Blog > News

What are Eco-Friendly Shoes?

Eco-friendly shoes are a simple switch you can make to support a sustainable lifestyle. With concern about the environment ever-rising, you may be looking for eco alternatives to your usual favorites. Giesswein’s ultimate guide to eco-friendly shoes will walk you through what this type of footwear is, what it’s made from, and our top choices!

Table of Contents:

The Definition of Eco-Friendly Shoes

What are Eco-Friendly Shoes Made from?

Are Eco-Friendly Shoes Right for Me?

Putting Your Eco Foot Forward with Giesswein

The Definition of Eco-Friendly Shoes

To truly understand what eco-friendly shoes are, we must break down their name and define what is meant by eco-friendly. ‘Eco-friendly’ means something that is not harmful to the environment. Therefore eco-friendly shoes are footwear that do not impact the environment in a negative way. Shoes can be defined as environmentally friendly when the process of making them does not negatively impact the environment. This could mean the resources are sustainable, the production recycles water, and even that no material goes to waste!

What’s the Difference Between Ethical, Sustainable, and Eco Shoes?

Eco-friendly, as a term, often comes hand in hand with ethical and sustainable, however there are differences between the three. When referring to  sustainable shoes, the focus is set on the future, ensuring the act of making them does not negatively impact the future generation’s needs.

what’s the difference between eco-friendly shoes and ethical and sustainable shoes?

Whereas,  ethical shoes refers to the welfare of those involved in the creation process of the footwear. From ensuring workers are working in fair conditions and being paid a living wage, to keeping animals used for production in good conditions and are treated with respect. 

What are Eco-Friendly Shoes Made from?

Eco-friendly shoes can be made from a variety of materials, from recycled plastics, to naturally produced materials such as wool and wood. Each material has its own benefits to eco-friendly shoes, and discovering these advantages is the key to choosing which type is right for you.

Renewable Wool

As wool is a natural and renewable resource, it is considered eco-friendly. Often used in  slippers, this may not be the first material that comes to mind when thinking of eco-friendly shoes. However, the different  types of wool provide unique advantages making them ideal as  everyday sneakers for every occasion. 

Can wool make eco-friendly shoes?

Merino wool is the ideal fabric for eco-friendly shoes. The wool has many benefits, including being temperature regulating, keeping feet cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. For those who experience sweaty feet, merino is also  moisture wicking fabric, moving sweat from your foot to the outside of the shoe - keeping you dry all day. You’ll also find eco-friendly shoes made from this fabric so comfortable that you’ll want to wear them barefoot! At Giesswein we use mulesing free merino wool, meaning the  merino sheep do not experience the painful process of mulesing. 

Sustainable Wood

Another natural material used for creating eco-friendly shoes is wood.  Eucalyptus is a fast growing tree, making it an excellent renewable resource for footwear! The wood is crushed to release its cellulose, which is then turned into a pulp. This pulp is then heated to create a spinning solution that can be filtered and turned into yarn which can eventually become eco-friendly shoes. For Giesswein’s  Wood Sneakers, we only use eucalyptus from FSC certified forests, ensuring the process is sustainable.

can wood make eco-friendly shoes?

Like wool, wood has many advantages when used for eco-friendly shoes. Not only is the fabric sustainable and biodegradable, it is also extremely soft, providing comfort with every step. It is also breathable, keeping your feet feeling fresh all day long! 

Recycled Ocean Plastic

Eco-friendly shoes are not limited to just being made from natural resources, they can also be made from recycled materials. One of these materials that is often used is recycled plastic. Ocean plastic is a major environmental concern, retrieving, recycling, and repurposing this ocean waste is one step towards cleaner oceans.  Ocean plastic shoes are made in five simple steps: 

  1. Collecting the  PET plastic bottles from the sea
  2. Melting the plastic down into pellets
  3. Creating a fine yarn from this
  4. Knitting the yarn into the upper of  ballerina flats
  5. Finally, adding the sole

Not only does this leave the oceans cleaner, but we’re left with a fabulous pair of eco-friendly shoes!

Are Eco-Friendly Shoes Right for Me?

Now we know what eco-friendly shoes are made from, you may be wondering if they’re the right footwear for you. As we all do our best to keep the planet as healthy as possible, opting for eco-friendly shoes is an easy choice to make. With so many stylish and comfortable shoes that don’t impact the environment, you’re not short for options! 

Putting Your Eco Foot Forward with Giesswein

At Giesswein we are passionate about being sustainable and ethical, creating eco-friendly shoes for every occasion! Whether you’re looking for a pair of  men’s sneakers that you can wear everyday, or a sleek pair of  women’s sneakers that will complement your work attire, we have the pair for you!

Everyday Eco Shoes

If you’re looking for a pair of everyday eco-friendly shoes, opting for a classic sneaker style is the way to go. The timeless style of our  Wool Sneaker will see you through morning to night, opt for a  men’s black sneaker or  women’s black sneaker to seamlessly go from the office to the dance floor. The anti-odour properties of the merino wool means these eco-friendly shoes won’t smell at the end of the day, no matter how busy you’ve been!

stylish casual eco-friendly shoes

For modern style, choose our Wood Sneaker, using our 3D-knit technology you’ll find the perfect fit with these eco-friendly shoes. The fabric is designed to fit your foot like a glove, and with an extra light  EVA sole you’ll never have been so comfy!

Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Trail Running Shoes

For those looking to hit the trails, our  Wool Cross X sneakers, made from merino wool, are the perfect choice. With this eco-friendly shoe you’ll be able to enjoy everything that nature has to offer. It acts as a   water-resistant trainer, keeping feet dry even in unexpected showers. The sole of this eco-friendly shoe provides stability on all of life’s trails!

Which eco-friendly shoes to wear running

Eco-Friendly Hiking Shoes

Another eco-friendly shoe designed to help you get the most out of your local environment is our  Wool Cross X Alpine boot. These men’s hiking shoes and women’s hiking shoes have a 100% merino lining. Being 100% waterproof, you’ll be able to explore the world during every season in these eco-friendly hiking shoes!

go hiking in eco-friendly shoes

Shoes the Family & the Planet Can Enjoy

Working towards a better planet isn’t just for adults, it’s for the future generation too. Starting your children on eco-friendly shoes early is easy with Giesswein’s  Kids’ trainers. Made from soft merino wool, these children’s eco shoes will keep them comfy on all of their adventures. With an easy slip-on system with a velcro fastening you can also wave goodbye to tantrums!

Eco-Friendly Wedding & Bridal Shoes

Wearing eco-friendly shoes isn’t limited to everyday, you can also incorporate these sustainable pieces into your special day. Giesswein’s ballet flats are the perfect  comfortable bridal shoes. Available in two styles:  round-toe flats, and  pointed flats, you’ll find a pair that matches your dress flawlessly. 

 what eco-friendly shoes can I wear to a wedding? 

Put Your Eco Feet Up at Home 

Slipping your feet into environmentally friendly footwear doesn't have to end when you walk through your front door.  Eco-friendly slippers will make a comfortable addition to your time relaxing at home. Made from  virgin wool, our  men’s slipperswomen’s slippers, and  kids’ slippers will feel luxurious against your feet all year long.

switch the eco-friendly shoes for slippers at home

What Makes Giesswein Special?

We are a third-generation run family business, specialising in merino wool footwear. From stylish sneakers for your next date, to  men’s white sneakers, and  women’s white sneakers to nail casual style, we have a pair you’ll love. With  men’s beanies and  women’s beanies too, you’ll be eco-friendly head to toe!