I’ve Worn These 7 Comfy Sneakers All Over the World With No Discomfort — and They’re All Eco-friendly
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These stylish, supportive, and durable picks will ensure that your feet are comfortable throughout the day.
It can be difficult to find the perfect pair of shoes for our beautiful world. Idealy, you want something versatile, portable, and most importantly, comfortable.
After having tried out tens of thousands of shoes in my career, I am very particular about the shoes that make it into my suitcase. In addition to all of the factors above, I’m also always on the lookout for sneakers that are made with sustainable materials and ethical practices. While some brands have made tremendous strides, and others have a ways to go — I tend to prefer brands, big and small, that are taking steps in the right direction.
With all that in mind, and in honor of April being Earth Month, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite sustainable sneakers that are eco-friendly, comfortable, and also perfect for your spring and summer travels. Whether you’re in the market for something more sporty or sleek, consider going for an option with a lighter footprint like the Earth-friendly picks from Nike, Allbirds, On Running, and other top brands below.
Cariuma Oca High-Top Canvas Sneakers
The hype surrounding this celebrity-favorite sneaker brand has been well deserved. This brand was created with an eco-conscious foundation in order to create a smaller impact. All of its shoes are made from raw materials. Their warehouses comply with high environmental standards. And two trees are planted per pair. It makes a number of great sneaker silhouettes, but I’m partial to their Oca High-Tops. These shoes have a fun, stylish retro vibe and are available in leather, canvas, or suede. I’ve worn these sneakers all over the streets of New York City and Los Angeles, and I’m always so impressed by the memory foam insoles — which make mile after mile feel like nothing on your feet.
But don’t just take my word for it; see what some of the sneakers’ 800-plus five-star reviewers have to say about them. “They’re really comfortable and haven’t given me blisters like other new sneakers do,” wrote one shopper. Another customer shared, “Each time I wear them, they get more comfortable…I’m on my feet all day as a high school counselor and I enjoy wearing these.”
Buy: cariuma.com, $98
Adidas Ultraboost 23 Running Shoes
Adidas has been expanding its sustainable shoe offering for years. It has already begun redesigning its shoe offerings to reduce waste, collaborating with brands such as Allbirds, Parley and more. By 2025, 90 per cent of its products will be made from earth-friendly materials. Adidas Ultraboost 23 Shoes is one example of its revamped shoes. These sneakers feature recycled materials — namely, Parley Ocean Plastic and recycled polyester — and yield a 10-percent lower carbon footprint than previous iterations. Again, I’m excited to see how Adidas continues to imbue even more sustainability practices into its overall design and production in years to come.
I’ve personally worn these super-cushioned sneakers all over the streets of ParisI have worn these sneakers on every adventure, whether it was a long walk or running for miles, including the hills of Napa and all around New York City. These sneakers were comfortable and light-hearted on every adventure. This level of comfort has been experienced by other shoppers. Zappos’ customer stated, “I bought these and ran five miles right out of their box. The new version is lighter and more comfortable than the old one. They hug your feet, which I love.”
Buy: zappos.com, $190
Xero Dillon Sneakers
Xero, a brand that is well-known on Shark Tank, creates footwear to allow your feet to move naturally. Its shoes have minimal soles, which allow you to bend or flex your foot without feeling restricted. The shoes also feature a wide toebox to allow your toes the freedom to stretch. All of these design elements were incorporated into the Dillon sneaker, the brand’s latest style. This minimalist low-top sneaker is ideal for wearing with all your outfits, both in the everyday and on vacation.
I won’t lie, if you prefer ultra-cushioned sneakers, these aren’t the right ones for you. It felt great to walk around in these shoes but I also felt like I was almost barefoot, with minimal support protecting my feet from the weather. These shoes can be a little difficult to adjust to at first, but once you do they feel great.
As a brand that is relatively new, I appreciate how transparent Xero has been about its sustainability journey. Its primary focus right now is on building shoes that will last thousands of miles (rather then a few hundreds) and use eco-conscious materials whenever possible. As the brand states on its site, “We know we’re not perfect, and always strive to do better,” and I think that’s a mindset we could all benefit from.
