Nothing begins a conversation (or completes an outfit) like a great pair of shoes from a brand that you love,  than one on a mission to add culture, spread love, or empower people.
 
We’ve curated  50 newer footwear brands you might not own yet, but should consider shopping this year.
 
Because what you really want, is for your journey to be supported by footwear that makes positive changes in and around your life.
 

1. Buqisi-Ruux

Started by three cousins from Kenya, the company features funky yet fashionable heel. With his colorful designs and layaways option, the company strives in celebrating powerful African women, and the diversity within the continent. Meaning “Queen of the village”, their products will make you feel like the royalty that you are.

 

2. Sseeko Designs

Based in Uganda, the company’s primary mission is providing for girls and women around the globe. With each purchase, not only do you feel stylish, but you are also helping a woman pursue her dreams. They specialize in sandals and flats and only use leather in the making of their products.

 

3. Enzi Footwear

Made in Ethiopia and created by co-founders Jawad and Braye, the brand seeks to challenge the perception of Africa through design and artisanal production exceeding international standards. Crafted from the highest quality leather their sneakers are as well-made as comfortable.

 

4. Thando’s

I present to you, the perfect shoes for those juggling between heels and flats during the day. The brand’s products are stretchable, machine washable, light, and comfortable. You can easily fit their flats into your purse without people noticing. Also, their limited edition products will give you that sense of exclusivity you are looking for.

 

5. Solerebels

With over $1 Million of sales every year, the Ethiopian brand is sold in over 50 countries and features products made especially from recycled materials. The motive behind the brand creation was to provide good paying jobs to the community, which has been attained by providing their employees with a minimum wage 4-5 higher than the industry average.

 

6. Monaa

Founded by Ghanaian sisters, Nana and Afua Dabanka, MONAA pays homage to their Ashanti heritage through their products, and features African-inspired embellishments. Their sandals are light, bright and made with globally sourced leather.

 

 

7. Oliberte

Started in 2009 with 60% percent of employees being women, the company became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory by 2013. One percent of their profit go to non-profit organizations dedicated to the environment, and they pride themselves in using premium cow and goat leather.

 

8. Dellala

A collaboration between Ghanaian entrepreneur Nii Addotey and U.S.-based entrepreneur Tina Tangalakis, the brand is based in Los Angeles, California but carries handmade items–including shoes–from Ghana. The company provides jobs, education and skills training to employees, and has recently collaborated with the U.S shoe manufacturer Vans.

 

9. Haus of Hercule

For all my dapper men, this is the brand you have been looking for. With its luxurious colors and designs including animal prints, you will find one of a kind loafers and oxfords to complement your outfits. Christopher Jeje’s designs are the perfect combination of casual yet sophisticated.

 

10. Hesey Designs

Fashion designer Odiete Eseoghene makes African-inspired handcrafted shoes, and accessories such as bags and purses. The collection is colorful, trendy, and made with a combination of leather and African prints.

 

11. Passport Articles de Voyage (Passport ADV)

As the name implies, Passport’s aesthetic is heavily influenced by the idea of cultural exploration and how various cultures affect the modern landscape of fashion as we know it. With its initial offering, the burgeoning brand found its way into the hands of some of fashion and entertainment’s most coveted names.

 

 

12. Afros

Afros is an innovative footwear fashion house founded in June 2012 by designer Emo Rugene out of a yearning to create a fashionable every day shoe that Kenyans can identify with and make their own. Made from Ankara fabric, the shoe embodies an eclectic vibrancy in the bourgeoning Nairobi urban cultures.

 

13. Tsonga South Africa

The brand’s journey began in the late 1990s when cheap imported footwear flooded the South African market, forcing many shoe manufacturers to close their doors. They feature men and women’s shoes and accessories, using the hand-stitching skills of the women of a village close to South Africa.

 

14. Heel the World

Fred, the face behind the brand, believed Africa was full of potential and that luxury products could be made here and sold in the finest shops all over the world. It features men’s shoes made of the finest leather.

 

15. Sawa

Sawa is an activist fashion project, which has taken the challenge to fabricate shoes in Africa. Since SAWA shoes features cemented and stitched soling, the bonding is considered to be finite. The sole stitching is made with a nylon waterproof thread.

