The Best Vegan Waterproof Shoes

A guide to the the best waterproof shoes that are also cruelty-free and vegan, to keep your feet dry without sacrificing your morals.
Vessi Vegan Waterproof Shoes

Are you going on an adventure that requires reliable, waterproof gear? Are you also a vegan who wants to invest in high-quality, cruelty-free shoes that will last you many years? It’s no surprise that many people are now looking into exactly how their shoes are made from. Are they vegan? Do they contain any animal-derived materials? Are they made from recycled materials? Is vegan waterproof footwear made with same high quality as animal based shoes?

More and more people are becoming aware of the impact their actions can have on the world. The demand for ethical fashion has grown considerably in the past couple of years, as has the number of people who are looking for vegan and cruelty-free options when it comes to their clothing.

It can be especially hard to find the right pair of vegan shoes when you’re looking for technical gear made from materials like neoprene, polyester and waterproof adhesives, as these materials often contain animal products.

For all these reasons, we’ve come up with a guide to the the best waterproof shoes that are also cruelty-free and vegan, to keep your feet dry without sacrificing your morals.

The Best Waterproof Shoes for Running and Walking

On Vegan Waterproof Shoes - Women

Women

On Vegan Waterproof Shoes - Men

Men

ON is a Swiss vegan fashion brand that uses synthetic materials like polyester, polyurethane, recycled PET, and rubber to provide durability and waterproof protection for their line of vegan waterproof running shoes. The ON Cloud waterproof shoe is made to provide maximum cushioning and arch support for any running style, whether you’re a seasoned trail runner or a casual jogger. The On Cloud is also a great travel shoe because of its ergonomic, sleek design.

These classic kicks are known for their run-ready tech and cushioning comfort, and with an all-weather, 100% recycled polyester, wind- and waterproof membrane, they’re perfect for all your rainy excursions. Reflective elements increase your visibility in low-light conditions, hands-free bungee laces keep fingers dry, and an 8mm drop helps fight off calf and Achilles fatigue.

Plus, a rubber sole with wet-ground grip pattern for reliable traction means you can take on any terrain with confidence. Whether you’re trekking through the jungle or just hitting the pavement, make sure to rely on the On Cloud 5 Waterproof Shoe.

La Sportiva Vegan Waterproof Shoes

Women

La Sportiva Vegan Waterproof Shoes

Men

The La Sportiva Bushido II GTX is a vegan-friendly, waterproof trail-running shoe that can withstand the elements, including snow, rain, and ice, without compromising comfort or performance.

The La Sportiva Bushido II GTX have a GORE-TEX waterproof membrane to keep out dirt, moisture and water, while the slip-on design makes them easy to put on and take off. They conforms to the shape of your foot like a sock, yet do not squeeze or create pressure spots like traditional running and walking shoes.

The outsoles are a dual-compound rubber sole for superb grip on any type of terrain, whether it’s wet or dry. The tongues are ergonomic and highly breathable, and the 6mm heel-to-toe drop helps keep you comfortable all day long. Finally, the air mesh, thermal adhesive microfiber, and high-frequency welded ripstop overlays combine to make these shoes both stylish and durable.

Vessi Vegan Waterproof Shoes

Unisex

Looking for a waterproof sneaker that’s as stylish as it is comfortable? Look no further than the Vessi Everyday Move. With its sleek design and eye-catching color, this vegan running shoe is sure to turn heads. But its beauty isn’t just skin deep – it also boasts 100% waterproof construction, making it perfect for rainy days or accidental splashes. The waterproofing is built directly into the knit upper, which has pores so small that water molecules can’t get through them.

Plus, the energy-returning sole provides all-day comfort and arch support, making it a true joy to wear. In addition, Vessi waterproof shoes are 100% vegan, with water-based adhesives for glue and synthetic leather or suede details. Whether you’re hitting the gym or just running errands, the Vessi Everyday Move is the perfect choice for stylish comfort.

8000Kicks Hemp Sneakers Waterproof Shoes

Unisex

The 8000Kicks Explorer V2 Hemp Shoes are the perfect blend of comfort and style. Whether you’re hitting the trail or the town, these are some of the best waterproof sneakers to keep you comfortable and looking good, all while being crafted from organic, plant-based, and chemical free industrial hemp.

Made with eco-friendly hemp fibers, these shoes are waterproof, temperature regulating, and anti-microbial and anti-bacterial to keep your feet healthy and happy.  The Explorer V2 are made with 100% cannabis hemp that is used in both the exterior fabric as well as the insole of the shoe. The double layer of hemp gives the shoes a second layer of waterproofing, making them both waterproof and stain resistant.

The shoes are also temperature regulating, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, so they’ll keep your feet happy and healthy all day long.

The Best Waterproof Shoes for Hiking

Merrell Moab Speed Vegan Waterproof Shoes

Unisex

The Moab Speed GORE-TEX® is the perfect hiking shoe for rainy days or muddy trails. The Merrell Moab series has been the go-to shoe for hikers for more than a decade because of their superior comfort and long-lasting construction. This waterproof hiking shoe is made entirely without the use of animal products, and give exceptional comfort for long days spent walking.

With its waterproof membrane, exceptional breathability, and high- performance construction, the Moab Speed GORE-TEX® will keep your feet dry and comfortable all day long. The breathable mesh and TPU upper make this shoe light and airy,  the Bellows tongue keeps out debris, and the protective toe cap and rock plate protect your foot from obstacles. The removable PU footbed allows you to add your own custom orthotics.

The Vibram outsole is designed with 30% recycled rubber which provides added durability and improved grip on wet and dry surfaces. The traction lugs specifically designed to increase traction and shed debris with each step, while the 10mm heel to toe drop provides a natural and comfortable stride. Whether you’re hiking or just out for a hike, the Moab Speed GORE-TEX® is the perfect shoe for you.

Xero Vegan Waterproof Shoes

Women

Xero Vegan Waterproof Shoes

Men

Looking for a hiking boot that is comfortable and waterproof? Look no further than the Xero Shoes Xcursion Fusion WP hiking boot. With a natural fit, wide toe box, and flexible design, the Xcursion Fusion WP are a combination of barefoot shoe and waterproof boot that lets your feet bend and move naturally while staying completely dry. Fully waterproof thanks to seam-sealed inner booties plus water-resistant membranes and gusseted tongues that provide weather protection without excess weight, these boots are perfect for rainy, wet conditions.

Non-elevated heels allow for proper foot posture, balance and agility, while outsole construction provides added comfort, protection, and great traction. With a dual-chevron tread pattern, these boots give you confidence whether you’re going uphill or downhill. Extremely lightweight at just 1 lb. 10 oz. per pair, these boots are the perfect choice for those who want comfort and performance without the weight.

Arc'teryx Konseal Vegan Waterproof

Unisex

The Arc’teryx Konseal FL 2 GTX Approach Shoes are the perfect choice for those looking for a comfortable and supportive shoe that can withstand all types of weather.  The waterproof hiking shoes enables confident and agile movement on difficult terrain and tough approaches, regardless of the weather.

With a Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane, the shoe will keep your feet dry and comfortable during even the wettest of hikes. The injected EVA midsoles are lightweight, with thermoplastic polyurethane film and midsole chassis to elevate your foot stability and provide arch support. The Vibram Megagrip outsole provides secure traction in any weather condition, wet or dry.

Will's Vegan Store Vegan Waterproof Shoes

Unisex

Will’s Vegan Store’s WVSport boots are constructed from Lyliane 3DMX and Cordura, two materials that are known for their long-lasting durability, water protection and resistance to scuffing. The boots are created and built in Italy, and engineered to tackle difficult terrain and messy weather.

The WVSport are designed to provide comfort throughout the day, and features as a padded tongue, ankle support, and detachable cushioned insoles.

70% of the power used to produce Will’s Vegan Store footwear is solar-powered, and this product is certified carbon-neutral.

FAQS About Vegan Shoes

What are vegan shoes?

A vegan shoe is one that does not include any animal ingredients, including glues and dyes. Also excluded are goods that have undergone animal testing. This eliminates a lot of conventional shoemaking materials, including leather, wool, fur, and certain adhesives.

Vegan shoes are often made from synthetic materials. However, many brands are transitioning to more eco-friendly, plant based materials like bamboo, hemp, and even fruit based leather like Pinatex made from pineapple fiber.

Like other products made from synthetic materials, vegan shoes can be re-used or recycled. If the shoe is used again in a different way, the discarded material can be recycled into other products. The use of recycled products like natural rubber in vegan footwear is encouraged by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other environmental organizations around the world.

FAQS About Waterproof Shoes

What Are Waterproof Shoes?

What does it mean to be “waterproof”? Does that even make sense? Isn’t water supposed to seep into to everything?

When something is described as waterproof, it signifies that the item is totally resistant to damage caused by contact with water. The object or product will not become permeable to water and will be resistant to the negative impacts of water.

Waterproof shoes or boots may be completely submerged without the water soaking into the fabric. Hemp, rubber, or synthetics like neoprene or polyurethane are often used in waterproof shoes because these fabrics are inherently waterproof. The shoes are also treated with chemicals and seam sealed with adhesive or wax to prevents moisture and water from entering the shoe.

However, there is no industry standard that determines whether or not a product can be considered waterproof. Some manufacturers use a scale called the Ingress Protection Rating Scale (also known as the IP Code) to show how resistant a product is to water. The IP code tells how well an enclosure protects against elements like tools, dirt, and liquid water. This scale assigns a value between 0 and 8 to each product.

That said, it can be difficult to find waterproof shoes that are also vegan (or cruelty-free) because animal products are often used in the glues and sealants.

What chemicals make things waterproof?

Polyvinyl chloride, hypalon, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, tar paper with asphalt, and bituminous materials are among the different substances and chemicals used for water proofing.

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are found in durable water repellency (DWR) treatments that are often used on outdoor clothing and shoes.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has researched the effects of PFCs on lab animals, and their results suggest that PFCs pose a serious threat to human health. These include endocrine disruption; decreased immune function; liver damage and developmental problems, among other issues.

In fact, long chain PFCs were officially banned from new products in 2016, following a lawsuit against the Dupont company by environmental lawyer Rob Bilott. His dramatic story was dramatized in the film called “Dark Waters”, starring Mark Ruffalo.

In response to this issue, outdoor gear brands have larger switched from long chain PFCs to short chain PFCs.  This simply means that the short chain PFCs break down faster and do not persist as long in the environment. However, this is far from an ideal solution, as short chain PFCs still pose health risks. In fact, these PFCs were slated to be banned in Europe in 2020. 

What are PFC-Free Waterproof Alternatives?

  • Ultra PE fabrics: One of the most durable fabrics that is also 100% DWR-free. It is inherently waterproof because it is made from Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene.
  • Smartrepel® X-Pac: made with a natural based, PFC-free DWR.
  • Nikwax: Cleaning and waterproofing products that are completely free of PFC and PFAS chemicals.

What does “water resistant” really mean?

When something is described as water-resistant, it indicates that it is able to prevent water from penetrating it to a certain extent, but not entirely.

If an article of clothing or technology, such as a cell phone or a jacket, has the designation “water-resistant,” this indicates that it is difficult for water to penetrate the product and cause damage.

Some manufacturers cover their products with a very lightweight “Durable Water Repellent” material in order to increase the products’ ability to interact with water.

However, the impact of water may still be felt up to a certain extent while using water-resistant item. When something is left exposed to water over an extended length of time, the water will eventually soak it or seep through it.

Is there a waterproof rating system?

The Static-Column Test is the method that is most often used to evaluate the degree to which a product is genuinely waterproof.

After placing a tube in a vertical position above the item being evaluated, the tube is then filled with water. The waterproof rating is the amount of water, in millimeters, that starts to leak through the material.

What is the difference between water resistant and waterproof shoes?

Shoes that are labeled as waterproof will provide comprehensive protection both on the interior insole and exterior outsole of the shoe against water for an extended length of time.

Shoes labeled as water-resistant typically just have exterior outsole protection from water.  This prevents water from penetrating for a period of time, but does not totally stop it.

Water resistant shoes will also dry quickly and be made with a breathable material like hemp or recycled polyester.

Which is better: water resistant or waterproof?

Waterproof apparel and shoes provide the best rain and snow protection.

Water-resistant items provide adequate but much less protection.

Final Thoughts

It goes without saying that investing in some good footwear is one of the easiest ways to improve your lifestyle and become more environmentally friendly as well.

Kristina M.

Kristina M.

Providing shopping recommendations for organic, sustainable, and eco-friendly products.

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