If you’re a hiker and also happen to be vegan, you’ve probably run into the same annoying issue that I have- it’s nearly impossible to find awesome vegan hiking boots for women. But I have finally found the hiking boots of my dreams- the Topo’s Trailventure 2 WP.
Want to know more about why I love the Trailventure 2? Keep on reading to find out exactly why they’re the best women’s vegan hiking boots on the market today.
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If you’ve never heard of Topo hiking boots before, you’re probably not alone. Topo primarily makes trail runners and are known for their wide toe boxes and low heel-to-toe drop to encourage a more natural running style.
In fact, Topo only makes one kind of hiking boot- the Trailventure. But don’t let that scare you away- Topo has applied its extensive knowledge of making fantastic trail runners to craft a unique and lightweight hiking boot.
And in case it matters to you, REI ranked its predecessor, the Trailventure, as the best hiking boot of 2021! If you ask me, I’d say that’s pretty impressive for being Topo Athletic’s first foray into the hiking boot game.
Let’s take a look at some of the Trailventure 2 WP’s specs.
About the Trailventure 2 WP
- Mid-cut, over-the-ankle boot
- 5mm heel-to-toe drop- 30mm heel/25mm forefoot for that more “natural” foot positioning (i.e., “low drop”).
Topo has actually received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for its footwear design, focusing on low drop shoes that promote natural movement.
- Each boot weighs just 13.1 ounces!
- Vibram soles for support and traction
- eVent inner-bootie construction offers waterproof protection.
Note that Topo also makes a non-waterproof version, called just the plain ol’ Trailventure 2– some hikers prefer to get non-waterproof boots, because they tend to dry faster and wear cooler than waterproof boots, but as a lady who lives in the Pacific Northwest, waterproof boots are a must for me.
Why the Trailventure 2 WP are the Best Women’s Vegan Hiking Boots
Okay, so why are these boots so awesome? Let’s dive in.
They’re, of course, vegan!
As mentioned above, it can be incredibly challenging to find decent women’s vegan hiking boots- almost all of them use leather or glues or dyes derived from animal products. But, per Topo’s own website, all but one of their products are completely vegan, including the Trailventures. I stan a brand who prioritizes cruelty-free products.
They’re incredibly lightweight.
My husband and I are hikers, backpackers, RVers, and one-bag international travelers (meaning, regardless of how long we’re traveling for, we usually only take one backpack per person). So, regardless of which “outdoorsy” activity we’re partaking in, we’re almost always conscious about the weight of our gear.
One of the reasons that I think the Trailventures are the best vegan hiking boots is that they’re so lightweight- as mentioned above, less than 1 pound per boot, which is absolutely perfect for tying on top of my backpack to take along on an international flight or just that much less weight on your body if you’re going on a long backpacking trip.
They’re very comfortable.
If you have wider feet like me, you’ll love the Trailventure 2 WP’s wider toe box, which provides a roomy fit. The 33 x 28 mm cushioned soles, including ZipFoam midsoles, offer a smooth and comfortable feel, especially for day-hikes. That being said, as mentioned above, the boots are designed to be “low drop”, so if you generally need shoes with additional arch support, you’ll probably need to invest in additional insoles, like Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort Hiking Insoles.
I’ve worn these boots on everything from one-mile nature trails to multi-day backpacking trips, like the Enchanted Valley trail and Shi Shi Beach. The boots are definitely super comfortable for the first 15 or so miles, but after that, I noticed my feet feel pretty fatigued.
I’m frankly not sure if it’s an issue with how conditioned my feet are for hiking super long distances or if I simply just need to buy insoles for these boots, but it’s worth flagging that, due to their lightweight nature (and therefore, slightly lower support), the Trailventures may be better suited for day hikes or shorter backpacking trips, as opposed to super long thru-hikes, like the Pacific Crest Trail..
They’re actually waterproof.
Over the years, I’ve had a number of hiking boots, which have ranged from being water-resistant to claiming to be waterproof, most of which left my feet incredibly wet after particularly sloshy hikes.
The Trailventure 2 WP, on the other hand, has an inner bootie made of eVent material, which, in my experience, has held up and kept my feet bone dry through snow, creeks, rain, you name it!
It’s worth noting that the boots are only waterproof up to where the eVent bootie reaches- basically, right up to over-ankle molded collar- so if you’re planning on hiking in water that’s deeper than ankle-deep, water will likely seep in (although, I think you’re going to be hard-pressed to find hiking boots that are TOTALLY waterproof if you’re straight-up fording a river, Oregon Trail-style).
While Gore Tex remains the industry standard for waterproofing material, eVent is actually more air-permeable and breathable, which is awesome if you tend to get sweaty feet while hiking. This also means that if water does indeed seep in through the top of your boots, it will dry faster than if you have boots with materials that are less permeable to water, like Gore Tex.
The soles have great traction.
I’ve hiked in my Trailventures in all kinds of environments- from loose volcanic rocks to icy paths over packed down snow and wet and slippery granite. These boots, with their dynamic tread pattern, have always knocked it out of the park in terms of providing excellent traction. And that should be no surprise- Vibram soles are the industry-standard for providing great traction and durability.
Additionally, the boots have an ESS rock plate, a feature Topo borrowed from trail runners. It’s a firm plastic or carbon fiber material that runs the length of the shoe to protect your soles against stabby rocks, sticks, and other materials you might find along the trail and also provide the boots a bit more ankle stability than they’d otherwise have.
Drawbacks of the Trailventure 2 WP
While the Trailventure 2 WP’s are the best women’s vegan hiking boots I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot!), they may not be perfect for every hiker.
- Because of their lightweight construction, the boots’ ankle cuffs are not very stiff and thus, do not provide a ton of ankle support. So if you’ve got ankle problems, you may want to select boots that have higher and more supportive ankle cuffs.
- Lightweight boots, like the Trailventures, are going to be less durable than super heavyweight boots. And it makes sense- when you shave almost half of the weight from your boots, you’ll physically have less material to burn through than if you had a much heavier pair of boots.
That’s not to say the Trailventure 2’s are not durable- I’ve been using my Trailventures for over six months and across hundreds of miles and they’re still showing only minimal wear around the ankle collars. But if you’re looking for hiking boots that are going to last you years upon years, you may want to look into buying a more heavy duty pair of boots.
- This last one is a bit silly, but it bears mentioning. The Trailventure 2 only comes in limited bright color options, none of which are the earth-tone colors you’d typically see in hiking boots, like brown or olive green. The more vibrant color palette of the Trailventures tends to show dirt and dust way easier than if the boots were more muted colors. Plus, as a minimalist traveler, I wish the Trailventures’ colors were a bit more versatile, so that I could more readily use them off the trail as well.
That being said, I think the boots are pretty darn cute and you’re purchasing hiking boots for utility, not fashion. But, Topo, if you’re reading this, I’d love a brown hiking boot!
Good luck on your search for women’s vegan hiking boots- and if you choose the Trailventure 2s, I hope you love them as much as me. Let me know if you have any questions about my experience with them- I know how annoying it is to try to find the perfect vegan hiking boots!
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