Best Vegan Work Shoes in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Vegan Work Shoes

Many people don’t think that veganism and industrial work can go hand in hand, and believe that sparing an animal from suffering is something to blog about.

However, as the demand for cruelty-free passes beyond borders, there are vegan work shoes now. They have the same qualities of protection and resistance to the elements like non-vegan ones; they are just free of animal-based materials.

Some people even wear work shoes for the aesthetic alone, such as people going for the “grunge” look. Whether it is a fashion choice or a work necessity, having such durable footwear is definitely beneficial.

So, without further ado, let’s review the best vegan work shoes for men and women.

List of the Best Vegan Work Shoes for Men

  1. Dr. Martens Vegan 1460 Combat Boots
  2. Fugu Sa-Me Japanese Vegan Mid-Calf Boots
  3. Bogs Men’s Forge Rubber Work Rain Boots
  4. Rock Fall TeslaDRI RF120

List of the Best Vegan Work Shoes for Women

  1. Skechers for Work Women’s Squad SR Food Service Shoes
  2. XPETI Women’s Thermator Mid High-Top Hiking Boots
  3. Bogs Neo-Classic Mid Spring Leaf Women’s Insulated Boots
  4. Crocs Women’s Neria Pro II Work Shoes

The Best Vegan Work Shoes for Men in 2020

1. Dr. Martens Vegan 1460 Combat Boots

Dr. Martens Vegan 1460 Combat Boots

Dr. Martens are known for their iconic boots that catch the eyes and protect the feet; we picked the Dr. Martens Vegan 1460 Combat Boots because style and safety don’t have to come from cruelty.

The pair’s attractive and classic design makes them appeal to trend seekers, fashion lovers, and workers.

Their two-tone high-shine synthetic leather upper makes you forget about non-vegan leather boots. Also, they have an 8-eye lace-up front with metallic eyelets. Moreover, they come in Black Felix and Cherry Red Oxford.

We love the Goodyear-welted soles promise and deliver long-lasting durability because it’s a multi-layered construction that ties the outsoles with the upper tightly. The pair has steel toe-caps to protect your toes from any possible injuries.

In addition, if you work or go places with slippery terrains, you’ll appreciate their traction for slip resistance. Also, the excellent abrasion resistance is useful against any possible accidents you may encounter. For comfort, the soles are air-cushioned.

Finally, these shoes come in a variety of sizes for both men and women.

Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Different color options
  • Slip resistance
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Sizes for men and women
  • Goodyear welted soles
  • Air-cushioned sole

Cons:

  • Need time to wear in

2. Fugu Sa-Me Japanese Vegan Mid-Calf Boots

Fugu Sa-Me Japanese Vegan Mid-Calf Boots

If you didn’t expect to find so many vegan work shoes, wait until we introduce you to these vegan barefoot work shoes.

The fugu Sa-Me Japanese Vegan Mid-Calf Boots offer protection, lightweight construction, and a unique design that makes you feel like you’re in a Tarantino movie.

This laceless pair is made from a breathable cotton canvas with recycled hard rubber soles. Thanks to the laceless, double hook-and-loop system, these boots can be worn in two ways: mid-calf or low-cut.

Despite being airy and lightweight, these boots can protect you in many ways. The steel toe-caps shield your toes from harm. Also, this pair has a water-repellent treatment, so working around wet conditions won’t be so bad. The recycled hard rubber provides excellent slip resistance.

We love the laceless design because it makes it easy to get in and out of the boots. Plus, the velcro straps offer more than enough security. In addition, the wide toe box of the barefoot design gives your toes more wiggle room than traditional shoes. Also, the orthopedic insoles help with foot pain and posture.

Last but definitely not least, these boots are for both men and women.

Pros:

  • Unique look
  • Double hook-and-loop system
  • Water repellency and slip resistance
  • Breathable cotton canvas
  • Laceless
  • Sizes for men and women
  • Orthopedic insoles and wide toe box

Cons:

  • No arch support

3. Bogs Men’s Forge Rubber Work Rain Boots

Bogs Men's Forge Rubber Work Rain Boots

If you work in cold or sub-zero conditions and need a comfortable pair of vegan work shoes to make things better, the Bogs Men’s Forge Rubber Work Rain Boots are the right choice.

This black pair of long boots has natural hand-lasted rubber and a four-way stretch inner bootie, providing proper insulation and comfort in temperatures as low as -40˚F. The chemical-resistant, slip-resistant, and non-marking outsoles are a blessing in muddy conditions. Since they’re rain boots, they had to be 100% waterproof. 

Not only will you be kept dry and warm in sub-zero environments, but the insoles also use a 100% natural organic biotechnology for odor control to keep you fresh at all times.

Despite what you may think, this pair isn’t heavy at all. In fact, it is 30% lighter than comparable insulated boots. Also, they have excellent arch and ankle support that will make you forget about most slide-on boots. Finally, these boots have proper cushioning that is unaffected by cold conditions.

