This post comes after a special request from a lovely lady in my Pilates class who has recently become vegan, and is struggling to find stylish winter boots that fit her ethics. And now that I’ve come to research it, I can see why!
While summer is pretty easy to deal with if you want an animal friendly option (there are plenty of rubber and non-waterproof canvas options around, you see), when the temperature drops and the rain sets in it’s a whole different story. Because head to the winter boots section of most shops and what do you find? Leather and sheepskin. I might not be a vegan myself, but I know this just won’t do if you are!
However, I was surprised to discover that once you know where to look, there are some really stylish vegan boots out there. Not all of these are really wintery, although some have some snuggly faux fur linings, but all are suitable for a winter in the UK being waterproof, sturdy and comfortable. Many are PETA approved too (I’ve marked when they are) but I’ve also thrown in a couple of extra options that don’t, to my knowledge, involve any animal products in their production. A lot of these brands and websites sell nothing but vegan clothing, so it’s well worth checking out the rest of their range while you are there. I also recommend Free People for its vegan section, which I haven’t included here simply because there are no winter boots on offer…but there are loads of other shoes and clothing that are really fashion forward.
Camel Misty Boots, £199, beyondskin.co.uk *PETA approved
Let’s start with the style of boot that most vegans and vegetarians must feel is furthest from their reach: the sheepskin. As well as the many obvious advantages of wearing faux sheepskin, remember that a synthetic fabric won’t breathe like a natural one, which will actually keep your feet even warmer!
Will’s Vegan Shoes
Desert boots, £80, wills-vegan-shoes.com *PETA approved
I love these desert boots – they’re far nicer and more sturdy than many you come across on the high street, and that flash of colour on the sole is fab. Will’s makes shoes and bags for men and women, and describes itself as both human and animal friendly. You’ll find loads of other styles on the website including brogues and sneakers.
Cozy Carnival boots, £100, thenaturalshoestore.com
Sorel are masters of the winter boot, and many of its styles aren’t made of leather or suede. I have this pair myself and the tabs holding the lace rings that look like leather are actually synthetic, plus the lining is microfleece, not sheepskin. They are an absolute joy to wear. However, having done my research, the glue used seems to be a grey area and I can’t get confirmation on it, so these might be ones to avoid if you very strict.
Dock boots, £79, Will’s at ethical.market *PETA approved
Ethical Market, previously known as Lost Lanes, sells homeware, stationery and beauty as well as fashion. Not everything on the site is vegan as they are all about ethically sourced products rather than solely vegetarian, but there are plenty of vegan options. This is another pair from Will’s because I really like them (also available in black, top), but it is a multi-brand site so there are loads of brands on offer.
2976 Vegan boots, £120, drmartens.com
Disappointingly, the whole vegan range at Dr Martens is woefully understocked in sizes, but this particular style is available above a size 6.5. These also come in black, and there are some classic 8-eye lace-ups (the black has lots of sizes at the moment) as well as 3-eye shoes.
Faux patent leather boots, £366 reduced from £610, net-a-porter.com
Well I couldn’t do this post and not include Stella McCartney, could I?! And anyway, these are in the sale, so are a relative bargain! Obviously boots like this are an investment, but if we’re talking fashionable ethically produced shoes, you can always rely on Stella.
Chuck Taylor All Star rubber boots, £75, converse.com
While I tend to switch from my canvas Converse to leather when it comes to winter, the rubber option is brilliant if you are vegan. They’ve come a fair way since the first, rather garish ones were released a few years ago. I love the subtlety of these in ‘polar blue’; they’re also available in yellow, black and red.
Vegan lace-up boot, €129.00, avesu.eu
Oh, these boots! They’re like a winter Birkenstock! And how I love them. They are made from recycled car tyres and have a cork sole (that’s the Birkenstock bit then) and have a warm lining, so are a true winter boot. They are made by Avesu, a vegan shoe brand based in Europe, but if you buy them before BREXIT you’ll pay less for shipping!
Hiking boots, £65, fashion-conscience.com
There is loads of ethically conscious stuff on this site, including these bang on trend hiking boots, which are made from entirely vegan materials, including the glue. I’d replace those black laces with something flecked for a more on-trend look.