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Where to find vegan hiking boots [UPDATED 4.30.14!]

I’ve just updated this post to include Zamberlan. Happy hiking!

It’s the main reason I wanted to start this website: hiking boots

I haven’t gotten a new pair in a few years because every time I started to look online I got frustrated. I want to compile the ultimate collection of vegan outdoor gear on VeganOutdoorAdventures.com!

Some sites are awesome enough to include a “vegan” search criteria. REI is one of them. I took the extra step to contact each individual company to ensure all materials, including any glues used, are synthetic. Be careful with this feature when searching for vegan stuff. REI lists a pair of Lowa hikers as vegan, but when I contacted them directly I was told that they use so many different glues sourced from different companies that there’s no way for them to tell whether a non-leather boot is actually vegan. Bummer.

And so, in no particular order, I give you vegan hiking boots!

 

Merrell

merrellgrassbowmidwatproof

Merrell offers the Grasshopper Sport Mid , which on their own website is called the Grassbow, but as far as I can tell Amazon just has the name wrong. They use M-Select FRESH to prevent odor naturally, which sounds pretty exciting to me! M-Select DRY keeps water out while also letting moisture out to keep your feet dry.

 

Wicked Hemp

wickedhempwickedtrail

Wicked Hemp makes shoes out of natural and recycled materials. The Wicked Trail are a lower-cut boot which looks better for a light stroll in the woods than climbing mountains, but that’s awesome, too! According to their website, the hemp canvas will keep your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter. (Also available in men’s.)

 

TrekSta

trekstaevolutionmidgtx

The TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX was named Editor’s Choice in 2011 by Backpacker Magazine, and for good reason. Gore-Tex makes these boots breathable, while still being waterproof and the IceLock/HyperGrip sole helps with traction in any condition. (Also available in men’s.)

 

Vegetarian Shoes

veggietrekker

The Veggie Trekkers by Vegetarian Shoes are waterproof, breathable hiking boots with Vibram soles.
Vegetarian Shoes also offers the Trail Boot, which seems to be more of a lightweight, fair weather boot.

 

LaSportiva

lasportivatrangosevogtx

LaSportiva’s Trango S Evo GTX mountaineering boots have a 3D Flex ankle-hinge system which gives support for front-pointing while also staying flexible for walking. Vibram soles give traction no matter what the surface conditions. (Also in men’s.)

 

Zamberlan

zamberlancrosserwomens

The Zamberlan SH Crosser Plus GTX RR hiking boot was Backpacker Magazine’s 2013 Editors’ Choice winner. This boot has Vibram soles for great traction, is lightweight and waterproof. Also available in men’s.

 

[I've removed the Scarpa boots from this list because upon further investigation, the company has said that they cannot confirm that the glues used in their shoes are completely synthetic. Hopefully in the future they will offer an 100% vegan boot option.]

Have you used any of these? Do you have any to add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

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19 thoughts on “Where to find vegan hiking boots [UPDATED 4.30.14!]

  1. Jim Van Alstine

    I am just beginning to use my Treksta Evolution Mid GTX hiking boots, after giving up on my ancient, beloved (and no longer made) Garmont Vegans. The Trekstas have and amazing fit, and are very comfortable. Traction on wet rock is the best I’ve ever experienced. These are a light and agile boot. I think they will perform very well on day hikes (so far, so good). When backpacking, or on multiple-day adventures, I suspect these boots may be too light and not stiff enough and thick enough in the sole to provide enough protection. This could be just me, with my 50+-year-old feet. Upgrading or customizing the insole may help this. All in all, if you are under 40 and/or seeking a day-hike boot, this is a strong contender.

    1. Jim Van Alstine

      Here’s an update on my Treksta boots: The first pair I bought ran small and became painful on descents. I may have been assuming that I was a half size smaller than I am, or the boots may run smallish. So, if you have any doubt about your size or run between sized, go that half size up. Now, with a correct fit, these boots are great and surprisingly good in tough terrain. They are agile and despite their light weight offer good protection and support.

      1. Jessica

        Thanks for the update, Jim! It can be tricky buying shoes, especially online, and getting the right fit, so this is super valuable info! Glad they’re working out for you!

        So, where’s your next adventure going to be? I know you get out on the trails quite a lot. :)

  2. Molly

    Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been looking for a nice pair of light hikers and haven’t had much luck. The hemp ones sound perfect. I can’t hike real long distances anymore and neither can my husband (because of injuries) but we still get out there almost every day for shorter hikes. :)

    1. Jessica

      Thanks for the comment, Molly! I’m really hoping that as more people find my site it’ll turn into an awesome community, where we can all suggest gear options and let others know how certain things are working out for us. I’m excited!

      I thought the hemp ones were cool, too! If you end up getting a pair, let me know how you like them!

      I’m jealous you get out for shorts hikes almost every day. :) Lucky lucky!

