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!
- The best vegan-friendly hiking boots on the market
- Why go for vegan boots?
- Leather hiking boots vs. vegan options
- How to find completely 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)
- 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 vegan footwear becomes available – you can keep in the loop by joining our mailing list!
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 runners 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
- Best hiking boot from vegan company: Wills WVSport
- Best lightweight hiking boots: Merrell Moab Speed Mid Gore-Tex
The Eco Award also goes to the Merrell Moab Speed Mid Gore-Tex – a brilliantly sustainable hiking boot!
Disclaimer: all images were sourced from their respective brands
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!
Will’s WVSport Waterproof (Unisex)
- Features: Waterproof, mid-ankle, mid-width design
- Cost: £120
- 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
Men / Women
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)
- Weight: 1.5kg
- Features: 3-season boot, Vibram sole
- Cost: £179
- 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.
Buy Vegetarian Shoes Veggie Trekker MK5 (Unisex)
Vegetarian Shoes Snowdon Boot (Unisex)
- Weight: 1.1kg
- Features: 3-season boot, Vibram sole
- Cost: £154
- Best for: A sturdy option for people wanting a leather look
Similar to its 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.
Buy the Vegetarian Shoes Snowdon Boot (Unisex)
La Sportiva Vegan Hiking Boots
One of the best-respected brands for outdoor footwear. La Sportiva produces 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.
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX
- Features: Gore-Tex, Frixion White Sole, Impact Brake System, High-Volume
- Best for: fast hiking with light loads
- Weight: 940g
- Cost: £140
You might recognise this from La Sportiva’s famous trail running range. This is the mid version of their popular Raptor trail shoe.
It takes a lot of characteristics from the original, being fast and light but waterproof and breathable.
It’s designed for fast hikes with light backpacking loads, giving comfort and stability on routes where speed is a priority.
Buy La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX
Men / Women
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
- Cost: £150
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 GTX
Men / Women
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 choice for people with wider feet.
Lowa Innox Pro GTX Mid (Men)
- Weight: 900g (pair)
- Features: Gore-Tex waterproofing, mid-ankle support, medium width shoe
- Cost: £150
- 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.
The 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
Men / Women
Can’t find the size you’re looking for? The Lowa Ferrox Pro GTX (Men and Women) is a very similar boot and may be available!
Lowa Lyxa GTX Mid Ws (Women)
- Weight: 940g (pair)
- Features: Gore-Tex waterproofing, mid-ankle support, specific women’s fit
- Cost: £100
- 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.
Buy the Lowa Lyxa GTX
Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX Boot (Unisex)
- Weight: 1100g M, 940g W
- Features: Gore-Tex, super comfortable, grippy sole for wet or dry conditions
- Cost: £200
- Best for: Multi-day routes on challenging terrain
Arc’teryx create some of the highest quality outdoor gear and the Acrux is their shining boot 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. I’ve loved them for multi-day routes or mountain adventures!
Buy Arc’teryx Acrux
Men / Women
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 Speed Mid Gore-Tex
- Weight: 600g
- Features: Gore-Tex, Rock Plate, Recycled Materials, high-volume
- Cost: £135
- Best for: reliable beginner hiking shoe for wide feet
Merrell Moabs were some of the most popular hiking boots around. The Moab Speed is their completely revamped version, awesome for all-around hiking adventures.
This version gives you aggressive Vibram Traction lugs for stability in muddy conditions. You’ve also got a rock plate to protect against any sharp objects underfoot and FloatPro Foam midsole for additional comfort.
Really impressively, the new version also features recycled laces, lining and footbed. A brilliant, sustainable shoe that also comes at an impressive weight.
Be aware, they also sell a leather version so be sure to pick the right one.
Buy Merrell Moab Speed Mid Gore-Tex
Men / Women
Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX (Unisex)
- Weight: 936g
- Features: Gore-Tex, synthetic leather, breathable mesh outer
- Cost: £75
- 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 required 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.
