Other the past few years I have discovered a lot of new and utterly fascinating things about the vegan industry and vegan hiking boots in particular. Today I am here to share those things with you in order to ease the burden of choosing the right pair of hiking boots.
A good pair of hiking boots is an investment that should be equally practical and enjoyable. For me, a perfect pair of hiking boots should be waterproof, breathable, and, of course, vegan. I do not know for sure what are your criteria for the best vegan pair of hiking boots, that is why I have elaborated a diverse list of 10 pairs with different levels of protection and warmth given for you to choose from.
If you do not have enough experience or you recently chose to be a vegan, you might not know the fact that a decent pair of Vegan hiking boots are very rare and hard to find. Mainly, that phenomenon is caused by the abundance of non-vegan hiking boots based on animal by-products such as leather or animal glue. If you are eager to find the perfect pair of vegan hiking boots by yourself, I have written a short list of tips that might help you choose your vegan boots.
Why should you go for vegan hiking boots in the first place?
Besides the fact that the animals whose leather will eventually be used for the manufacture of your hiking boots are kept in the worst conditions you can imagine and do not have any hope for a cruelty-free life, there are many advantages of a vegan pair of hiking boots that you are ought to take into consideration.
Firstly, it is obvious that leather is an ancient material with so many competitors that have overpassed it in both durability and lightness. For example, even the cheapest pair of vegan hiking boots will be able to reject a small amount of water or dirt, whereas the non-vegan ones have the ability to absorb the water and become extremely heavy. Of course, we do not talk about the waterproof pairs.
Another good reason to avoid non-vegan pairs of hiking boots is the glue that is used at attaching the sole to the main construction of the boot. Animal-based glues are a lot less stable and strong in comparison to synthetic ones. Even though the companies that produce this kind of boots know it for a fact, they continue using animal-based glue, hence, some of the non-vegan boots might be less durable than the vegan ones.
Of course, synthetic materials are not perfect and come with their problems. The biggest one is the recyclability of the materials that are used for the vegan hiking boots. You should always keep in mind the fact that, even if you saved a cow by buying a cruelty-free product, you might kill it by buying an unrecyclable product.
How to find a truly vegan pair?
Unfortunately, it is tough to find a perfect vegan piece of outdoor gear, that also includes footwear. You might get lucky and find a pair of shoes that are clearly labeled as vegan-friendly or vegan. The pairs that say 100% synthetic is the most frequent cruelty-free shoes you will encounter.
If the boots listed above are completely safe and vegan there are others that might be labeled as vegan leather shoes, organic shoes, leather-free shoes, and so on. With these, you may encounter the first issues. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, if a pair of shoes does not contain animal leather, it does not mean that it is vegan. There might be animal byproducts in the glue or other components.
How to pick a pair of vegan hiking boots that you will love?
You should pick a pair of hiking boots that are perfectly suited for your particular needs. Do not try to save a few bucks by choosing a cheap brand or pair, that might come back to you a little later. At first sight, the cheapest pair of hiking shoes might be as good as the expensive one. However, the reality shows, after some time, that the cheap pair will not last.
What activities will you attend in these?
The most valuable question that you must ask yourself in case you want a new pair of hiking boots is” Where will I use this pair of shoes?”. If you will find the answer to that question, you will be as informed as you can be.
Depending on your usual temperature and humidity, as well as the quantity of rain and snowfall, you should choose between the specific winter boots or the usual ones. If you are not sure what to choose, go for the usual hiking boots. If you will get cold in them, you can always put on a pair of warm socks. However, if you will feel hot in a winter pair, you will not be able to do anything at all.
Do you need waterproof materials?
If you do not live in an extremely hot area, you should always go for waterproof boots. It is kind of a precaution for the unexpected rainy days that you will encounter in your life.
But some areas are not as rich in rainfalls as others. If it happens for you to live in such an area, it is not recommended for you to purchase a pair of waterproof boots. In order to reduce the penetration of water to the lowest level possible, the manufacturers usually neglect the breathability of the boots, that is why, if you are in a hot area, your feet will not feel particularly great.
