For consumers, eco-friendly kids' shoes are notoriously tricky. Kids grow out of their shoes quickly, making them almost disposable. But many parents balk at the premium price of sustainable eco-friendly materials. Used or cheap shoes can, however, cause problems (temporary and long-lasting) for growing feet. And since the kids in your life are going to be inheriting the planet you leave behind, it makes sense to look for eco-friendly brands.
There are plenty of styles and materials to choose from, including natural latex-soled boots, organic cotton sneakers, and recycled plastic sandals. And a greener shoe for your munchkin doesn't have to cost you much more. As with most planet-friendly products, there is some greenwashing when it comes to kids shoes, so do a bit of homework if you’re ordering those kicks online. As Ulrika Mensch, of Ethletic shoes says, “Above all, one should never be afraid of approaching the shoe company and ask all those questions!” Besides comfort and foot support, Mensch recommended looking for these green attributes:
> natural rubber latex that’s Forest Stewardship Council certified, rather than plastic
> organic, fair-trade cotton, hemp or other sustainably harvested fibers
> sewed seams (which are better for the environment than glued shoes)