A quick note: Merrell also sell a leather version of the Moab so make sure you pick the vegan version!
Buy Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX
Men / Women
Merrell MQM Flex 2 Mid GTX (Unisex)
- Weight: 752g
- Features: Gore-Tex, flexible fit, light but strong
- Cost: £120
- 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
Men / Women
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 swag, their boots are top-class!
Inov-8 Rocfly 390 Lightweight Hiking Boot
- Weight: 780g
- Features: Graphene foam midsole, lightweight, generous cushioning
- Cost: £170
- Best for: lightweight, fast-paced hiking
These were worn by James Forrester when he set a new time record for a solo, self-supported hike of the 500-mile UK Three Peaks Challenge. That gives you quite a good idea of what these boots are aimed at.
It’s the world’s first hiking boot to use a super tough Graphene foam, giving great energy return and ample cushioning.
With 6mm of cushioning and impressive mobility, these shoes are designed for ultimate comfort across long, hard and rocky trails.
Buy Inov-8 Rocfly 390
Men / Women
Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX (Unisex)
- Weight: 800g
- Features: Schoeller ceramic-coated uppers, Graphene G-Grip sole, lightweight
- Cost: £200
- 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 Pro 400 review here.
Buy Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX
Men / Women
Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX (Unisex)
- Weight: 700g
- Features: Gore-Tex, Graphene G-Grip sole, lightweight
- Cost: £150
- 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 an 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
Men / Women
Topo Athletic TrailVenture
- Weight: 740g
- Features: Vibram Trek XS outsole, rock plate, water drainage points, 5mm drop
- Cost: £140
- Best for: speedy hiking and durability
The TrailVenture from Topo Athletic has rave reviews, with technology that brings durability and stability to speed hiking.
There’s an aggressive Vibram Trek XS outsole for traction across varied surfaces and a 3-piece EVA midsole for added comfort.
For added durability, the rigid design has a tough rock plate underfoot and a hard rubber toe cap to protect against knocks and scrapes.
Hiking in the rain? Don’t worry, there are specially placed drainage ports to help moisture escape from the shoe!
Buy Topo Athletic TrailVenture
Men / Women
Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX
- Weight: 795g
- Features: 10mm drop, quick lacing system, Gore-Tex, All-Terrain Contragrip
- Cost: £165
- Best for: Trail-shoe-like feel, muddy conditions
A running-shoe-like feel but with the added support and protection of a hiking boot… the Crosshike Mid GTX also has a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane and All-Terrain Contragrip sole with multi-directional lugs for solid traction.
You’ll find generous foot protection and a heel brake system to help you take on tricky and technical trails.
Buy Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX
Men / Women
Lone Peak Hiker All Weather Mid
- Weight: 836g
- Features: zero drop, eVent waterproofing, Duratread outsole for grip
- Cost: £140
- Best for: comfortable hiking on easier trails
The Altra Lone Peak Hiker is a comfortable hiking boot and cool-looking option too.
With a wide toe box and zero-drop, you get a natural feel and a comfortable ride right from the get-go.
eVent waterproofing technology protects you from the elements and DuraTread outsole gives solid traction on muddy trails. If you’re looking for a more breathable version without the waterproof membrane, you can also go for the regular Lone Peak Hiker.
Buy Lone Peak Hiker All Weather Mid
Men / Women
Hoka Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX
- Weight: 750g
- Features: Gore-Tex, deep lugs, lots of cushioning
- Cost: £150
- Best for: fast hiking with a light load
Taking lots of technology from its trail running siblings, the Hoka Speed Goat – as the name suggests – is a fast hiking boot that has comfort as the priority. Hoka shoes are known for their generous cushioning and comfort, and these are no different.
Gore-Tex waterproofing and Vibram Megagrip give weatherproofing and traction, whilst a foam-moulded collar and lofty midsole add to your comfort.