Xero Shoes is an American company that was founded by a former gymnast and a Master All-American Sprinter back in 2009. Steven Sashen. Since then, the company started manufacturing the most durable and innovative shoes on the market. The most interesting and important technology implemented by Steven is the FeelTrue rubber soles that offer the best ground feedback ever. However, you should be very careful with these soles, they might give you a sensation that you are barefoot, an impact that most of us are not prepared for.
Xero Shoes Xcursion is the most lightweight pair of vegan hiking boots available on the market. A men’s 9 is about 12 ounces each so you can enjoy your walk without feeling held back by the weight of your boots. Not only does Xero Shoes manufacture vegan botts but also sustainable ones, that is why, after wearing the Xcursion model you can courageously recycle them, it is possible.
Lightweight and waterproof
You do not know for sure if you will like the barefoot feeling
Merrell founded back in 18981 in Waitsfield, Vermont, is a completely vegan brand that uses only synthetic materials for its footwear. The best Merrell pair of hiking boots for women is definitely Moab 2. Made of the most qualitative and expensive synthetic leather, the Moab 2 is completely waterproof and, at the same time, breathable.
The footbed is made of M Select Fit.Eco+, technology that not only does keep your feet warm and comfortable but also can change the way you feel the road and can improve your agility and overall traction. If you are equipped with a pair of these, you will not have any competitors on both off and on-road. The breathable shield of Gore-Tex provides the best protection there is combined with amazing comfort parameters.
A pair of shoes made by the famous German brand Adidas. When it comes to quality and trustworthiness, Adidas’ reputation is unbreakable. Since 1949 the German brand has developed one of the most trusted series of hiking boots, Terrex Swift. Their newest model, Terrex Swift R2, is the most modern and innovational pair of hiking boots in their collection and, on top of that, is completely synthetic and cruelty-free.
The Gore-Tex lining assures a perfect impermeability and keeps your feet dry even in the most powerful rainfall. The Continental Rubber is there to give you the best grip in both wet and dry conditions. The Traxion Technology used at the fabrication of the sole is perfectly balanced and will provide you with the optimal grip in all directions and situations.
Since 1947 Salomon has designed and produced modern and innovative outdoor sports gear, including the Salomon X Ultra. Whether you are hitting the trails or looking for a solid work shoe, Salomon X Ultra 3 is the best choice for you. Extra durable and waterproof, the Solomon hiking boots are designed for women and offer the best traction on all types of terrain.
The best part of this model is the ability of the sole and midsole to provide the maximum level of comfort in the most uncomfortable and even dangerous circumstances. This model is, of course, equipped with the Gore-Tex technology, in order to keep your feet dry on the rainiest days of the year.
The Thermator model made by the well-known Xpeti is equipped with the most complete and innovative protection technology, making the safeness and security of your feet their priority. That is why a lot of customers that are not fans of recklessness are choosing this brand because it is the safest.
The functionality of these boots amazes even the most experienced hikers worldwide. The construction and the materials that are being used to fabricate this model can work very well through rocky areas as well as wet mud and sand. Not only do these boots keep your feet protected and dry but also provide a comfortable and enjoyable walk every time of the year.
The Italian brand La Sportiva was founded nearly 100 years ago in Tesero. Since then, more exactly, since 1928, La Sportiva has surprised its customers with the most modern and ingenious footwear. It is not a vegan brand, it has a lot of animal-based products and even collections. However, the vegan collection is so good that I could not include it in our top.
La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX is the most modern piece of footwear in the La Sportiva collection. The Ethylene Vinyl Acetate sole will provide the best grip you have ever had and the to-the-toe lacing technology will be able to give you a precise fit and maximum volume adjustment. Of course, this model could not have been the most technologically modern if it would not have had a waterproof construction.
