Yogi Footwear: Sustainable Design

Sustainable practices are becoming more and more commonplace across many different industry sections and it’s a great thing to see. For some brands though, sustainability is a key foundation of everything they do. One such brand is Yogi Footwear. The brand known for its ‘Negative Heel’ technology has had sustainability at its core since its inception.


Yogi Footwear set out to create shoes that not only made from the best possible materials – they also wanted to do it in the most sustainable way possible. Their unlined moccasins for example feature a full leather upper, leather laces, and a Vibram or crepe sole – all of which are locally sourced where possible including a natural crepe sole and vegetable-tanned leather. Their shoe boxes are also made from recycled materials.

In the construction of their Mocassins, they use only water-based adhesives and the unlines construction aims to minimise wastage while maintaining solid build quality that is designed for longevity and durability. All shoes are made in Portugal by a third-generation family-owned factory of skilled artisans. Each shoe is hand-stitched using the best available materials for a premium finish.

Comfort and fit

Proponents of what Yogi call the ‘negative heel’, based on a shoe popular in the 1970s designed by Danish Yoga teacher Anne Kalsø after a trip to Brazil and seeing the similar style of footwear worn by the local people. She noted the great posture and slight difference in style of walking that showed a slightly exaggerated heel-first action. Interested in health and well-being Kalsø decided to re-create the shoe in her own vision which became known as the ‘Earth Shoe’ – its standout feature being the negative heel.

Today Yogi continue the legacy and have adapted the negative heel for their own line of shoes. The result is a shoe that is thinner at the heel than at the front offering what some find to be a more natural way of walking where the wearer is encouraged to walk heel-downward first, as if walking on sand. The design helps improve posture, relieve pressure on the back and therefore better breathing and overall feel of well-being.

New For SS21

Blending both sustainability with their proprietary designs such as the negative heel this season we see Yogi push their sustainability credentials further with a recycled negative heel outsole introduced for SS21. Sourced from a local factory in Portugal the sole is made from a recycled blend of rubber and cork delivering a satisfying texture and extra grippy responsiveness with enough give without being bouncy. The recycled sole is available in the Lennon, Finn II and Elba styles.

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