vegan timberlands?

Vegan Timberlands: The Ultimate Buying Guide (2020)

Did you know vegan Timberlands actually exist? Yes, you can wear these stylish boots without feeling guilty—and today, we’ll be helping you do exactly that!

In this article, we’ll be presenting you with reviews of 6 of the best vegan Timberlands, as well as a detailed buying guide, so you can land the perfect deal.

Also, I’ll cover the ethical debate around whether vegans should consider buying used leather Timberlands. Let’s hop into it!

6 Best Vegan Timberlands and Timberland-Style Boots

The following list contains 4 vegan boots from the actual Timberland brand, plus 2 vegan Doc Martens that have a similar style.

Along with being vegan, many of these boots include recycled materials to minimize your impact on the environment. They’re also all remarkably durable—and stylish!

Timberland Men’s 6″ Premium Fabric Boot

When you hear the words “Timberland boots,” there’s a clear picture that comes to mind of their classic style. The first candidate on our list fits this classic Timberland style—but vegan! (Check the current price on Amazon here.)

These 6″ boots are made entirely out of synthetic materials. The uppers are manufactured using 100% canvas fabric, which offers durability and flexibility.

It’s also treated with a coating to ensure resistance against water and oily stains. The laces are made from sturdy Taslan fibers. And the rubber outsole has a lug pattern to provide maximum traction.

As for detailing, you can see the company’s tree logo embossed on the side. Also, the metal pieces are rustproof for extended wear.

The 6″ Timberland boots have a great anti-fatigue technology to keep your feet supported through the day. And the linings are environmentally friendly, made from recycled plastic bottles (50% PET).

A pair of these Timberlands weighs around 4 pounds, giving you stability. And you have 3 color options: Jet Black, Grape Leaf, and Pure Cashmere.

Pros

  • Classic Timberland style
  • High-quality materials
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Available in 3 colors

Cons

  • Cleaning can get tricky

Timberland 6″ Premium Fabric Boot

Another tribute to the classic Timberland design we know and love. These boots are a recent addition to Timberland’s vegan-friendly fabric line. (Check the current price on Amazon here.)

Made out of strong canvas material, the uppers are rather sturdy but still offer a degree of softness for a flexible movement. It has water-resistant qualities thanks to the integrated protective layer.

The outsoles are rubber lugs, added to give a stable grip and minimize slipping accidents, and the Taslan laces also extend the life of the pair. Moreover, the rings of these strings are rustproof.

These are quite comfortable, thanks to the “anti-fatigue technology” in the support! Additionally, the collar and footbed are well-cushioned for comfort.

As for the design, these boots have a pretty much classic look, but the collar shows a white faux-fur accent which makes these boots more suitable to wear during colder weather.

Pros

  • Superior quality construction
  • Long-term use
  • Great stitching
  • Nice blue color

Cons

  • Design leans towards cold weather, not year-round

Dr. Martens Men’s Combs Nylon Combat Boot

With hundreds of positive reviews online, the Combs Nylon Combat Boot by Dr. Martens bears quite a close resemblance to Timberlands, yet are distinct in their own way. (Check the current price on Amazon here.)

Starting from the materials, these boots are made of 100% premium quality textile—ditching leather and going for a modern synthetic-fabric design.

The synthetic rubber sole is iconic, providing high resistance against oil while enduring shocks and protecting you from slips.

These vegan Doc Martens have sturdy Goodyear welted construction to stitch the upper and sole together. This offers incredible durability. The yellow stitching and signature AirWair heel loop also adds to the attractiveness of the design.

The Dr. Martens Combs Nylon Combat Boots are available in 2 colors: Black and Charcoal.

Pros

  • All-textile upper
  • Sturdy z-welt stitch
  • Durable sole
  • Stylish detailing

Cons

  • The size runs quite big

Dr. Martens Men’s Alfie Boot

Another great pair of vegan Doc Martens. The Alfie Boot combines the classic 8 eyelet design with a rugged combat boot look—using synthetic (vegan) fabric for the whole shoe! (Check the current price on Amazon here.)

The upper is made of 100% canvas, offering durability and comfort to serve you for a long time. The outsole of the Alfie Boots is constructed using the brand’s signature heavy-duty rubber, delivering support and grip.

It also sports the unique AirWair heel pull tab, as well as super-sturdy welt stitching with yellow thread to let you stand out in style.

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Sleek design
  • Withstands wear and tear
  • Tough rubber sole

Cons

  • Takes a little while to break-in

Timberland Men’s Euro Hiker Fabric Boot

Next up is an excellent candidate for all you adventurers out there. This boot carries the style of Timberland’s original Euro Hiker—but in a vegan, non-leather version. (Check the current price on Amazon here.)

The Euro Hiker boots are known for their rugged material, and this fabric version holds up. The uppers are made of Cordura fabric, which is 3 times as durable as polyester and 10 times stronger than cotton duck canvas.

The outsole is made of 34% recycled rubber and adorned with lugs and grooves for greater traction on steep or slippery surfaces. The front side of the boot is reinforced to extend wear time.

The laces are made of environmentally friendly 100% recycled PET, and so is the lining. This offers high breathability during hot days. The lace hardware is also rustproof.

The EVA midsole is lightweight yet provides a surprising amount of shock absorption. It’s really quite comfortable. And there’s an integrated steel shank for arch support.

These fabric boots are available in 4 color options—Black, Red, Olive, and Blue—so you can pick your favorite of the bunch.

