Good walking shoes/ hiking boots can be the difference between adventure and agony for a backpacker - or any traveler. For those who tend to stay away from animal by-products, it can be difficult to find good waterproof shoes that are not only sturdy but don't cost twelve limbs and the Mona Lisa.
Some vegan backpacking blogs have already covered the subject in marvelous detail, but this post is very much a recommendation of the women's Alaska Ankle Boot, which bore up well during a backpacking trip in the cold, rainy spring months of England and Wales.
A nice black fake suede, they are cushy and soft on the inside. After several hours of walking the coastline of Tintagel, they remained comfortable and squishy.
They are also lovely and warm, even in below-freezing temperatures. When every limb of certain unnamed, idiotically inexperienced hikers may have been freezing, these boots kept those idiotically inexperienced feet quite cozy.
They are small enough to comfortably walk in, large enough to be study and provide ankle support, and have a thick tread on the bottom that suits perfectly for clambering around hilly castle ruins. They are also easy enough to take on and off, which is particularly useful if you happen to be doing your cold weather trekking in Japan.
They are water resistant and stay dry through puddles, rain, and moderate snowfall. (Lakes not recommended.)
They are not cheap (though still cheaper than plenty others out there), at roughly $130 USD. However, they will serve you well for many years, and when you are stuck in the snowy, cold Welsh mountains in a summer tent and a summer sleeping bag, you will cry and hug them to your chest and be glad that you have them.