The best vegan walking boots reviewed (2023)

We've been out testing to find the best vegan outdoor footwear, ranging from lightweight hiking shoes to crampon-compatible mountain boots.

Three models of vegan walking boots in use

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

For a long time, opting for vegan or the 'eco' version of something meant an almost inevitable compromise in performance (or flavour for vegan food). These days, things have changed. Alongside tasty fake meat, there is now a decent range of vegan walking boots and shoes.

The availability of animal-free walking boots used to be scarce, just like women's-specific walking boots. It's taken long enough, but now things are going in the right direction. We've been on a mission to find a range of the most talented vegan outdoor footwear.

Although the absence of animal products is the common characteristic of vegan hiking footwear, it shouldn't be a defining trait. It's not an excuse for sub-par performance, and we hold vegan hiking footwear to the same high standards as we do to all walking boots and shoes.

Slightly dirty Lowa Trek EVO GTX Mid on a rock
©Live For The Outdoors

The best vegan walking boots at a glance:

Best in Test: Lowa Trek EVO GTX Mid - View on Sportsshoes

Best Value: Merrell Speed Eco - View on Merrell

Best vegan mountain boot: Scarpa Ribelle Lite HD - View on Sportsshoes

We wanted our shortlist to be broad and inclusive. Therefore, we've recommended a range of top-performing vegan walking boots that range from lightweight hiking shoes to crampon-compatible mountain boots.

The best vegan walking boots

Best in Test

Lowa Trek EVO GTX MidLive For The Outdoors


Finding a high-performing walking boot that you hardly notice you're wearing is a challenge. Such


  • Great for long walking days
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Comfortable
  • Can be re-soled


  • Sole struggles in mud

Best Value

Merrell Speed EcoLive For The Outdoors


To date, The Speed Eco is the brand's 'most sustainable, eco-friendly hiking shoe'. It contains a


  • High percentage of recycled content
  • Lightweight yet protective underfoot
  • Good value


  • Not for super technical terrain
  • Minimal toe protection

Best lightweight vegan boot

Hoka Trail Code Gore-TexLive For The Outdoors
Price: £160.00


Hoka has always been bold with its styling. The Trail Code is thoroughly on brand, especially with


  • Roomy toe box
  • Lots of cushioning
  • Versatile outsole
  • Neat colour options


  • Bold Hoka styling not for everyone
  • Not the most rugged hiking boot

Best 3-season vegan hiking boot


The Deception Trail GTX is a modern and inoffensive-looking boot that offers enough performance


  • Quite good value
  • Excellent grip
  • Suitable for most hiking trips


  • Mid-height doesn't provide full ankle support

Best vegan mountain boot

Scarpa Ribelle Lite HDLive For The Outdoors


Veganism doesn't get in the way of alpinism, thanks to Scarpa. The Ribelle Lite HD is a B2-rated


  • Intelligent features
  • Impressive alpine performance
  • Can be re-soled


  • Suitable for avid mountain hikers only

Best vegan hiking shoe

Inov-8 Roclite G 315 GTX V2Inov-8


Inov-8's Roclite badge has been around for several years now, and has accumulated a fanbase that


  • Impressively versatile
  • Protective and cushioning midsole
  • Durable construction for a lightweight shoe


  • No stiffened toe cap
  • A non-waterproof option would be good

Best leather-look vegan boot

Altberg DaleswayLive For The Outdoors


The old-school [leather walking


  • Great in mud
  • Classic leather look
  • Altberg build 'em tough
  • Can be re-soled


  • Not much cushioning
  • Vibram Masia sole struggles on rock

Highly recommended

AKU Slope V-Light GTXLive For The Outdoors


We tested these in dry conditions in the Dolomites in Italy. Up among the high-altitude limestone


  • Eco credentials
  • Excellent craftmanship
  • High levels of comfort
  • Breathable
  • Grippy traction


  • Not the most cushioned
  • Not especially lightweight
  • Not suitable for more technical ground
  • Minimal ankle support

What to look for in vegan walking boots

Three photos of vegan walking boot details
©Live For The Outdoors

The absence of animal products is the key place to begin. But if you're after a more ethically made boot or shoe, consider the use of recycled materials. Whether a boot or shoe can be re-soled is also of key importance to longevity and, therefore, sustainability.

Beyond this, the same considerations apply to vegan walking boots as any other. Is the sole designed for the terrain you prefer? Does the footwear shape match your foot? What's your budget? If you need something tough, does the model you want have features like a rand and toe cap?

The best thing to do is first decide what you need your hiking footwear for, make a list of the features it needs, the ones you'd like it to have, and your budget. You can use this system to quickly narrow down the best walking boots or hiking shoes for you.

Vegan walking boot cleaning and care

The synthetic fabrics used in vegan hiking boot uppers can take the same cleaning products we'd recommend for cleaning all hiking footwear.

But given vegan boots don't use leather, you can use a re-proofing spray instead of a wax to replenish its water-repellency when you need to. The best option is Granger's Footwear Repel Plus. However, Nikwax Fabric and Leather Proof is another excellent choice. The exception here is Altberg's Dalesway boot, which the brand recommends takes the same Leder-Gris wax used for its leather boots.

How we tested

The footwear we review are always put to thorough testing aimed to push them on the types of terrain they're designed for. Our testers are fastidious and objective, always focused on the ultimate aim of finding the best options for our audience.

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Chris Williams is a Digital Content Writer for Live For The Outdoors. He trained as a journalist in New Zealand and has been working on Live For The Outdoors since 2021.

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