Buy Hoka One One Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX
Men / Women
Astral TR1 Merge (Unisex)
- Weight: 695g
- Features: large toebox, G15 premium grip, low drop hiking boot
- Cost: £120
- Best for: lightweight hiking, backpacking and watersports
Pretty unique, these are warmer-weather backpacking boots also suited to kayaking and watersports too.
On the sole you’ve got large 5mm lugs and G15 high-friction rubber to give you sweet traction on wet surfaces and muddy trails. The semi-rigid heel also helps to give you stability and traction without a long break-in time, which is ace.
They are almost zero-drop (1mm) with a large toe box, helping to promote a natural stride movement from heel to toe.
At just under 700g they’re pretty light and are good for warm and wet conditions, even featuring vents in the toebox to effectively get rid of heat build-up and moisture.
Buy Astral TR1 Merge
Men / Women
Astral Halestorm Duck Boot (Unisex)
- Weight: 764g
- Features: Duck boot style, hemp and canvas upper, waterproof
- Cost: £125
- 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.
Buy Astral Halestorm (Unisex)
XPETI Thermator Women’s
- Features: High ankle, insulated lining, waterproof, cold conditions
- Cost: £60
- 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 the 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 boot 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.
Buy Women’s XPETI Thermator
Baffin Hiking Boots
A small footwear brand from Stoney Creek, Canada who specialise in cold weather and full-season options. Oh, and their vegan range is pretty awesome! All their vegan options come up slightly small so consider going half size up.
Baffin Charge (Unisex)
- Weight: 1.3kg
- Features: High-ankle support, waterproof, insulated, suitable for extreme cold
- Cost: £140
- 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 snow out. Think frozen landscapes and snowshoeing!
Buy Baffin Charge
Men / Women
Men’s Baffin Zone
- Weight: 1.3kg
- Features: Waterproof, suitable for cold temperatures
- Cost: £120
- 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.
Buy Baffin Zone
Altberg Dalesway Vegan Walking Boot (unisex)
- Weight: 1250g
- Features: Sympatex waterproofing, 4-layer lining, Vibram Masai sole
- Cost: £190
- Best for: solid, hard-wearing hiking boots
British hiking boot brand, Altberg, have brought out a completely vegan hiking option that comes in a variety of widths.
The Dalesway is a lightweight, 2-3 season boot that ditches the leather and uses a Lorica leather alternative instead.
They’ve got a classic hiking boot look, combined with a solid upper and hefty Vibram Masai sole for use in boggy conditions.
The Sympatex 4-layer lining is breathable and has a military-grade and waterproof membrane to keep you dry.
Buy Altberg Dalesway
Older models of hiking boots
Outdoor brands are constantly updating their products and bringing out new ones. That means popular favourites that were once readily available can sometimes be harder to find. It doesn’t mean they’re any worse though, you just might have to hunt around for the right size.
- La Sportiva Blade (men / women) – fast hiking and athletic feel on a mid-ankle boot that wants to be a trail runner
- La Sportiva Trango TRK (men / women) – hardwearing option for technical hikes, with technology from mountaineering boots
- Merrell Thermo Rogue Mid GTX (men / women) – a highly insulated winter hiking boot with Primaloft Gold synthetic insulation
- Vivobarefoot Magna Trail (men / women) – a minimalist vegan barefoot shoe with a zero drop and natural feel
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 that didn’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
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
Vegan Hiking Boot Buyer’s Guide
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. All this cow farming has a huge impact on the environment too.
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
Synthetic materials also come with their own problems, both for hiking and the environment. That’s why it’s always important to be a responsible consumer, buying the right products when you need them and taking care of them. You’ll find heaps more info on this topic in our awesome 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 and might not use leather, but they still might 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 that 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 which hiking boots are vegan, 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. Or, you can see our full Guide to Picking Hiking Boots here.
Tip 1. 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.
Tip 2. 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.
Tip 3. 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?
Vegan Sleeping Bag Buyer’s Guide
The Best Vegan Insulated Jackets
Day Hiking Packing List
Vegan Winter Coats for Outdoorsy Folk
Tip 4. 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 though, 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!
