Best Vegan Running Shoes in 2022 [Buying Guide]
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6
- Rubber sole
- ORE-TEX waterproof
- Vibram outsole provides superior grip
The vegan lifestyle is, in the first place, healthy life for your body and mind. Leading a healthy life is of paramount importance for most vegans and nothing goes better with this than running. Besides good nutrition and a perfect balance of vitamins and microelements in the human body, a good pair of vegan running shoes would help you on achieving the best condition you can get.
After a long period of tests and try-outs, we are finally able to present to you, the best vegan running shoes on the market. We have developed a list of top cruelty-free running shoes fabricated by some famous brands, including Nike, Adidas, and New Balance.
It is in your best interests to invest in a qualitative pair of shoes that will provide enough comfort and safety for your feet and knees. However, if you are not capable of paying a great amount of money at the moment, our team is planning on developing a collection of affordable vegan running shoes that will come soon.
- How do we describe vegan shoes?
- Are not all running shoes vegan?
- Best Vegan Running Shoes for Men
- Reebok Men`s Nano X1
- New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6
- XSkechers Go Walk Max
- Adidas CF Lite Racer Byd
- WONEISION Sneakers
- Xero Shoes Men`s Running Shoe
- Best Vegan Running Shoes for Women
- Best Trail Running Shoes for Vegans
- New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi V1
- WHITIN Men`s Minimalist Runner
- Xero Shoes Women`s TerraFlex Lightweight Trail Running
- New Balance Dynasoft Nitrel V4
- Xero Shoes Mesa Trail Running Shoe
- Frequently Asked Questions:
How do we describe vegan shoes?
First of all, if you see the vegan label on a pair of shoes, it does not mean that they are edible or that they are made of grass. I know about all the jokes that walk around certain circles of people and I can say that people who make that kind of joke cannot resist the fact that we are truly happy about the quality and the materials the shoes are being made of.
Of course, the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear about a ”vegan pair of shoes„ is the absence of any kind of leather that’s made from animal products. That is, in part, correct. However, there are a lot of other byproducts that are used for shoes. Wool, sheepskin, snake, and alligator skin are also commonly used for producing different types of shoes.
You can affirm that if you buy only shoes that are made of canvas or artificial leather you will have a pair of vegan boots at a lower price. However, you might be surprised by the fact that the glue or other invisible parts of your sneakers, for example, are made of animal products. When you learn this fact for the first time, you might be as surprised as were I at the time.
So, what are vegan shoes? Vegan shoes are a product that is made of vegan leather, recycled plastic, or other materials that do not include killing or torturing poor animals. That is it, you just have to get used to the fact that your boots or sneakers are being made without the participation of animals.
Are not all running shoes vegan?
The quick answer to this question is” no, not all running shoes are vegan”. The real question is why are not all of them vegan? It is because, although running shoes are usually made of synthetic materials, there are some brands that incorporate real leather linings or even use leather as the main material.
Another place to look after non-vegan materials is, surprisingly, the glue. Even though synthetic glue is much stronger and cheaper to produce, some brands still use animal-based glue for the sole or other parts of the shoe. If you are not 100% sure about the components used for the glue, contact customer support, or look for a certified vegan label.
The best part about the market today is the fact that most brands have adopted the cruelty-free policy and are no longer using animal-based glues or other materials. Even giant brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Reebok have committed to the usage of vegan products for their running and other types of shoes – which means that all their new products can be considered cruelty-free.
Also read: Best Vegan Hiking Boots
Best Vegan Running Shoes for Men
Reebok Men`s Nano X1
The pair of vegan running shoes you can get if you are a huge fan of Reebok. The company is not famous for its vegan products and a big part of its business is still based on animal byproducts such as leather or animal-based glues. However, the Men’s Nano X1 trainers do not have any serious disadvantages in this particular field. As a matter of fact, this pair of shoes is 100% cruelty-free, thanks to the plant-based approach to manufacturing.
