How to Tell If a Shoe Is Vegan

If someone asked you, “is suede vegan", how would you answer? Is rubber vegan? Have you ever considered that shoes can be vegan? Doesn't vegan just describe a type of diet? If this has taken your mind in a new direction, you aren't alone. Many people do not know the answer to these questions. Continue reading to learn more about what is and is not vegan. You will also learn that shoes, in fact, can be vegan.

So, What Are Vegan Shoes?

A vegan shoe is one that's created without any animal products. This includes wool, fur, silk, leather, or down. Markets for alternative synthetic materials are seeing significant market growth. The goal is to create vegan shoes that look professional for the work setting. They also strive to meet fashion standards for social and casual events. These shoes leave a smaller carbon footprint than shoes made using traditional methods. Vegan shoes meet the needs of those concerned about our environmental impact. They also serve people wishing to avoid using animal products.

What to Look for if You Want Vegan Shoes

If you want totally vegan shoes, they should only contain synthetic materials. Vegan shoemakers must also use synthetic materials for the tab, inside linings, the tongue, or the inner sole. When shopping for vegan shoes, watch for animal-based products used in the construction. For example, parts of the shoes are often glued together. Many types of glue contain casein, gelatin, or other animal products. Even those canvas sneakers may use animal-based glue or have an inner suede patch.

How Can You Tell If the Shoe is Vegan?

You may not have noticed, but there is a shoe symbol imprinted on many shoes. These symbols describe the materials contained in the shoe. Some show that the shoe's made of leather or coated leather. The textile symbol looks like a square of woven thread. This indicates that the shoe contains cotton or other vegan materials. It doesn't contain animal products.

A diamond symbol means that the manufacturers used faux leather, PVC, and/or rubber. If it says, “man-made" you know it doesn't have animal skins. Sometimes the diamond symbol only refers to the outer sole. In this case, you will need to ask more questions about the materials in the shoe.

Is Suede Vegan?

First, when you hear suede, it often refers to a soft, napped surface of leather. It is animal skin. The skin may come from cattle, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, or lambs. Some specialty leathers include zebras, kangaroos, elephants, crocodiles, bison, ostriches, alligators, and snakes. Thus, the answer to this question about vegan suede is "no".

What Is Vegan Leather?

Although traditional suede comes from animals, you can now find other options. Let's look at the questions, “what is vegan suede?"

Faux leather or leather alternatives are made without using animal skins. Plastics and plant materials create a leather or suede look. This provides a sustainable, vegan-friendly option to leather.

Okay, So Is Rubber Vegan?

Natural rubber comes from rubber-producing plants. The latex is a milky white fluid that comes from vessels or cells in these plants. It contains alkaloids, proteins, starches, and other substances made by the plant.

Harvesters take the latex from the rubber plants and process it. This natural rubber is flexible and durable. It's used in over 40,000 products.

This natural rubber is often used in the outer soles of shoes. It is found in other parts of the shoe as well. You can recycle rubber to make new shoes or other products. You have probably found the answer to the questions by now. Rubber is indeed vegan because it doesn't include any animal products.

Tips for Choosing Vegan Shoes

You may wish to use the following list as a guide when shopping for vegan shoes. This keeps you from getting caught up in the moment and buying an animal-containing product.

  • Choose natural fabrics such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, and jute
  • Check the sticker or tag on the shoe to see if it says “100% synthetic" or “All Manmade"
  • If you find a label that says “other materials" ask the company what that means
  • Know that shoes may have more than one tag describing materials used on different parts
  • Beware that labels may only describe materials that comprise 80% of the product
  • Labels may not include the kind of glue used in the shoe's construction

If you're dedicated to only wearing vegan shoes, you must take the initiative to check out the company. Look at their website. Often, vegan shoe companies include a list of materials found in their products. It should tell you what kind of glue and dyes they use in making their shoes.

Many ethical companies will specify which products are 100% vegan and which are not. Check out the company's mission statement. Vegan-dedicated businesses will probably mention this as an important objective.

What Styles of Vegan Shoes Are Available?

So, do you believe that trying to choose vegan shoes will mean a limited selection? You couldn't be further from the truth. Vegan shoes come in the following styles:

  • Woman's casual flats
  • House slippers
  • Sandals
  • Boots
  • Mary Janes
  • Slipons
  • Knit Oxfords
  • Flip flops
  • Clogs
  • Ballet flats
  • Laced casual shoes
  • Athletic shoes

As you can see, you have a large selection to choose from. You can feel great about your fashion and not be forced to compromise on your life choice. These shoes also offer a durable, comfortable, and easy to maintain option.

Do You Have an Interest in Buying Vegan Shoes?

Now you have answered the question, “is suede vegan". You have also learned about the meanings of symbols found in shoes. This can help you choose a true vegan shoe. offers an online store featuring a wide selection of responsibly sourced footwear. Our stock includes vegan, recycled, eco-friendly, and biodegradable shoes. Many of these shoes are carbon neutral.

We provide shoe styles that range from the professional environment to carefree playtime. Our shoes also come in many sizes and widths to meet your needs. is “Changing the world one step at a time!"™ Click here to shop for shoes for the whole family.