Ethical Shoes?

Hey guys!

I'm looking at getting a gait analysis done soon, but before they recommend some new runners, I really want to do my homework on buying fairtrade and socially conscious. (Shoes that weren't made under the scandalous conditions of most factories/sweatshops nowadays!). I'm really, really, REALLY struggling to find any options.

Has anyone on the forum found a good pair of ethical shoes?

Thanks :)


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10 Replies

  • I must admit that I haven't I'm having enough trouble finding vegetarian/vegan shoes at an affordable price. Ethical Consumer might be able to help you; they have tables that show which companies are the most ethical.

  • Vegetarian/vegan generally come with some other pluses. stock a vegan British made shoe. Not cheap. It's a dilemma - none of them are cheap, it is just with some shoes, some other person is paying the rest for you, with their well being and sometimes their life.

  • Great! Thanks loulou! That's a great help!

  • I'm very surprised you struggle to find vegetarian/vegan shoes loulou. I'm looking at my dozen-odd pairs of running shoes and cannot see an animal product anywhere in any of them. There may be some animal based glues at a push I suppose.

    Nyanne - New Balance manufacture in the UK and have a vegan bunny logo on all the shoes I have from them. I seem to think PUMA were endorse by PETA too.

    Saucony, Mizuno and Inov-8 have stromg environmental/social ethics policies which can be viewed on their respective websites.

  • Thanks Rignold I'll check it out!

  • I went through this when I looked for my first pair (I started C25K in walking boots) I bought Brooks Green Silence for environmental reasons (you can still find them around) so it was only by chance that I discovered the joy of minimalist shoes. But I bought them from Amazon. And I bought vivobarefoot trails... from Sports Direct. Sigh.

    It seems very hard to get a good balance (environment, manufacture etc) if you are someone who gives a ****. Often we're not the people with the most to spend and it can be a choice between a cheaper shoe or no shoe at all. My sons have huge feet so most manufacturers don't cater for them and I love New Balance for them because they make it easier for me to get shoes for them (one of my sons cannot tolerate shoe shops)

    I suspect one of the most realistic positive things we could do is to buy from High Street independents and companies who treat their workers here well rather than the pile 'em high, sell 'em cheaper using zero hours contract staff companies who are not even concerned about you the consumer once you've handed over your dosh.

    It's an issue that bugs me. A lot. I rationalise that quite a lot of my other stuff is more ethical. And that me running is an ethical choice overall since it means I am less likely to place a burden on the health and social care services.

  • Try these two articles too

    I think part of the problem here is that Nyanne only asked about ethical shoes and not specifically vegan type shoes (the two aren't necessarily one and the same). I think Nyanne means shoes which don't use slave labour to produce them etc.

  • I know North Face do a bunch of Vegan shoes (their Hedgehog series used to be vegan, not sure if it still is, and they are sort of fell running/walking hybrids).

    Not sure about road running shoes. There must be some, but ehtics and morals come at a price so they wont be cheap!

    Good luck with the hunt.

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