Buy: amazon.com, $99
On Cloud X 3 Running Shoes
Sustainability is at the heart of the For On brand. The brand is focused on having a positive effect on the planet. It uses alternative materials and produces less waste. As for the shoes — there are plenty of high-performance sneakers to meet any of your needs or goals. My personal favorites are the Cloud X 3 Running Shoes, which I’ve worn for plenty of long walks, hikes, and runs on both the east and west coasts.
Designed with bouncy zero-gravity foam footbeds, grippy zig-zag traction, and a unique Speedboard layer for fast energy return, I love that they’re lightweight, flexible, and totally breathable. As one Zappos reviewer wrote: “This is cheesy, but it really does feel like you are walking on a cloud. Most tennis shoes cause me terrible heel pain, but these are wonderful. These shoes are so comfortable that I can wear them all day. [there’s] no pain.”
Buy: zappos.com, $150
VivoBarefoot Primus Lite Sneakers
The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Shoes, another pair of almost-invisible sneakers that can be packed into a carry-on or suitcase without any hassle at all, are a minimalist’s dream. These shoes are made to fit your feet perfectly with their thin but protective soles. Again, these shoes might feel a bit bizarre if you’re used to wearing highly cushioned sneakers. But, whether you’re heading out for a nature walk or a stroll around a new locale, these shoes are up to the task.
Brands like Primus Lite put the Earth at the forefront of their efforts by using environmentally-friendly materials and making products that are durable. Primus Lite sneakers, for example, are made of recycled plastic waste.
Amazon’s customers also give them high marks. One reviewer wrote, “I can’t go back to normal shoes. They are amazing. “They’re perfect for hiking and running, and are easy to clean.” Make your voice heard. a second customer They were described as “the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned.” They are eco-friendly and vegan, which I find very appealing.
Buy: amazon.com, $112
Allbirds Tree Runner Superlight Sneakers
I’ve been pretty vocal about how much I love Allbirds sneakers for travel (exhibit AI was delighted to learn that the sustainable brand would be launching a new and Even though the word “everything” is used, it does not mean that you should be able to say anything. It has now added a lighter pair to its collection. Introducing: the Superlight Tree Runners, which showcase the brand’s new Superlight foam that’s made from carbon-negative green EVA material.
While I haven’t had a chance to travel with these newly launched beauties just yet, I have taken them for a few spins around my neighborhood — both with and without socks — and Allbirds isn’t kidding with that “superlight” label. Walking around with these minimalist sneakers truly feels like wearing supportive clouds around your feet. The uppers, made of eucalyptus fiber and recycled polyester, are thin and barely noticeable. However the soles provide a good amount of support and cushioning. What’s more, as of the launch, these sneakers have the lowest carbon footprint of any pair of Allbirds sneakers currently on the market.
Buy: allbirds.com, $115
Nike Air Force One ’07 Next Nature Sneakers
Nike Air Force 1 Sneakers may be one of the most famous footwear styles. This is the pair that I choose whenever I want to wear white lifestyle sneakers on a trip. They go with everything: jeans and dresses to shorts. The foam midsoles are also absurdly comfortable — I can’t even begin to quantify how many miles I’ve walked in these shoes (both internationally and locally) without a single ache or pain.
When I was first considering buying this classic pair, I was pleased to find a “Next Nature” version of the shoes, which are made with at least 20 percent of recycled materials. This design shift is part of Nike’s “Move to Zero” journey to fulfill its zero carbon and zero waste initiatives for all its products. While I’d love to see even more recycled materials and sustainable practices go into these shoes, I appreciate these eco-minded steps.
One Nike shopper raved, “I really like these shoes… I’m a mom of four, so I need sneakers that are light and great for running after little ones.” One reviewer said, “They look very nice and are extremely versatile.” Wear them with literally everything. You can wear these all day long and they are comfortable.
Buy: nike.com, $115
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