Best Vegan Chelsea Boots in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

best vegan chelsea boots

Chelsea boots have been around since the fifties. From celebrities like the Beatles and Harry Styles to hikers and workers, it feels like everybody has worn a pair of Chelsea at some point. Their versatility, comfort, and style helped them cross the British borders and spread like a welcome virus.

However, the first thing that you picture when you hear the boots’ name is suede. Animal skin has been the most significant part of the iconic boots’ legacy, which is why many vegans felt like they had to go elsewhere.

Yet, the increasing demand for vegan options of all kinds of footwear has made its way to the manufacturers. Now, vegans can get a cruelty-free taste of everything that non-vegans have but with a clearer conscience.

So, without further ado, if you’re interested in knowing the best Vegan Chelsea boots for men and women, their best features, and how to choose them, keep on reading. 

Table Of Contents


Top Picks for men at a glance:

  1. Taste Confidence – Premium Choice
  2. Dr. Martens Vegan 2976 – Best Docs
  3. Hawkwell Chukka Boots – Most Fashionable

Top Picks for women at a glance:

  1. Arcopedico Luana Ankle Booties – Most Comfortable
  2. Roma Rain Boots – Best Rain Boots

Why Do You Need to Buy Vegan Chelsea Boots?

Animal-friendly

It’s all in the name: vegan. Vegan means that the boots are entirely free from all animal-based products. So, there’s no leather, suede, nubuck, wool, fur, or anything that has been cruelly taken from an animal, alive or dead.

The reason why leather is so common is the look and feel. Natural is luxurious, so everyone that wears it does so by ignoring its violent origin. Wearing animal-friendly boots, in contrast, makes the conscious feel much better.

Comfort

One of the main reasons Chelsea boots are so popular is how comfortable and practical they are. The way they’re built makes them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

For example, these laceless boots rely on pull tabs to take them on and off, making them one of the most convenient boots on the planet.

Their rounded toe boxes make them comfortable because they leave enough room for the toes to breathe, unlike other stylish boots that look nice but give you toe deformities. Your feet will also have room to breathe, thanks to their iconic elasticized sides.

Versatile

There are certain styles of boots that have been around for a century or more. They have many advantages, such as looking good and being comfortable. Maybe they were worn to make a statement at some movement. Whatever the reason, these quintessential boots are versatile and never out of place.

In particular, Chelsea boots are popular among fashionistas, horse riders, rock stars, workers, and college students. People can wear them with suits, jeans, shorts, or skirts. Their look is iconic yet simple enough to fit in any setting.


The 3 Best Vegan Chelsea Boots for Men in 2021

Here are our favorite choices of animal-friendly Chelsea boots for men that prove that you don’t have to give up your morals for style or comfort.

1. Taste Confidence – Premium Choice

Taste Confidence

Most men have worn a pair of Chelsea at some point, but not all have the same standards. Men who don’t like to settle for less will love the Taste Confidence boots, a premium choice for a distinguished man.

While original Chelsea boots boast smooth suede uppers with a horrible backstory, these boots have microsuede uppers. Despite the lack of real leather in the construction, they still have the same smooth texture that everyone loves about suede.

Also, they offer “shinier” options in microfiber or PU so that you can wear them on a date, a wedding, or a fancy night out.

Unlike many non-vegan boots, these ones are breathable. So, you won’t get that “funky” smell that you probably get after wearing other shoes for a few hours.

As a premium choice, it doesn’t hold back in terms of comfort. The insoles are padded so that your own feet don’t give out after a few hours of wear. The rear ankle is also padded, which protects your ankle from blisters and soreness.

The Taste Confidence boots come in all neutral colors that Chelsea boots are known and loved for.

Best Features:

  • Neutral color options
  • Padded insoles
  • Breathable
  • Microsuede and PU uppers
  • Padded rear ankle

>> Use coupon code “GETVEGAN” for a 10% discount! <<

2. Dr. Martens Vegan 2976 – Best Docs

Dr. Martens Men's 2976 Felix Rub Off Chelsea Boot, black, 8 Men/9 Women US

It’s the year 2021, and people are still in love with Dr. Martens as much as they were back in the forties. These boots are rebellious, timeless, high-quality, practical, and, sadly, animal-based. 

However, Dr. Martens has finally heard our voices and released amazing vegan options. Enter the Dr. Martens Vegan 2976 boots.

Let’s start with the basics. The uppers are made of completely synthetic materials, unlike the original Docs. Yet, there’s no way that you could tell the difference between vegan and non-vegan boots.

>> Read more: The best vegan Dr. Martens.

Thanks to the iconic yellow Goodyear welt, the boots maintain impressive longevity and can be re-soled. Also, the outsoles are oil-, fat-, and slip-resistant, so, no matter what environment you wear these Docs in, you can trust your feet to carry you gracefully.

Docs aren’t just about durability; they want you to be comfortable, as well. You’ll feel pretty comfortable wearing them, thanks to their air-cushioned soles, which are also called “bouncing soles” to give you an idea about how they pamper the feet.

Since Docs are known for style, we expected nothing less from the vegan options. They come in two attractive color options: matte black for everyday wear and two-tone cherry red for when you’re feeling yourself. 

Best Features:

  • Air-cushioned soles
  • Slip-resistant
  • Two attractive color options
  • Oil and fat resistant
  • Goodyear welt

3. Hawkwell Chukka Boots – Most Fashionable

Hawkwell Men's Formal Dress Casual Ankle Chelsea Boot, Coffee manmade, 10 M US

Men have a lot of room in their fashion choices and can always wear sneakers or slippers when they feel like it. However, on dress occasions, they must level up their fashion game. So, we recommend the Hawkwell Chukka Boots for cruelty-free elegance.

These surprisingly affordable boots boast synthetic uppers that hurt no animal in the making yet look as breath-taking as genuine suede. In addition, the TPR outsoles add traction, durability, and flexibility to a very elegant mix.

Dress shoes aren’t just about the looks. These boots will feel good no matter how long you wear them, thanks to the cushioned insoles that make them feel like you’re walking on padded pillows.

Don’t forget the colors because they come in beautiful, neutral colors that you can safely wear on every occasion and be the classiest one in the room.

Best Features:

  • Neutral color options
  • TPR outsoles
  • Affordable
  • Cushioned insoles

The 2 Best Vegan Chelsea Boots for Women in 2021

These are our top choices for Chelsea boots for women. They’re classy, comfortable, and ready for the environment that you’ll wear them in.

1. Arcopedico Luana Ankle Booties – Most Comfortable

Arcopedico Women's Luana Burgundy Ankle Bootie 5.5-6 M US

Most fashion items for women focus on looking good but completely skimp out on comfort. Yet, how good can you really look or feel if you’re not comfortable? If you’re a vegan woman who takes her own comfort seriously, check out the Arcopedico Luana Ankle Booties.

How do they achieve these claims? Let’s see what they’re made of. Instead of the typical suede, the uppers are made of Lytech, a synthetic material that is breathable and lightweight. What else do you look for in a pair of booties!

The vegan outsoles are made of PU, which is PVC’s more eco-friendly sibling that knows how to withstand the elements, unlike animal-based materials.

You’ll notice the twin-arch system with goring that these booties have. While it’s an amazing stylistic choice, it’s also about flexibility and letting your feet move naturally. Plus, women with flat feet or feet issues will appreciate the arch support that these booties provide.

Finally, the color options are gorgeous, and you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for among their collection.

Best Features:

  • Multiple color options
  • Arch support
  • Stylish and flexible twin-arch system
  • Lytech uppers
  • PU soles

2. Roma Rain Boots – Best Rain Boots

Roma CHELSEA Women’s Rain Boots, Versatile Slip-On Waterproof Rain Boots Made with Natural Vegan Rubber and Quick-Drying Knitted Cotton Lining, Matte Gray Leopard, 5 M US

If you love to take a walk in the rain or regularly hang out in wet environments, the typical suede boots just won’t do it. You’ll definitely need an animal-free pair of boots that can handle the elements, which is what the Roma Rain Boots.

These boots are vegan, and we’re so grateful for that, especially because it increases their functionality. The vegan uppers manage so well in the rain that you’ll wish it rained every day.

Also, the waterproof outsoles are made of natural rubber, which is great news for vegan women who are also environmentally conscious. Natural rubber is durable, tough, weatherproof, and flexible, which makes it easy on the feet.

If you suffer from the good ol’ “smelly” feet, you don’t have to worry. These boots are lined with quick-dry knitted cotton so that your feet can breathe in a dry, hygienic environment.

Despite all of this goodness, these boots are pretty affordable, so you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to protect your feet from muddy terrains.

We’re still not done yet. These boots blew us away with their wide range of colors, prints, and finishes. You can absolutely find something that caters to your taste here.

Best Features:

  • Biggest number of color options
  • Affordable
  • Waterproof
  • Quick-dry knitted cotton lining
  • Natural rubber outsoles

How to Pick Vegan Chelsea Boots?

Before you commit to any pair of vegan Chelsea boots, it’ll be helpful to check out these features first.

Material

Boot material is the first thing that you need to consider when choosing a vegan pair. Unfortunately, most Chelsea boots out there are non-vegan, as they’re either made of or incorporate suede, nubuck, leather, shearling, wool, and other animal-based products.