  3. Jim Van Alstine

    I recently bought a pair of the Zamberlan SH Crosser Plus GTX RR, and so did my lovely wife. This is a first impression which I will likely update after I put a few more miles on these.
    Among lighter weight mid-hikers, the Zamberlan boots stand out for having a solid, supportive foot bed. They have a noticeably wide heel section of the sole, with a firm heel cup in the boot itself and substantial ankle padding. This adds up to a light mid-hiker that should hold up better than most boots when for backpacking with significant pack weight. My break in hike with these boots was a volunteer gig hauling water uphill (50 lbs. pack) to support some insane mountain double marathon. The Zamberlans felt solid under weight, up a stretch of trail that was wet and lose rock, mostly an intermit ant stream bed. The boots feature Vibram soles, which have a well-earned reputation for durability. The boots had better than average traction on wet rock. The ankle padding, which is an asset for backpackers and folks who suffer from roll-ver or have ankle issues, will take some break in. When lacing the boots, the tongue needs to be set with some care, or will have a tendency to bunch up. This should improve with break in. Lastly, a comparison of two of the vegan boots referenced here. I also own the TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX . The Trekstas have the advantage in agility, and the soles let you feel terrain and are amazingly sticky. My choice is, when I want to move light and fast, I’ll go Trecksta. When I’m caring a pack of significant weight, or feel the need for a more solid foot bed and ankle support, I’ll pick the Zamberlans.

    1. Jessica

      This is great information, Jim! Thanks so much for sharing! I just ordered a pair of Treksta Edict trail runners (my first pair of trail runners ever) and I’m excited to get them and try them out!

      You do a lot of really awesome hikes and take beautiful photos. I’d love it if you would consider sharing one here. What do you say? :)

  4. Sierra

    I’m so glad I found this website! Thanks for the list. I don’t know if you’re a climber, but I’d love a list of vegan climbing shoes. I know the brand Evolv has a few synthetic shoes, but climbing shoes without leather can be really hard to find.

    1. Jessica

      Hey Sierra! So glad you found me. I hope this website continues to be a great help to vegans all over! Just through contacting the different shoe companies regarding their glues, I now feel much more relaxed and informed when I’m out looking at boots or trail runners at the store. :)

      I’ve climbed indoors a few times, but I’ve yet to take up outdoor climbing. I do have a few vegan friends who are climbers though and I’m planning on checking out the climbing shoe options. I’ve also heard of Evolv’s synthetic shoes, but I’m hoping to find more! Have you read this blog post from Steph Davis? http://www.highinfatuation.com/blog/addict-vegan-slippers/ It goes over the technicalities of climbing shoes and why synthetic materials don’t always work that well. I’m really hoping that if I don’t find some others that are available now, there will be more in the future!

      1. Sierra

        Interesting post. Yeah, from what I understand, leather works well for climbing shoes because it’s a little more “stretchy” and will conform to your foot. That said, I of course will still refuse to use or purchase any leather products for ethical reasons. My current pair of climbing shoes is the Evolv Elektra (synthetic materials). It’s worked well as a beginner’s shoe, but I’m getting to the point where I need something a little more technical. That, and they’re starting to get a little worn out! I do hope those Evolv Addict Slippers come out in the vegan version soon (have you heard any updates on that?). Slippers are good for crack climbing, so I should get a pair of those soon, too!

        1. Sierra

          Oh, but yeah, if you do figure out a list (even if it’s kinda short) of all the vegan climbing shoes on the market currently, I’d love to see it. And share it widely :)

          1. Jessica

            Hey Sierra! I’m on it! I’ve got emails out to Evolv, La Sportiva, Five Ten, Scarpa & Mad Rock. Like I said before, I’m not a climber, so I won’t be able to comment much on the shoes, but at least then you’ll know which are vegan. It’ll be a great place to start!

            Keep your fingers crossed that the emails come back with lots of options! :)

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  6. xVx

    The Trekstas are nice but from what I have found selling them is they do tend to run a touch narrow but they do have probably one of the best insoles standard in a shoe. I recommend them a lot and do a decent amount of sell through. However I would go a half size up for those with wider feet. However try the shoes on, walk around the store for a while and where them at home and see how the feel. Never buy shoes without walking around for a bit.

    1. Jessica

      Awesome advice! I just got a pair of Treksta Edict trail runners and wore them on my last backpacking trip. I absolutely loved them. 18 miles over two days is the most I’ve hiked at once in a while and my feet, while obviously tired and a little sore, weren’t *nearly* as unhappy as I thought they would be.

  7. Caroline

    This is such an awesome site! Thank you! It is also a coincidence because my vegan friend asked me just the other day where I had managed to find vegan hiking boots. I have a pair of the Merrel boots that I bought at REI. They are very sturdy and have been backpacking in the desert and hiking in the mountains. They aren’t made from hemp but I’d definitely recommend them for support! :) I will share this with all of my friends!

    1. Vegan Outdoor Adventures

      Hi Caroline! Thanks so much for the kind words and for sharing! Merrell is awesome when it comes to vegan options. I’m hoping that more and more companies will hop on the vegan train soon! :)

      So glad you like your boots! Any hikes planned in the near future? – Jessica

  8. Jim Mitchell

    La Sportiva
    Trango Extreme Evo Light GTX Mountaineering Boot –

    These are another vegan option for winter. I am happy with them with one exception, wish they were more of a “all mountain” boot. Approaches can be tiresome with such a stiff sole. But having automatic crampon ability is great for ice.

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