The most ethical, stylish and functional shoes for active men
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If you’re like the average outdoor adventurer, then you don’t require much when it comes to attire. You’re a minimalist who just wants the right kind of gear to get him through that next hike.
Shoes are a big part of that ‘gear’.
And until now you’ve most likely opted for any pair of outdoor shoes because the media or some sales guy persuaded you to buy them. And that’s cool. Some mainstream shoes are really well made and last a really long time. So what’s making you venture out for a sustainable pair?
If it’s because you’re realizing that most shoes are made unethically with animal products, then that’s a really good reason. Or maybe you’re noticing that a lot of over seas manufacturing facilities don’t provide their workers any fair wages or a healthy work environment—that’s a good reason too.
Unfortunately, most popular shoe brands today are made unethically and are not at all sustainable. That’s why new brands are emerging—brands that know why creating sustainable shoes is so crucial to the environment and your health.
Most sustainable shoes are vegan and made from plant based material and other recyclable fabrics. Everything used to construct these shoes, from shoe laces to adhesive, is also non toxic and made only with plant based material.
These ethical shoe brands also source their manufacturing in facilities where fair wages are paid to hard working men and women—unlike other popular brands who extort overseas labor. Ready to check some of these awesome ethical brands out?
The three shoe brands listed below are our personal favorite sustainable and ethical shoe brands who make top notch men’s shoes. They’re perfect for active men who like to travel, casual enough for the urban jungle and just plain great for the environment.
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The first Sustainable shoe brand we’d like to feature is Saola Shoes. This shoe company is incredible when it comes to innovation, ethical manufacturing and giving back to the planet. Saola shoes is a member of 1% For The Planet, and each year, a portion of their profits are donated to a nonprofit organization that helps with wildlife conservation and more.
Saola shoes has an amazing shoe line that consists of functional and stylish casual shoes for the everyday urban man. Their shoes are made from recycled and sustainable material such as recycled plastic bottles, cork and algae foam—and you would never guess that they’re made of such eco-friendly material if you came across someone wearing these. They literally look like your everyday typical street sneakers, except they’re much better for the environment.
Saola Shoes run from around $50 to $110, depending on the model. If you think about it, it’s not that much different from buying a pair of Nikes when it comes to price. In other words, for the innovative and durable material that Saola shoes are made with, the price is actually very affordable and very reasonable.
Saola Shoes also always make their product look very presentable and plastic is never involved when it comes to packaging.
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When it comes to active lifestyle and outdoor performance, consider adding a pair of Astral Shoes to your wardrobe. They’re a sustainable shoe brand that is great for the minimalist and wilderness explorer who cares about the manufacturing process and wants a shoe that lowers his carbon footprint.
Astral shoes are some of the best sustainable outdoor shoes that you can own. These shoes are made from hemp, which means that they get softer as they get older, dry quickly and don’t rot if they get wet, they’re completely washable, come with waterproof shoelaces, and their insoles are treated with an anti-odor solution.
Hemp requires less water to grow than cotton, so these shoes are ultra eco-friendly. They also range from $55 to $140 depending on the model.
The Astral shoe is lightweight, the outsole is flexible and super grippy, and they’ll make you feel as if you’re barefoot—which is perfect for long walks or hikes.
The Vivobarefoot shoe company is passionate about natural foot ware. With that said, they believe that your shoes should bring you closer to nature—less padding and more feeling. They believe that the very first pair of shoes were basically created to help keep humans from getting cold, and to help avoid sharp objects on hunts. Yet today, the average shoe is full of synthetic padding and doesn’t at all feel natural. That’s why Vivobarefoot has created the simplest active footwear possible that can still withstand the elements of the outdoors.
“All Vivobarefoot footwear is designed to be Wide, Thin and Flexible: as close to barefoot as possible. They promote your foot’s natural strength and movement. Allowing you to feel the ground beneath your feet”. —Vivobarefoot
Every pair of Vivobarefoot shoes has an end-of-life solution, and is made from recycled material. The shoe company has a recycle program where you can send in your old pair of Vivobarefoot sneakers and they’ll happily refurbish them—giving them new life.
These shoes are fantastic for minimalists who love lightweight footwear and want to lower their carbon footprint as much as possible. The only downside to these shoes is that they are one of the most expensive sustainable shoes on the market, with prices reaching as high as $180.
Don’t forget to check out our page that’s all about Men’s Green Living. From tips and advice on low-waste living to resources on where to shop for sustainable fashion. Click here to check it out!