Buying the proper footwear as an equestrian can be a lot of things – but stressful and daunting shouldn’t be two of those things. Whether you want leather or vegan friendly, here are some eco-friendly footwear options that won’t make you feel like you sold your soul to ride your horse in a nice pair of boots.
Based out of Dallas, Texas, vegan activist Kat Mendenhall produces practical and stylish cowboy boots made from a patent microfiber material. The boots are PVC free, and are manufactured sustainably in the USA. Each pair of Kat Mendenhall boots has a natural grain look and is fully customizable. Women’s boots start at $485, and take about 6-8 weeks after the order is placed. (Bonus: Be sure to check out Kat’s web store for stylish vegan belts and other goods!)
German-based company Hobo produces boots made not only with vegetable tanned leather (some even come from organically raised Bavarian cows) – but they also produce a line of eco-friendly boots made with a recycled sole. Hobo produces dress boots, field boots, various styles of Jodhpur boots, and half chaps. Unfortunately for riders located stateside, there is no US supplier of Hobo boots at this time.
Although there is no information located on the website as far as production transparency, Eponia does offer made-to-measure tall boots that are made of vegetable tanned leather. In fact, all leather sold by Eponia Sport is vegetable tanned. Eponia details within their website why they choose to work with only vegetable tanned leather, and what materials are used to naturally tan their leather. (Sidenote: Eponia also offers breeches made from bamboo and includes on their website why they love bamboo – which is one of the most sustainably grown textiles.)
All Around Footwear
We have yet to hear back from Horseware Ireland about the chemicals used in their footwear or the treatment and quality of their leather, but according to their website, they are taking massive steps towards environmental stewardship. Horseware Ireland states that in 2017 they got 100% of their energy requirements for their Irish factory from renewable wind power – saving the equivalent of 6200 trees. They are also fully REACH compliant with regards to chemical use in fabric production, metal parts, and packaging. They carry a large variety of boot styles to fit the needs of the average equestrian, including all-weather riding boots.
Read our review of the Horseware Ireland Rambo Boot here.
Around the Barn
Based in Cornwall, and manufactured within England, Celtic & Co. is a luxury British footwear brand who also specializes in clothing & outerwear. They use skins that are mostly from British sheep (others can come from elsewhere in Europe – which are subject to some of the strictest welfare standards), and are always a by-product of the meat industry. All fibers are naturally and sustainably sourced, including organically grown cotton. Celtic & Co. also offers repair & resole services on their boots, minimizing waste and maximizing the life of the boots. (Be sure to also check out their extensive line of clothing – made of materials like organic cotton and sustainably sourced wool!)