Back in the day, when it was hard to find stylish vegan sandals, compassionate women could always turn to espadrilles. Made with cotton fabric and braided jute, espadrilles were vegan way before vegan was cool. And when the platform wedge heel came along, coupled with laces wrapping up feminine legs – forget it – even men who didn’t have foot fetishes suddenly had foot fetishes.
But when were wedge heels invented?
According to Renee Jacques in the Huffington Post, wedge heel shoes were invented in the 1940s by the famous Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo. Because of World War II era sanctions against Italy, the designer was unable to acquire the steel that was normally used in the heels of his shoes. “I experimented with pieces of Sardinian cork,” wrote Mr. Ferragamo, “pushing and gluing and fixing and trimming until the entire space between the sole and the heel was blocked solid.” Testament to his ingenious design skills, the new style quickly took off and, as you’ll see in this post, it shows no sign of becoming passé.
Unfortunately, you won’t find any wedge sandals by Ferragamo in this post. Why? You guessed it – I couldn’t find any by Ferragamo that are vegan. Sadly, Mr. Ferragamo passed away in the 1960s, too soon to experience the vegan footwear revolution that is, well – afoot! We can only hope that his enduring fashion house will wake up and smell the espresso and honor his fashion forward thinking by creating some cruelty-free sandals for the women of today.
Until then, there are these…
These vegan wedge sandals by Siamese Dream were real standouts when I did my research because I didn’t come across any other sandals quite like them. Sadly, I just learned that their master shoemaker has been ill, so they’ll be discontinuing their shoe line. They still have some styles left, so if you fancy them – get them while you can!
Ibizencas makes their vegan sandals in Spain. Their shoes are all handmade, and the company uses organic cotton and natural jute in their designs. They have both high and low heeled styles. And if you’ve got a wedding to attend, or if you’re having your own, be sure to check out their wedding collection.
These cute platform espadrilles with their nautical stripes could only be designed by Tommy Hilfiger. They have a 3.5” heel and a 1” platform.
Walk Heart Espadrilles will customize espadrilles for you in their studio in Spain. They use organic cotton in their designs, and all of their shoes are handmade. These bright blue vegan sandals have 4” heels and blue ribbons that wrap up your legs. The fun bright blue tassels will undoubtedly have people asking, “Where did you get those shoes?”
You can’t go wrong when you buy a pair of socially conscious TOMS sandals (as long as they’re from their vegan collection!) These super flattering open toe wedge sandals will look great with a skirt or a pair of jeans. They also come in a black denim. (But beware, there’s a natural colored style too that has leather on the strap.) Heel height is approximately 3.4”.
If you want the wedge look, but a lower heel, check out these wedge sandals by LifeStride. They’re ultra-comfortable with elastic crisscross straps and a faux leather toe strap. The cork heel is about 2” and they come in medium and wide widths. Colors include black, navy blue, and natural.
Stand out in the crowd with these uber-high espadrille platform sandals. The wedge heel is 4” and the platform is 1.5”. The straps are made with PETA-certified vegan leather and faux suede.
While UGG is known for their very not-animal-friendly leather boots, it’s reassuring to see them branch out and include some cruelty-free shoes. We can only hope they phase out all their styles made with animal skin (when people stop buying them!) These cute espadrilles have a canvas upper and rubber soles. The heel measures 2”.
This fun vegan wedge sandal by Michael Kors has a 4” braided jute heel and a 1” platform. They have a cute zippered t-strap up the front and a cushioned foot bed. Colors include: black, natural, navy blue, white, orange, turquoise, and pink.
These stretchy crisscross sandals by Steve Madden are comfortable enough to wear while walking your pup. They have a 2” wedge heel and a 1.5” platform.
If you’ve been too busy to refresh your pedicure, you’ll be covered with these closed, round toed espadrilles by Style & Co. The upper is made with soft microsuede. The classic espadrille wedge heel is 2.5” and the platform is 0.75”. These sandals come in red, black, denim, and gold.
These fun stretch elastic wedge sandals have a 3.25” cork heel and a 1.25” platform. The adjustable ankle strap makes them comfortable enough to wear to an outdoor concert, amusement park, or wherever the fun takes you this summer. They come in red, ivory, navy blue, silver, and black.
Another comfortable wedge sandal, this cute style by Aerosoles has elastic crisscross straps. Plus, there’s a memory foam footbed and the sole is flexible. They come in red, white, and black.
Another cute style by Aerosoles, these vegan wedge sandals sport a buckled toe strap and a cute ankle strap. The heel measures approximately 3.25″ and the platform is 0.75”. They come in black, red, and cork.
For a slightly different wedge heel look, check out these vegan-friendly sandals by Kenneth Cole Reaction. They have a wooden wedge heel and soft ankle straps. They come in floral print and denim.
If you’re looking for a lower heel, but with the same cute look and an ankle strap, check out this style by Kenneth Cole Reaction. They have a 1” heel that’s closed in the back and a cushioned sole. This style comes in a wide array of colors, including natural cork, navy blue, black, white, red, champagne, gold, coral, brown, denim, and multi-colored.
These ivory peep toe sandals with laces have a classic espadrille look. They have rubber soles and the platform measures approximately 1.5”.
These high platform sandals by Dolce Vita will have you standing out in the crowd. The platform is lightweight with a wooden look. They come in textile patterns and blue denim. (There are some leather styles, so be sure to read the product details.)
You won’t regret wearing these super comfortable elastic strap wedge sandals by Anne Klein. Get the high-heeled wedge look with the low-heel feel of sneakers. Colors include: natural, pewter, black, denim blue, and orange-red.
El Naturalista’s canvas strap wedge sandals are 100% vegan. They come in four color combinations, including mustard and brown, red and brown, black and brown, or navy and brown.
If you like the 70s look, these high-platform wedge sandals have it. They have cute ankle laces, and they come in black, white, or pink. The heel is 4” and the platform is 1.5”. Plus, they have a rubber sole, in case you need to do a little dancing on a slippery floor.
Skechers now creates a wide variety of animal-friendly, comfortable shoes. These colorful crisscross slide wedges can be worn with anything. The heel is 2.75” and the platform 0.75”. They also come in a few different color combinations.
Here’s another style by Skechers that is extra comfortable and equipped with a heel strap. It comes in black denim, blue denim, taupe, white, light blue, and brown. The heel measures 2.75″ and the platform is .75”.
This classic, peep toe wedge espadrille by Ralph Lauren has a braided jute heel and comes in a variety of textiles, including batik, black, navy, pink, mint, purple, and bright turquoise. The heel measures 2.5″ and the platform is 0.5”.
These vegan sandals by Impo have it all, including a sling back strap for comfort and an open toe to show off your pedicure. They have a 3” wedge heel and a 1.5” platform. Colors include black, navy blue, and rose.
To see more cute vegan sandals, check out these posts: