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The Best Vegan Leather Boots For A Fashionable And Eco-Friendly Look

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear "vegan leather"? Probably the fact that there should be no animal products used when manufacturing it.

Vegan materials have paved the way for making some of the best boots, and vegan shoes, in the market. With multiple shoe brands that are now going vegan, you'd be hard-pressed to not find footwear that works for you.

These footwear brands believe that no animals should be harmed in the name of fashion, and so they take great care to develop materials that will honour this.

However, not all vegan leather is created equal. In this article, we'll talk about what vegan leather really is, as well as share what we consider are the top vegan leather boots, and shoes, options in the market today.

What is Vegan Leather?

Vegan leather is a material meant to imitate leather. It's meant to feel, act, and look like genuine leather. However, vegan leather is made from either recycled materials, artificial products, or plant products.

Vegan boots are made with different vegan materials, but not all vegan leather is made the same. Different materials offer different looks and strengths of vegan leather. For example, your favourite cute vegan boots might be made from synthetic recycled materials.

When it comes to this type of material (like some synthetic leathers) vegan shoe brands also aim to make them as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible.

As technology and processes have advances, so has vegan leather. Vegan hiking boots and vegan shoes, for example, and no longer the only things made in alternative leather. Luxury vegan boots are also now a thing. It also paved the way for other animal alternatives like wool or silk.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the environmental impact both real and vegan leather can have. The process of making and tanning tue leather is environmentally degrading, but making vegan leather using materials such as polyurethane and petroleum is no better.

So how sure are you that your favourite vegan boots are actually sustainable? The truth is we can never be too sure. However, there are vegan materials that have been proven to do less damage to the environment.

Top 5 Vegan Leather Boots

1) Dr. Martens Vegan Jadon II 8-Eye

Men

Women

Using synthetic products from beginning to end, these Dr. Martens boots are made from sustainable materials and are perfect as vegan winter boots. The air-cushioned air-wave soles are very comfortable and provide good abrasion and slip resistance in any environment.

These boots are fully sealed in the sole to provide further resistance to water, dirt, oil and other harmful stuff. So your feet are perfectly safe. On top of that, the sole is made from recycled rubber which is heat-sealed to the upper. That means you can wear these shoes for any and all activities, including hiking.

These vegan shoes are also known to be very durable because of their origins. It was initially meant to be a work boot but over time made it into mainstream fashion.

Pros:

  • Stylish

  • Cruelty-free

  • Durable

  • Slip-resistant

Cons:

  • Inconsistent sizes

  • Heavy

2) Matt & Nat Vegan Chelsea Boots

Women

These Chelsea boots heel is made from recycled rubber sourced from 100% sustainable materials. Even better is the fact that this entire Matt & Nat collection is made from recycled plastics from sources like ocean trash and bicycle tires.

In terms of fit they feel pretty snug around the ankles and offer much-needed support. The 1-inch heel ensures you have much-needed arch support as well.

Another thing to note is that while they don't have any lining, they're super comfortable. They also fit snuggly and look great with any outfit!

Also worth noting is that, apart from boots, Matt & Nat also makes vegan sandals.

Pros:

  • Snug fit

  • Stylish

  • Made with synthetic leather

  • Water-resistant

  • Keep your feet dry

Cons:

  • Sizes run small

3) Will's Vegan WVSport Waterproof Hiking Boots

Men

Ethically made from cruelty-free materials, this eco-friendly pair of ankle boots makes for a great hiking shoe option. Not only is is free from animal products and water-resistant, but it also has less of a harmful environmental impact.

The sole of this shoe is made with a Vibram rubber outsole to maximize grip while the upper is made from vegan materials like recycled polyester and synthetic nylon materials. The upper also offers abrasion-resistant and water-resistant features.

The insoles are made of EVA, which is supportive and provides much-needed cushioning of the midfoot and sole.

Pros:

  • Water-resistant

  • Great for outdoors

  • Stylish

  • Durable

  • Eco-friendly

  • No break-in time needed

Cons:

  • The uppers get discolored when washed

4) Time And Tru Closure Lug Boots

Women

These lace-up vegetarian shoes are some of the best vegan leather boots on the market. They're made with durable leather uppers and other eco-friendly materials. For example, the outsole is made from recycled rubber which makes it skid and slip-resistant.

While most vegan leather boots are made with a lace-up system, these ankle boots have a zipper instead that helps you save time when putting them on or taking them off. It's a quick slip-in and slip-out system!

Pros:

  • Stylish

  • Sturdy

  • Durable

  • Well-made

  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Hard to break-in

5) Indigo Rd Aimee Ankle Bootie

Women

This pair of vegan leather boots are made with a minimalist approach and comfort in mind. Manufactured with synthetic products, they are durable and stylish.

They're constructed with a flexible sole to mould to the contours of your feet and a light padding to cushion your feet and absorb shock. The underside of the flap is finished without seams, so you can wear them up or down.

Not only do they carry on keeping your feet super dry, but the vegan leathers also ensure your feet have breathability. The faux leather takes a while to stretch out and settle, but the shoe retains still definitely worth the investment.

Pros:

  • Stylish

  • Durable

  • Flexible

  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Narrow and stiff at first

  • Sparse cushioning

Shopping For Vegan Leather Boots: What To Look Out For

If you're someone who's conscious of environmental preservation, then it is time to put your best foot forward by choosing vegan boots or even vegan shoes.

Of course, if you wear leather, there is nothing wrong with that either but if you can help the fight against raising greenhouse gas emissions then you should definitely consider switching.

With alternative materials such as vegan suede or organic cotton to make, there are now lots of alternative and sustainable materials to make shoes.

a) Material

As mentioned above, vegan boots are not made from traditional leather. Instead, they are made from sustainable materials such as bio-oil from organic cereal crops, apple leather, and pineapple leather.

Pineapple leather is made from a blend of pineapple leaf fibers. It might sound like a stretch, but it's actually very tough and perfect to make shoes. Leather boots, specifically vegan boots, can also be made using apple leather which is derived from apple waste.

These sustainable methods can make any type of shoe, including heeled boots, knee-high boots and other fashionable styles. Every vegan store and brand is now looking for the most sustainable materials to make vegan-friendly shoes.

b) Style

Vegan boots, vegan sandals and basically any other vegan footwear doesn't have to mean an unattractive design. Today, most vegan shoes are being manufactured to look good but also be functional. Which is a great thing!

c) Durability

While vegan boots are cruelty-free you shouldn't have to sacrifice durability. One of the biggest aspects of vegan brands is that they also tend to care about their environmental impact. They are careful about how much waste is produced during manufacturing, as well as the source of the materials.

This whole aspect of being eco-friendly also tend to mean a high quality item. Why? To ensure the shoes durable enough not to need to be replaced in the future.

If you wear real leather, for example, you'll likely get a few years of use and then the shoes will start to break down. Many brands make their vegan boots in such as way that they only ever need a few replacements.

Caring For Vegan Boots

There are different types of vegan leather and each vegan leather material has a specific way you should care for it.

To help you find out the best for your shoes, we put together a quick care guide for vegan leather:

  • Use a wet cloth and organic soap to wipe off any stubborn stains or dirt.

  • Use a polishing cream of the same color to keep the material healthy and nourished. However, it is not recommended to use the polishing cream on materials like microsuede or recycled plastic.

  • You can use a soft shoe brush on vegan leather to dislodge dust and dirt.

  • Use circular motions and be gentle when you're cleaning any type of vegan leather.

  • Do not dip any vegan leather shoe into water. This will ruin and weaken the fabric.

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