           

16. Brother Vellies

Aurora James founded Brother Vellies with the goal of introducing the rest of the world to her favorite traditional African footwear, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa. Handmade in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Morocco, Brother Vellies creates boots, shoes and sandals in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts.

 

17. Ten & Co     

 Handmade in small batches by a cobbler in Marrakech, their shoes combine classic shapes with the vibrant colors and patterns of North Africa. The brand is committed to simple, functional design and supporting the skilled craftsmen who make the shoe, and also aim to create beautiful, wearable footwear that reimagines the narrative of classic design.  

 

18. Proud Mary

Harper Poe combines her background in interior design, project management and international development to bring to market home decor, personal accessories and wearables that are beautiful, modern and well-made. She also brings together people who share the core of the craft of the artisan community from where they originate.

 

 19. Grandt Mason Originals

The shoes are made of biodegradable components (cork, cork rubber compounds and natural rubber soling), and built to last, with a strong focus on comfort. The leather used is locally sourced and tanned using a chemical-free, water-safe approach called “veg tan”.

 

20. Rafia Chic

The brand is designed in Australia and made in Morocco using raffia sourced from Madagascar. Their products are handmade and crafted by skilled artisans to give the shoes a unique touch yet reflecting the sense of tradition.

 

21. Young Freedie

Young Freddie has been known for its comfortable Afrocentric shoes. The designer uses materials such as Ankara from west and central Africa, Kente from South Africa, as well as Kitenge and Maasai print fabric from East Africa. All shoes are handmade.

 

22. Coast & Koi 

Coast & Koi was established after designer Caryn Wilensky noticed a gap in the market for stylish, locally handmade and eye catching footwear. Her seasonal collections are made up of classics, comfortable and luxurious pumps, as well as sandals, espadrilles, boots and brogues.

 

23. Kene Rapu

The Nigerian brand uses locally sourced material and workmanship to provide handcrafted slippers and sandals. Each piece is carefully designed, ensuring the physical elements of the Kene Rapu aesthetic is present in each design. They aim to produce designs featuring clean shapes and clean edges, which are very much fuss- free and always trendy. 

 

24. Etnik

Founded in 2015 by Tunde Owolabi, Ethnik is about making aso oke accessible to the fashion-forward modern man and woman. They aim to produce sustainable fashion accessories that are uniquely Afrocentric, drawing inspiration from the Yoruba culture of Nigeria, as well as other African cultures, telling their stories to the world through patterns and colors woven into beautiful fabrics.

 

25. Oba Couture

The brand provides a collection of valuable high quality products made with premium leather, African inspired textiles and precious metal hardware. The shoes are made to ensure that they are the perfect fit for your feet.

 

26. Mangishi Doll

The brand is inspired through the designer’s love for nature, global culture, shapes and haute couture. The brand has showcased its collections around Zambia, the US and Australia. The shoes are made from colorful Ankara fabrics.

 

27. Culture Baby

The brand offers children, and their family and friends, products and ideas that celebrate the Moroccan cultural heritage and global diversity while maintaining a fresh, modern design aesthetic. The products are in keeping with the highest standards of the baby industry seeking out safe, non-toxic and organic items, as well as items made sustainably, ethically and under fair-trade conditions.

 

28. Soloviere

The Moroccan brand features men’s shoes made from the softest leather and suede. The collection goes from casual to classy. The men’s slippers are light and made carefully with the most attention to details.

 

29. Shola

Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Shola Yusuf is the founder and creative force of Shola Designs. The brand features vibrant heels, wedges and sandals that will make you feel like a diva. The patent leather adds to the originality of the collection, and can easily be paired with your staple pieces.

 

30. Keexs

The innovative brand from Africa gets its name from the combination of the words Kicks meaning casual footwear or sneakers and keeks, meaning to peep surreptitiously. Wearing them not only makes you feel good, but it also contributes to alleviating poverty in Nigeria. Their collections features both women and men’s colorful sneakers.

 

31. Ecosandals

The products are produced from used materials- like recycled tire tread rubber -collected from the Korogocho neighborhood and surrounding areas. Some of the materials also include leather and beads.

 

32. Zetu Shoes

The brand is designed and produced in South Africa. Their collections feature men’s shoes made form the local craftmanship using the purest leather. Zethu is a Nguni word meaning OURS signifying ownership or heritage, which translates the meaning of the company as “Our shoes”.

