Ethical lifestyle

Vegan Hiking Boots

Vegan Hiking Boots

Weekends are a time of exploration for us (me, hubby, bubba and dog). There is nothing better on a weekend morning to get out in the fresh air and enjoy a long hike somewhere new and interesting. As the winter has well and truly hit, and after a pretty disastrous walk last weekend on a very wet and muddy track to the Ada Tree, Yarra State Forest, the time has come for me to get some decent hiking boots! As a vegan, this is not easy. My preference would be to find completely vegan boots – synthetic, with vegan glue, and made by an ethical company.

This is a fantastic post (and actually the entire website is brilliant for any outdoorsy vegans out there for information and resources and names the following boots as vegan:

  • Adidas Terrex Swift Mid GTX
  • Arc’teryx Bora Mid GTX
  • LaSportiva Trango S Evo GTX
  • Mammut T Aenergy GTX
  • Mammut T Cirrus GTX
  • Merrell Capra Mid Sport Gore-Tex
  • Merrell Grassbow Sport Mid
  • TrekSta’s ADT 203 BOA
  • TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX
  • Vegetarian Shoes Approach Mid
  • Vegetarian Shoes Veggie Trekkers MK4
  • Vegetarian Shoes Veggie Trekker MK5
  • Wicked Hemp Wicked Trail
  • Zamberlan SH Crosser Plus GTX RR

A lot of these boots don’t appear to be easily available in Australia, personally I like to try my shoes on in person, especially with something as important as a hiking shoe, that is going to be worn for an extended amount of time.

Merrell are a company that actually have a ‘vegan friendly’ option to tick when searching for products on their website… how fantastic!

On their US website the following shoes/boots are vegan:

Women:

  • Capra Mid Sport Gore-Tex
  • Capra Sport Gore-Tex
  • Capra Sport
  • All Out Blaze Aero Sport
  • Grassbow Air
  • Grassbow Sport Waterproof
  • Men:

  • Capra Sport
  • Capra Sport Gore-Tex
  • Capra Mid Sport Gore-Tex
  • All Out Blaze Aero Sport
  • Grassbow Air
  • In Australia Merrell offers a smaller selection of vegan-friendly hiking footwear, these are:
  • Women’s All Out Charge (currently on sale $149.95 – July 2015)
  • Women’s Grassbow Sport (currently $199.95 – July 2015)
  • Men’s Grassbow Sport (currently $199.95 – July 2015)
  • Men’s Capra Sport (currently on sale $149.95 – July 2015)
  • I went in to my local store and tried both of these on. They were both extremely comfortable, for me the Grassbow Sport felt the best. Be prepared to go up half a size for a comfortable fit, although the staff will help you out here with their expertise. Personally I prefer a boot for hiking, and these two styles felt more like trainers (runners/sneakers) and also their bright colours were a bit too much for me! I did try on the same styles in mens’, which offer far more subdued colour, but I still was not sure about wearing shoes instead of boots. With the prices being over my ideal budget I really wanted my purchase to be perfect, so for me, these two were not really an option.Vegetarian ShoesOffers a fantastic selection of hiking boots, but they are in the UK, so again, being someone who likes to try shoes on, for me they were not really an option.Veganwares

    Australian Vegan Hiking Boots – An Australian company – amazing, and after reading various reviews, they fare really well too. $230-$270 The price tag, for me is a little too much, considering I’ll only be wearing these for a few hours each weekend. I’ve read great reviews about their performaance on long hikes and hiking holidays, so if you are looking for serious hiking boots or, indedd have a larger budget than me, then I think these are a great option. Their store is in Collingworrd (Melbourne, Australia), but they also ship anywhere in Australia, and indeed worldwide. I even noticed a made-to-order section on their website, so if you wanted any specific features, i’m guessing they would be able to do this for you.

    I went for a walk around a few local outdoor shops, Kathmandu, Ray’s Outdoors and Anaconda. I found Anaconda to have the largest selection of hiking boots, and the sales assistant DIDN’T roll his eyes at me when I asked for vegan hiking boots! He pointed me towards these hiking boots by Hi-Tec. They look completely synthetic, but I did email Hi-Tec. to enquire about availability of vegan footwear through them. They actually suggested the same boot:

    ‘I would suggest trying the Lima boot, there is a picture attached and the product features are below. They are stocked by Anaconda, Mitchells Adventure, Macpac and Camping World stores.’

    Product HOWLA100 – Lima WP Womens

    Details are as follows:

    Features:

    • Synthetic nubuck and mesh upper for lightweight comfort
    • Dri-Tec waterproof membrane Ghillie and hardwear lacing system creates a secure fit
    • Removable contoured EVA sockliner for added cushioning
    • MDT rugged rubber outsole is great for all terrains

    After further questioning regarding if they were 100% vegan

    ‘Unfortunately I can’t say 100% if the glue is vegan or not.’

    Ultimately I opted for the above pair. If I had a higher budget, I think I would have been tempted to try out some of the styles offered by Veganwares. But, my philosophy is that every little helps. By choosing to buy non-leather shoes, and by enquiring about them to both the manufacturer and sales stores, I have raised awareness that customers do want vegan shoes and there is a market for them. I could have ordered another style from overseas, but as well as not being able to try them on (and running the risk of having to return them), that would only be increasing my carbon footprint, and taking business out of Australia. Ultimately, everybody has their own standards, but I believe that the most important thing is to raise awareness, and buy the most ethical product you can afford, or that is easy to do.



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