of this brand for its gorgeous handbags and wallets, but it’s branched out into the broader world of leather accessories in recent years. Sandal styles range from something you could wear to the office (the Elodie) to a very basic flat with a wide top foot strap (the Cyndie). We recommend the best of both worlds with the cute yet functional Artie Women’s Flat—it features a thin yet supportive ankle strap to keep your foot from slipping, because this summer, we’re going places!
5. Dr. Martens
There comes a day near summertime when it’s just too hot to sport a pair of Dr. Martens’ boots. When that day comes, yank those heavy shoes off your sweltering feet and slip into an equally edgy pair of the brand’s vegan sandals. The vegan line offers four gladiator-style options all in black. Dr. Martens for life.
6. Rainbow Sandals
It’s an unwritten law that Southern California residents own a pair of Rainbow Sandals. The company has been around since 1974, and even inland residents seem to own a pair of these ever-lasting beachy sandals. Originally made of leather, the brand now makes both hemp and rubber variations of its iconic sandals. Pro tip: go with the hemp option, they’re comfier.
Nae Vegan Shoes
7. Nae Vegan Shoes
You won’t have to worry about hidden leather soles or suede straps here—this sustainable shoe company only uses environmentally friendly textiles such as recycled plastic bottles, cork, organic cotton, and Piñatex (pineapple leather). Both men and women have a plethora of styles to choose from ranging from ultra casual to super chic. We love the look of the Jackie Blues and the Bay Whites.
Looking for something to just get you across the blazing-hot concrete from the pool to the showers? Check out Indosole. Both its men’s and women’s collections are made from recycled tires. But the brand doesn’t just slap a piece of rubber on a strap and call it a day. Each pair is designed to provide arch support—making them far superior to the $10 pair of flip-flops you might pick up at Target. All styles are waterproof and come in an array of colors and heel-less styles from wide-banded to criss-cross.
Remember Heelys? These shoes are cooler than that. The entirely vegan brand makes one style of shoe that can transform into a sneaker, sandal, slide, or mule by removing and collapsing the sole. They’re unisex, flattering, and provide all-day comfort. We’re not saying you’ll never need another shoe, but one pair of Munjoi could significantly help declutter your shoe closet.
Packing for the beach? Check out our guide to sustainable vegan swimwear.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.