So, vegan manufacturers had to find animal-friendly alternatives that still replicate what people love about animal-based materials for centuries. We can categorize these vegan materials into natural or synthetic.

Natural

The beauty of natural vegan shoes is that they balance animal-friendliness with eco-friendliness. Animal leather, although technically natural, wreaks havoc on the environment. The amount of food, water, and chemicals used is shocking, and the resulting waste is unmanageable.

So, it’s time to choose an alternative that saves both animals and the planet. Natural materials involved in vegan boots include plant-based leather, which we take from plant waste. Most popular examples of natural leather are pineapple, cactus, mushroom, apple, algae, and cork leather. Many vegan boots are lined with cotton for breathability.

Needless to say, these kinds of leather aren’t as available as their synthetic counterparts. They take more effort to make, and they tend to cost more. However, the outcome is 100% worth it because these animal-saving, environment-protecting boots have the elasticity and feel of animal leather and even age as beautifully.

Synthetic

Since plant-based leather is hard to find, there had to be a more available alternative that drives people away from animal leather and suede. Synthetic materials are man-made substitutes for the real thing.

The most popular type of synthetic materials in boots is rubber. Rubber makes boots as practical as sneakers. It tends to be waterproof, which is perfect for rainy days. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and Polyurethane (PU) are also popular because they imitate leather in every way yet don’t cost much. However, PU is a better option for the environment.

If you care about the environment a little bit more than the average vegan, rejoice! There are many options made of recycled synthetic materials that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. So, there are options for everyone.

Fit

It’s pretty important before getting a pair of boots to ensure that they’re the right fit and size for you. Take your feet’ measurements if you’ll order online and check the reviews to see whether the boots run true to size or not.

Also, remember to check the design of the boots themselves and how comfortable they’d feel. Are they lined with comfortable material? Are they lightweight, or will they put too much pressure on your feet? 

Is there any arch support or cushioned footbeds for your soles, or will they suffer? Plus, it helps to have slip-resistant outsoles, especially if you’ll walk in the rain or on slippery terrain.

In short, make sure that the design fits your feet and helps you wear them comfortably.

Style

Style is a pretty big deal in Chelsea boots; they are historical icons of style, after all. 

The majority of Chelsea boots are ankle-height, with rounded toes, low heels, and pull tabs. However, there are some variations of this style to spice things up. For example, you can find Chelsea boots with high or platform heels.

Most Chelsea boots are matte, but polished Chelsea boots are ideal dress shoes that look effortlessly elegant. You can also up your fashion game with a pair of broguing. 

Prints and colors can play an important role. If you want to embrace your inner popstar/rockstar, you can even go for a pair of glitter boots. Bold fashionistas can show off animal prints without harming any animals, thanks to vegan Chelsea boots.


FAQs

Are Chelsea Boots Vegan?

Originally, Chelsea boots were not vegan. They were only made from nubuck or suede. As time went by, more animal-based materials made their way into the boots. Fortunately, there are now 100% vegan options that imitate the original without harming any animals.

Does Vegan Leather Look Cheap?

It depends on the kind of vegan leather and the quality of the boots themselves. Plant-based leather looks and feels exactly like the real thing and ages identically. Synthetic leather comes in varying degrees of quality. Some look cheap, while many look just as fancy as animal leather.

>> Read more: Our ultimate guide to vegan leather.

Is Vegan Leather Just Pleather?

No! Not all vegan leather falls under the same category. Some of it is made of synthetic materials or plastic. So, you can call it pleather. However, some vegan leather comes from plant waste, so it has nothing to do with plastics and doesn’t fall under the category of  “pleather.”


Final Thoughts

as our article on the best vegan Chelsea boots been helpful to you? We hope so. Check out the recap of the highlights of our list.

The Taste Confidence boots are the bougie, premium-priced boots that you’ve been looking for. As their names suggest, their vegan uppers, which come in either microsuede or PU, exude confidence. They’re also breathable and padded for feet that deserve pampering.

If you’re trying to get a pair of Docs but don’t want blood on your feet, check out the Dr. Martens Vegan 2976 boots. They’re just as stylish, durable, and resilient as the non-vegan version, minus the animal cruelty.

Vegan women who seek comfortable footwear but don’t want to compromise style will find what they want in the Arcopedico Luana Ankle Booties. Their design and construction are all about keeping your feet happy, and their patented uppers are exactly what the vegan fashion industry needs.

Wet environments and slippery terrains don’t go easy on suede Chelsea boots, which is why you need the Roma Rain Boots. They’re waterproof, flexible, breathable, and stylish. Best of all, they’re cruelty-free.

Thomas
Thomas has been vegan for over 5 years and has decided to move to Costa Rica with his family to be closer to nature and live a more minimalistic life. He loves yummy vegan food and sustainable products.