Madewell's Court Sneaker Is Made From Reclaimed Leather and Recycled Rubber

Classic and versatile, these shoes are built to last and go with everything.

Madewell Court Sneaker in white
Madewell Court Sneaker in white.


Sneakers are having their moment. After a year when dress shoes and heels basically became obsolete, comfortable footwear is all anyone wants to wear – or bothers buying, for that matter. That is why Madewell's latest line of sustainable shoes, the Court Sneaker, is bound to do well, especially when readers find out about its impressive eco-friendly credentials.

These shoes have cool, chunky outsoles made from 40% recycled rubber and 10% rice husks. The lining is made from recycled cotton, reclaimed from old garments, and the shoelaces are made with cotton grown according to standards set by the Better Cotton Initiative, which trains farmers to use more ecologically-responsible agricultural practices for a reduced impact.

Perhaps most intriguing is the use of reclaimed leather in the uppers. The Court Sneaker is made from bits and pieces of leather that would otherwise go to waste, and all of these pieces come from a tannery that has achieved a Gold Rating from the Leather Working Group. This organization has, since 2005, identified best environmental practices in the leather-working industry and provided guidelines and certification incentives for companies to improve their production standards.

The Court Sneaker comes in five different color schemes – basic white, Desert Olive, Ivory Multi, Coastal Orange Multi, Sheer Pink. Some mix suede and snakeskin pieces for an appealing patchwork appearance, and all contain Madewell's Cloudlift insoles for "extreme cushioning and support."

Madewell model with shoes


The shoes are classic, simple, and versatile, just how we like our products here on Treehugger. The idea is not to add yet another pair of superfluous shoes to your wardrobe, but to invest in pieces that will last a long time, that are made in ways that reflect sustainable and eco-friendly principles, and can be worn with a broad range of outfits. The Court Sneaker definitely appears to meet those criteria, which makes it a good option for anyone needing some new footwear.

Madewell is best known for its denim products and, as its website says, "all the things you wear with denim, like effortless tees, keep-forever bags, cool jewelry and compliment-worthy shoes." It participates in the Blue Jeans Go Green program that recycles old denim into housing insulation and credits your donation toward a new pair of jeans. It has a number of other "Do Well" projects that involve supporting the charity Girls Inc., advocating for LGBTQ equality, and improving access to drinking water with charity: water. You can learn more here.