The 5 best vegan hiking boots for any type of hiker

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the best vegan hiking boots
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If you’re a vegan or someone who prefers vegan materials, and you love to spend time outdoors, you know how frustrating it can be to find a good pair of hiking boots. Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid animal-derived products in your outdoor footwear without sacrificing functionality. The best vegan hiking boots are made with entirely synthetic materials and still offer comfortable support, as well as any features you might need for the terrain and conditions you expect to encounter.

When looking for a vegan hiking boot, you probably already know to skip materials like leather, but hiking boots can also use animal-derived products in far less obvious ways, such as in the glue that holds them together. For some shoppers, it might be enough to know that the sole and upper are synthetic, but if you want to be sure that your boot is 100% cruelty-free, look for options that are confirmed to be vegan by the brand (most products on this list meet that criteria, but I’ve specified which ones don’t). Most vegan boots have fabric uppers, but keep an eye out for ones made with abrasion-resistant fabric that can take a beating on the trail. To avoid sweaty feet, mesh panels and wicking fabric liners are ideal, while boots with waterproof, breathable membranes made from materials like Gore-Tex will keep out rain, puddles, and snow. Comfortable hiking boots are a must for any hiker, so your boots should have a cushioned midsole that can absorb shock, and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam is a particularly great choice. And no matter what kind of hiking you’re planning to do, look for rubber outsoles as well to ensure your feet can grip the trail without slipping.

Different types of boots will serve you better for different types of hiking. Mid-height boots that hit around the ankle will be great for most kinds of hiking, while hiking shoes that hit below the ankle are a good option for more casual walking or to use as summer hiking boots. Flexible lightweight boots will serve you just fine for short hikes with a light daypack, but you might want a more structured, supportive boot if you’ll be doing challenging multi-day hikes with a heavier backpacking pack. If you want to wear your boots for winter hiking, make sure you pick a pair with insulation to keep your feet warm.

Whether you’re hitting the trails for a day hike, backpacking through chilly mountains, or simply taking a walk around the neighborhood, these vegan-friendly boots will keep your feet comfy and supported.

1. The budget hiking boots


Proof that solid outdoor gear doesn’t have to exceed $100, the XPETI Thermator Mid is a great casual hiking boot that also happens to be vegan, as XPETI confirmed in an email. The boots are made from synthetic materials only, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) itself has given a nod of approval to XPETI for its vegan options. The mid-height boot offers ankle support bolstered with a molded TPU heel. A high-traction rubber outsole that extends over the toes gives you excellent grip and protection on rough or rocky terrain. The integrated EVA foam midsole adds comfort and stability, while a moisture-wicking lining ensures your feet stay dry even when they sweat. The boots are also designed with a waterproof mesh upper and an additional waterproof membrane to help protect your feet from damp conditions. Choose from black, gray, and camouflage styles.

One reviewer wrote: “I just finished a 6-month road trip across the US visiting several national parks and countless hikes. I quite literally put my life in the grip of these shoes when I was walking on tight ledges and up inclines. I thankfully never slipped when it mattered and owe a lot of that to these boots because I started off as a newbie with little hiking experience.”

  • Available sizes: Men’s 7 — 14, including half sizes


The Thermator Mid also comes in women’s sizes, but since the boot is essentially identical, you should go with the version that best fits your foot. This one comes in two colorways: solid black and gray/blue.

One reviewer wrote: “Excellent purchase! Product is supportive, comfortable to wear and is highly resistant to water. Great protection and confidence as hiking footwear. Highly recommended.”

  • Available sizes: Women’s 6 — 11, including half sizes

2. The technical trekking boots


When you’re carrying a heavy backpack or hitting the trail for multiple days, you need a pair of boots that can support you through it. That’s where these boots from Arc’teryx, which are fully vegan (as the brand confirmed in an email), fit the bill. A combination of structure and cushioning help you move comfortably under the weight of your pack, even in tricky or alpine environments. The fabric upper is breathable and resistant to abrasion, while a waterproof Gore-Tex insert keeps your feet dry in wet conditions without making them sweaty. A TPU panel on the front and middle of the shoe keeps you feeling stable, as does the cushioned, molded OrthoLite liner. The midsole is made of EVA foam, offering good shock absorption. Vibram MegaGrip lugged rubber outsoles provide excellent traction on a variety of surfaces, so you can wear these shoes practically anywhere.

One reviewer wrote: “I love these boots. I bought them to hike the Half Dome trail and they were great. Very durable and light. I would recommend these boots.”

  • Available sizes: Men’s 7 — 13, including half sizes


If you’d prefer to buy the Arc’teryx Acrux boots in women’s sizes, this version has all the same features but comes with pale blue laces and has some additional sizing options.

One reviewer wrote: “I love the boots [...] I need more time using, but like so far.”

  • Available sizes: Women’s 6 — 10, including half sizes

3. The mid-height trail-runner hybrids


La Sportiva is highly regarded when it comes to outdoor footwear, so the fact that they offer vegan options is kind of a big deal. The brand confirmed in an email that their Ultra Raptor IIs are totally vegan, down to the animal-product-free glue. The Ultra Raptor IIs combine the lightweight, breathable, and flexible design of a trail runner with the waterproof support of a hiking boot. The boot’s upper is made from a combination of abrasion-resistant mesh and microfiber, with a Gore-Tex membrane for water protection that still feels incredibly breathable. An OrthoLite insole is also breathable and adds cushioning, while a shock-absorbing EVA foam midsole keeps your feet feeling fresh. The Frixion White rubber sole is designed to provide really good grip on difficult terrain, with a pronounced heel-and-lug system that keeps your feet from slipping.

All of these features work together to make these hiking boots ideal for anyone who likes to move quickly and climb (or run) mountainous terrain. Just know that the flexible mid-rise design offers enough support for carrying lighter loads only, so it’s not a great choice for heavy-duty backpacking and multi-day treks. According to Amazon reviewers, these run a bit small, so you might want to consider ordering a half size up.

One reviewer wrote: “The bottom really is grippy; I don't know if it's the tread design or tread material, but it really grabs. Have been through bogs with mud up to the very rim of the boot with no leaks. Five steep hikes so far and no complaints.”

  • Available sizes: Men’s 8 — 15.5, including half and wide sizes


While La Sportiva does make the Ultra Raptor IIs in women’s sizes, there may be limited size options available on Amazon, in which case it’s hard to beat these Inov-8 hiking shoes for seriously good grip without too much weight — and, according to the brand, they’re 100% vegan, too. Like the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor IIs, these are mid-height boots with a waterproof Gore-Tex upper that straddle the line between trail running shoes and classic hiking boots. A cushioned midsole provides shock absorption, and a high ankle provides flexible support. The outsoles are where these shoes really shine, however, since they’re made from rubber infused with ultra-strong, lightweight graphene for a really solid grip that lasts. Pronounced cleat-style treads on the bottom of the shoes make it even easier to find your footing without slipping or skidding. Choose from a handful of colors.

One reviewer wrote: “These are fabulous walking boots and have surpassed all my expectations. They are fully waterproof, have truly amazing grip and are as light as a feather. They are also tough, durable and give good ankle protection. After 40 years of wearing traditional (heavy) leather boots, these have really enhanced my [...] enjoyment of hiking.”

  • Available sizes: Women’s 5.5 — 11, including half sizes

4. The hiking shoes


For flexible, low-cut footwear that can be used as hiking shoes or trail runners, these Merrell hiking shoes are a really great option — and they’re made without animal products and are vegan-friendly, too. The shoes have basically everything you could need for a quick trip into the woods or mountains. The durable mesh upper with a Gore-Tex membrane is waterproof and breathable, with an integrated lacing system and TPU toe cap for stability and protection. A contoured insole provides additional support, while a padded midsole and an air cushion in the heel add comfort and shock absorption. A rock plate enhances the protection provided by the lugged rubber outsole, ensuring you won’t feel every rock underfoot or lose your grip on the terrain. Because these don’t have ankle support, they’re best for easier day hikes without a heavy load, or for trail running. Choose from a handful of colors.

One reviewer wrote: “Had out on the trails, good grip excellent cushioning.”

  • Available sizes: Men’s 6.5 — 15, including half sizes


Available in additional sizes and a different range of colors, the women’s version of the Merrell MQM Flex 2 offers all the same great features as the men’s version.

One reviewer wrote: “I love these hiking shoes. Not only they are comfortable but they are stylish too. I’m obsessed with the color. It has great grip.”

  • Available sizes: Women’s 5 — 11, including half sizes

5. The cold-weather boots


For cold-weather hikes, snowshoes, dog walks, and more, these mid-height Baffin Zone hiking boots will keep your feet warm and dry, and they’re made from synthetic materials, though the brand doesn’t specifically label them as vegan. The soft-shell, synthetic leather and nylon upper is insulated and has been tested by Baffin to confirm that they keep toes toasty during icy Canadian winters, as well as in the Arctic and Antarctic. Multiple layers work together to insulate the shoe, including an antimicrobial moisture-wicking lining, a layer of foam, a breathable layer of hollow fiber insulation, and a fixed frost plate that reflects heat back into the boot while repelling cold. The boots are also fully waterproof. The EVA foam midsole provides an insulated, cushioned surface to walk on, and Polar Rubber outsoles are designed to grip the ground even in cold and icy conditions. The shoes even have a TPU plate to give them a little structure and a ridge that’s designed to fit nicely into snowshoe bindings, making them a great multipurpose winter boot. They come in three colors, as well as in standard and narrow sizes.

One reviewer wrote: “These boots fit perfect, they are warm and they look nice. The grips are great in the snow, I’ve hiked with them everyday from January to end of February. I love them.”

  • Available sizes: Men’s 7 — 14, including half and narrow sizes


While Baffin’s Zone styles are only available in men’s sizing, the mid-height Baffin Hike boots are available in women’s sizing and offer many of the same winning features. Beyond the appearance and sizing, the differences between the two are minimal. Like the Zone boots, the Baffin Hikes feature a waterproof, breathable soft-shell upper with multiple layers of insulation that have been tested by Baffin and its ambassadors in the Arctic, the Antarctic, and during Canadian winters. Unlike the Zones, the Hikes have a wicking inner lining that feels plush and soft. However, this seems to be the only notable difference. The Hikes have an EVA midsole and Polar Rubber outsole, and they are designed to work with snowshoe bindings. They also feature a TPU plate to add structure to the boots. They come in five different colors and a range of sizes and, like the Baffin Zones, they aren’t specifically labeled as vegan, though they’re made from synthetic materials.

One reviewer wrote: “I got these hiking boots because I don't wear leather and these boots aren't leather. [...] They're cute, and REALLY keep the wet and cold out. I've gone snow hiking a few times in these, and my friends with leather shoes always get cold, wet toes, and I always have warm dry toes. The waterproofing is obviously excellent.”

  • Available sizes: Women’s 6 — 11