Dress shoes are rarely ethical or vegan, and this is a problem you need to be aware of.
Most dress shoes for men and women are made of leather or suede, and both are using animal skin.
But faux leather, or vegan leather, exists, and we’ll be examining some of our favourites today.
What Shoe Brands Are Vegan?
Many shoe brands offer a few vegan options. Some wholly vegan shoe brands are:
- Beyond Skin.
Of those brands, the first four offer vegan dress shoes, and all six vegan brands are available in the UK.
Are Fila Shoes Vegan?
Fila isn't a vegan brand as their offer includes shoes made of animal leather. However, most of Fila’s trainers use vegan materials, but you have to be careful when buying. Make sure to check if the pair is made of synthetic materials and if the glue is vegan as well.
If you’re looking for a 100% vegan athletic footwear brand, consider Ethletic. The ethical and athletic elements of the brand are right in the name.
Looking for more alternatives to Fila shoes?
- Our selection of the best vegan walking shoes for every occasion
- Our curated selection of vegan Nike models
- The best casual vegan trainers you can get
Do Vegan Shoes Last?
To be honest, vegan shoes usually don’t last as long as animal leather shoes. Despite being more sensitive to tears and cuts, leather is a very durable substance, with proper maintenance.
But the good news is that you can extend the life of your vegan dress shoes by caring for them, too. And designers are increasingly working with cutting-edge technologies that considerably improve the quality of vegan leather.
Is Vegan Leather Ethical?
When it comes to animals, vegan leather is ethical. No animals are harmed in vegan leather’s making.
But for the environment and workers, it’s less so. Vegan leather is often made in large factories where workers have few rights. It’s also made of a plastic substance that takes years to biodegrade.
So if you care about animals more than the environment, then vegan leather is fine. But for the environmentally conscious, vegan leather is a pickle with no real solution.
Some vegan leather can be recycled, which takes part of the issue away. If you can find a facility to recycle your old vegan leather shoes, there should be no issue.
Best Men’s Vegan Dress Shoes
Our nº1 - Wealsex Mens Classic Brogues
These men’s brogues are a stylish dress shoe, available in three colours:
- Wine red.
Like with most faux leather, you can’t even tell it’s not real. It has genuine leather shine and texture.
The rest of the shoe-materials are cruelty-free, too. The inner material is synthetic, and the sole is rubber.
Rubber is an excellent material for soles, and so many dress shoes use leather instead. Rubber is springy, but durable, and creates a fantastic buffer between you and the ground.
Customers find these shoes stylish and well-fitting, and due to the colour options, they go with almost every outfit and occasion.
If you want a pair of high-quality, high-shine vegan shoes, these are the ones to choose. They’re available in sizes 4.5–10, UK size.
- Realistic look.
- High shine makes them look expensive.
- Excellent sole material.
- Limited size options.
Men’s Budget Vegan Dress Shoes — MyShoeStore® Mens Formal Shoes
If you’re a man on a budget, these shoes can make your wallet happy. Yet they have the look of much more expensive and far less cruelty-free shoes.
The leather is incredibly realistic, although it looks more like boot leather in black, the two tan shades have a somewhat patchy look of genuine leather.
MyShoeStore’s faux leather shoes are available in both black and tan. Each colour has a slip-on and a lace-up version. You’ll find the lace-up tan shade is darker than the slip-on, though.
Where the lace-ups are excellent for formal events, the slip-ons suit business casual more. But both versions have equal quality.
It’s almost unnoticeable, but the smart shoes have a section of air holes on each side.
From afar, it simply looks like an interesting design. Up close, the secret is revealed.
Breathability isn’t the only indicator of comfort, though. Wearers found the shoes fit excellently, although they’re a pain to break in. They caused blisters and cramped toes. The latter may be because they fit narrow.
They run in UK sizes 6–12.
- Incredibly affordable.
- Several closure options.
- High-quality construction.
- Painful to break-in.
- They run narrow.
Fanciest Men’s Vegan Dress Shoes — Gaorui Floral Patent Derby Shoes
If you’re looking for a high-end appearance, these shoes are second to none.