 

33. Davids

This Nigerian brand carries men’s shoes made of suede and leather. Their collections features tassel and fringe loafers that will immediately take your outfit from casual to formal.

 

34, Overall Premium Brands

This brand is literally the dapper heaven. They feature leather and suede shoes ranging from loafers, to double-straps monks. For our daring gentlemen, they also offer quilted velvet slippers to give an instant feel of royalty.

 

35. Eyez

The brand caters to men, offering shoes, clothing and accessories. Their deep colors such as burgundy and soft material, add to the quality of their shoes. For the warm weather ahead, indulge into their beautiful leather sandals.

 

36. Haq Otaru

Gentlemen, look no more for the perfect Chelsea boots. The handcrafted suede boots from Haq Otaru are the perfect addition to your wardrobe. They are comfortable and easy to match. They also offer casual shoes made in leather and suede as well.

 

37. Maducholuchi

A brand that takes great pride in its African heritage, class and simplicity, seeks to create job opportunities for skilled Nigerians through training workshops for Maducholuchi.  With a taste for luxury and interest in developing and investing in the economy, Maducholuchi chooses to produce in West Africa at a higher cost.

 

38. Horseman Shoes

Horseman Shoes is a Ghanaian based footwear manufacturing company. Horseman Shoes seek to provide to the Ghanaian working class quality footwear that reflect their status, taste and identity. Everything is made in Ghana in order to provide jobs for the population.

 

39. Vidal

Made in Cameroon, Vidal offers personalized handmade men’s shoes. Their luxurious and well-polished formal shoes range from suede to leather. They have a variety to choose from and stand by the quality of the products.

 

40. Enda Athletic

Enda was founded with a mission of bringing a bit of Kenyan athletic excellence to runners everywhere. We developed the world’s greatest running shoes incorporating the country’s running history, culture and skills, while at the same time creating jobs. They are assembling the shoes in Kenya, with a long-term vision of having the shoes 100% made in Kenya.

 

41. Kenyatas

For over 40 years, they have produced classic, comfortable and reliable shoes sold exclusively in these outdoor “sokos” across Kenya and in a few neighboring regions. They are made from 100% African canvas and African cotton is used for the laces. Their sneakers are also light and breathable.

 

42. Mimi Plange

After working a decade in the fashion industry, Mimi launched her label in 2010. Her line is a combination of traditional pieces with a hint of luxury designs to them.

 

43. Mo-Saique

The ‘go to’ brand for all the fearless and independent woman, Mo-Saique produces the timeless pieces we should all have in our closet. Being handcrafted with the purest leather in England, they are guaranteed to last you for a long time.

 

44. Osborn

Based out of Brooklyn, NY the company combines elements of art, commerce and culture preservation through their collections. Their shoes are light with a unique touch giving you a distinctive look, and making it easy to pair with any outfit.

 

45. K1X

It is all about standing out, and it doesn’t get funkier than Ankara sneakers. The German sneaker company puts a twist on their products through their collaboration with Sierra Leone designers.

 

46. Panafrica

Beautiful Ankara print sneakers can be found on their site. Their products are handmade using vegan leather and cotton. They carry both men and women’s shoes, and the shoes are usually labelled after African cities.

 

47. Marazetti

The company was founded to better the lives of sub- Saharan communities. They specialize in leatherworks and natural materials of Amber, Cotton, Freshwater Pearls, Seashells, Ceramic Beads, etc. Their line ranges from slippers to heels, and will definitely catch your eyes.

 

48. Zabba Designs

Zabba designs combines the colorful and self-expressive approach of the life of the people in West Africa, with the contemporary forms of the western world, thus creating a very expressive style that simultaneously embodies the bravery of being yourself and the values of tradition.

 

49. Edun

The brand partners with artisans from Kenya to create a 6 style ready-to-wear line made in workshops in Kenya. Styles include platform silhouettes, booties, ballet flats, wedged sandals and loafers and has cool leather piping and cutout details.

 

50. Ivy Barber

The unisex brand is made in Nigeria by local artisans and features colorful and comfortable sandals. They can easily be paired with any outfits and will take you from day to night in an instant.

 

 

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