Hoka One One Sky Toa GTX
Vegan credentials: Hoka One One says “100% vegan”
Best for: Mountain hiking, everyday walking, speed hiking
Key attributes: Contemporary design, grippy, waterproof, cushioning
Leveraging Hoka One One’s trail running expertise and innovations into a fully-fledged boot, the Sky Toa GTX is a lightweight, waterproof hiker for adventures across any terrain. Everything about the Toa GTX has been evaluated from a functional and weight-saving perspective. From the durable and breathable synthetic upper, to the rubberized foam midsole and the Vibram Megagrip outsole lugs, all elements are technically solid and efficiently lightweight. And the cushioned running shoe feel is further enhanced by a Gore-Tex waterproof bootie to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Read our full review of the Hoka One One Sky series
Merrell MQM Flex 2 Mid GTX
Vegan credentials: Merrell says “Vegan friendly, uses 0% animal products”
Best for: General hiking, day hikes
Key attributes: Waterproof, lightweight, comfy
The MQM here stands for ‘Moving Quickly in the Mountains’ – and that’s exactly what you’re expected to do with these vegan boots. Designed to combine all of the best features of a trail running trainer and a traditional hiking boot into one fast, light and protective boot, the Merrell MQM Flex 2 Mid GTX is a 2020 upgrade of one of Merrell’s best-selling boots. It’s waterproof, comfy, supportive and grippy, with just the right amount of cushion. The uppers are pretty durable and the tread is excellent.
Read our full review of the shoe version of the Merrell MQM Flex 2 GTX review
Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX
Vegan credentials: Inov-8 says “All of our shoes that do not include leather and/or suede are vegan”
Best for: Mountain hiking, long-distance trails
Key attributes: Graphene grip, super-comfy, lightweight
Ultra-lightweight, super-comfy straight out of the box, and featuring unrivalled traction, the Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX from Lake District-based brand Inov-8 is a an excellent mid boot for those who like to move fast, light and nimbly in the mountains. Its biggest selling point is the use of graphene – the world’s strongest material – in the outsole, providing top-notch grip over mixed terrain. You also get a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry and a ‘powerflow’ midsole for a cushioned ride.
Read our full review of the Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX
La Sportiva Trango Trek Ws GTX
Vegan credentials: La Sportiva says it has boots “without any animal components…for vegan customers”
Best for: Winter, mountaineering, technical hiking
Key attributes: Sturdy, durable, supportive
Designed for rugged, rocky adventures, this boot is sturdy, durable and very protective. The closest thing to a true mountaineering vegan boot, it has a waterproof Gore-Tex lining that will keep your feet dry, even if you’re plodding through a river, marshes, or the heavens have opened above you. Abrasion-resistant polyester has been used on the upper alongside a patented TPU Thermo Tech Application, ensuring superb durability. This is a three-season option that has been built to take scrapes, to grip on rocks, and to take the wear and tear that the wild can throw your way. The Vibram Mulaz outsole has a technical edging platform and aggressive rear lugs which offer fantastic grip and traction and will mean you won’t have to worry about your step nearly as much as in a lesser boot.
Read our full La Sportiva Trango Trek GTX review.
Vegan Credentials: PROOF™ ECO, fluorocarbon free and bluesign® approved membrane, recycled lining, climate neutral company
Best for: Trail walking, three-season hiking, city life
Key attributes: Ultralightweight, waterproof
This is a hiking boot that’s designed with fast and light adventures in mind, with the core essentials focussed and the materials refined to bring that gramme-count as low down the scale as possible. As we’ve come to expect from Haglöfs, there are some admirable eco aspects to it as well.
The upper is relatively thin, with mainly just a breathable mesh with TPU reinforcements and foam padding around the ankle. Then of course there’s the waterproof membrane, which is Haglöfs’ own PROOF Eco, a fabric that’s made either from recycled or bluesign approved materials that are completely free from the environmentally hazardous PFCs often used for waterproof footwear. The outsole is much like the kind of one you’d find on a trail running shoe, with 4mm multi-directions lugs and a fairly sticky rubber compound bringing a decent bit of grip to proceedings.
Selected for our Outdoor 100 2021/2 – Read our full Haglöfs L.I.M. Mid Proof Eco review.
Altberg Dalesway Vegan
Vegan credentials: Altberg says “completely free of animal products”
Best for: Day hikes, countryside walks
Key attributes: Waterproof, sturdy, lightweight
Of all the products in this list, the Altberg Dalesway Vegan most resembles the look and feel of a traditional leather hiking boot – but it’s 100% vegan. With a classic English rambler style, the Altberg Dalesway Vegan – now in its second generation – is made from lorica. An alternative to leather and nubuck, lorica is a man-made microporous material, which is completely free of animal products. The boot also features a recyclable Sympatex waterproof lining. The sole is Vibram with good stiffness and support on rough terrain. It’s ideal for British hills, dales and lower-level Lakeland walks and hikes.
