The 9 Best Vegan Boots of 2021

Be ready for all seasons with these vegan boots

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If you’re vegan, chances are you also care about protecting the environment. Unfortunately, when it comes to shoes, vegan alternatives can be a bit of an eco-friendly minefield. We all know that leather — aside from being bad for our furry friends — is terrible for the environment, as land clearance for pastures and the chemicals used in tanning can have a substantial impact. 

However, vegan materials often aren’t perfect either. Synthetic leathers are often made from petroleum and fabrics such as PVC come from chemicals that are also damaging to the environment. These types of plastics can also take 100 years in landfill before they decompose. 

So what’s the most ethical, cruelty-free and planet-happy option? We’ve examined innovative new types of vegan leather, and looked at boots made using everything from eucalyptus tree fibers to organic cotton to find brands that eschew animal products and environmental impact in equal measures.

Ahead, the best vegan boots.

The Rundown
You’ll never look at an apple core the same way again after wearing these dazzling ankle boots.
These affordable boots can be worn on all kinds of occasions, and are a classic style that's unlikely to look dated any time soon.
Look chic with these polished rain boots from Canadian vegan clothing stalwarts Matt & Nat.
Fully vegan down to the glue that holds them together, these boots are both stylish and sustainable.
With breathable yet waterproof lining and abrasion-resistant nylon outer, these boots will keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Turn heads with these sumptuously soft and sexy mid-heeled boots from an exquisitely ethical French brand.
Wintry weather is no match for these cozy snow boots.
Not only do they look this good, they’re also made from natural rubber harvested sustainably from a single estate.
For casual styling that’s smart enough for the office, we can’t get enough of these rustic, unisex boots.

Best Overall: Good Guys Cooper Vegan Desert Boots

Good Guys Cooper

You’ll never look at an apple core the same way again after wearing these dazzling ankle boots from innovative French designer Marion Hanania. These aren’t traditional vegan leather boots. The soft black “leather” used in these shoes is made from leftover apple waste sourced in Italy and then repurposed. 

We love the silky softness of this bio-based leather alternative, which gets a huge thumbs up for being both cruelty free and plant-based. You can also rely on these boots being Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified, meaning there are no nasty chemicals lurking anywhere in the manufacturing process.

Best Budget: ASOS Auto Chunky Chelsea Boots

ASOS Chunky Chelsea Vegan Boots

Although these women's boots from ASOS may be made with less eco-friendly materials than the other picks on this list, they check off many of the right boxes. That's often the trade-off when you're looking for affordable vegan options. These budget-friendly boots can be worn on all kinds of occasions, and are a classic style that's unlikely to look dated any time soon.

Made from synthetic leather, you can simply wipe these boots clean with a damp cloth or sponge if they get dirty.

Best for Women: Matt & Nat Denver Rain Boots

Matt & Nat Denver Rain Boots

Look chic with these polished rain boots from Canadian vegan clothing stalwarts Matt & Nat. A cross between a traditional Chelsea boot (with a tartan-patterned, elasticated gore) and a timeless brogue (thanks to the stylish detailing around the toe cap), these boots are waterproof and ready to face the winter. Combine with a thick pair of socks and you’ll take even the chilliest of conditions in your stride. 

Made from recycled PVC that’s been polished to the point where you can practically see your face in them, they’ll be as comfortable splashing through puddles as keeping you smart at an important meeting in the office.

Best for Men: Will's Vegan Store Work Boots

Will's Vegan Store Work Boots

Fully vegan down to the glue that holds their vegan leather together, these stylish tan boots from London-based Will’s Vegan Store are the perfect companion to a range of outfits. Made from organic cereal crops in Europe that are then converted into bio oil, these shoes are fully carbon neutral — just like the brand. Buying these shoes means protecting animals and the planet, one step at a time.  

Their deep tread soles made from recycled rubber mean these are more than a match for everything from city pavements to country paths. They’re water-resistant and easy to clean, so your feet will remain dry and your shoes will continue looking brand new for the foreseeable future.

Best Hiking: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Hiking Boots

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Take the mountains by storm without compromising on your vegan commitments with these GORE-TEX hiking boots from Italian outdoors brand La Sportiva. With a fully breathable yet waterproof lining and abrasion-resistant nylon outer, these boots will keep your feet dry and comfortable, even on the most challenging terrain. 

