Vegan School Shoes Guide | Ethical & Vegan Kids’ Shoes

A Guide to Buying Vegan School Shoes

On the hunt for vegan-friendly school shoes? We’re here to help you narrow down your search.

School classroom
Image Credit: Pexels

Their new pencil case has been stocked with the coolest eco-friendly stationery, they’ve chosen a new backpack to show their friends and their lunchbox is ready for some tasty vegan lunches…but you’re struggling to find vegan-friendly shoes. We’ve been there!

Although it’s easy to find non-leather shoes, it’s harder to know whether animal products have been used in their production. You may also find that there are plenty of vegan shoe companies online, but they tend to focus on adult shoes.

But don’t panic – we’ve given you a helping hand by putting together a list of vegan-friendly shoe retailers that cater for little feet too.

Which materials are vegan-friendly?

When shopping for those shiny new shoes, look out for these animal-free materials:

  • PU leather, or polyurethane leather (a leather alternative made with plastic or rubber)
  • Rubber
  • Polyester
  • Nylon

Check the shoes for a non-leather symbol, such as the ones below.

Non-leather shoe symbols

If the shoes aren’t labelled vegan, you also need to check that the retailer doesn’t use glue derived from animal products. Some glue is still made by boiling animal tissue or bones. If you’re in any doubt, you can always check directly with the retailer who will be able to tell you whether it uses animal-derived glue.

Are vegan shoes environmentally friendly?

Even leather-free shoes have an environmental impact. They’re usually made from PU (polyurethane) along with polyester or nylon, which are manufactured using toxic products. Many companies are making big efforts to minimise the impact, by using polyurethane instead of the traditionally used and more toxic PVC. They now tend to use water-based rather than toxic solvents to bond the PU with the fabric of the shoes.

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of non-leather options, head to your local charity shop to see if it stocks any vegan-friendly shoes. You can grab yourself a bargain as well as helping to reduce waste and animal cruelty.

Schuh

If you’re shopping on the high street, Schuh have several vegan-friendly school shoes for girls and boys in their collection, including lace-up styles and classic T-bar designs. Prices range from £14.99 – £28, making them suitable for different budgets.

Schuh vegan black lavish butterfly shoes
Image Credit: Schuh

Next

You’ll also find some great choices at Next, including Mary Janes in regular black and patent black, Smart Bow Loafers and Velcro Strap Shoes. Although they’re not advertised as vegan, Next have confirmed that no animal-based adhesives have been used in these shoes. Prices start from £17.

Next M&Co Black Velcro Strap Shoes
Image Credit: Next

Asda

Looking for budget-friendly footwear? Asda provide several non-leather school shoes, including these Black Plimsolls and Ballerina Shoes. Asda’s vegan shoes are clearly labelled and registered with the Vegan Society, and prices start from just £3.50.

Asda Black Vegan Ballerina Shoes
Image Credit: Asda

Deichmann

If you’re shopping online, Deichmann allow you to filter kids’ shoes by non-leather on their website, including several that are suitable for school. Although not advertised as vegan, we’ve been informed that they avoid animal-based glues. Their range includes Single Strap School Shoes for boys, as well as Patent Bar shoes and Brogues for girls. Prices range from £14.99 – £19.99.

Deichmann Vegan Shoes
Image Credit: Deichmann

New Look

This budget-friendly retailer also sell shoes carrying the Vegan Society label, but their vegan range doesn’t include any children’s footwear at the moment. However, the vegan-friendly women’s footwear line starts from a size 3 and includes various ballerina shoes and loafers for older children and teenagers.

New Look Ballerina Shoes
Image Credit: New Look

Dr Martens

Although Dr Martens don’t have any vegan footwear in their children’s range (yet), their Vegan 1461 Unisex Shoes start from a size 3, making them suitable for older children and teenagers in need of smart, stylish and durable shoes.

Dr Martens Unisex Vegan Shoe
Image Credit: Dr Martens

Marks & Spencer

Some kids need sturdy footwear that can go the distance and these Kids’ Freshfeet™ shoes are up to the job. Designed to be durable and comfy with a firm grip, the Freshfeet™ technology ensures odors are kept to a minimum! These are priced at £17.

M&S Vegan Shoe
Image Credit: Marks & Spencer

Skechers

Known for their comfort and unique style, Skechers is a go-to brand for vegan children’s footwear that stands out. However, the kids will have to swap light-up soles for styles like these School Struts. Prices start from £35, making them ideal for those looking for long-lasting footwear.

Skechers
Image Credit: Skechers

Startrite Shoes

If you want to invest in some high quality school shoes that are made to last, check out the vegan-friendly school shoes by Startrite Shoes. Choose from sturdy designs with straps like the ‘Engineer’ style, classic black Brogues, or breathable and elegant designs like ‘Bliss’. Prices range from £42.99 – £54.99.

Startrite Children's Footwear
Image Credit: Startrite Shoes

Will’s Vegan Store

This fully vegan brand is well-known for quality, making them a worthy investment if you need durable shoes. Their vegan kids’ footwear collection includes Velcro Strap Shoes, classic Ballerinas and Derbys if you’re looking for smart, leather-like shoes. Prices range from £59 – £63.

Will's Vegan Shoes
Image Credit: Will’s Vegan Store


PAGE UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2021

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