Merrell Moab Speed GTX
Vegan Credentials: Recycled and vegan-friendly materials throughout
Best for: Trail hiking, three-season use
Key attributes: Good eco aspects, light but sturdy
For 2021, Merrell have developed a new iteration of their classic walking shoe, designed for those who prefer to feel light-footed and agile on the trail. It’s a hybrid-type trainer, one with the comfort of a running shoe or sneaker but the protection of a walking shoe. At just 315g, it’s 130g lighter than the previous Moab, but during our tests, we’ve found it just as stable, comfortable and protective.
Most impressive, however, are Merrell’s new sustainability efforts, aiming to lower the overall impact of their products on the environment. They’ve swapped out a bunch of materials for recycled ones including the laces and the mesh lining, for instance, which use a material produced from recycled plastic bottles. The footbed additionally uses a 50% recycled top sheet material and the Vibram sole is made from a minimum of 30% recycled rubber.
Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2021/22 – Read our full Merrell Moab Speed GTX review.
Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX
Vegan credentials: Arc’teryx says “neither materials nor adhesives are animal-based”
Best for: Multi-day trekking
Key attributes: Ankle support, protection, comfort
Arc’teryx are well-known for premium quality (if not rather expensive) outdoor equipment, and the vegan Acrux TR GTX is no exception. A technical trekking boot for multi-day routes in challenging terrain, the Acrux TR GTX delivers support and comfort under the load of a heavy pack. The SuperFabric upper employs a unique micro-plated technology that is highly flexible, surprisingly lightweight, and delivers exceptional abrasion resistance. The Vibram Megagrip outsole and aggressive lug geometry combine for confident traction in wet or dry conditions, and a Gore-Tex insert delivers proven waterproof, breathable protection. This boot is not directly marketed as vegan, but Arc’teryx told us: “The Acrux TR GTX is considered to be vegan, no materials nor adhesives used on this particular model are animal-based products.”
Salewa Ultra Flex Mid GTX
Vegan credentials: Salewa says “Vegan: Yes”
Best for: Speed hiking, high-intensity mountain activities
Key attributes: Waterproof, breathable, good traction
Perhaps the best-looking boot in our round-up, the Salewa Ultra Flex Mid GTX is a waterproof, breathable mid-cut shoe designed for speed hiking and high-intensity mountain training. Built around a Michelin outsole, developed exclusively for Salewa, the special rubber compound features a design with grooves and sculptures for outstanding traction and stability over hard and uneven terrain. The lightweight, mid-cut upper provides good support and promotes natural foot movement and agility – especially on downhill sections. You also get Gore-Tex waterproofing and Salewa’s trademarked 3F System, which connects the instep area with the sole and heel, ensuring ankle support, flexibility and a precise fit.
Doghammer Vegan Cork Adventurer
Vegan credentials: Doghammer says this shoe has a complete “renunciation of animal materials”
Best for: Everyday walking, low-level adventures
Key attributes: Unique, sustainable, everyday comfort
Co-founded by Maximilian and Matthias, Doghammer is a German company with revolution on the brain. Championing the sustainability of natural cork over synthetic materials, they’re a brand looking to take outdoor footwear into an exciting and futureproof direction. Walkers who are all about functionality and sustainability will love what the Doghammer Adventurer brings to the party. Water-repellent, temperature regulating, lightweight, odourless and 100% vegan, the shoe is suitable for day-to-day usage as well as out-and-about adventures.
Read our full Doghammer Natural Cork Adventurer review (this version contains merino and therefore is not vegan)
Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II BIO Shoes
Vegan credentials: Vivobarefoot guarantees “produced using animal-free materials”
Best for: Barefoot walking
Key attributes: Eco-friendly, unique, ultra-light
Something completely different here from Vivobarefoot. The Primus Lite II shoes – which feature in Outdoors Magic’s Green Gear Guide 2021 – are barefoot shoes. It’s a style of footwear that isn’t for everyone, one that’s designed to replicate the effect that walking shoeless has on the joints, bones and muscles – but without the splinters and blisters. You can’t necessarily just jump right in at the deep end with barefoot shoes, particularly when it comes to road running. Instead you need to wear them for short and easy trips to start with and then gradually build up. The Primus Lite IIs are fully vegan. Up top there’s a mesh made from a textile called Sorona which is 37% plant-based plus there’s another material called Susterra Propanediol which uses corn-based polymers so that no petroleum is required. Alongside all that, the Primus Lite II has a sole made from 45% natural rubber and an insole made from an algae-based alternative to synthetics.
Read our full review of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II BIO Shoes