The Italian brand established back in 1938, has succeeded to combine trail running footwear with mountaineering boots and has given the world the first of its kind, Ribelle HD. This model is the perfect choice for those who are not satisfied with the usual hiking trails and want to go deep into the mountains. The maximum protection combines with the fresh design and absolute comfort to give you the most outstanding memories and experience.
The waterproof membrane provides impermeability and breathability for you to enjoy both sunny and rainy days out there in the field. The Sock-Fit construction works to create the perfect fit, reducing the hot spots and the bulk at the same time.
The combination of impermeability and breathability
I have already described this company in the article above, therefore I will be very succinct about this model. The 100% synthetic components prove the fact that, even without the vegan label, the Moab 2 is completely vegan and cruelty-free. Lightweight and durable, this pair of boots will be a great investment that will last 3 or 4 years depending on how often it will be used.
The Vibram TC5+ sole is there to ensure the maximum level of comfort and security for your feet and spine. Another great improvement in the security level is the rubber toe cap that will be able to reject small rocks, roots, and other projectiles that could hurt your toes.
The best part about these boots is that they not only are vegan but also completely recyclable and harmless for nature. Xero Shoes Xcursion is one of the most technologically modern products on this list because of the FeelTrue rubber sole that can provide the most outstanding feedback while also protecting your feet from cuts and bruises caused by the small rocks and roots on the ground.
The impact on your posture, balance, and even agility will be seen after 2 or 3 weeks of daily usage of these amazing boots, and it will completely amaze you. The non-elevated heel and low-to-the-ground technology of the rubber sole will make you feel freer and more passionate about walking, you will not get tired as easily as before.
Barefoot shoes can feel a lot more comfortable and durable than the other ones; you will even feel your joints and muscles move more freely. But they also take some getting used to if you are new to them.
Heavy 5 mm lungs will provide you the maximum grip on any type of terrain, wet grass, mud, and even sand or small rocks. Lightweight and flexible, the TR1 model will make you feel freer and more unchained with every step you will take wearing these beauties. The best part about the canvas is that, after a rain, they will literally dry in seconds. The upper is also equipped with a pair of drain holes that, in case of heavy rainfall or misjudging the length of the puddle, will help you get rid of the water.
All Astral shoes are completely vegan. Not only that, but the company also uses recycled polyester as the primal source of working material and manufactures products as sustainable as possible. Their policy is clear, nature first.
Not as durable as wanted
Questions you might have on this topic – answered
Do vegan shoes stretch like the leather ones?
No, they do not stretch at all, therefore, you need to choose the size you need from the start. This also means that vegan shoes will last a lot longer than leather ones.
Why do I need hiking boots for hiking?
For those who do not think that the answer is obvious, I will give an answer. Hiking boots have a much higher level of security, and your feet will be a lot safer in those. This, however, will decrease the level of comfort because the materials should be more durable and harder. Another big difference between hiking boots and other footwear is the sole. Usually, the hiking botts sole is much harder and the material is adapted to rocks and roots and other off-road problems.
What is the difference between men’s and women’s hiking boots?
The difference, besides the design, colors, and patterns, can be seen in the weight or volume of the boots. Typically, the women’s boots are less wide and heavy compared to the men’s, that is why, if you are a girl, you should consider the possibility of buying the women’s version.
To sum up all things I have said I can say that, although leather hiking boots are more popular at the moment, vegan hiking boots are better in every way possible and, in some years, there will not be a pair of brand-new leather hiking boots because the community will understand and accept the true.
Be very careful when you are choosing a pair of vegan hiking boots because, even if there is a 100% synthetic label, there might be a chance of animal by-products used in the glue or other parts. Therefore, if you are not completely sure about those materials, you should call the company and ask for yourself.
Xero Shoes Men's Xcursion
LIGHTWEIGHT FOR ACTIVE LIFESTYLES
FLEX YOUR FEET, FEEL THE FLOOR
The founder of this site and the man whose idea was used to write the first article on it. Before establishing topveganchoice.com, Brandon was an activist and a regular participant of many legal meetings that pleaded against cruelty and inhumanity in many businesses