At one point or another, you may have heard that our feet can absorb a great deal of whatever is beneath them throughout our days. And while I’m not entirely sure how much of that is true, I think there’s a good metaphor here…

Our feet provide us with a foundation for our lives. They hold us up and allow us to move, to travel, to visit and play with our loved ones, to work, to experience all that life has to offer.

So because of all of that, wouldn’t we want to treat them well?

One easy way to treat your feet (and the planet) better this spring and summer is by choosing flip flops and sandals made from natural and non-toxic materials. In this article, we’ve rounded up our favorite brands for eco-friendly summer sandals that are good for your actual footprint and your carbon footprint!

Oh, and you also may be interested in taking a peak at some of these related guides for your natural & organic summer wardrobe:

A couple of the links below are affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. We only make recommendations that are genuine and meet our standards!

Featured Image Credit: NAE

What to Look for in Natural Sandals & Sustainable Flip Flops

Before we give you our favorite brands, let’s briefly talk about the types of materials we’re looking for in organic and non-toxic sandals:

Natural Rubber

Natural rubber is a renewable resource that comes from trees, whereas synthetic rubber is a petroleum byproduct that’s very similar to plastic. When possible, look for recycled and/or FSC certified natural rubber to ensure it’s sourced in a sustainable and ethical way.

Cork

Cork is a great natural and eco-friendly material that’s used in a lot of shoes and sandals because of its ability to be durable, supportive, and naturally anti-bacterial. Recycled cork is even better!

Hemp & Organic Cotton

You’ll find that some of the brands below use organic cotton and hemp (mostly for the straps and upper parts of their sandals).

Hemp is one of our favorite sustainable fibers. It doesn’t require pesticides and herbicides to grow, it is not water-intensive, and it doesn’t strip the soil of the vital nutrients it will need to continue growing things in the future. It’s also a very durable, healthy, and breathable material that makes for a great sandal since it’s naturally anti-microbial!

Similarly, organic cotton is grown and harvested without the use of toxic synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Of course, it’s one of the more widely available types of organic fabrics, so you’ll see it in The Filtery’s guides quite a bit!

Vegetable-Tanned Leather

Conventional leather is tanned and processed using a lot of toxic chemicals and heavy metals, which can wreak havoc on the local communities where the leather is processed. Instead, go for vegetable-tanned leather which is tanned using tree bark and other plant materials.

Algae-Based Foams

There are quite a few newer sustainable materials making their way to the consumer market, and algae-based foam is one of those! This can be a great replacement for foams made from PVC and other plastic materials that are derived from fossil fuels.

The algae for these foams can either be grown sustainably in a man-made environment (so as to not disrupt the ocean’s ecosystems) or it can be obtained from areas where there is actually too much natural algae growth that is causing harm to the ecosystem.

Other innovative materials to look for include pineapple and apple leather (which are great vegan leather alternatives), and other types of fabrics made from things like sugar cane and rice husks.

Non-Toxic Dyes

Lastly, you’ll want to look for brands that use dyes and colorants that are either natural and plant-based or safe synthetics.

Are Recycled Sandals and Flip Flops a Good Alternative?

There are plenty of brands that offer flip flops and sandals made from recycled materials like post-consumer plastic bottles, tire treads, fishing nets, and more. And while these options are certainly more sustainable than choosing virgin synthetics, one thing to be aware of is that materials like plastics, synthetic rubber, PVC, etc., can contain toxic chemicals like phthalates, petroleum derivatives, and other not-so-healthy things.

That’s why for this article, we’ve chosen brands that are trying to use mostly natural materials that are free from synthetics altogether.

Our Favorite Flip Flop & Sandal Brands Using Natural Materials

And now, without further ado, let’s get shopping. Here are our favorite non-toxic flip flops and sandals for this season:

NAE Vegan

Although not all of NAE’s sandals are made with natural materials (they do use some synthetic and recycled vegan leathers), we love their use of innovative, plant-based materials like apple and pineapple leather, cork, and organic cotton.

They have a wide range of women’s, men’s, and unisex sandals that come in a variety of different styles, from everyday slip-ons to formal strappy heels. You’re almost sure to find a pair of sustainable sandals you love in NAE’s collection.

Shop NAE


Sea Sense

These plastic-free flip flops are made out of natural and sustainably-harvested rubber (which means they’re also vegan and biodegradable). Plus, a portion of the profits from each pair sold go to non-profit organizations that catch and collect ocean-bound plastic before it has the chance to pollute our waterways!

Available in men’s and women’s sizes, these flip flops are a great alternative to the conventional flip flops that you end up wearing all summer long. Throw them on to run errands, wear them to the beach or pool, or slide them on for a summer evening walk around the block.

Shop Sea Sense Use the code THEFILTERY10 for 10% off


CANO

If you’re looking for Huarache-style sandals, definitely check out CANO. They have a beautiful collection of artisan-made sandals, slip-ons, and Huaraches for women and men made out of natural materials like vegetable-tanned leather and natural rubber.

All of their shoes are ethically crafted by hand in Mexico, and you can find out more about the people who made your sandals on each product page. Plus, to increase transparency even more, each and every CANO is equipped with a QR code you can scan in order to find out more about the journey of your shoes.