Tip 5. 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.
Tip 6. 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.
7. Your Questions Answered – FAQ
Q. What’s the difference between hiking boots for men and hiking boots for women?
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!
Q. Do vegan shoes stretch as much as leather?
Normally no. This means your shoes will have a longer-lasting fit but you do need to make sure you get the right size.
Q. If I still have leather hiking boots from before I turned vegan, can I still wear them?
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.
Q. What’s the difference between vegan walking boots, hiking boots, trekking boots, hiking shoes etc?
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
Nowadays, 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!
Thank you for this great article!
I just thought you might want to check out the hiking shoes and hiking boots by Eco Vegan Shoes, in particular the All Terrain Pro Hiker, but the Easy Walker series as well. I know so many people who absolutely LOVE the All Terrain Pro Hiker, and I even know one guy who walked across the UK from North to South on them and didn’t have any blisters at all!
I myself have walked many one day walks on my Easy Walker shoes, at least five of which were over 40 kilometres, with one being almost 50 kilometres.
Hey Lana, yes, we’ve seen quite a lot of positive comments about them on forums. It’s sometimes hard to tell if hiking boots coming from regular vegan shoe companies will be up to the job, but definitely sounds like they are 🙂
Are you hiking in the UK?
I am looking to get a new pair of vegan boots, thank you so much for this article!
I am debating between the WVSport hiking boots and the lighter La Sportiva’s. I really want to support WVS because they seem like such a great ethical vegan company but am worried they may be too heavy. Do you have any experience with wearing these on trails and whether this was an issue? I expect to do mostly 7-20 mile hikes in the Cascades.
Hey Hannah, so glad the article has been helpful for you 🙂
We’ve also been in similar situations, debating whether to support a fully vegan brand. Most people we’ve spoken with have been really happy with the WVSport but a lot of them are using them as more casual/everyday/working shoes that can also use for hiking. I used the La Sportiva Trango for many years and think they’re awesome for pretty much anything you throw at them, and they’re lighter options like the Blade are pretty awesome too.
Personally, if you’re doing tougher hikes and longer distances regularly, I’d opt for La Sportiva. If you’ll be putting them to lighter use, then the WVSport will be fine too!
Thank you so much for this! I was looking at keens. But now I know that lowa is comming with more vegan options I’m gonna wait a bit.
I was looking at Jack wolfskin children boots, did you contacted them? They were leather free…
I didn’t actually contact Jack Wolfskin but I’ll be updating the article over the weekend to add some more options in. Really glad it can be useful 🙂
Cheers for all the research, it’s super useful! One thing that would be great though would be if you could do a bit on crampon compatible boots – I’ve struggled to find any that are vegan at this end of the spectrum.
I would like to recommend Altberg Dalesway vegan boots to add to your list. I am happy with my pair, although they are maybe just a little bit narrow. Altberg are a small English company.
Thanks for making the list, I am excited to see Scarpa are finally making a vegan boot!
Hey Max! We’re currently in the process of researching a vegan mountaineering boot article but we’re just at the early stages and will be bringing it out late autumn. I’d advise looking at La Sportiva though, they’ve got a very impressive list of higher grade boots with clear vegan certifications too 🙂
Here’s a link, though they might have more recent ones which are not included.
We’ve not actually tried any boots from Altberg but will definitely check them out. Glad they’re working well for you though and it’s nice to support smaller, local companies.
Us too, we’re big fans of their vegan climbing shoes and hoping to test out some of their boots soon.
Out of interested, is the Dalesway particularly narrow or do you have wider feet?
I really like my Freet Booty M shoes, they are vegan and do really well as a category A or A/B hiking shoe!
I think the Dalesway is narrow, as my feet aren’t particularly wide. They do a wider version though. I’ve just finished a 5 day hike through the Scottish Highlands with them and they were great.
Awesome. We’ll be updating the shoes soon so will potentially add them in. Did you hike a particular route?
