Best Eco-Friendly Vegan Flip Flops in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

best eco-friendly vegan flip flops

Each household on earth has a pair or two of flip flops because they’re practical and easy to get in and out of. However, the majority of them are either harmful to animals, the environment, or both, which makes you feel bad about such an essential piece of footwear.

Despite that pessimistic image, there are many options of flip flops out there that didn’t need to cause harm to be made. So, we did our research and made a list of the best eco-friendly vegan flip flops for men and women.

In a glance


The 3 Best Eco-Friendly Vegan Flip Flops for Men in 2021

1. Freewaters Men’s Archie Flip Flops

Freewaters Men's Archie Lightweight Vegan Water-Friendly Zori FLIP Flop Sandal with Arch Support Geta, Black, 7 Medium US

Sometimes it’s only easy to find vegan materials but not eco-friendly ones, and vice versa. The Freewaters Men’s Archie Flip Flops prove that you don’t have to compromise one thing to save the other. Plus, 1% of every purchase goes to one of their clean drinking water projects, so you’re helping save the planet.

The affordable rubber flip flops are great for any summer day activities, and they come in 4 different color options, 2 of which have prints.

What about the materials? The rubber that this pair is made from is both vegan and PVC-free. While PVC is the most popular vegan alternative to leather, it is far from harmless. It is highly toxic and carcinogenic. Plus, its production releases harmful chemicals to the environment.

In addition to being PVC-free, these affordable flip flops are waterproof, which means that you can use them in the shower, by the pool, or on the beach without worrying about them getting wet. This vegan rubber is also lightweight, so you can travel with it or keep it in your gym bag. Furthermore, this pair is washable because sometimes you need more than spot cleaning.

In terms of comfort, Freewatwers aren’t messing around with these flip flops. They have plush cushioning and contoured footbeds to pamper your feet after years of wearing flat flip flops that make podiatrists shudder. Also, they have molded arch support, so people with flat feet will be very happy. Plus, the fine-tooth soles give you a secure grip on different surfaces.

What about the disadvantages? Well, the straps are too thick for our taste and very stiff in the beginning; however, they get more comfortable with time, so give them a chance.

Pros

Affordable
Different color options
Washable
PVC-free, waterproof materials
Lightweight
Plush cushioning and arch support
Grippy soles

Cons

Straps are too thick and stiff at first

2. SOLE Men’s Costa Flip Flops

SOLE Men's Costa Flip, Black, M 8

If you’ve worn enough cheap flip flops in your time, you know how much strain they put on the plantar area with the lack of proper support and cushioning. Thanks to the SOLE Men’s Costa Flip Flops, you will forget about these days.

These flip flops look nice, nothing too fancy. Their straps come in three different colors, and we recommend the olive one.

You’ll love their unique knit straps because they stretch to accommodate your feet rather than forcing your feet to adapt to the straps. Plus, the straps are water-friendly, so you can wear them at the beach or by the pool.

In addition, the wear-moldable footbed is made from soft cushioning Bloom Algae Foam, which is a sustainable natural resource that eliminates rampant algae growth and a comfortable alternative to petroleum-based foams.

These orthopedic flip flops help equalize pressure distribution, so there will be no more strain on your feet to walk properly. Also, the soft-flex arch support helps improve your balance and posture. Finally, your heels will be cushioned and protected from impact.

Despite all of these advantages, there is one disadvantage: as you can see from the price point, this pair isn’t for people on a budget; however, it is worth the money and comfort that it provides, especially for feet that need special care.

Pros

Different color options
Soft-flex arch support
Soft-cushioning Bloom Algae Foam
Unique, stretchable knit strap
Water-friendly

Cons

Not the most affordable

3. Adidas Eezay Parley Flip Flops

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We all have heard of ocean pollution by now. It’s depressing, to say the least. There’s so much waste, and we don’t know how to keep the ocean clean. However, we don’t have to wonder now that we have footwear like the Adidas Eezay Parley Flip Flops, which are made from ocean waste.

The iconic collaboration between Adidas and Parley for the Oceans reduces ocean waste and gives us stylish flip flops with bright straps that belong on the beach and a classic thong design that everyone loves.

The straps are made from reclaimed and recycled ocean plastic, as a way of utilizing ocean waste in a win-win situation. 

In addition, the cork in the footbed is 100% natural. Cork, which is a naturally renewable material, has excellent shock absorption, water resistance, and form-fitting abilities. Plus, it lasts for a long time, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

The midsoles are made from Recycled EVA, which isn’t harmful in the first place but isn’t biodegradable either. So, this is one of the best, eco-friendly ways to use it. Also, it provides some light cushioning. What about the outsoles? They’re made from recycled EVA as well.

Of course, there are some things to dislike. First, while this pair has lightweight cushioning, it’s not enough for prolonged or fast activities. Second, while the cork/lab green color option that this pair comes in is beautiful, a variety of color options would have been nice.

Pros

100% natural cork footbed
Recycled EVA midsoles and outsoles
Recycled-yarn straps

Cons

Not a lot of cushioning
Needed more color options

The 2 Best Eco-Friendly Vegan Flip Flops for Women in 2021

1. Bumpers Women’s Massage Slim Acupressure Flip Flops

bumpers Women's Slim Massage Flip Flop (6 US / 35-36 EU, Black & Pink)

There are many vegan and eco-friendly options, but not many of them dare to be as creative as this pair. The Bumpers flip flops take reflexology and acupressure very seriously and save the planet while keeping you comfortable.

Everything about this pair’s design attracts attention. The footbed is unique because it’s made of small massaging bumps. So, it immediately looks different from everything you’ve seen before. In addition, it comes in a wide selection of bright color combos. It’s really hard to choose, but you can’t go wrong with the black and pink option.

The soles of these flip flops are made from natural and recycled rubber. Plus, the scraps resulting from the pair’s production get recycled to make a new pair. So, there won’t be any waste. Isn’t that excellent?

These rubber soles are waterproof and UV-resistant. So, you don’t have to worry about them deteriorating when they come in contact with the elements.

Also, the rubber bumps on the footbed follow reflexology and acupressure principles. They massage your feet whenever you walk, which increases blood flow and reduces pain and inflammation in the foot, ankle, and calf muscles.

In addition, these bumps allow proper airflow, which keeps your feet dry and comfortable. Also, the bumps prevent you from slipping.

Is there something that we dislike about these flip flops? Yes. These flip flops take time to feel comfortable, and you’ll have to wear them in.

Pros

Many color options
Natural and recycled rubber soles
Waterproof and UV-resistant
Specialized reflexology and acupressure design
Anti-slip
Proper airflow

Cons

May take time getting used to

2. Indosole Women’s ESSNTLS Vegan Flip Flops

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Sometimes we prefer to find manufacturers that make ethical products, as opposed to trying to find ethical products in the mainstream market. So, we found a trusted manufacturer and a great pair of flip flops in the Indosole Women’s ESSNTLS Vegan Flip Flops.

Indosole is a certified B corporation, which means that they make their footwear in a responsible and conscious way. It is ethical, vegan, and zero-waste.

What about the flip flops? They have a modern and minimal look that works in every setting. Of course, they come in different colors, and our favorite one is yellow.

The environment will thank us for the ENVRO fiber straps, which are custom-made and eco-friendly. Moreover, the string webbing tape thong is long-lasting and comfortable; it won’t irritate your toes the way that low-end flip flops do.

The soles of these flip soles are made from natural rubber, which is non-toxic, biodegradable, anti-bacterial, and breathable. Its cushioning effect is excellent, and the arch support is real. Plus, the texture-pressed, non-skid top sheet ensures a strong grip.

For even more security, the outsoles are made from recycled ENVRO rubber tires. So, you help save the planet without slipping on the terrain. Who would say no to that?

Plus, all of the rubber used is waterproof and sturdy so that you can wear it on all types of terrain.

There’s one disadvantage, however, which is that these flip flops run large. So, order a size smaller.

Pros

Different color options
Certified B Corporation
Natural rubber soles and upcycled ENVRO rubber tire outsoles
Arch support
ENVRO fiber strap
Sturdy and waterproof

Cons

Runs large

How to Pick Eco-Friendly Vegan Flip Flops

Materials

As the article already suggests, we’re researching environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free flip flops. 

Looking for eco-friendly materials is essential in all walks of life because we constantly wear and use items that end up in land waste. So, we need to find materials that are biodegradable. If we couldn’t, the next best thing would be recyclable or recycled materials to minimize waste as much as we can.

On the other hand, subjecting an animal to suffering for a pair of flip flops is unacceptable, especially in the 21st century. So, vegan footwear has become massive in the last few years, and there is an abundance in vegan flip flops that cater to every need.

Natural Rubber

Besides being safe for the environment and animal-friendly, natural rubber has many advantages, which is why it’s popular in footwear.

This natural material is 100% biodegradable, 100% anti-bacterial, non-toxic, and breathable. Plus, natural rubber flip flops have a nice grip, so you don’t have to worry about slipping while wearing them. It is highly flexible and adaptable to the feet, which means the flip flops will always be comfortable. Also, natural rubber flip flops are washable.

The next best thing after natural rubber is a very common alternative, which is recycled rubber tires. This way, you can minimize waste by wearing a certain fashion item instead of adding more waste.

