The hottest vegan sandals to have on your radar this summer

The hottest vegan sandals to have on your radar this summer
Summer is here so from slides to mules, these are the best vegan sandals to have on your radar, from Birkenstock, Schuh, Office and more

Whether you’re off to hotter climes or lounging in a sun-drenched garden somewhere, sandal season has finally arrived and, much like a really good pair of jeans, that ride-or-die pair (sans blisters) can be hard to find.

If you’re végétalien or avoiding animal products then finding the ones can feel even more complicated, with leather and animal-derived glues to avoid – but, from forward-thinking labels that were vegan before it went mainstream to the footwear giants reinventing their cult classic styles, we reckon there’s plenty worth shouting about.

While many brands opt for synthetic materials, some incorporate recycled elements into their designs. Others branch into innovative plant-based leathers made from waste fruit. Some of the leather dupes we tried were pretty uncanny but, if that’s not your thing there’s other, less leathery options to choose – think jelly sandals and pillowy slides.

We held a spot for the hottest trends while also touching on sportier styles and timeless silhouettes. Nineties nostalgia was in no short supply so we chose a few platforms and dopamine-inducing hues while the chunky dad sandals remain an enduring trend we couldn’t resist.

So whether you’re entering your socks and sandals era or need a breezier pair for the garden at the pub, park the trainers and boots because we’ve found a range of styles we think will suit.

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Comment nous avons testé

An uncomfy sandal is no use to anyone, no matter how beautiful it is, so comfort was of utmost importance. Bien sûr, we made sure to weigh this up with aesthetic too, while also considering the quality of the materials, how practical they were for day to day and the price of the pair, with extra points awarded to the brands taking a more sustainable approach.

The best vegan sandals for 2022 sont:

  • Meilleur dans l'ensemble – Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather Jenny apple leather vegan slide-on sandal: 100 £,
  • Best for drama – Dr Martens vegan voss strap sandals: 99 £,
  • Best twist on a classic – Birkenstock platform vegan birko-flor: 75 £,
  • Best for socks and sandals – Twoobs the OG Gladys butter-jiklian: 105 £,
  • Best pillow-like comfort – Toms mallow crossover repreve: £52,
  • Best established vegan brand – Vegetarian Shoes Lydia sandal: £74,
  • Best platform mules – Lemon Jelly vegan orange platform slides, sunny 25: 44,99 £,
  • Best evening sandal – Collection & Co romi sandal, cream croc: 95 £,
  • Best for Nineties nostalgia – Melissa x LO blue kick off bloom sandal: 110 £,
  • Best practical sandal – Teva women’s original universal: 45 £,
  • Best luxury sandal – Dear Francis vegan base slide, vert: £295,
  • Best timeless design – Matt & Nat Brie women’s sandals: 75 £,

Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather Jenny apple leather vegan slide-on sandal

Meilleur: Globalement

Évaluation: 9/10

Hailing from Paris-born, Peta-approved label Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather, these minimalist slide-on sandals have won our hearts. Chic, soft and wonderfully comfy, they’re crafted from leftover apple waste from the juice industry which is not only brilliantly convincing as a leather alternative but far more sustainable than synthetic options like PVC (which is so polluting it was once dubbed the poison plastic).

Wide fit for a casual look, the quality is impeccable. Our feet were very pleased with the microfiber wrapped cork footbed that feels breathable, luxe and secure, unlike some slippery synthetic materials – and that was even after marching around bustling Brighton all day. We’re obsessed.

Dr Martens vegan voss strap sandals

Meilleur: For drama

Évaluation: 9/10

Few brands can truly claim cult status like Dr Martens. Once an affordable work shoe, the label’s chunky boots and yellow stitch have long been an enduring staple but, for those who can’t hack the heat in boots this summer, the vegan range has luckily branched out to sandals too.

Looking deliciously dramatic with a patent-esque finish and grunge feel, these are made using “Oxford”, a synthetic leather alternative. The departure from dopamine-inducing hues and minimalist aesthetic feels refreshing, and we love the extra height afforded by the chunky sole, paired with the signature yellow welt and vegan loop on the heel. Easily adjusted thanks to the two chunky buckles, we found they fit perfectly without sliding around and, unlike the classic Dr Martens boots, these sandals felt surprisingly supple straight away.