Pros

  • Rugged construction
  • Lightweight
  • Anti-slip outsole
  • Cushioned midsole
  • Offers good arch support
  • Multiple color options

Cons

  • The boots run bigger almost a full size

Timberland Euro Sprint Men’s Boots

One more choice for active folks—the Euro Sprint boot is a fantastic go-to if you need sturdy shoes to endure the wear and tear of hiking and other activities, while still being comfortable—and of course, vegan! (Check the current price on Amazon here.)

The uppers are made of synthetic leather (typically PVC or PU) and air mesh fabric. This combines both durability and breathability.

The laces, as well as the mesh layer and the footbed, are made using 100% recycled PET. It’s also worth mentioning that the lace hardware is rather unique—style points here!

The Euro Sprint Boots are already pretty comfortable, but the padded collar and EVA midsole make the ride smoother yet, thanks to the lightweight construction and shock-absorbing abilities.

The outsole is made of recycled rubber, with lugs to maximize stability and traction.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Highly breathable
  • Durable performance
  • Unique style

Cons

  • Size runs a bit small

Background on Timberland’s Non-Leather Offerings

As we all know, Timberlands got all their initial hype from manufacturing their infamous wheat-colored boots with dark accented collars. These boots are made of leather, for the most part.

The process of obtaining leather from animals is, of course, cruel and associated with the deaths of hundreds of millions of cattle.

Timberland states that they source their hides from cattle raised for food, adhering to USDA guidelines. They emphasize a policy of sourcing hides from acceptable locations only, banning the import of leather from certain countries.

Timberland sources their leather through “humane” routes. But as vegans, we should always question the use of words like “humane” when associated with animal slaughter.

But Timberland recently started utilizing materials other than leather to produce boots that are vegan.

The boots that we’ve included on our list belong to the vegan-friendly category of Timberlands, although the company doesn’t advertise them much in that way.

The bottom line here? Most Timberlands aren’t vegan, but some are. So if you want vegan Timbs—you can have ’em!

What to Consider Before Buying Vegan Timberlands

So what should you be thinking about when you’re shopping for vegan Timberlands? Here are a few points to consider:

Materials: No Leather!

Pay close attention to the description of your boots so you make sure, as much as you can, that the materials used aren’t sourced from animals. Generally, you just need to make sure leather isn’t being used.

One particular material that you’ll often see used in manufacturing the boots on our list is canvas. Canvas is vegan.

Canvas is a highly durable woven fabric, typically made of cotton, nylon, and polyester. It’s not as heavy as leather, so it allows for more flexibility during movement.

You’ll also notice the use of recycled plastic and rubber to make laces, mesh lining, as well as outsoles. I love to see recycled plastic and rubber listed because, not only is it vegan, it’s also more environmentally sustainable.

Water/Oil Resistance and Durability

What I personally love about Timberlands—and this applies to the Doc Martens on this list, too—is that they are durable. They simply hold up, and you can tell by looking at the stitching and overall heft of the boots.

Timberlands are also associated with reliable protection from water and stains, allowing you to walk them through all sorts of settings without batting an eye.

Since we’re mainly talking about synthetic fabrics in place of leather, the level of protection may not be quite as high as that offered by leather.

However, you’ll still find Timberlands using Canvas or fabric that’s treated with a protective coating to resist water and oil-based stains. That’s a major “pro” of these boots, in my opinion.

What About Buying Used Leather Timberlands?

Despite how solid a lot of the above boots are, they still aren’t exactly the same classic look as the original, leather Timberlands. So you might ask, Hey, what if I just bought used Timberlands?

Vegans often debate whether it is ethically permissible to buy and wear second-hand leather. (This is related to the issue of whether it’s okay to keep your leather stuff when going vegan, too.)

Honestly, if you can find used leather Timberlands at a thrift store or on eBay… it’s your decision. But I’ll lay out some of the considerations for you.

Arguments for vegans using second-hand leather:

The animal already died. The leather already exists. If we don’t use it, then it’s potentially like the animal died for nothing. We can’t stop those animals from having died at this point, so we might as well use the leather.

If you buy one of the new fabric boots I listed above—that has an environmental cost in terms of the materials used and waste produced.

So, buying second-hand leather is actually more environmentally friendly, in a way. (But there’s also a good counter-argument to this, covered below.)

Arguments against vegans using second-hand leather:

Wearing leather might come across like an endorsement of it—as if you think there is no problem with wearing dead animals or killing them for their hides. Some vegans would rather build a style that doesn’t depend on animals having died for it!

By wearing leather, you’re benefitting from the death of animals. And some vegans just don’t feel good about that.

You may also just feel grossed out or saddened by leather. Aside from the actual ethics of it, it may just seem gross to wear dead animal skin.

Also, if you go out and buy new vegan products, you are supporting companies that are making vegan options.

So, even though wearing used leather is environmentally friendly in one sense, supporting vegan-friendly companies and products is environmentally friendly in another way: You’re supporting an industry that’s making a vegan future more possible.

Personally, I would rather not wear leather. I would rather have synthetic materials. It seems gross and sad to me to wear a dead animal’s skin around, even if it’s a used product. But that’s just my personal preference.

My Recommendation

In the end, if you’re looking for classic Timberlands with a vintage look and sturdy build (but vegan), then the Timberland Men’s 6″ Premium Fabric Boot should be right up your alley.

However, if you want something more on the sporty adventurous side, with breathable materials and reliable traction, then you should definitely check out the Timberland Euro Sprint Men’s Boots.

There’s also the option of buying used leather Timberlands if you can manage to find them in your size—but many vegans don’t like this option. It’s up to you!

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

1. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in 13 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).

2. This is the best vegan starter kit I know of. It’s a bundle of 9 beautiful e-books that help you transition to a healthy plant-based diet—the right way. The advice is spot-on, and it has print-outs and checklists that make it easy to implement. Read my full review of Nutriciously here.

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