Can you be vegan and still wear cowboy boots? Heck yeah, you can! We were very happy when doing our research to find a large variety of vegan cowboy boots and western boots in faux leather and faux suede that are now available for all you compassionate cowgirls and cowboys out there.
We are still searching for western boots that are made of recycled and/or more eco-friendly materials. Come on product designers, we’re ready for you!
But at least today, you don’t have to sacrifice style when you make the conscious decision not to sacrifice animals.
So, to kick things off (yes, our puns are always intended), we would like to start the UniGuide vegan cowboy boots guide with a quote by one of our all-time favorite country stars, the grandfather of country rock, Gram Parsons:
“We don’t wear sequins because we think we’re great. We wear them because we think sequins are great.”
The Origins of the Cowboy Boot
Cowboy boots date back to the 1600s when riding boots started to appear in Europe that had “high tops, pointed toes, and 2″ stacked heels,” says ShoeInfo.net. But where did those 2″ heels originate? Apparently, they were first seen in the 13th century on invading Mongol tribesmen who wore bright red wooden heels on their boots. According to ShoeInfo, “Mongols were consummate horsemen and their easy victories left a mark on European society.”
Since owning and caring for a horse required wealth, and being on horseback placed a person physically above those who were not, people on horseback in high heels became associated with nobility. To this day, writes ShoeInfo, we say “well-heeled” to describe a person who is wealthy or aristocratic. Perhaps they were brought in on the feet of the Conquistadors, but eventually, heeled riding boots made their way to the Americas.
Throughout history, of course, boots were made with animal skin, which dates to when our ancestors were living in caves.
But we don’t live in caves anymore, do we?
Thankfully, today we have access to a huge variety of materials that make durable, warm, and comfortable shoes without harming animals or people.
Without further ado, here are some brands we found that are making kickass vegan western boots: