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I’ve been doing a lot of digging around to find hiking shoes listed as vegan and even many of those listed as vegan friendly are sometimes made out of glue made from animals. REI has one of the best sites I found for isolating my search for vegan friendly, so I went there as a starting point. I found a couple of shoes I liked, one by Salomon and another by Merrell, so I called their 800 numbers. Salomon’s rep told me that they only use man-made leather in their shoes unless listed with “LTR” in which case they are using regular animal leather. However the rep said Salomon cannot guarantee ANY of their shoes as being vegan because the glue used may or may not contain animals’ parts. When I called Merrell, the rep. was firm that their shoes listed as vegan friendly are not made with glue containing animal parts.

http://www.merrell.com/US/en/Collections-Technology-VeganFriendly

http://www.salomon.com/us/

http://www.rei.com/c/mens-footwear
 

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Thanks for sharing! I have a pair of Brooks running shoes I wear to the gym and around in summer. I love them! I also have Wicked Hemp hiking shoes that are totally vegan. I bought them for the hard soles with great traction. I also have a pair of Garmont Kiowa Vegan hiking boots I bought in 2011 and they are still going strong after canoe camping trips, many 10 to 14 mile hikes, and wearing them through winters. Unfortunately they have been sold out for some time now. Very popular. I hope mine last for years to come. All of my vegan hiking boots and shoes I had to buy online and have mailed to me but I have been very fortunate them have all fit perfectly. The running shoes are much easier to find locally.
 

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Hey Dennis,
I've also been researching vegan gear options and compiling them on my site VeganOutdoorAdventures.com . It's definitely frustrating trying to find 100% synthetic options. I've used REI as a starting point, too, and it's crazy that some of the "vegan" options there aren't even vegan! It's like people think glues don't count as animal products? I don't get it!

I just talked to a Salomon rep too and they said that their glues are "all natural". I asked if that meant they're made of animal products, he said yes. Bummer.

I hiked all summer in a pair of Treksta Edict trail runners, which were awesome for warmer, dryer weather. They use all synthetic glues, as do Merrell, Patagonia, Zamberlan, Brooks, Inov-8 & Altra. Scarpa doesn't guarantee anything as far as glues, so I didn't include them on my site. And LaSportiva can only guarantee synthetic glues on products made in Italy.

You can check out my vegan hiking boots page here: http://www.veganoutdooradventures.com/vegan-hiking-boots/

And I'll be adding a vegan hiking shoes (low top) page soon, too. It's a lot of research to do, but I'm hopeful that as more and more people ask for vegan options it won't be so hard to find out!

Happy hiking!
 

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I agree, you really have to be proactive with shoes labeled "vegan" because often they aren't. So many people think "natural" or "ecofriendly" equates to vegan. I saw a pair of hiking boots labeled vegan and when I inquired about them (I was suspicious as they seemed to be made of leather) and the clerk really did some research checking we discovered they had nubuck leather. The soles of the shoes were made of recycled rubber hence labeling them vegan. The clerk promptly removed the vegan label. It is maddening that labels with materials used are no longer included on a lot of shoes now. You have to go online or call and ask.

VeganOutdoorAdventures, I will be looking into your site now! Do you showcase mens AND womens hiking boots/shoes? So often I get frustrated with vegan shoe sites because I am VERY outdoorish and play rough (mountain bike, snowshoe, hike, canoe camp, trail run) and the women's vegan shoes often just don't cut it. I also live in northeastern Minnesota by lake Superior and I need warm and waterproof too. I do love my Garmonts as they are warm and I have even snowshoed with them on in my snowshoes. Not waterproof though. Trail running shoes are nice, but sometimes I need hard soles and hard toe for mountain biking and portaging heavy gear.
 

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It's so frustrating that we can't even trust things labeled as vegan. When I was contacting climbing shoe companies, I just got a feeling from some of them that they weren't really sure about glues or didn't care to find out for sure. So that particular gear page took a *really* long time, but I'm happy with the results!

I am definitely including both men's and women's options on my site. I totally agree with you that us women need gear that's just as tough as the men! For every piece of equipment that comes in both men's and women's I link to both. I'm also in the process of starting to collect gear reviews, which will be so helpful because at this time it's just a list of all options, which is an awesome starting point, but it's great to hear from people who have used the stuff, too!

So let me know what you think of the hiking boot list and if any of them will work for you. I just ran into a couple the other day at the Albany Vegfest who have used the Treksta Evolutions and the Zamberlan SH Crossers and they said they really like both. The Treksta are light and the Zamberlans are more heavy duty for tougher days in the mountains. Both are waterproof and come in both men's and women's sizes.
 
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