The comfortable and durable upper is made of a plant-based version of Flexweave knit, the brand’s latest technology in the fabric field, and has integrated support for quick lateral movements. Your forefoot will receive the possibility of freedom and comfort in all its movements through another brand’s technology, Floatride Energy Foam, a material made of castor beans.
- The newest technologies are implemented in this model
- Famous brand with a lot of trustworthiness
- Can be used in the Gym
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6
New Balance is one of the biggest companies in the game right now. Their products not only do match the alternatives from Adidas, Puma, and Nike but also can overcome some of them. Their newest model, New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6 is the most technologically developed product that has ever seen the light under the New Balance brand, and on top of that, it is completely vegan and cruelty-free.
The most important achievement of the company is the well-known Fresh Foam – the material which the midsole is being made of. The Fresh Foam can cushion almost every impact delivered by the ground directly on your foot. This kind of technology can keep your feet away from injuries for a very long time. Another perk of buying this pair of shoes is the Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is a waterproof fabric that protects your feet from wind, rain, and water without sacrificing breathability. Basically, your feet will be kept dry in rain and even storm while breathing and not sweating.
- A lot of new technologies to prevent injuries
- Completely vegan and cruelty-free
- Does not have many patterns and colors to choose from
XSkechers Go Walk Max
Although Skechers is not a famous as other internationally known brands such as Puma, Nike, or New Balance, you can rely on the best quality that can be provided on the market. Go Walk Max is the most technologically developed product they have, that is why you should consider the possibility of buying it. Besides the fact that Go Walk Max is cruelty-free and does not have animal-based materials in its construction, you can befit from the variety of colors and patterns you can choose from when buying this model.
The upper is fabricated of a super lightweight mesh fabric that provides a comfortable and durable pair of shoes. The insole is fabricated with the application of Goga Max technology that provides maximum support and cushioning. The biggest perk of this pair of shoes is that they are machine washable.
- A variety of colors and patterns
- Lightweight and comfortable
- 100% textile
Adidas CF Lite Racer Byd
A super comfy pair of that will surprise you with how light and enjoyable they are. Adidas is one of the biggest companies, if not the biggest company, present on the market today. Since 18 August of 1949, the German company has developed a lot of new technologies that provide shoes with an increasing potential every year. The CloudFoam technology is the newest and most valuable patent developed by the Adidas engineers.
If you are willing to buy a pair of shoes that is filled with new technologies and can fundamentally change your life, the Lite Racer Byd pair of shoes is your choice. Not only do they keep your feet dry and warm but also provide the comfort and support needed when you run for long periods of time.
- Well-known brand with a lot of trustworthiness
- The amazing CloudFoam technology
- Are not as durable as we would wanted the to be
Wonesion is a relatively new brand on the market. It is not as popular as its competitors but provides the same quality and style. The Wonesion Sneakers that, by the way, come in 15 different colors and patterns, are manufactured of some very qualitative materials such as nylon and polyester. The upper is fabricated of a super light and soft mesh, both comfort and fashion combined for your pleasure.
The safety and comfort for your feet are provided by the insoles and outsoles. The outsoles are made of TPU rubber, durable, and designed especially for running and walking. The insole, designed in a honeycomb form, adds cushioning and impact resistance. The best part about these sneakers is the fact that they will meld perfectly with almost all your outfits.
- A lot of patterns and colors
- Qualitative materials and comfortable design
- The design will not fit all the costumers
Xero Shoes Men`s Running Shoe
One of the most recent innovations on the sneaker market, the shoes that make you feel barefoot. Xero Shoes Men’s Running Shoes are the most comfortable and enjoyable shoes on the market thanks to the patented 4.5 mm FeelTrue sole that not only does protect you from some major injuries but also allows you to truly feel the ground and keep up the pace.