Cork

Cork is a hidden gem that deserves more attention from everyone that cares about fashion that doesn’t harm animals or the environment.

This magical plant helps absorb carbon dioxide gas to the point that cork forests act as carbon sinks and help fight climate change. Plus, harvesting it doesn’t harm the oak trees because it is shaved from the outside rather than cut down. It’s like nature already gave us its medicine, and there are no excuses for us not to wear it anymore.

What about how it benefits us in flip flops? This vegan material is sturdy and durable, and it never has the flimsy and cheap feel of cheaper flip flops. Also, it is water-resistant, hypoallergenic, and lightweight, so you can wear cork flip flops in different environments.

Hemp

Hemp is so good for the environment that if you knew, you wouldn’t wear any other plant-based fiber anymore.

This sustainable plant is water-efficient, as it grows with much less water organically and quickly. In addition, it is highly nutritious to the soil that it grows in and prevents its erosion.  Also, it provides an excellent shelter for wildlife.

All of this is great, but what good does it do when you wear it? It’s a great alternative to cotton that is more breathable, absorbent, and lightweight. In addition, hemp fabric is highly durable, and its tensile and flexible strength makes it stay in shape for long, so it’s an investment.

Comfort and Support

We can’t stress enough how important it is for every type of footwear that you purchase to be comfortable, fit, and supportive, especially if you’ll wear it for prolonged periods of time.

The straps need to be comfortable and not rubbing against the top of your foot because no one wants to deal with the ugly blisters that may transform into something worse. 

Also, the wrong straps toe post can be very problematic because they irritate your toes. Moreover, thicker soles and arch support are essential so that the flip flops don’t force your toes to bend too much, which may lead to hammertoes. Yikes!

Also, make sure that your flip flops have proper cushioning and shock absorption to protect your heels and balls of your feet from impact. Contoured footbeds are excellent for people with problematic feet.

Finally, don’t go for one-size-fits-all flip flops because they can be harmful to your feet.

Design and Colors

What kind of setting will you wear your flip flops in? Will you wear them to the supermarket, around the house, on the beach, by the pool, or on a night out? The environment that you’ll wear them in decides how they should look.

If you wear them at home, you can skip how it looks and go straight to comfort or pick a cute design; it’s your call when nobody can see you.

Flip flops for a night out have more elaborate designs, bold prints, and platform soles. Some people prefer neutral colors for a classy look. You can go for pineapple-based leather flip flops to up your game.

What about flip flops for long strolls? Well-cushioned and supportive flip flops should be your first choice.

Beach flip flops tend to have tropical prints or bright monochromatic colors. Waterproof and UV-resistant materials here are a must.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are Flip Flops Vegan?

The majority of flip flops are made from cruelty-free synthetic materials, but they can be harmful to the environment. So, you need to do some thorough research before you buy a pair to ensure that they’re 100% vegan and eco-friendly.

What Can You Do With Old Flip Flops?

There’s a lot that you can do with a pair that you can’t wear anymore. You can cut them and turn them into door stops, table stabilizers, floor protectors, cushion stuffing, cup holders, wall decorations, pet hair collectors, and fishing floats.

If you can’t find them another purpose, donate them to recycling and/or charitable organizations in your area.

Can Flip Flops Cause Plantar Fasciitis?

The wrong pair can definitely cause Plantar Fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the plantar area or the sole of the foot.

Flip flops can cause this agonizing inflammation when they’re too flat, the heels are too high, or when they’re used for activities that they’re not meant for, such as running or exercising.

If you get the proper pair of flip flops and only run with appropriate footwear, you’ll be fine.

Final Thoughts

Contrary to popular belief, there is an abundance in flip flops that don’t harm animals or the environment; they just need a little bit of research, and that’s why we did it for you. Here are our highlights of the list of the best eco-friendly vegan flip flops.

Our top pick for men is Freewaters Men’s Archie Flip Flops. They are affordable, PVC-free, waterproof, washable, comfortable, supportive, and lightweight. Also, they come in different colors.

Next in line for men, we have the SOLE Men’s Costa Flip Flops. They help reduce ocean waste while supporting and cushioning problematic feet.

The best pair of flip flops for women is bumpers Women’s Massage Slim Acupressure Flip Flops. They’re colorful, innovative, waterproof, UV-resistant, and breathable.

The second choice for women would be the Indosole Women’s ESSNTLS Vegan Flip Flops. They’re ethical, vegan, and zero-waste.

Thomas
Thomas has been vegan for over 5 years and has decided to move to Costa Rica with his family to be closer to nature and live a more minimalistic life. He loves yummy vegan food and sustainable products.