Last updated on December 20th, 2023 at 04:30 am
Which rain boots brands are safe? For the wearer and for the environment? Sustainable rain boots are ones made from quality, sustainably sourced and processed materials (like non-toxic rubber), and will last for a long, long time. We have some suggestions in this post!
- What Makes Rain Boots Sustainable?
- What eco-friendly materials should you look for in rain boots?
- Natural Rubber Rain Boots
- Latex free Rain Boots
- Everlane Rain Boots
- Hunter Rain Boots
- Bobbi Rain Boot by Merry People
- More Ethical Rain Boots
- Sustainable Rain Boots for Kids
What Makes Rain Boots Sustainable?
Rain boots are footwear specifically designed to protect your feet and legs from getting wet. Therefore, they are usually made from rubber or plastic, which are waterproof but not very eco-friendly. Eco-friendly rain boots are those that use more sustainable materials and practices, such as recycled or natural rubber, organic cotton, vegan leather, or biodegradable plastic. Some of the benefits of eco-friendly rain boots are:
- They reduce the environmental impact of rain boot production and disposal by using less energy, water, and chemicals, and creating less waste and pollution.
- They support ethical and fair trade practices by ensuring that the workers who make the rain boots are paid well and treated with respect.
- They are better for the health of the wearer and the planet by avoiding harmful substances like PVC, phthalates, or lead, which can leach into the soil and water or cause allergic reactions.
- They are more durable and comfortable than conventional rain boots by using high-quality materials that are resistant to cracking, tearing, or fading.
What eco-friendly materials should you look for in rain boots?
The rain boots come out when the weather takes a turn for the worse. They keep our feet dry alright, but do you know what’s in the regular rain boots that we all have?
Most rain boots have rubber and plastic, and therefore contain PCV, phthalates, lead, and DWR (durable water repellent), among other toxic chemicals.
DWR are used for their ability to repel water, and is a forever chemical that does not break down in nature. Most DWR treatments are fluoropolymer based, which are harmful to humans and to the environment. Now, the long-chained (C8) forms of DWR are banned due to their ill-effects on humans, and many products use the C6 form of DWR. But that is still very damaging to the environment.
Look for these eco-friendly materials that rain boots can be made from:
This is a renewable material that comes from rubber trees and is biodegradable. It is also more durable and flexible than synthetic rubber, which is made from petroleum and can leach harmful chemicals into the environment. Natural rubber is used by brands like Roma, Thesus, and Hunter.
This is made from old rubber products, such as tires, that would otherwise end up in landfills. It reduces the need for new rubber production and saves energy and resources. Recycled rubber is used by Kamik and Matt & Nat.
Recycled or organic cotton
This is made from cotton that is either grown without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, or reclaimed from textile waste. It reduces the environmental impact of cotton cultivation and processing, which is one of the most water-intensive and polluting crops. Recycled or organic cotton is used as a lining or a fabric for rain boots by Roma and Merry People.
This is made from plant-based or synthetic alternatives to animal leather, such as cork, pineapple, mushroom, or polyurethane. It avoids the animal cruelty and environmental issues associated with leather production, such as deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and toxic tanning chemicals. Vegan leather is used by Hunter and Matt & Nat.
This is made from natural or synthetic polymers that can break down into harmless substances by microorganisms. It reduces the amount of plastic waste that accumulates in landfills and oceans, and the associated problems of wildlife ingestion, entanglement, and pollution. Biodegradable plastic is used by Native Shoes and Allbirds.
Want an easy table to figure out which rain boots to check out first?
|Baxter Wood Rain Boots
|Aigle Rain Boots
|Roma Women’s Rain Boots
|Kamik Rain Boots
|Crocs Women’s Jaunt Shorty Boot
|Kamik W’s Olivia Rain Boots
|The Rain Boot
|Hunter Women’s Original Tall Rain Boots
|Native Nova Hydroknit
|Matt & Nat Otoki Women’s Tall Vegan Rain Boots
Let’s take a more detailed look at the most eco-friendly rain boots, made ethically with care and concern for the environment.
