Vegan Belts: Buying Advice

Shopping for vegan belts is much like shopping for vegan neckties or handbags—a little inconvenient, maybe, but not too difficult.

That said, I’ve owned a few vegan belts that ranked among the most frustrating purchases I’ve ever made. In the 1990s I was given an expensive vegan belt that fell apart in less than a year. More recently, I bought a cheap vegan belt that started disintegrating the same week I bought it. Worse yet, within a month it stretched to the point that I needed to punch a new hole for it to fit. By then the surface coating had flaked away revealing ugly gray webbing beneath, and I was embarrassed to wear it.

So I found a store specializing in belts, confident that I’d find exactly what I needed. The salesman sold me a beautiful brown vegan leather belt with a quality buckle. After wearing it for just a few weeks the belt snapped in two.

As you can see, I’ve learned my vegan belt-buying lessons the hard way. Now I want to share my hard-won knowledge.

How to Buy a Vegan Belt

Based on my experience, the easiest way to buy a good vegan belt is to order online. I’ve realized it’s impossible to assess the durability of a belt in person. But if dozens of customers have given a belt a four or five star rating, you can feel confident you’re buying something that will last.

It’s frustrating to go from one clothing store to another and not find a satisfactory belt. By contrast, it takes only a couple minutes to purchase a good vegan belt online.

Here’s an inexpensive men’s belt I purchased from almost a year ago. It’s holding up nicely, and I’m confident I’ll get at least a few more years use out of it.

Search for “women’s vegan belt” and you’ll find quite a few items. This vegan belt with an oval buckle is cute, inexpensive, and highly rated. Or consider this pricy but beautiful Matt and Nat reversible belt.

Buying Vegan Belts at Clothing Shops

Most brick and mortar clothing retailers carry belts, but finding attractive vegan ones is hit or miss. If you want to own a few styles to match different outfits, take a quick look for belts every time you go clothes shopping. Most of the time you’ll come up empty-handed, but once in a while you’ll find something nice.

If you can’t tell whether a belt is leather or vegan, just check the label. As with silk vs. polyester, many consumers view leather as superior to man-made materials. High end clothing shops often sell only leather belts. You may therefore need to shop at discount retailers to find a nice vegan belt.

When you find a belt that you really like, buy a few since you probably will never see it for sale again. Figure most belts will last two or three years if worn daily, so it’s great to have a couple in reserve for when your current belt wears out.

Your vegan belt options are already quite good. As vegan leather offerings continue to improve, so too will your vegan belt options.

Cotton and Nylon Belts

You can also buy belts made from coarsely-woven cotton or inexpensive nylon. Heavy duty cotton belts look durable, but they fray quickly and are unlikely to last more than a year or two. Nylon belts belts featuring clasp buckles will outlast every other material including leather.

Every military surplus store carries nylon belts. If you’re shopping for a nylon belt online, the search phrase “tactical belt” will generate additional useful results.

For further reading: please see our vegan apparel page, our vegan leather page, and our How to Go Vegan guide.

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