Their shine is almost so bright; it renders the colour impossible to see. Here are the colour options:
- Blue flower.
- Grey flower.
- Red flower.
These are faux leather shoes for the fanciest occasions you can fathom. And despite their hard, shiny exterior, the inside is soft, supportive, and breathable.
Customers have few complaints about either element of the shoes. They run slightly large, but that’s easily remedied by wearing thick socks. But if you have wider feet, the fit is fabulous.
These are definitely shoes to consider if you have a high-class event to go to. They’re even better if the event has a fun-factor to it, as their floral design makes them stand out.
If you want them, they’re available in UK sizes 5–10.5.
- An unbeatable shine.
- Fantastic fit.
- They run slightly large.
Best Women's Vegan Dress Shoes
Most Versatile Women’s Vegan Shoes — Dr. Martens Women's 1461 Vegan Derbys
These Docs are faux leather and are a dress shoe for many a formal occasion.
You may think these are unorthodox, given their metallic sheen—you’d be right. They can accompany a stylish pantsuit in silver or gold. But on the other hand, they work well at a party where you need to be quirky.
Regardless of your intent, you should be comfortable throughout wear. The soles are rubber, the best material for them, and the faux leather textile is breathable, so you have no reason to worry about sweaty feet.
Although they can be difficult to break in, so users recommend heel cushions in the beginning, you may also want to take precautions, so they don’t rub your heel and cause blisters.
Break them in gradually, and they’re sure to start fitting like a glove. They come in sizes 3, 4 and 6, UK.
- Versatile shoes for many occasions.
- Naturally shiny.
- Limited sizes available.
- Difficult to break in, and they cause blisters during the process.
When going home, if your feet hurt, don't forget to wear slippers. We've made a full list of vegan slippers.
Best Flat Women’s Vegan Shoe — Blowfish Women's Galie Gladiator Sandals
If you’re an older lady who can no longer handle heels, these may be vegan shoes for you.
These shoes aren’t as classy as some dress shoes you’ll find. But they have an elegant shape, and if they had a heel, they’d cross the line into refinement.
Not only that, but they double as simple summer sandals, too.
The classic shoes are highly versatile and work particularly well for outdoor formals in warm weather. They’d go excellently with a long, swishy skirt.
But the best thing about them isn’t their versatility, nor their simple but sleek look; it’s their construction.
These shoes aren’t just vegan—they’re ethical! The leather-like material is synthetic, but it’s not the same faux leather you’ll find on other vegetarian shoes. So for ultra-vegan shoes, these are the way to go.
They’re available in sizes 3–8, UK size.
- Great for older women.
- Works as a dress or casual shoe.
- Not the classiest.
Best Women’s High Heel Shoes — Fashion Thirsty Heelberry
If you prefer your dressy shoes with heels, here are some very classy ones. Again, these are ultra-ethical as they lack faux leather. Instead, they’re made to mimic suede.
These veg shoes come in:
There’s a shade for every occasion in these well-made, comfortable shoes. And of course, a shade for every outfit. They’re so classy; this vegan footwear will work with almost any clothing short of athletic wear.
Although, before you wear them, ensure the straps fit. These are shoes for larger ladies, so you may need to add an extra hole to accommodate smaller ankles.
You should ensure the heels are secure, too, as other wearers discovered the cap on the heel comes off easily. Try not to walk on rough terrain—for tough terrain, our previous contender is perfect.
They come in UK sizes 3–8. Size 8 also has a narrow option.
And if you do prefer, we also have a nice selection of vegan sneakers for women !
- Highly elegant.
- Heel isn’t too high.
- Some wearers report that the shoes squeak.
Building a fancy vegan wardrobe? We've got what you're looking for!
- Add a bit of wildness to your style with a faux fur gilet
- Or what about a faux fur bolero for those fancy dinners?
- Something more casual? What about a faux leather jacket?
It’s often a struggle to find vegan shoes, and here are some you can go back to, again and again.
Vegan dress shoes are strange. Their prices vary so extensively, and their ethics are questionable. But if you want shoes you can care for that don’t harm animals, they’re the way to go.
All products ship to the UK.