Pros:

  • 100% waterproof
  • Arch and ankle support
  • Antimicrobial
  • Slip and chemical resistance
  • Rated to -40˚F

Cons:

  • Heavy

4. Rock Fall TeslaDRI RF120

Rock Fall TeslaDRI RF120

Rock Fall’s name is well-known in the safety footwear industry. They pay attention to detail and always try to make their decisions as sustainable as possible. The Rock Fall TeslaDRI RF120 boots are their vest vegan work shoes.

They don’t have a style that stands out; they’re just a casual-looking black pair of low-cut boots. The pair has fiberglass toe-caps, composite midsoles, mesh fabric lining, and rubber outsoles.

Now let’s get to how these boots benefit you.

First of all, they’re ESD compliant, which means you can wear them around electrostatic properties. 

Furthermore, we love the water-repellent upper that keeps you dry, whether you’re working outside or hiking. Plus, the oil resistance means that you can be safely exposed to oil and grease. 

Also, the slip resistance, which was tested with a soap solution and glycerol, gives you peace of mind. The shock-absorbing dual-density EPR rubber outsoles, protective fiberglass toe-caps, and composite anti-penetration midsoles ensure that potential workplace accidents won’t harm you.

The fact that these shoes are 100% metal-free means that vegans with chrome allergies can still safely use them. You’ll appreciate the comfort and dryness of a breathable footbed and moisture-wicking mesh fabric lining after a long day of work.

Pros:

  • ESD compliant
  • 100% metal-free
  • Water repellency and oil resistance
  • Breathable footbed and moisture-wicking mesh fabric lining
  • Shock-absorbing rubber outsoles

Cons:

  • Least durable on the list

The Best Vegan Work Shoes for Women in 2020

1. Skechers for Work Women’s Squad SR Food Service Shoes

Skechers for Work Women's Squad SR Food Service Shoes

While women don’t have as many options as men when it comes to vegan work shoes, there are still many good options. The Skechers for Work Women’s Squad SR Food Service Shoes are a nice place to start.

They look pretty casual so you can wear them at work or on a day out. The pair has a soft sporty knit mesh fabric and synthetic upper, while the footbed is made from memory foam, and the outsoles are rubber.

One of the main features in these shoes is that they can protect you from electrical hazards. Furthermore, the rubber outsoles are slip-resistant, which is a necessity for the food service workers that this pair targets. Moreover, there are smooth synthetic toe and heel protective overlays to protect your feet.

The removable memory foam insoles offer the needed cushioning for a long day at work. Also, we love how nice the padded collar feels. Despite the protection these work shoes provide, they are still pretty lightweight and flexible.

Pros:

  • Memory foam footbed
  • Slip resistance
  • Padded collar
  • EH Safe
  • Casual look
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Smooth synthetic toe and heel protective overlays

Cons:

  • Needed more arch support

2. XPETI Women’s Thermator Mid High-Top Hiking Boots

XPETI Women's Thermator Mid High-Top Hiking Boots

Many vegan hiking boots can work as work shoes because they are meant to survive against rough environments. The XPETI Women’s Thermator Mid High-Top Hiking Boots protect and keep you warm but with style.

Our stylish high-rise pair has a mesh upper, mesh lining, rubber toe-caps, EVA midsoles, molded TPU at heels and ankles, and rubber outsoles. Besides looking good, these shoes come in different color options so you can pick and choose according to your style.

Since hiking and trekking put you against the elements, it makes perfect sense that these shoes have a waterproof mesh upper and Hydroshield Membrane to keep you dry regardless of the weather. Also, the pair has Thinsulate insulation for -30°C to keep you warm despite the cold.

Plus, the rubber toe-cap shields the toes from potential harm, while the molded TPU ankle support means you won’t twist your ankle. The aggressive rubber outsoles give you excellent grip against rough terrain.

Also, the cushioned EVA midsoles and moisture-wicking mesh lining keep you comfortable and dry at all times.

Pros:

  • Rubber toe-cap
  • Different color options
  • Waterproof
  • Molded TPU ankle support
  • Moisture-wicking mesh lining
  • Thinsulate insulation for -30 ℃

Cons:

  • Size runs small

3. Bogs Neo-Classic Mid Spring Leaf Women’s Insulated Boots

Bogs Neo-Classic Mid Spring Leaf Women's Insulated Boots

We found another excellent pair of shoes that target cold weather and natural elements. The Bogs Neo-Classic Mid Spring Leaf Women’s Insulated Boots look nice and work hard against any possible rough conditions that you may encounter.

The attractive dark blue color and the mid-cut design make these boots perfect not only for work but also for outings. Made with 100% vegans materials, these shoes are guilt-free.

