All the info you need to pick the perfect pair of vegan hiking boots for your adventures!
Boots are a seriously important investment. Whether you use them for hiking, backpacking, camping or just general exploring, they’re often the most important piece of outdoor gear on your packing list. But, you gotta find the best hiking boots for your needs!
And finding the right vegan boots can be particularly tricky as leather is still the norm. Thanks to plant-based and synthetic materials, awesome new vegan options are released all the time (woohoo!) but actually finding them can be tough (boooo).
From confusing labelling and changing materials to bizarre manufacturing and brands who aren’t completely sure what’s in their products… it can make finding hiking footwear nightmare.
To make things easier, we contacted 20+ of the best hiking brands to see what they offered that was 100% cruelty-free.
That means no leather, no pesky gelatin products, animal-derived dyes or fish-laced glues either.
This guide will help you find kick-ass vegan hiking boots for men and women, with choices for summer, winter, different activities and budgets.
Keep reading to find options from:
La Sportiva, Lowa, Arc’teryx, Merrel, Vivobarefoot, Astral, Inov-8, XPETI, Baffin, plus completely vegan shoe brands Will’s Vegan Shoes and Vegetarian Shoes + more!
- Why go for vegan boots?
- Leather hiking boots vs. vegan options
- How to find vegan hiking boots and what to look for
- Tips for finding vegan clothing products
- How to pick hiking boots (size, materials, fit, waterproof, uses and features etc)
- The best vegan-friendly hiking boots on the market
- Boot FAQ
This article may contain affiliate links. If you make purchases through these links we may make a small commission – this is never of any extra cost to you – but helps support Veggie Vagabonds, thank you!
This list is constantly updated when new footwear becomes available – you can keep in the loop by joining our mailing list!
1. Why should you even go for vegan boots?
Traditionally, hiking footwear has been made from leather e.g animal skin (typically from cows). And, it’s not just a few cows, more than 240 million cows are killed every year for leather, a number expected to rise to 430 million by 2025.
Not all cows are killed directly for their leather but they are kept in cruel conditions and killed before their time. Many are branded and abused, some are even skinned alive. It’s really not nice stuff.
Leather aside, other materials used in hiking boot production might not be cruelty-free either. Some glues and dyes are made from fish, gelatine or other animal products too.
With so many new vegan hiking boots becoming available, it’s never been easier to go animal-free.
2. Are these vegan-friendly hiking boots worse than leather ones?
Hell no! Whether you’re a beginner hiker or an AT finisher, you’ll find vegan options that rival regular shoes and are very often:
- Lighter weight
- Quicker drying
- Less maintenance needed
- Quicker to break in and don’t stretch
- Constantly improving with more research into vegan materials
- Often better for the environment
It wouldn’t be fair to just tell one side to the story. As a material, leather is typically harder-wearing and more durable. Also, synthetic materials break down in a shorter amount of time and can contribute to microplastic pollution.
For more info, check out this guide to sustainable outdoor gear.
3. How to find vegan hiking boots & what to look for
Finding vegan outdoor gear can be tough. Unfortunately, it’s no different for footwear.
Some shoes are clearly labelled as vegan, making things nice and easy. If they have a vegan stamp or specifically say 100% vegan-friendly, vegan or synthetic etc. then it’s almost certain you’re safe.
Others might be labelled as vegan leather shoes, non-leather hiking boots, leather-free hiking boots, organic boots etc. and with these you should have a bit more caution. They might be organic, fairtrade or not use leather but might still use animal products.
Whether you’re shopping in-store or online, these are the easiest steps for finding friendly products.
First step – check the main materials and upper for leather products
Most non-vegan boots use leather in the upper, but as it’s a more expensive material it tends to be clearly stated.
There may be a leather symbol (shown in the photo below) or say things like genuine leather, leather upper, leather, coated leather, suede, nubuck (a type of leather) or suede leather. This can be written on the sole of the shoe or inside under the tongue – this is NOT vegan-friendly.