Natural Rubber Rain Boots
These rain boots have been made from ethically sourced natural rubber:
Fair labor | ethical sourcing policy | recycling | vegan
Baxter Wood makes their boots from 100% FSC-certified renewable tree rubber. To round off the supply chain, they have a recycling program.
2 // Aigle Rain Boots
Fair labor | handmade | ICS charter
Aigle owns the only natural rubber boot manufacturing factory in France, and are committed to sustainable and responsible fashion. They have 200 master bootmakers working with them, and each pair of sustainable boots use up 2kg of natural rubber. This pair will last you a long, long time.
Fair labor | ROMA Foundation
Roma’s boots are made of responsibly sourced natural rubber and have a quick-dry cotton lining and three-layer insole. Roma Boots follow recycling and reuse policies, apart from fair trade principles in their factories.
Roma Boots have a ‘buy one give one’ program, where they give a child in need one pair of sustainable rain boots every time you buy one. Their very admirable mission is to “bring impoverished children throughout the world hope, love, and lasting change through aid and education.”
4 // Kamik Rain Boots
Price: From $54.99
100% recyclable materials | fair labor | latex-free | vegan
Kamik is over 100 years old, and uses natural rubber and recycled rubber to make affordable sustainable rain boots. They are PVC-free and fully recyclable. Kamik’s recycling program accepts used rain boots.
Latex free Rain Boots
If you’re allergic to latex, you have a few latex-free rain boot options:
1 // Crocs Women’s Jaunt Shorty Boot | Price: $45
2 // Kamik W’s Olivia Rain Boots | Price: $87
3 // Ugg Drizlita | Price: $90
4 // Sloggers | Price: $42.99
Everlane Rain Boots
Fair labor | transparent pricing | ethical factories
The Everlane Rain Boot is designed to be worn with thick socks and comes up to ankle height. The boots come in several edgy colors, with stretch panels on the side and a custom-designed insole. They’re waterproof, sturdy, and the perfect choice for stylish rainwear.
Hunter Rain Boots
Fair labor | FSC-certified rubber | circular business model
Hunter is an iconic British brand that makes their boots by hand with natural, FSC-certified rubber. They offset carbon emissions, and participate in the donation of boots to various charities.
Bobbi Rain Boot by Merry People
Fair labor | vegan glue | natural rubber
Merry People is an Australian brand that makes awesome vegan gumboots in mid-calf and ankle length styles. They’re all 100% waterproof. The Bobbi Rain Boot comes in several lovely colors.
More Ethical Rain Boots
Fair labor | circular business model | REACH, Prop 65, and CPSIA-compliant
Breathable and waterproof, these boots are part of Native’s ‘Sustainable’ collection. Nova’s upper is double-layered with a knit fabric made of 50% recycled PET yarn, and has an interior waterproof membrane to seal out any water. Perfect for rain or snow!
Native also accepts your old NAtive shoes for recycling.
2 // Thesus
Natural + vegan materials | ethical production | fair labor | low impact
Thesus is a Canadian, environmentally progressive brand of outdoor footwear and accessories. They closely follow the UN SDGs on minimizing ocean pollution, climate change, and economic inequalities.
Vegan | cruelty-free | recycled
Matt and Nat rain boots are made from non-toxic, waterproof recycled PVC. This is so that used PVC gets a second life, since it cannot be broken down in nature.
Sustainable Rain Boots for Kids
This post was about sustainable rain boots
These are just some of the options for eco-friendly rain boots. You can also look for other features like organic or recycled packaging, carbon-neutral shipping, or certifications like B Corp or Fair Trade. I hope this helps you find the perfect pair of rain boots for your safe and fun puddle play! Remember, buy only what you need, and sustainably made options at that.
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NOTE: All brand photographs belong to the respective brands/businesses.