Hey Fief, thanks for the letting us know as we hadn’t heard of Freet before. They look pretty cool! How do they hold up in wet/slippy conditions, as the lugs on the sole don’t seem too big?
Such a lot of work obvs went into thius and I hope we can all keep building it by supplying you with updates and our own discoveries
Hey Mark! Yes, lots of time but definitely worthwhile. If you find other good options updates would be brilliant 🙂
I contacted someone in Merrell’s chat about the moab 2 gtx and they said they are not vegan because there is leather in the upper. Description of shoes say leather is synthetic but maybe there is some small leather detailing. They are not listed when filtering Merrell’s site for vegan friendly shoes. Sad.
Hey Jamie, the difficulty with products from big outdoor companies is that their materials change all the time. All the products we recommend on Veggie Vagabonds have been confirmed as vegan-friendly by brand representatives but this often changes. This also means, you could buy an older model of a shoe which contains no animal products whilst the newer models do. And vice-versa.
This is actually why very few brands have an official vegan-friendly certification, as there are too many elements and locations in their supply chain for them to 100% confirm it.
It’s all pretty frustrating but I can vouch and say that things are moving in the right direction. There are LOTS of vegan-friendly products which aren’t labelled vegan-friendly but now many brands are introducing clear vegan certifications or search functions, meaning they’re much more likely to stick with the safe materials.
There’s a whole bunch of other things which come into it too and we’ll be publishing an article detailing all the issues with finding vegan gear in the next few weeks 🙂
I just ordered Xero shoes winter boots. I’m really excited about them… can’t review yet! But I’ve bought their other shoes, and they are all vegan and very eco aware.
They look pretty cool and great that they openly say vegan friendly too. I’ve never seen a barefoot snow boot before, would be interested to hear how you get along 🙂
Hi, I like the range of manufacturers – some I’ve never heard of before. I’d like to suggest UK company Ethical Wares. Their top of the range Ranger boot is very hard wearing but is priced more competitively than Vegetarian Shoes. I’ve had 2 years of hard core outdoor work using them and no complaints – still going strong. I maintain them with dubbin from Vegetarian Shoes – keeps them waterproof and supple.
Thanks for the recommendation Roger. Do you work with Ethical Wares? We’d be interested in testing some out 🙂
“Their pretty lightweight but will give you an awesome trail experience, knowing they can handle anything you throw at them!”
Ha, thanks for that Joe. It’s been changed. Feel free to proof any of our other articles 😛
My problem is I need wide vegan mountaineering boots and can not find them anywhere, Anyone have any Ideas?
Hi John, this is something we’re looking into researching at the moment. For mountain grade boots the options do slim down. I know La Sportiva stock a good range of technical hiking boots that are vegan and also mountaineering boots so that could be a good place to start.
I am wearing some certified vegan technical hiking Boots from Mammut with BOA system. I really love them, because they do have a very flexible fit. They do offer a lot of grip and i did test them a lot of times this summer in Switzerland and Italy. This is the DUCAN BOA High GTX.
Glad you’ve found a pair that work for you. We’ve featured Mammut synthetic mountain boots but hadn’t seen these yet. Always nice to see the options growing!
Thank you for this article, very useful.
Can anyone suggest a shop in the uk (hoping for the Lake District 🤞🏻) that stocks any of these these rather than buying on line?
I used to work in a shoe shop and understand the importance of trying them on. It can be such a faff buying a few on line and having to return them…..
I did ask in one shop in Kendal this week and the young lady was very helpful and said she thought when new stocks arrived in the spring, she felt there would be more choice in the shops.
Hey Fiona, sorry for the late reply. Glad you’ve found it useful!
Cotswolds in Ambleside should have a good range and I’ve always found their staff to be quite knowledgeable. Nowadays, they label a lot of the vegan boots which can help to save time.
Always nice to see more stock coming in around spring. You can also look online and ask local shops to order in for you to try them on. For example, the Cotswold store might have less options than the website, but they should be able to get some in for you if you ask 🙂
Good luck finding the right thing!