Best foot forward: Sustainable winter boots for women and men

·5 min read
We expect a lot from our winter boots (Stock, Getty)
We expect a lot from our winter boots. (Getty Images)

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Boots are a winter wardrobe staple that'll be worn day in, day out, so we expect a lot from a pair before we'll invest.

Comfort is key, but it's not only our feet that need warming – we also want to bask in the glow of knowing that our boots are sustainably made.

We've scoured the internet for brands which are taking steps to be more sustainable, by reducing the negative environmental impact from the production of their shoes. 

Scroll down for our picks of the best sustainable boots for women and men this winter. 

(Lots of these brands carry both men's and women's sizes, so do click through to explore their whole collections too).

5 sustainable boots for women

Best lace up chunky boots

Grenson Nanette G-Two Vegan | £325 at Grenson

Also available: ASOS, Trouva

Holly Willoughby is a fan of this heritage British brand's chunky lace up Nanette boots and we're pleased to report that the lace-up style can also be bought in a vegan-friendly leather alternative. The upper is made from microfibre, which can be recycled, plus it is breathable, antibacterial, washable and (importantly) lightweight. Grenson's shoes are designed to be easily repairable, so you can expect them to last you a fair few years.

Best walking boots

The Weekend Boot | £154 Alice & Whittle

The Weekend Boot (Alice & Whittle)
The Weekend Boot (Alice & Whittle)

Not only are these sturdy walking boots vegan-friendly, they're also 98% virgin plastic free. The nylon upper is made from repurposed marine plastic, while the sole is made with natural rubber (45% of which is recycled). Comfortable and water-resistant, one happy shopper commented in a review that she's "never taking them off". "These boots are some of the best boots i’ve ever owned," she continued. "They are so comfortable, made impeccably, and look really good. Really happy to own them."

Best Chelsea boots

Loeffler Randall + Net Sustain Raquel leather Chelsea boots | £345 at Net-A-Porter

These Chelsea boots strike just the right balance between sleek and tough, with a statement chunky rubber sole. Designed as part of Net-A-Porter's curated Net Sustain collection, they are made from supple leather produced in Leather Working Group medaled tanneries - which means the tanneries are audited yearly to access whether they meet standards of good environmental practice. 

Best heeled boots

Medusa B Black Block Heel Knee High Vegan Boots | £295 at Beyond Skin

Medusa B Black Block Heel Knee High Vegan Boots (Beyond Skin)
Medusa B Black Block Heel Knee High Vegan Boots (Beyond Skin)

These classic evening boots, with a thick 9cm block heel and curved toe, are handmade in Spain from vegan faux suede. The lining is made from 100% recycled faux leather and they earn extra Brownie points as the packaging is also completely recyclable. 

Best high-tops

V-15 CWL White Rouille Butter Sole | £130 from Veja

Both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are fans of French brand Veja's low top styles, but for the winter we recommend switching to a pair of these high tops, which are made from a vegan alternative to leather: organic cotton coated with resin from corn and castor oil. Veja has also been praised as a brand for its transparency, use of organic materials and fair trade sourcing.

5 sustainable boots for men

Best high tops

Neven High Hemp Brown | £260 from Yatay

Lots of vegan shoes are made from plastic - but not these high tops. Yatay's shoes are handmade in Italy using eco-friendly products (bio-polyols, polymers extracted from cereals and corn, wood, rubber, and recycled plastic). This style is also available in an array of pleasingly bright colours - but sizes are limited on these.

Best Chelsea boots

Timberland Stormbucks Waterproof Leather Chelsea Boots, Brown | £140 from John Lewis & Partners

Timberland Stormbucks Waterproof Leather Chelsea Boots, Brown (Timberland)
Timberland Stormbucks Waterproof Leather Chelsea Boots, Brown (Timberland)

Smart enough for the office but also waterproof and hardwearing, these boots will be your staples all winter. They are are made with nubuck Better Leather from a sustainable tannery rated Silver by the Leather Working Group for its water, energy and waste management practices. Plus, the lining is made with at least 50% recycled plastic bottles and the rubber soles are partly-recycled. 

Best brogue boots

Grenson Fred G-2 Vegan | £325 at Grenson

Fred G-2 Vegan (Grenson)
Fred G-2 Vegan (Grenson)

Grenson aims to be the opposite of throwaway fashion, with boots designed to last a lifetime and with the option to have them repaired should they need a bit of TLC. Featuring oversized brogue punching, big eyelets and a chunky sole, these boots are completely-free of any animal products. The upper is made from microfibre that mimics cowhide, while the insoles are a hard-wearing, absorbent board that is made from paper and can be recycled.

Best wool boots

Men's Wool Runner-up Mizzles | £130 at Allbirds

"Wool boots? In winter?" We hear you ask. But we promise you these aren't going to end up like soggy socks after a downpour. Oh no, the ethically-sourced wool upper is treated with a fluorine-free water repellent coating. Every inch of these shoes has been designed with sustainability in mind, even the laces are made from a recycled plastic bottle, and if that's not enough green credentials for you, these shoes are also carbon neutral thanks to Allbirds' sustainable practices, (using natural materials and buying offsets).

Best walking boots

Scot III Eco Men's | £145 at Vivobarefoot

Made from from 100% leather-free, vegan, recycled materials, these durable water-resistant walking boots feature wide, thin and flexible soles, designed to promote your foot's natural movement. These boots were not only made for walking, (if you'll pardon the pun) but were also designed to be remade and reworn. When you are finished with them visit to find out how to keep them out of landfill.

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