Birkenstock platform vegan birko-flor

Meilleur: Twist on a classic

Évaluation: 8/10

The ugly duckling sandal brand that needs little introduction, Birkenstock has enjoyed quite the resurgence recently – you may have seen the Arizona style worn by the likes of Kendal Jenner and Kaie Gerber (think slouchy dad sandal meets model-off duty).

Boasting a large range of vegan options including clogs (if you dare) and two strap styles to name a few, we were instantly drawn to the slight wedge beneath these for the extra height, and the chunkier silhouette for extra impact, all while maintaining the casual, slouchy feel of the OG Arizona sandal.

The upper is made using birko-flor, an already synthetic material exlusive to Birkenstock, and while its shoes usually sport a suede footbed, here this has been swapped in for a velvety-smooth microfiber, which we found felt dreamily soft. This paired with the anatomically moulded shape makes these an everyday summer staple – quelle surprise. We felt the black colourway was the most versatile option but you can also go for a cool, summer-ready white.

Twoobs the OG Gladys butter-jiklian

Meilleur: For socks and sandals

Évaluation: 8/10

When it comes to sandal trends, to sock or not to sock is one of life’s burning questions. To us, socks and sandals are an elite combination and these, hailing from Peta-approved vegan Australian label Twoobs, are ideal for it.

Pairing practicality with the brand’s signature butter wouldn’t melt aesthetic, the double Velcro straps are adjustable for a snug fit. They are super comfortable and lightweight for sweltering city breaks or long stints on your feet.

We also really love that the materials are largely recycled, with recycled PU (a more environmentally friendly alternative to PVC), with soles made in part from sugarcane crops which, although not a silver bullet by a long stretch, has been dubbed a carbon sink for its Co2-sucking ability.

With outfit pairings in mind we opted for the yellow but we could have also been tempted by the colour pop of the red pair (£106,

Toms mallow crossover repreve

Meilleur: Pillow-like comfort

Évaluation: 9/10

Sandals can be a major culprit when it comes to pinching and blistering, often blamed on stiff straps and awkwardly placed buckles, which is why we’re obsessed with (and refuse to take off) these supremely comfy slip ons. So featherlight we hardly noticed we were wearing them at all half the time, the spongy cross straps (which are made from recycled plastic bottles) felt like two pillows hugging our feet.

Snug but breezy to slip on and off, they didn’t sling off while walking. These sandals are casual but flattering given their extra height, and the black colourway was our go-to given its a low maintenance hue (especially as we’d expect these to get some serious wear). Toms does also offer the style in summery shades like pastel tie dye, pink and white. We’d recommend sizing up with these, as ours came up a little small.

Vegetarian Shoes Lydia sandal

Meilleur: Established vegan brand

Évaluation: 9/10

From a label that’s been making vegan shoes for over three decades, these gladiator sandals feel a bit like walking on marshmallows, but far more supportive of course. With a cork and rubber midsole and straps made from “vegetan mycromeant” (microfibre essentially), what really struck us was the comfort, thanks in part to the gloriously plush padded footbed that moulds to the shape of your foot. Cocooned but not caged, our feet felt secure below the three straps and adjustable buckle, with enough room to breathe. The was no pinching and pulling as we walked either, which is always a worry with gladiator numbers.

With a matte finish and stacked with a small jute-rope wedge, the slightly chunky feel awards a traditional gladiator shoe a contemporary edge – we’d be tempted to pair them with socks once the weather cools too.

Lemon Jelly vegan orange platform slides, sunny 25

Meilleur: Platform mules

Évaluation: 8/10

Tapping into the dopamine dressing trend with a Noughties twist, we just could not resist these tangerine flatforms from Peta-approved Lemon Jelly. Amusement, playful and perfect for padding around the house or poolside on summer days, they feel almost weightless, like papaya coloured clouds wrapped around our feet.

Made up of EVA (which is essentially a rubbery synthetic material) that the brand says was made using renewable energy, the soles are slightly squishy for extra comfort and, unlike many, de nombreux mules out there there’s no feet scrunching to keep them from flinging off as you walk (hurrah!). Une chose à noter: the rigid material isn’t entirely forgiving, so those who have very high insteps should look elsewhere in this round-up.