Vegan footwear instead may use a variety of materials, with some brands having their own specific technology. Look for things like breathable mesh, manmade materials, synthetic materials, synthetic mesh, microfiber, thermoplastic urethane, polyester, nylon and so-called “synthetic leather”.
These are all leather alternatives which ARE vegan-friendly.
Second step – look for animal-derived glue & other issues
Many leather-free hiking boots still contain glue, dye or other smaller elements which aren’t vegan-friendly. For this reason, be careful assuming that items labelled as leather-free are completely vegan.
Smaller materials are harder to spot and few brands specifically list the source of their dyes or glues. Some brands state products are 100% synthetic which is positive but you still might need to contact them online and double-check.
We’ve done it all for you below!
4. Some tips for finding 100% animal-free boots
- If you’re shopping online then look for the details, features or product info section to see if leather is listed and lookout for vegan materials
- On a brand’s website, search for vegan, normally this shows information if available
- If you’re shopping in-store, ask one of the shop workers or look on the shoe themselves for the leather markings listed above
- Some shoes are now labelled as vegan or vegan-friendly (winning!)
- It’s important to note that organic or fairtrade does not automatically mean it’s vegan
- To be 100% sure, contact the companies
READ MORE: Vegan Backpacking Food for the Trail!
5. How to pick hiking boots that you’ll love
Finding the right thing will really depend on what you’ll use them for and your body type. Check out the points below to help you find the right thing.
a. The most important tip…
Pick a pair of hiking boots that are completely suited to your needs, are comfortable and will last. Don’t prioritise looks or brands, and, whilst it might be appealing to save £20, you’ll regret going for a bargain on the hiking trail if they’re not right for you.
b. What activities do you want them for?
Are they for one activity or do you need them for a variety of things? Are you looking for all-day comfort… something flexible for scrambling? Will you be hiking in winter and need boots to wear with crampons… something really lightweight… something with extra ankle support?
Once you know your ideal boot, it’s much easier to find the right thing.
c. Weather Conditions
Feet getting too cold is horrible but if your feet get too hot this can also cause chaffing and athlete’s foot. Hot conditions are better tackled with more breathable shoes, whilst cold conditions might benefit from an insulated lining or even opting for specific vegan winter boots.
Looking for more vegan outdoor gear?
d. Waterproof or not
If you’re going to be in only very hot conditions you can probably do without the waterproof lining. Generally, this lining makes breathability worse and you can end up with very hot, clammy feet. If it’s hot, the shoes will naturally dry.
For most people, however, weather conditions will change.
For hiking in cooler conditions with a chance of getting wet, pick boots with a waterproof membrane, like Gore-Tex. And, If you’re even thinking about going near snow or below freezing conditions then don’t even think of doing it without waterproof boots!
e. Do you need wide hiking boots or narrow?
Everyone has slightly different feet: thick ankles and heels, long flat feet, very arched heels etc. Outdoor brands are smart and have boots to fit every type of foot so take a long, hard look at your feet and decide what style shoes will fit best!
BOOT BRANDS: some brands are better catered for different feet. Salomon and Scarpa produce a lot of hiking boots for narrow feet whilst Merrell and Keen offer better boots for wider feet.
f. High ankle or mid ankle?
Boots won’t have low ankle options but you can find high or mid ankle choices. Higher ankles offer more support and protection from the elements, however, this comes with extra weight. If you’re going to be moving fast, appreciating extra movement and less weight, then mid-ankle might be better for you.
To go superlight and agile, you might even want to think about finding vegan trail running shoes.
6. The Best Vegan Hiking Boots Available Now!
To put this list together, we reached out to all of the brands listed below to ask about their vegan options (unless specifically shown to be 100% vegan).
It’s fantastic to see so many of the biggest outdoor companies now have an awesome selection of vegan hiking shoes, boots, trail runner and all things in between. Each year the selection just gets bigger and bigger!
A number of the brands we spoke to were in the process of bringing out exciting new vegan hiking models, which aren’t listed below yet. They’ll send details once they come out and we’ll make sure to update the list as soon as they do – stay in the loop by joining the mailing list!
Jump ahead to our top vegan picks
- Best boots for hot weather: La Sportiva Stream GTX
- Best budget boots: XPETI Thermator
- Best technical hiking boots: Inov-8 Roclite Pro 400
- Best hiking boots for backpacking and long distances: Arc’teryx Acrux
- Best hiking boots for wide feet: Merrell MQM Flex 2
La Sportiva Vegan Hiking Boots
One of the best-respected brands for outdoor footwear. La Sportiva produce groundbreaking hiking and mountaineering boots, trail runners, climbing and approach shoes, with gear designed for the harshest conditions.
They currently have three vegan models and are available in both men’s and women’s cuts for the perfect fit.
Disclaimer: all images were sourced from their respective brands
La Sportiva Stream GTX (Unisex)
Features: Gore-Tex Surround for waterproof breathability, mid-ankle support, Impact Brake System™
Best for: versatile, fast hiking and breathability
Weight: 820g M 700g W
Designed to keep you light on your feet and suited to fast-paced adventuring. They use new Gore-Tex Surround technology to keep your feet dry without compromising breathability. A good option for warmer conditions or an all-day summer hiking boot.
The Stability Control System™, Vibram XS Trek outsole and Impact Brake System™ are designed for grip and control on varied conditions (perfect for fast hiking).
Both men’s and women’s designs are completely vegan and suited to mid-width feet.
Buy La Sportiva Stream
La Sportiva Blade (Unisex)
Features: Gore-Tex, mid-ankle support, for mid-width feet, foot brake system
Best for: Fast hiking and athletic feel
Weight: 864g M, 700g W
If you’re looking for something lightweight and versatile then the Blade is a sure choice. It’s got impressive breathability but is still highly waterproof and durable.
The mid-ankle support, All-terrain Frixion® sole and breaking systems give protection and control when moving fast – it’s like a boot that wants to be a trail shoe!
Buy La Sportiva Blade
La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX (Unisex)
Features: Gore-Tex, 3D Flex for increased ankle mobility, Vibram® Mulaz outsole for great traction
Best for: Hard hiking and scrambling
Weight: 1,150g M, 920g W
One of the most popular options on this list, and for good reason!
The Trango TRK GTX is action-ready, hard-wearing and a good backpacking option. You’ll find plenty of technology from La Sportiva mountaineering boots thrown into a lighter, sleeker package that can be worn all day.
The Vibram® Mulaz outsole adds traction, stability and sweet edging capabilities, just what you need for scrambling or technical routes.
I still own an older Trango model and they are still rock solid!
Buy La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX
Lowa Vegan Hiking Boots
Lowa is one of the few outdoor brands which clearly label their shoes as vegan – which is great! They have specifically designed women’s options and are a good option for people with wider feet.
Lowa Innox Pro GTX Mid (Men)
Weight: 900g (pair)
Features: Gore-Tex waterproofing, mid-ankle support, medium width shoe
Best for: Great stability for wider feet
Hard-wearing trekking boots with a lighter and more agile design. The Gore-Tex waterproof lining and mid-ankle height make them ace for colder weather or worse conditions and the athletic fit helps to keep a spring in your step throughout the day.
Its LOWA DynaPU® midsole has heaps of cushioning and they can be re-soled for longer life (a good eco-friendly option).
Buy Lowa Innox Pro
Lowa Lyxa GTX Mid Ws (Women)
Weight: 940g (pair)
Features: Gore-Tex waterproofing, mid-ankle support, specific women’s fit
Best for: Super comfortable 3-season trekker
Specifically designed women’s vegan hiking boots! The Lyxa has a similar spec to the Innox but is designed for female feet. They’re nearly 300g lighter, slightly narrower and more flexible but still give lots of stabilisation.
Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX Boot (Unisex)
Weight: 1100g M, 940g W
Features: Gore-Tex, super comfortable, grippy sole for wet or dry conditions
Best for: Multi-day routes on challenging terrain
Arc’teryx create some of the highest quality outdoor gear and the Acrux is their shining star.
It has men’s and women’s designs, being suited for longer trekking routes in changeable conditions. In testing, they’re comfortable out of the box and are surprisingly lightweight considering the support and protection.
Gore-Tex weatherproofing, Vibram® Megagrip outsole and aggressive lug geometry give you confident traction in wet or dry conditions and I loved them for multi-day routes or mountain adventures!
Buy Arc’teryx Acrux
Merrell Vegan Hiking Boots
Merrell have long been friends to the vegan outdoor community, with a large variety of cruelty-free casual shoes, trail runners, hiking shoes and boots. Lots of their products are made using eco-friendly materials and they also have a vegan search function so finding the right gear is easy!
Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX (Unisex)
Features: Gore-Tex, synthetic leather, breathable mesh outer
Best for: A classic all-around hiking favourite with a friendly price tag!
The Moab 2 Mid is one of Merrell’s most popular options and a long-time fave for vegan hikers.
These wide-fit boots are super comfortable and I loved how they requiring almost no breaking in. It’s got nice ankle support, the Gore-Tex lining makes them versatile but they’re still pretty lightweight.
In hot conditions, you really appreciate the breathable mesh material and they’re hardy too. I’d definitely advise them as a comfortable backpacking option or as an adventure-ready travel shoe.
Buy Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX
Merrell MQM Flex 2 Mid GTX (Unisex)
Features: Gore-Tex, flexible fit, light but strong
Best for: All the perks of a trail runner into a tougher, sturdier package!
The MQM is an awesome addition to Merrell’s vegan range and a top option for fast-paced hikers. It comes with men’s or women’s designs and is a good option for hikers with wide feet.
You’ve got reliable Gore-tex waterproofing, a dust guard and a Kinetic Fit for flexibility and support. This is all combed with a cushioned heel and mountain-grade Quantum Grip for loads of traction.
Basically, they’re a seriously comfortably boot with top weather and ankle protection but at a very impressive weight.
Buy Merrell MQM 2 Mid GTX
Merrell Thermo Rogue 2 Boa Mid (Men)
Features: Gore-Tex, insulated, traction on ice and snow
Best for: Ready for serious cold but without the additional weight
Merrell’s serious winter walker, the Thermo Rogue 2, is highly weather-resistant and has a new BOA® Fit System for a quick, easy and precise fit.
For the cold, these boots also have 200g of Primaloft® Gold Series synthetic insulation and added over-the-toe protection.
On the sole, a Vibram® Arctic Grip All-Terrain outsole gives you confident traction on wet ice and packed snow, whilst the 5mm lug depth keeps you warm standing in freezing conditions. Altogether, an epic option for winter!
Inov-8 Hiking Boots
Big smiles on our faces when Inov8 told us:
“I can confirm that all our in-line hiking boots are 100% vegan – from the glues used to the knits and leathers“
These guys are fast becoming one of the most reliable British outdoor brands for high-quality and functional gear. Specialising in hiking and running gear, their boots are top-class!
Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX (Unisex)
Features: Schoeller ceramic-coated uppers, Graphene G-Grip sole, lightweight
Best for: technical, weather-resistant, mountain adventures
Inov-8 have thrown all the leading outdoor tech into their biggest and best hiking boot to date.
The Roclite Pro G 400 is like the big, bold, mountain-ranging brother to the option below. It’s got the world-famous Graphene Grip to give you traction on the worst terrain and a new Schoeller® ceramic-coated upper for ultimate durability in the toughest environments.
They’re pretty lightweight but will give you an awesome trail experience. Sarah has been testing them and they’ve handled everything she’s thrown at them. Find our full Inov-8 Roclite Proo 400 review here.
Buy Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX
Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX (Unisex)
Features: Gore-Tex, Graphene G-Grip sole, lightweight
Best for: Award-winning boot for all-day stability and comfort
The Roclite 345 GTX went down a storm and won The Great Outdoor Gold Footwear award. They’re super-light (700g) and offer the optimal combination of the world’s toughest grip (graphene G-GRIP), comfort and protection.
The Graphene G-GRIP technology has a unique multi-directional design, creating unrivalled grip on challenging terrain. Combined with an impressive midsole that gives awesome shock absorption and energy return, they’ll keep you going for miles.
One of the few brands to have certified vegan hiking boots for women and men. Make sure to check out Inov8’s website for more footwear, colour options and discounts.
Buy Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX
Vivobarefoot Magna Trail (Unisex)
Weight: 670g M, 500g W
Features: Eco neoprene sock-style fitting, natural foot form and sensitivity
Best for: barefoot vegan shoes with a natural feel
Vivobarefoot are a unique barefoot shoe brand that allow your feet to move as nature intended. Think thin, wide and very flexible.
This is all wrapped up in a sleek package which is clearly labelled as vegan-friendly and super sustainable.
Instead of your traditional shoe build, there’s an Eco neoprene ankle sock to put your foot in which gives 360° foot freedom. They can be worn year-round and come with additional inner sole for cooler conditions.
PLUS, they’re made using recycled materials and plastic waste – very green options indeed!
Buy Vivobarefoot Magna Trail
Astral Halestorm Duck Boot (Unisex)
Features: Duck boot style, hemp and canvas upper, waterproof
Best for: Comfort and eco-friendliness
A true performance-casual hybrid, the Halestorm combines Astral’s aggressive Trail Grip™ outsole with a hemp/canvas upper to balance waterproofing and breathability.
The full WEATHERGUARD® protects the bottom of the foot from rain, slush, sleet or snow, while the sustainable hemp upper gives comfort and durability.
A herbaceous twist on a classic duck boot. Definitely a one-of-a-kind option from a company with inspiring sustainable initiatives.
XPETI Thermator Women’s
Features: High ankle, insulated lining, waterproof, cold conditions
Best for: serious cold at a seriously good price
Another up-and-coming brand that has created some of the best vegan winter boots for its price range.
This is one of the few high-ankle options on the list and also features a Thinsulate thermal lining for added warmth. Combine this with a Hydroshield waterproof lining, non-slip grip and good breathability, and you’ve found yourself the perfect winter or snow hiking boot (check this list for more winter hiking options)
We like the added toe cap protection and they’re designed to be worn to -30℃ – bring on the snow!
To note: we’ve been recommended that these come up slightly smaller than your average shoe.
Baffin Hiking Boots
A small footwear brand from Stoney Creek, Canada who specialise in cold weather and full-season options. Oh, and they’re vegan range is pretty awesome! All their vegan options come up slightly small so consider going half size up.
Baffin Charge (Unisex)
Features: High-ankle support, waterproof, insulated, suitable for extreme cold
Best for: Serious protection and warmth in cold or snowy conditions
A mighty tough pair of waterproof hiking boots which still retain good breathability. These guys are kitted out for the cold – you’ll be fine in temperatures from 10ºC to -20ºC.
The high ankles give extra support and protection from the elements whilst also having a multi-buckle fastening system and enclosed tongue to keep the conditions out. Think frozen landscapes and snowshoeing!
Buy Baffin Charge
Men’s Baffin Zone
Features: Waterproof, suitable for cold temperatures
Best for: Cold weather hiking
The Zone has a similar tech spec to the Charge however the build is completely different.
With the lower ankle and lighter build, it makes these better suited to faster hiking or when flexibility is preferred. Still suitable for up to -20C, so don’t even worry about getting out in the cold!
The body of the shoe is foot-hugging and also has an anti-microbial insole, as well as a speed lacing system.
Footwear from 100% Vegan Companies
Over the last half-decade, veganism has gone through the roof! This has given rise to plenty of 100% vegan footwear companies creating faux-leather products and cruelty-free alternatives. Some of these companies have also started producing hiking gear – AWESOME!
Vegetarian Shoes Hiking Boots
I’ll admit, we overlooked Vegetarian Shoes for quite some time, thinking their shoes were vegetarian and not vegan. This is in fact not the case. All of the shoes from this independent UK company are 100% vegan-friendly, they’re vegan stamped and have won plenty of awards.
Vegetarian Shoes Veggie Trekker MK5 (Unisex)
Features: 3-season boot, Vibram sole
Best for: Sturdy winter hiking
The Unisex Veggie Trekker MK5 is one of the few vegan leather hiking boots on this list, giving them a very traditional look.
They’re designed to take on any environment, with Wind-Tex breathable technology, a water-resistant membrane and an insulating layer for added padding and warmth. The padded faux-leather collar and tongue sections also give added comfort and protection.
Dual Density Vibram soles and angled heel cleats give strong traction and stability on uneven surfaces, whilst a protective rubber rand helps increase water-resistance, rigidity and durability.
Vegetarian Shoes Snowdon Boot (Unisex)
Features: 3-season boot, Vibram sole
Best for: A sturdy option for people wanting a leather look
Similar to its the older sibling, The Veggie Trekker MK5, the Snowdon adopts much of the same technology but in a smaller, lighter package, with hard-wearing and water-resistant materials.
The Vegetan Micro faux-leather is similar to high-quality leather in performance and has a distinctive grain. It also features a speed lacing and ski-hook combination.
Lot’s of readers have mentioned them being excellent vegan work boots – hard-wearing and comfortable to spend all day in.
Will’s WVSport Waterproof (Unisex)
Features: Waterproof, mid-ankle, mid-width design
Best for: carbon-neutral and from a 100% vegan company
Some more inspiring stuff from a British vegan brand. Will’s are vegan-certified and a carbon-neutral company!
The WVSport Waterproof walking boots are everything you need for a hard-wearing, year-round option. You’ll find an advanced ballistic welded construction with abrasion and scuff-resistant material, Vibram rubber injection outsoles for grippy traction and a special waterproof membrane.
This all allows for reliable breathability and long-lasting waterproof protection.
Also, 70% of the power used to produce these boots is from solar energy – hell yeah!
Buy Will’s Vegan Shoes
Any extra options?
To put this list together, we scoured high and low, through forums, reviews and the deepest corners of the internet. Whilst the number of vegan options are definitely increasing, it’s still no easy job finding out if they’re 100% suitable.
Out of all the companies we looked at, two were completely vegan companies (Will’s and Vegetarian Shoes) and only a handful of others explicitly labelled their products as vegan.
The best way to dig deeper was by contacting the companies themselves. Below is a list of other shoe brands who don’t currently stock vegan-friendly options. We’ve put this here to save you some time if you do some investigating on your own in the future!
Scarpa – Bringing out fully vegan hiking shoe in February – subscribe to find out when
Adidas – “At the moment our vegan range hasn’t extended to our hiking products with our key product being our vegan running shoes”
KEEN – “we have shoes which are leather-free but unfortunately, they are not certified vegan as KEEN might uses gelatin in the sole”
Vaude – None, many non leather hiking shoes and sustainable options but can’t confirm vegan
Meindl – None, working on eco-materials but yet to bring out a completely vegan boot
Decathlon – Easily contactable, leather-free shoes use animal-derived glue
Altra Lone Peak Hiking Boots – Not contactable to confirm vegan-friendly
Columbia – Shoes without leather but not vegan
North Face – No vegan information and no response to contact
Salewa – No boots available
Zamberlan – No boots available
Salomon – No boots available
7. Your Questions Answered – FAQ
Men’s hiking footwear has more volume, typically at the top of the foot and might be heavier or wider. Women’s may also have more traditionally feminine colours. There’s nothing wrong with women wearing men’s shoes and vice versa – prioritise comfort and practicality!
Normally no. This means your shoes will have a longer-lasting fit but you do need to make sure you get the right size.
This is definitely down to personal preference but we think it’s better to give an item as much use as possible if you already have it.
Walking and hiking boots are generally the same things, though walking options may be more casual. Hiking shoes normally means low-ankle.
Know of any other great footwear options? Drop us a comment below!
The Best Vegan Hiking Boots and Buyer’s Guide
There are so many cruelty-free boots, tough enough for anything you throw at them, we can all ditch the leather and nasty stuff. With the ethical adventure community constantly growing it only means more and more vegan options for the future.
We can all help support this progress by backing the vegan outdoor gear that’s available now. Tell your friends, share articles like this, tell the outdoor brands you love their vegan products… let’s try and make every adventure an ethical adventure!