As with all Bogs shoes, this pair is 100% waterproof. Also, you can wear these shoes comfortably in temperatures as low as -58°F. In addition, if you have to work for long days, wearing shoes with antimicrobial properties like this pair is essential to control odor. The slip resistance gives you a secure grip when other shoes can’t.

Despite being so hardcore, the Bogs Neo-Classic Mid Spring Leaf Women’s Insulated Boots are 30% lighter than other comparable boots. Moreover, you will feel very comfortable in these shoes, thanks to the EVA footbed with gel cushioning and Rebound cushioning.

Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Antimicrobial
  • EVA footbed and Rebound cushioning
  • 100% waterproof
  • Comfort rated to -58°F
  • Slip resistance

Cons:

  • Sizes can be tricky

4. Crocs Women’s Neria Pro II Work Shoes

Crocs Women's Neria Pro II Work Shoes

Crocs are popular among vegans and eco-friendly seekers. They keep branching out more and more into as many applications as possible. The Crocs Women’s Neria Pro II Work Shoes cater to women in the food, medical, and all “on-your-feet” industries and their standards.

These safety clogs come in a variety of colors and styles to match your uniform or taste.

The toes and heels are enclosed to meet workplace standards. Furthermore, thicker toe regions protect them from spills and accidents. Crocs’ clogs are perfect for most workplaces, thanks to the waterproof construction. Also, the slip resistance is great for workers in the food industry.

We often ignore the importance of comfort, but you need it in your long workday, so enjoy the enhanced arch support and the cradling comfort of this pair.

One of the best qualities that set this pair apart from others on the list is how easy it is to clean. Just use soap and water on the molded pair and let them dry. The removable, washable footbed liners make things easier, as well.

Pros:

  • Different color and style options
  • Easy to clean
  • Slip resistance
  • Waterproof
  • Enclosed toes and heels

Cons:

  • Not breathable
  • Not everyone loves Crocs in terms of style

How to Pick Vegan Work Shoes

Vegan Materials

There is nothing more than work shoes that are made of leather. While they look nice, nothing is worth the cruelty behind them.

Vegan work shoes use alternatives such as vegan leather, vegan suede, PU, synthetic nubuck, rubber, mesh, microfiber, fiberglass, nylon, canvas, and more.

Always check for vegan materials, and contact the manufacturers and their websites whenever you’re unsure.

Fit

Work shoes fitting well is more important than other types of shoes because work shoes are to be worn for extended periods and under tougher conditions.

They have to be not too tight because that may lead to blisters, and not too loose to cause heel injuries.

So, measure your feet correctly right before you shop for shoes. Also, watch out if the manufacturer says that the size runs large or small.

Protection and Comfort

The point of work shoes is to protect you against conditions such as rough terrain, slipperiness, muddiness, chemicals, coldness, heat, and electrical hazards.

This form of footwear safety can come in the form of safety toes that save your toes from any accidents that may occur in workplaces such as facility management or the automotive industry.

Also, oil and slip-resistance help around slick conditions that you may encounter in food service, for example. If there is a lot of electricity around the workplace, or you work directly with electronics, the smart thing to do is to get ESD compliant shoes.

Vegans who work around chemicals or heat need shoes with heat and chemical resistance. If you work outside or deal with a lot of wetness, a waterproof pair would be smart.

Furthermore, breathable material and antimicrobial properties in work shoes are essential in stuffy environments and long workdays. However, cold environments need shoes with insulation.

Protection isn’t everything; if you wear a pair of shoes for a long time, you need to be comfortable in them, and we’re not just talking about the fit. Look for shoes with cushioning and padding that make your workday a bit better, especially if your work days are long.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Clean Work Shoes?

Cleaning shoes depends on their materials. Ideally, every manufacturer leaves instructions that you can follow to clean your shoes safely. Generally, many shoes are machine washable, while others can only be wiped with water and soap or water and vinegar. 

Always consult the manufacturer if the instructions aren’t clear or posted online.

What Does Vegan Mean in Shoes?

It means that they were made without the use of animal-based products such as leather, suede, wool, fur, and animal-based glue. These materials are replaced with vegan alternatives, such as vegan leather and vegan suede, and artificial types of glue.

How Often Should You Replace Work Shoes?

Since work shoes are all about protection, you should replace them once they start deteriorating, no matter how expensive this can be. Why? Because not doing so may put you in danger the next time you wear them. 

So, always check your work shoes the night before for signs that they need replacement.

Final Thoughts

We hope our list of the best vegan work shoes and our guide has helped you come closer to your next perfect pair. Now, we will go over our top choices one more time.

For men, Dr. Martens Vegan 1460 Combat Boots take the crown because they have it all in terms of their classic design, Goodyear-welt durability, and protection against abrasion and slipperiness.

For women, we absolutely loved the Skechers for Work Women’s Squad SR Food Service Shoes because of their casual look, protection against electrical hazards, and comfortable footbed and cushioning.