Shop CANO


Feelgoodz

natural vegan slip on sandals from feelgoodz

Feelgoodz has a great collection of natural, vegan flip flops and slip-on sandals for men and women that are made from natural rubber and recycled rice husks. They come in a wide variety of colors, too.

All of Feelgoodz’s sandals are ethically made. Their rubber is tapped directly from rubber trees that belong to a rubber farming family in Thailand that the Feelgoodz team has been working with for over ten years. They also work with traditional weavers in Punjab, India, women-led knitting villages in Nepal, and rice farmers in Vietnam.

Shop Feelgoodz


Handmade Love

natural non toxic sandals from handmade love

If you want to get a good pair of beautiful yet simple sandals that are made out of 100% natural materials, Handmade Love is a solid choice. This Etsy shop is based in Uttar Pradesh, India, and as the name indicates, you can feel the love that the creators put into their sandals!

Handmade Love’s sandals are made by a very small operation—only three people are responsible for crafting and distributing the sandals, so they’ve got a very short supply chain! And they’re affordable too, coming in at only $30 per pair. The materials they use for their sandals include straw, cotton, jute, and natural rubber for the outsole.

Shop Handmade Love


Munjoi

plant based sandal from munjoi

Munjoi’s “All-Dai Shoe” is truly something unique. First of all, it’s not JUST a slip-on sandal. It can also transform into a sneaker or a closed-toed slip-on (you can wear it four different ways!).

This super versatile, unisex, and plant-based shoe is made out of innovative materials like cotton, hemp, algae, and cane sugar.

Plus, these shoes are super easy to pack and travel with, machine washable, and waterproof (with drainage holes!), too.

Shop Munjoi


Samba Sol

natural rubber flip flops for kids from samba sol

It’s actually harder than you might think to find non-toxic and natural rubber sandals for kids, but Samba Sol has them!

These sustainable flip flops for the whole family are made out of natural rubber, they’re waterproof, and they come in a LOT of fun patterns and colors to choose from. Their vibrant prints are transferred using some of the newest non-toxic transfer technology.

Shop Samba Sol


Original Cork Shop

Another great option for the whole family (including kids), Original Cork Shop uses almost only cork in the production of their eco-friendly flip flops.

Made in Portugal, these vegan flip flops contain zero plastics and are 100% natural and recyclable. Not only that, but they’re waterproof and naturally anti-bacterial as well.

Shop Original Cork Shop


Rawganique

Rawganique has been a solid proponent for truly non-toxic and sustainable clothing and home goods for decades now.

Their collection of flip flops, sandals, and slip-on shoes are not only vegan and eco-friendly, but also a really great option for those with extreme skin and chemical sensitivities. Their super comfortable unisex hemp sandals and flip flops are available in Natural (unbleached and dye-free) and Black (low-impact, biodegradable fiber-reactive eco-dye).

These biodegradable and sweatshop-free sandals are made ethically in Europe.

Shop Rawganique


Jivanas

non toxic natural leather sandals from jivanas

In order to help ensure the process is as ethical as possible, Jivanas commissions artists in Nepal to craft these 100% biodegradable sandals. Their flip flops for men and women are made with premium, Italian vegetable-tanned leather and hemp, and then colored with water-based eco-friendly dyes.

These high-quality sandals are ones that will likely last you years and years.

Shop Jivanas


SOLE

SOLE’s sandals are a good choice for those who might need some extra support in their flip-flops. SOLE carries a really wide variety of orthopedic sandals and flip flops for men and women, and although they do use some synthetic materials, they also use a lot of natural ones too, such as cork (made from recycled wine corks!) and algae-based foams.

SOLE’s various sustainable flip flops have foot-loving features like soft-flex arch support and a moldable orthopedic shape which helps to reduce plantar facia strain, maximize heel cushion, and improve overall balance and posture.

SOLE is also a member of 1% for the Planet and all of their products are carbon neutral.

Shop SOLE


D’Arçé

If you’re looking for a more stylish luxury sandal, you should definitely check out D’Arçé. This brand makes its shoes using vegetable-tanned kangaroo leather, which is sourced locally. This obviously makes it an unappealing brand for vegans, however, D’Arçé makes an effort to limit how they get their kangaroo leather (it’s only obtained during controlled harvests to avoid overpopulation). They also have a policy of not wasting any of the leather, so they upcycle their scraps.

It’s also important to note that the leather is vegetable-tanned, which means it’s not processed using a bunch of toxic chemicals and heavy metals that conventional leather requires. Each pair of these sandals is handmade, too!

Shop D’Arçé


Waves

natural rubber flip flops from waves

If you want a pair of flip flops that are perfect for the beach, Waves might be the best choice. These natural rubber flip flops are simple, colorful, and gender-neutral.

The natural rubber is sourced from Sri Lanka, where the flip flops are also manufactured. They’re recyclable, biodegradable, and free from any potentially harmful chemicals.

Shop Waves

Conclusion

We hope this article helped you find some natural and non-toxic sandals and flip flops that fit your needs, lifestyle, and personal style.

If you want more non-toxic product picks, news, and other random fun stuff from the internet delivered to your inbox each week, be sure to sign up for Filtered Fridays!