La Sportiva have been busy ramping up its eco commitments, focusing on avoiding waste in its manufacturing processes and ensuring that leftover rubber is recycled internally. Even better still, a network of resolers means you can prevent your boots from ending up in landfill by getting a replacement sole fitted when your boots are ready for a new lease of life. La Sportiva is also part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, which means the company donates 1% of all revenue to environmentally-focused non-profits.

Best Leather Alternative: Minuit Sur Terre Tilleul Bordeaux Smooth

Minuit Sur Terre Tilleul Bordeaux Smooth

Turn heads with these sumptuously soft and sexy mid-heeled boots from an exquisitely ethical French brand. Made from Oeko-Tex certified synthetic fibers with a lining and inner made from sustainably sourced, cereal-based materials, as well as recycled PU, they’re cruelty free and — almost as importantly — absolutely gorgeous. 

We love Minuit Sur Terre for its range of shoes, boots, and sandals in innovative new forms of vegan leather, including grape, apple, and cereal. The company also operates a recycling program for any old vegan shoes, which are transformed into brand new sustainable footwear and for which you’ll get a cheeky discount on buying a new pair.

Best for Snow: Hunter Women's Original Insulated Short Snow Boots

Hunter Women's Original Insulated Short Snow Boots

With 278 fully vegan products available across their full range of swanky boots, this British brand is leading the way when it comes to ethical and practical fashion. Hunter's short snow boots are available in three colors and are the match for wintry days when snow is underfoot. 

With a cozy fleece lining, waterproof membrane and drawstring topline so they fit snug against your calf, they’ll keep you warm down to as low as -7.6 degrees. What’s more, these boots are handmade and use 100% natural rubber in their lugged sole, which Hunter has committed to sourcing from deforestation-free and environmentally-friendly plantations.

Best Waterproof: Ilse Jacobsen Rubber Boot

Ilse Jacobsen Long Rubber Boot

Who said rubber boots have to be boring? These certainly don’t look like the wellington boots of your youth; in fact, Danish brand Ilse Jacobsen have turned the concept on its head with these effortlessly chic lace-up design boots. They’re made from natural rubber harvested sustainably from a single estate. 

Designed to withstand chilly temperatures all the way down to -4 degrees, these handcrafted boots feature a cozy cotton fleece lining. They're a good pair to get you through the wettest and coldest parts of the year.

Best for the Office: Nae Vegan Shoes PETA Green Desert Boots

Nae Vegan Shoes Peta Green Desert Boots

For casual styling that’s smart enough for the office, we can’t get enough of these rustic, unisex boots from Nae. They’re PETA-approved and made from 100% organic cotton, a sustainable fabric that uses 46% less water than conventional cotton. As a result, these boots are as effortlessly ethical as they are cute. 

With Goodyear welted soles for durability, and a footbed made from coco fibre mixed with natural rubber and antimicrobial cork, these boots are built for comfort — making them perfect for busy days on your feet. Better still, $5 from every purchase goes to fund PETA, so the benefit to your furry favorites goes way beyond being an ethical fashionista.

Final Verdict

We love Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather’s innovative and stylish take on leather alternatives with their dazzling ankle boots made from apple waste, which are silky soft and completely chemical free (view at Good Guys).

Nae’s organic cotton and coco, rubber, and cork desert boots (view at Nae Vegan Shoes) also look surprisingly smart in a timeless, rustic way that we think is perfect for the most workplaces.

What to Consider When Shopping for Vegan Boots

Materials

The most common non-vegan materials found in shoes are wool and leather. Ideally, vegan boots are not only made without these animal products, but are plant-based too. That means looking for natural fibers or bio-based synthetic leathers, like the materials featured in many of the boots on this list. Avoid plastics like PVC when possible. 

Style + Versatility

If we can manage to buy fewer overall pairs of shoes, we’ll have a lighter environmental footprint. So, it’s a smart idea to buy boots that can be worn on many different occasions, so you won’t feel like you need as many different styles. Don’t buy a boot if you don’t love the looks of it — those pairs will just end up forgotten in the back of the closet and you’ll end up buying other pairs. 

Durability

At the end of the day, the most eco-friendly boots are the ones you can wear the most times and replace the least often. Look for boots with a robust construction and thick soles. Also keep in mind that repairing boots when the soles wear out or something rips is often the most economical and eco-friendly choice.

Why Trust Treehugger?

To make our picks, we looked for boots that are not only free of animal products, but are also made with more sustainable materials.

Steph Dyson writes about sustainable clothing and living, with a particular focus on vegan options that don’t pollute the environment. She believes we can all make small and conscious changes to our day-to-day lives that’ll have a large impact on the planet.