Another major advantage of the Xero Shoes Men’s Running Shoes is the ultra-lightweight upper that gives you the opportunity to reach the peak of your speed. A men’s 9 is only 5.8 ounces each so you can truly understand the possibilities of these shoes. These shoes are completely vegan and, even more, they are completely recyclable. This means that, if you buy this model, you will not be harming nature in any way.
- New technologies and feelings
- Are recyclable
- The bare foot design will not be suitable for everyone
Best Vegan Running Shoes for Women
Saucony Triumph 19
Saucony is an American brand of running shoes with a history that goes back to the 19th century. Founded in 1898, Soucony has developed a list of patents that provides the best performances for all its loyal customers. Saucony Triumph 19 is the most technologically modern product on the American market, and, on top of that, is completely vegan and has some recyclable parts.
The outsole, manufactured of PWRRUN+, feels incredible at any possible distance and provides the best cushioning there is. The newly designed mesh gives you a sleek, personalized fit and decreases the chances of injuring yourself by steadily stabilizing your foot. To summarize, I can undoubtedly recommend these shoes for every each of them because, to be honest, they are amazing.
- PWRRUN+ material
- Very durable and trustworthy
Adidas Cloudfoam Qt Running Shoe
A 100% vegan product made of textile and rubber. Adidas CloudFoam Qt Running Shoes is the best option for those girls who want the lightest and most comfortable pair of shoes there is on the market. Not only are these shoes the lightest and most comfortable but also pose the freshest design in this line of shoes.
I already described the CloudFoam technology for another product, but I assume that girls who read this did not read that description, that is why I will repeat it. CloudFoam Technology is the newest and the most valuable technology developed by Adidas engineers. This material provides a remarkable level of cushing with a relatively small weight.
- Lightweight and comfy
- A fresh design
- The price can be very big
Xero Shoes HFS
Shaped for comfort, built for speed, Xero Shoes are the most innovative products you can find on the market. Xero Shoes HFS features a lightweight, minimalist build that contours to the shape of your feet, providing the best feeling ever, the feeling that you are fully in control. The shoes’ extra-durable construction is backed by a 5000 mile Feel the World Promise. HFS model is extra flexible, you can roll them and put into your pocket or pack them for compact storage.
The biggest perk of these shoes is the 5.5 mm FeelTrue sole that strikes a balance between just-right protection and feedback. That means you will feel every inch of the traveled road without the risk that comes with barefoot walking.
- FeelTrue material
- Shaped for comfort and speed
- Can make you feel a bit unprotected
Adidas Ultraboost 21
This product is made with Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic. That means that, when you buy a pair of Ultraboost 21, you are practically recycling a huge part of ocean plastic and are actively helping with the reduction of the usage of virgin polyester. So, Adidas Ultraboost 21 is not only vegan but also made of recycled goods. I consider that amazing.
Other than that, Ultraboost 21 is simply the best-in-class built shoe for maximum comfort. The unusual shape of the sole provides the maximum return of the energy used at walking or running, which means that it will be consideringly easier to run and walk if you buy a pair of these. Another perk of these shoes is Adidas Primeknit – the technology that provides distraction-free movement and combines strength with comfort in the upper zone of the shoe.
- Made of recycled materials
- Primeknit upper
- An unusual shape that will need a little time to adapt to
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
This Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance. The design of the shoes gives you the possibility to literally forget about the existence of these shoes and just enjoy the run or the walk. The combination of the finest materials and the best design on the market makes them the best choice for those whose comfort is always in the first place.
The upper mesh is engineered with a 3D Fit Print that offers the structure and proven fit at any time and for every person. Not only does Adrenaline GTS 21 fit perfectly but also provides the best cushing when running.
- The best choice for those with back injuries
- Comfort on the first place
Best Trail Running Shoes for Vegans
New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi V1
Although trail running is also a form of running, obviously, you cannot use the same shoes as if you were running on the road or in a GYM. That is why, most of the brands, including New Balance, have developed a special line of shoes designed for the trail. Fresh Foam Arishi V1 is part of that line.
