Not so long ago, leather is the only material that can produce durable, long-lasting hiking boots. The reason for this idea is that leather was the strongest and best available material.
Even up until today, many buyers still believe that if they want to have a decent, high-quality shoes or boots, they have to choose and buy the leather ones.
Nowadays, I do not think that I should agree with this idea. In recent years, there are plenty of advancements in hemp and synthetic materials, and there are already many options available for vegan hikers.
Apart from the quality shoes that hemp and synthetic materials can provide, they are often less expensive and lightweight than leather products.
There are also different styles and colors available on the market when purchasing vegan hiking shoes, and there are also positive feedbacks from buyers that many vegan hiking shoes have so I am confident that not being a vegan does not mean that you will not like these types of boots.
However, if you like seeing animals in nature and do not want to wear animal-made products, I suggest that you continue reading this product reviews so you would know my top choices when looking for vegan hiking boots for men and women.
The Best Vegan Hiking Shoes For Men
1. Merrell Men's All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe
If someone would ask me what shoes that I highly recommend for men who love hiking and backpacking, I would surely say this product of Merrell. Aside from it is waterproof, they are also exceptionally lightweight and comfortable to use for any long hiking.
These waterproof shoes are not difficult to order because they fit true to size. It has the Omi Fit lacing that gives a glove-like fit.
This Merrell product contains breathable mesh in its upper part & Vibram soles underneath. The mesh of the shoes enables your feet to air out to avoid blistering and irritation. When you wear these shoes, its ventilation is like there is an air conditioner in it.
Merrell produced these shoes for rocky roads, muddy roads, hiking, and boulder climbing; hence, I always suggest my guy friends purchase these shoes if they want to try going outdoors because I highly find this product awesome for men.
Even though the price of this footwear may be a little high for some buyers and you may find the toe weird, these shoes can adapt to any terrain, so it is still worth the money.
2. Merrell Men's Capra Mid Sport Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
This Merrell footwear is a waterproof hiking boot for speedy, light adventures into any mountainous terrain. If you are looking for a vegan hiking footwear that can almost do all, this product would be the right for you.
My friend told me that this boot is the lightest out of all the boots that he tried wearing. When you wear this Merrell's boot, it is like you are wearing a running shoe because it is lightweight. The ultra-light materials like GORE-TEX, synthetic leather, and Stratafuse exoskeleton make this shoe lightweight.
One feature of this product that will surely amaze anyone is its exoskeleton design that lets the GORE-TEX work to its fullest potential which allows the shoe to be breathable. If you don't want wearing shoes that make your feet clammy and hot, you can try this one as it is incredibly breathable.
The overall design of this Merrell product keeps water, objects, and rocks out. The GORE-TEX material is what makes this footgear waterproof. Since your feet might be wet during your trek, you can try using this waterproof boot.
This shoe also features a bellows tongue that keeps debris out, an ace single density removable footbed, a Trailprotect pad that offers additional protection offroad, and a metal hook and lacing eyelet for secure lacing.
Moreover, this product has molded nylon arch shank, EVA molded footbed, Vibram™ MegaGrip outsole, 3.5 mm lug depth, and UniFly™ midsole that connects you to the trail and protects you from the terrain.
The disadvantage that I noticed from this product is that it may not be as durable as other hiking boots and it also lacks ankle support. However, if you like going fast and light during your outdoor adventure, this one is the ideal hiking boots for you.
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The Best Vegan Hiking Shoes For Women
1. Merrell Women's Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
This amazing footwear is what I always put on whenever I want to wear vegan shoes. I am so lucky to have it, and I highly recommend it for every woman who likes wearing vegan shoes. I always use this boots especially when I hike and backpack with my vegetarian friends, and I sometimes use it for biking.
This product of Merrell perfectly fits my feet. Apart from its design, what I like most about these shoes is that it always gives the best comfort that I need whenever I put it on for long adventures. I did also not expect that it is lightweight and perfect for backpacking and hiking.
This footwear has a breathable mesh lining, EVA midsole for stability and comfort, molded nylon arch shank, Merrell heel air cushion that absorbs shock and lends stability, rubber toe cap that protects from stubs and scrapes.
Furthermore, this excellent footgear also features bellows foam tongue that keeps moisture and debris out, Ortholite™ anatomical footbed, synthetic leather toe cap, heel counter, waterproof leather and mesh upper.
The only negative feedback that I can say about this shoe is that it is not waterproof as advertised, and its midsole may not last long for some. However, satisfaction is still what I always feel whenever I use this shoe because its advantages are all I need for my long treks.
2. Adidas Terrex Swift R Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boot Womens
If you are searching for vegan boots that are perfect for women hikers, this footwear is surely one of your best choices. It is a very supportive shoe that will not let the user down, and it is also excellent for women hikers who move fast on the trail.
The upper portion of the boot contains very light materials. It has a mesh that removes sweat and a GORETEX liner that surrounds the foot of the user. With this Adidas shoe, your feet will surely stay dry and nice, and you will surely get the comfort you need.
