Those who don’t want any animal byproducts in their outdoor gear should include a pair of vegan hiking shoes among their options. As opposed to conventional footwear for hikers, these shoes are built without the use of any animal substances. Even with its vegan construction, this footwear variant is still engineered to enhance the way you hike without compromising comfort and performance.
How to make sure your hiking shoes are really vegan
Best vegan hiking shoes - May 2019
There are instances when you need to determine if the vegan hiking shoes you’re eyeing are truly animal-friendly. There are online stores that incorrectly label some products as vegan when one or several components contain animal substances. Here are some simple tips to determine the authenticity of your target vegan hiking shoes.
Check the official brand website of the low-cut vegan pair you’re planning to buy. More often than not, the manufacturer will indicate if these shoes are constructed without using any animal products.
In the event you can’t confirm from the brand’s website if a hiking shoe is vegan or not, you can send an e-mail inquiry to their customer service. The footwear company will most likely reply within a day or two. It’s best to ask them too if adhesives containing animal adhesives are used in the construction of these vegan hiking shoes.
Another way to check for authenticity is by browsing through hiking footwear review sites. These reviews offer a more detailed description of the footgear’s specifications. You can also send an e-mail to their team or comment on the article itself to find out if vegan materials were used in constructing the concerned shoe.
Joining online communities also helps in getting more information about vegan hiking shoes. You can post your questions here and ask those who have used this kind of footwear. They can also give you first-hand experience on how your target vegan hiking shoes perform.
How men's and women's vegan hiking shoes are manufactured
Just like traditional low-cut footwear for hikers, vegan hiking shoes use similar components and technologies. The main difference is the use of synthetic fabric in place of those with animal byproducts. For instance, some vegan footgear products use uppers made of mesh or nylon. There are also select vegan models available that can be considered as waterproof hiking shoes because of an impermeable membrane within their respective designs.
An aspect most vegans tend to overlook is the type of adhesive used in this footwear type. Vegan hiking shoes are crafted using adhesives that don’t contain any kind of animal substances. On the other hand, non-vegan footgear models are held together by glues containing animal byproducts. One example is gelatin, which is obtained by boiling an animal’s tissue and bones.
Several footwear brands that offer vegan hiking shoes
Lowa. One example of a low-cut vegan hiker Lowa offers is the Aerox GTX Lo Surround. Its microfiber and synthetic upper is devoid of any animal byproduct, making the shoe vegan-friendly. The gear also uses Lowa’s DynaPU midsole to create a cushioned ride without compromising durability.
Salewa. Among the vegan hiking shoes in Salewa’s catalog is the Ultra Train 2. This footwear’s mesh upper features 3F technology which promotes flexibility, support, and a precise fit. The shoe’s Ortholite footbed adds extra cushioning while wicking excess moisture away.
Vivobarefoot. The Magna Trail is one of the vegan hiking shoes available from Vivobarefoot. This high-performance gear features a nylon upper with a neoprene ankle sock embedded in it. These components provide lightweight flexibility for male and female outdoor enthusiasts.
Astral. Astral’s TR1 Trek is a vegan hiker built for men and women. The shoe’s hydrophobic canvas upper is reinforced with thermopolyurethane (TPU) overlays to improve its durability. Its high-friction rubber outsole contains 5mm lugs to render traction on wet and dry surfaces.
Frequently asked questions about the best vegan hiking shoes
Are there dedicated women’s vegan hiking shoes in the market?
Almost every low-top footwear product for vegans in the market is designed for both male and female hikers. These vegan hikers come in a range of whole and half-sizes that are designed to fit both genders. As such, getting a pair of vegan hiking shoes for women can be harder than finding other types of outdoor footwear.
Are there men’s vegan hiking shoes for wide-footed people?
At some point, there will be brands that will acknowledge this demand. So we advise checking RunRepeat from time to time to find such products.
13 best vegan hiking shoes
Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport
Salewa Ultra Train 2
Salewa Speed Beat GTX
Astral TR1 Trek
Lowa Maddox GTX Lo
Teva Arrowood 2 Knit
Salewa Ultra Flex Mid GTX
Merrell MQM Flex 2
Vivobarefoot Magna Trail
Teva Terra-Float Churn
Salewa Lite Train K
Merrell Altalight Knit
Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.