Collection & Co romi sandal, cream croc

Meilleur: Evening sandal

Évaluation: 7/10

Having been featured in our edit of the best vegan handbag brands, we were already fans of this Peta-approved label, Collection & Les coureurs s'affrontent lors de la course masculine des vétérans aux championnats nationaux britanniques de cyclo-cross, which takes a more circular, mindful approach to fashion. Producing pieces in small numbers and incorporating up-cycled materials, ici, we love the label’s moc croc slip ons which are made with upcycled PU.

We could see the quality of craftship at a glance and, with their elegant silhouette and very slight heel, they feel perfect for fancier affairs but are also casual and comfortable enough for everyday wear. These sandals are soft and supple underfoot and roomy in the strap which is ideal if, like us, you have a slightly high in-step.

Melissa x LO blue kick off bloom sandal

Meilleur: For Nineties nostalgia

Évaluation: 9/10

Dripping in Nineties nostalgia, these feel like a kitsch revamp of the jelly shoes we wore as a kid – all the way down to their sweet bubblegum scent, one of Melissa’s staples.

The collab between cruelty-free brand Melissa and east London-born streetwear label Lazy Oaf is gloriously old-school. These chunky platforms are adorned with adorable daisies across the strap and, in terms of comfort, we were happily surprised to feel no ankle rolling at all, despite the significant height.

The plastic material is PVC which isn’t ideal, but Melissa says this specific kind is 100 per cent recyclable, though we’re not entirely sure how we would go about this. The sandals may look stiff but they were surprisingly flexible with a slightly spongy sole for added comfort. Amusement, loud and perfect for festivals, we can’t wait to wear these on summer holidays and at sun-soaked rooftop bars.

Teva women’s original universal

Meilleur: Practical sandal

Évaluation: 8/10

Once upon a time a “practical” shoe like this would have made us wince but these Velcro steeds have won us over thanks to the technicolour hues. Designed for anything physical, dire, scrambling over hot rocks on your summer holidays or splashing about poolside, they’re quick drying too which makes them ideal for taking down to the beach.

The artist behind the shoe is Teva, a Canadian footwear company that first started out with its sporty sandals almost 40 il y a des années. Fast forward to now and its shoe straps are made with recycled plastic, which we love. While sporting this supremely comfortable pair we didn’t feel a single pinch, and appreciated being able to tighten them with two Velcro straps for a perfect fit. The slightly squishy EVA mid-soles are slightly rough underfoot too (in a good way, trust us) which feels like a little mid-walk massage.

Dear Francis vegan base slide, vert

Meilleur: Luxury sandal

Évaluation: 7/10

If you’re looking for luxury, these butter-smooth slides by self proclaimed slow fashion champion Dear Frances feel effortlessly elegant. Worn by the likes of Sienna Miller and Bella Hadid, the labels’ prices are a little eye-watering but we love that it focuses on artisan craftship and ethical production, incorporating high quality materials into timeless pieces that are built to last.

Somewhere between sage and pickle green, the colourway departs beautifully from the usual beige, black and white shoes doing the rounds, although black and tan are also on offer. Crafted from silky apple skin “leather”, our feet really benefitted from the contoured footbed but, while they’re extremely secure for a mule thanks to being so form-fitting, we should add that they may be slightly too narrow for wide feet.

Matt & Nat Brie womens vegan sandals

Meilleur: Timeless design

Évaluation: 8/10

Owing to their square toe and quilted finish, these sandals from Montreal-born, cruelty-free brand Matt & Nat feel elegant, timeless and endlessly versatile. As per the little label on the sole, they are “proudly made using recycled materials” – about 80 per cent of the shoe is recycled, having been made from PBV (polyvinyl butyral) which is a material created from scrap windshields.

Alongside comfort, what really struck us while testing was how snug and secure they felt – a far cry from some slip-ons that can end up hanging on for dear life. While they’re not the most lightweight we tried, this only adds to their high quality appeal – we can see these lasting for many summers to come. We went for the black but there’s a punchy green hue too.

Le verdict: Vegan sandals

Given the chance to make the perfect sandal ourselves, we’d probably decline and buy the Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather slip-ons plutôt. Their comfort was unmatched and we love that they use natural, forward-thinking materials, plus we’re obsessed with their chic and understated aesthetic. For signature style and drama, it’s got to be the Doc Martens vegan vos strap sandals, while for everyday wear we’d suggest a pair of the Vegetarian Shoes Lydia sandals.

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