Nature has inspired many innovations in the world. The Wright Brothers studied birds in flight to get a better grasp on the physics of lift for their invention of the airplane; designers have emulated the properties of shark skins as they created swimsuits for Olympians; and a Swiss engineer invented Velcro after examining the burrs that his dog would catch in his fur, and noticed that the burrs contained hooks and loops. The efficiency, functionality and beauty of nature continues to inspire new inventions and designs across the globe, and this is especially prominent in women’s footwear. Here’s a rundown of some of the best women’s shoe brands inspired by nature on the market today.
Taos Footwear credits its shoe designs as being inspired by the natural beauty of the American Southwest. The company prides itself on creating comfortable but stylish women’s shoes for everyday use. Crafted from leather and fabric, its footwear is often embellished with decorations like stones and rugged buckles. Taos also does its best to support the environment by recycling in its office, building its shoe boxes out of recycled material, and choosing materials and manufacturing practices that leave as small an environmental footprint as possible.
Pikolinos is a footwear company inspired by the Mediterranean region. Following the stunning vistas and laid-back vibe of this area, Pikolinos turns out unique, thoughtful designs season after season. The respect for nature has translated into its manufacturing processes: all leather used is chromium-free, and vegetable dyes contain no toxic components.
On the other side of the world, Olukai has deep connections to the Hawaiian islands. Olukai creates shoes fit for an island lifestyle, meaning to be able to go from the beach to the forest while maintaining durability. Comfort is another priority of Olukai footwear. Olukai has coined the term, “Wet Sand Principle,” to indicate that as users walk on wet sand, their heels touch the sand first and the sand quickly fills in under the arch while their toes splay out in front. Every pair of Olukai shoes uses a footbed that adheres to this principle, providing long-lasting, anatomically-aligned comfort.
Earthies is another fabulous shoe line inspired by nature. Part of the umbrella company of Earth Brands, Inc., Earthies evolved from a company that focused on the whole-body wellness experience to that which presents a hip collection of holistic-inspired designs in earth-friendly hues, including sky blues, rich browns and vibrant reds. Earthies also takes part in Trees for the Future, whose slogan is “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree on Earth”. Its goal is to plant as many trees as possible to offset deforestation around the globe.
Born platform sandals are handcrafted using either full-grain or veg leather to create ultra-comfortable, feminine footwear. Practicality aside, these open-toe creations are works of art. Each sandal design is inspired by nature from all corners of the world, and aims to convey a youthful sense of adventure.
Lastly Birkenstock, a hugely popular company, has been creating earth-friendly and nature-inspired shoes for over a century! It’s not enough that their products are comfortable, unique and timeless; Birkenstock also strives to make sure their assembly is eco-friendly by constructing quality shoes with low waste production. They recycle all leftover and scrap material when manufacturing, and use boxes made only with recycled paper and printed with environmentally-friendly inks.
What is your favorite line of nature-inspired, eco-friendly footwear?