Many boots are made using animal leather and other byproducts, which aren't suitable for vegans or vegetarians. Luckily, there are now plenty of animal-friendly alternatives from top brands like Dr. Martens, Kurt Geiger, and ALDO to choose from.
From water-resistant hiking boots to patent pleather ankle boots, this article will help you choose the best vegan boots for women. Our top 3 favourite pairs are all available in the UK on Amazon, ASOS, and John Lewis, so you're one (boot) step away from stepping out in style!
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All around the world, each year, over one billion animals are killed for the leather trade, and a further 100 million are killed for fur. So by opting in, and choosing to purchase vegan alternatives, you are taking proactive measures to limit the harm done to animals.
Whilst there are still some drawbacks to producing man-made fabrics, vegan boots may also have a lower impact on the environment. From raising animals, to manufacture, chemical emissions and harmful waste are generated as a byproduct.
Vegan boots are usually made from faux leather or other synthetic materials, including the sole and lining. However, you'll need to check that the boots you buy are clearly labelled as vegan, as some synthetic shoes are fixed with glue that contains ingredients derived from animals.
Now we've discussed why you should buy vegan boots, it's time to find the perfect pair! In this buying guide, we'll share some useful tips to help you choose a pair of practical and stylish boots to suit your lifestyle.
Most vegan-friendly boots are made from PU leather, a synthetic material with the same look and feel as animal leather. There are quite a few different finishes faux leather can have, so let's go through the benefits of each one below!
Vegan boots typically have the same finish as matt leather. These boots will be the most breathable, making them better for wear in warmer temperatures and when walking long distances to stop your feet from becoming too sweaty.
For a more glamorous pair, you might want to choose croc-effect faux-leather. Embossed for a more luxurious finish, it resembles real croc leather, which is one of the finest and most expensive types!
Alternatively, you may prefer coated patent leather with a high-gloss finish. These shoes are easier to clean and have better water resistance than matt leather. Choose this type of faux leather if you're planning to wear your boots on rainy days as they'll offer more protection.
Sadly, the coating can sometimes make your boots feels a bit stiff, which may cause friction burns around your ankles. However, this won't be a problem once you've broken the shoes in, and you can always look for designs with a padded cuff to prevent rubbing.
You can also find vegan alternatives to suede, a type of soft leather made from the underside of animal skin. Vegan suede looks just like the real thing, but it's easier to maintain and less likely to stain than the animal-derived variety!
If you're planning to walk long distances, choose faux suede as it has better flexibility than other options, making them more comfortable to wear. It's also a great choice for cold days, as faux suede boots are good at locking in heat.
From military to biker boots, there are lots of different styles to choose from. In this section, we'll go over some of the most popular styles, so you can decide which will best suit you and your lifestyle!
Military and hiker books look similar in design, reaching just above the ankle with a lace-up front. You should choose this style if you have an active job or lifestyle. They're a practical choice, as the low to mid-heel offers better ankle support.
These boots are suitable for hiking, backpacking, and countryside walks, as the design is comfortable and flexible. They also have a thick sole and moulded thread, which offers good protection and grip when walking on rocky and rough terrains.
Ankle boots have a short cut, with designs ranging from just brushing the ankle to low-calf length, and come in a variety of heel heights. They're good all-year-round shoes, as they won't feel sticky in the summer, but will offer some protection during the colder months.
Standard ankle boots are secured with a zip, so they'll be much easier to get on and off. They have a more formal look than hiker boots, but are slightly less comfortable for walking, making them better suited to office environments.
Chelsea boots are a slight variation on the standard ankle boot design. They slip-on, have a flat heel and elasticated sides for a tighter fit, which is perfect for those with narrow ankles. They also have a loop at the back of the shoe to help you pull them on and off.
Are you looking for boots to wear on cold or rainy days? If you often wear skirts or dresses, you may want to invest in a pair of knee or mid-calf length boots. This is because they offer better protection against the elements.
These come in many different styles, from high-heel boots that are easy to slip on and off, to flat biker designs. Biker boots are a great choice, as they have buckle fastenings for better security. Plus, you can tighten them to fit your leg comfortably, to avoid rubbing or chaffing.
Boots have different toe shapes, such as round, pointed, square and almond. This doesn't only affect how your boots look, but how comfortable they are to wear. For example, pointed shoes look great and can make you appear taller and slimmer. However, the pinched toe may cause foot problems such as bunions and blisters.
Rounded shoes are best for everyday wear as the shape accommodates the natural position of your toes. This means they'll be less likely to rub. If you don't like the look of round-toe shoes, you could opt for a slightly narrower almond shape instead.
If your feet are wider at the front and narrower at the heel, you should consider trying a square-toed boot. These have even more space in the toe area, so they'll likely feel the most comfortable of all designs.
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Vegan 1460 Classic Ankle Boots in Black
Boots That Are as Comfortable as Trainers
KG Tally Croc Effect Vegan Chunky Chelsea Boots
A Contemporary Mock Croc Chelsea Boot
Hannah Memory Foam Vegan Friendly Boots
Memory Foam Lining to Relieve Pressure
Dr. Martens is a popular brand, and for good reason! Their vegan boots are ideal for everyday wear as they have a soft, cushioned lining, making them as comfortable as trainers.
These black military boots have all the features you'd want, such as laces for ankle support, and a convenient heel loop for pulling them on. The classic black looks smart, with contrast stitching to add character, and Doc's signature textured thread provides a better grip for walking in adverse weather conditions.
Here is a modern take on the Chelsea boot style, with a platform heel and textured tread for better grip. They still retain a more traditional upper, including elastic panels for a snug fit and a loop to help pull the boots on.
If you'd like to add some extra inches, but don't do high heels, these platform shoes won't force your foot to arch, making them feel much more comfortable. They also have a mock croc effect, which looks expensive and luxurious!
Are you struggling to find a comfortable pair of shoes? These boots are lined with memory foam which will contour to your foot over time to relieve pressure. The sole is aided by a low wedge heel, creating even weight distribution to prevent your feet from hurting when walking or standing up for long periods of time.
These biker boots are also more secure than some other designs, as they have two buckle fastenings. This feature also allows you to adjust how tight the boots are. We particularly like the practical mid-calf length, which offers good protection.
If you're looking to make the switch to a full vegan lifestyle, you might want to check out some of our other articles below. We've got guides to help you choose the best vegan cookbooks, and tasty plant based ready-meals. We even have tips for picking vegan trainers, because one pair of shoes is never enough!
We hope you've found our guide to choosing the best vegan boots useful, and enjoyed browsing the top 10. Before buying new boots, rememberer to check they're vegan-friendly, so you you can guarantee no animals were harmed in the making!
Author: Rosa Fairfield
No. 1: Dr. Martens | Vegan 1460 Classic Ankle Boots in Black
No. 2: Kurt Geiger | KG Tally Croc Effect Vegan Chunky Chelsea Boots
No. 3: Heavenly Feet | Hannah Memory Foam Vegan Friendly Boots
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