The AdiPrene midsole and the removable insole of this flexible boot provides a lot of cushioning, while the outsole gives a great traction. It also features a very nice heel and toe counter.
Apart from this footgear is one of the durable boots that you can have, it also has a great design that every woman hiker would love.
If you are bringing a heavy backpack, this boot can be your best hiking partner. However, even though this boot has a lot of features that any woman hiker needs, it may not be one of the best shoes for the rainy season, and you may find the ankle support not enough
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3. Merrell Women's Grassbow Air Trail Running Shoe
Another quality shoe I have learned from my fellow backpacker is this footwear which according to her, "makes her want to run more." Her statement intrigued me, so I decided to use it also, and the experience that I got was unforgettable.
Mesh and vegan-friendly synthetic leather make up the show upper of this shoe while the air cushion sole that it has is useful in making the shoe stable.
Since it has uniquely designed M-select grip material, the traction makes it suitable to use even during cold climates and winter. Also, this shoe has an anti-odor lining.
It has highly breathable mesh and low weight which allows users to have a speedy feel. It has thin yet aggressively lugged outsole and a beefed-up heel counter which give sufficient support and protection when exploring various terrains.
The only disadvantage that I could say is that it needs an extended break-in period because it is quite stiff when you first use it. Some do not also recommend using it if you wear it with a heavy pack.
Factors To Consider When Buying Vegan Hiking Footwear
When I was just an amateur outdoor enthusiast, I thought being a vegan only applies to the backpacking food that I bring with me. Gradually, I have learned that selecting other vegan-friendly outdoor gears such as hiking boots also give a lot of benefits especially when you find the right boots for you.
In the previous section, we have just discussed some of the products that you can choose from in the market, and you may already have a product in mind which you intend to buy.
It is also essential, however, to remember that buying vegan-friendly hiking footwear is quite different from your common shoes.
Hence, To help you further in deciding, let me remind you of some of the things you have to always take into account before buying your animal product free shoes or boots.
Low-top vs. High -top
If you are a vegan and an outdoor enthusiast at the same time, one of the things you consider first when choosing a footwear is the ankle support that it provides.
If you plan to use shoes or boots for intense adventure, it may be more appropriate to use High-top ones since this type of footwear wrap around your ankle and prevent it from rolling or bending when you explore uneven terrains.
However, I also know some hikers who prefer low-top shoes because they feel that the additional support of high-top shoes restrict movement.
Low-top shoes and boots also offer a sneaker-like feeling, and many claim that they are lighter and cooler although they do not give as much ankle support as the high-top ones.
I suggest that you use low-top shoes if you do not climb a lot but walk on trails frequently. If you indulge in more intense activities, high-top boots and shoes are more suitable to use.
Breathability and Waterproofness
Another important consideration if you are a vegan who is looking for a perfect outdoor footwear is the amount of air it allows your feet to feel.
Walking through a stream and stepping in a puddle may cause your feet to get wet, so always look for boots or shoes which are waterproof.
Make sure, however, that you choose footwear that is not too waterproof because this type of shoes may trap your feet. Also, shoes which are extremely waterproof can make your feet sweat a lot.
This factor is important because it prevents you from sliding and slipping as you move down a hill or when stepping on a rock that is slightly wet.
Most of the time, it is much better if your shoes or boots have more lugs or grooves. Boots and shoes that have strong traction also feature intricate designs, optimizing the surface area the shoe or boot's bottom that increases traction.
The materials that make up vegan shoes are what separates them from typical ones wherein leather is a common ingredient.
If you are a vegan, however, you may want to use only animal product free shoes, and some of the main options that you can choose from are hemp and synthetic fibers.
This material is a fake version of animal products. For instance, some manufacturers utilize plastic instead of leather or acrylic instead of wool. This material is an excellent option because you can clean it easily. Also, it tends to be a lot more durable.
However, it tends to be quite suffocating since it does not breathe easily. Hence, it may not be a perfect option if you want to use it in a warm or hot environment. Also, this material poses a lot of environmental impacts.
This material is a great option since it eliminates environmental impact because it is completely natural. Unlike synthetic fibers and plastics, hemp comes from the cannabis plant, making it more vegan-friendly.
The only limitation that you should know about it is that boots and shoes that use hemp tend to be quite thin which means that it may not protect your feet enough from cold and water. It may not also be a perfect choice if you want to trek through streams or snow.
Did you also like my list of the best vegan hiking boots on the market?
It may be confusing to choose vegan hiking shoes for you as there are many competitive shoes on the market. I wrote this product review so you would have an idea about the best vegan hiking shoes among the outstanding products available.
If you want to have a great outdoor experience, one of the many ways you should consider is purchasing the best boots. If you love wearing vegan shoes or if you are a vegetarian, I recommend you to have any of the footwear that I discussed in this article.
If you think this list is helpful in your search for the best vegan hiking boot, you may post your comments below. You can also share this product list with your friends.