Gear

The 2020 Vegan Hiking Boot Guide

The first piece of gear I bought as a wannabe outdoors-woman was a brand-spanking new pair of hiking boots. When I began my search I soon realized it would be tough to find quality boots in a style I liked that were also vegan. A few times I thought I had found the perfect pair only to later realize that they were not actually vegan hiking boots.

So how do you know if hiking boots are vegan? And where can you even find vegan hiking boots? And how do you know if they’ll stand up to the test of time? Well that’s exactly what I’m covering for you right now in my 2020 vegan hiking boot guide!

How Do I Know If  My Hiking Boots Are Vegan?

There are a few things you can look for to determine whether or not the hiking boots you want are vegan. First, check the label (usually located inside the shoe) and read the list of materials. If the label doesn’t say 100% synthetic there is a good chance an animal product of some kind was used. If you see that the label lists “other materials” then check with the company directly or just assume these are not vegan boots. You can also go to the company website to look up the materials used in almost any boot. Bonus points if the company has a dedicated vegan page like REI. 

Many reputable outdoor brands carry high quality hiking boots that are made from synthetic materials, but not all of these are certified vegan. Although it’s rare, some boot designs use a glue that is made of animal bi products. Vegan boots use a glue made from petroleum or even a plant-based glue called gum arabic. If you’re interested in learning more about vegan glue check out the 2020 vegan glue guide from Imgoingvegan.com. 

Which Brands Carry Vegan Hiking Boots?

Are you exhausted from just the thought of going from store to store to check labels or scrolling through multiple websites? Thought so. Save yourself the time and use my vegan hiking boot chart to get an idea of what options are on the market for 2020. Rest assured that each boot on this list is vegan certified!

BrandBootBest UseWeightNotable FeaturesWaterproof?Men/WomensPrice USD
Topo AthleticTrailventureHiking1lb 10.2ozVibram outsole for stabilityNo, has drainage portsBoth$140
MerrellMQM Flex 2Hiking1lb 7ozyesWomens$160
MerrellAltalightHiking1lb 14ozStratafuse exoskeletonnoBoth$190
La SportivaTXSHiking1lb 13.6ozOrtholite InsolesyesWomens$179
La SportivaStreamHiking1lb 15ozNano Cell structure for breathabilityyesMens$200
AstraTR1Hiking12.2ozBreathable, Quickdry canvasNo, has drainage portsMens$140
LowaInnox ProHiking1lb 10.1ozMonowrap designyesWomens$230
LowaInnox ProHiking1lb 15.7ozMonowrap designyesMens$190
EVSAll Terrain ProHiking1lb 10.2ozKeprotec heel & toe protectionyesBoth$150

What Are Vegan Hiking Boots Made Of?

While different outdoor brands use different materials to create their vegan hiking boots, typically they are designed with synthetic materials such as polyurethane, microfiber, gore tex, rubber, and nylon. 

What is Vegan Leather Made of? 

Most vegan leather is made from a polymer called polyurethane, however some designers opt for more sustainable materials like recycled plastics. There are many natural alternative substances that can be made into a leather-like material such as fruit waste from pineapple leaves, apple peel, and cork. 

Are Vegan Hiking Boots Durable? 

Just because these boots are not made from leather doesn’t mean they are not as durable. Many vegan hiking boots are made with abrasion resistant materials, such as Keprotec, that will hold up for thousands of miles. Synthetic materials also dry much faster, which is ideal when hiking in wet climates or crossing rivers. 

Where Can I buy Vegan Hiking Boots?

Vegan hiking boots are sold at many outdoor retailers around the world. I prefer to do my research online and try them on in store if possible. Many outdoor retailers have wonderful return and exchange policies, which makes ordering online much easier. Whenever possible, consider supporting your smaller local outdoor retailers! Here in Portland, Oregon I like to shop at Next Adventure. If they don’t have what I’m looking for I will go to a bigger retailer with a good reputation like REI. 

Are Vegan Shoes Bad For Environment? 

Whether or not vegan shoes are bad for the environment is somewhat debatable. While the synthetic materials used in vegan leathers and micro fibers are not exactly eco friendly, their impact on the environment seems to pale in comparison to real leather. 

When you examine the process of producing leather, you see a long line of environmental damages like deforestation, Co2 emissions, and the cruel treatment of living animals. When searching for vegan products of any kind, I would suggest buying from companies with high ethical standards who take steps to reduce their environmental impact and treat their employees fairly.

If you found this article to be a helpful resource in your search for vegan hiking boots, please consider sharing it with your vegan and non-vegan friends! There are tons of vegan hiking boots on the market, so please share your favorite brand in the comments below. Tell us why you love your boots and let us know where you can find them online. I will be back to update the chart every few months with reader suggestions!


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