These trail shoes keep it comfy with an EVA foam insert and Fresh Foam midsole that absorbs all the impacts caused by rocks or roots on your way. The outsoles are perfectly designed for both off and on-road activities. The toes are protected by an additional layer of fabric that will protect your feet from flying rocks or roots as you head down the less traveled road.
- Fresh Foam midsole
- Comfy and cozy
WHITIN Men`s Minimalist Runner
If you want to feel the ground under your feet and every little rock as you pass another forgotten place, you should definitely buy a pair of Whitin Minimalist Trail Runner. However, I recommend you to be very careful of your plan to buy a pair of these, the barefoot experience can have a very positive impact on you but also can disappoint you completely, it is not for everyone. Also, you should be very careful with the sizes because, if you will not choose the right one, there is a high probability to injure yourself while using these.
The true rubber sole provides the best feelings while protecting your feet from any random rocks or roots that appear in your way. The minimalist design and the abundance of patterns and colors will definitely surprise you in a good way.
- The minimalist design will surprise you
- Positive impact on your posture
- You can misunderstand the sizes and buy a different size
Xero Shoes Women`s TerraFlex Lightweight Trail Running
The best part of these” barefoot” shoes is the fact that you can adjust the amount of barefoot feeling by increasing or decreasing the insole. Is it not the craziest thing you have ever heard? Just by extracting the optional 2 mm insole, you will start to feel the ground a lot better. The TerraFlex offers you the best trail-gripping experience at a very small weight in comparison to other brands. A women’s 7 is just about 8.2 ounces each.
TerraFlex not only does helps you feel the ground better but also increases the chances of improving your posture, balance, and even agility. The non-elevated sole is low to the ground and does not have a heel, that is why a lot of people with back injuries choose this brand. Although it has helped a lot of people, do not try it without consulting a doctor in the first place.
- Very light and simple
- Increases your agility and balance
- The feeling of being barefoot can push you away
New Balance Dynasoft Nitrel V4
The combination of natural and synthetic materials provides the best ventilation and breathability you have ever seen. It is very important to buy a pair of shoes that will not make you sweat a lot when running and New Balance Dynasoft Nitrel V4 is the best choice for those who are looking for these characteristics.
The Dynasoft midsole and EVA insert are there for cushing and feet support while running off-road. The shoes are specifically built to stand up to everyday wear, that is why they are lightweight and durable. Crafted with no-sew overlays for a slick and stylish look, the New Balance Dynasoft Nitrel V4 will be perfectly included in almost all your outfits.
- The best combination of natural and synthetic materials
- Crafted with no-sew overlays
- A high price
The male version of the model that I have described above. Mesa Trail Running Shoes are the best pair of shoes for those who want to feel a bond with the earth. The 5 mm FeelTrue sole offers the best combination between protection and feedback from the ground. You will love the comfort and the changes that will occur in your posture after 2 or 3 weeks of wearing these shoes.
The 3.5 mm lung will give you the best grip and a lot of protection from the roots and rocks on the off-road and pieces of glass and other sharp objects in the city. The minimalist design will delight even the sullenest customers and the free Domestic Exchanges will provide you with the opportunity to change the shoes if they did not fit perfectly.
- The best combination of protection and feedback
- You may feel a little strange without the usual thick sole
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are there cruelty-free running shoes?
Not all running shoes can be considered completely vegan. Even if the upper or sole or other parts of the shoe are vegan, you can be fully convinced only after you will see a certified vegan label or the components of the glue that was used.
Are vegan shoes durable?
Yes, vegan shoes are durable. As a matter of fact, the synthetic materials that are used for vegan shoes are a lot more long-lasting than animal-based ones. That is why you should not worry about the performance of your vegan running shoes.
You might also like: Best Vegan Climbing Shoes
Is Nike vegan?
As I said in the article above, there are models that are completely vegan and there are models manufactured with the usage of leather and other animal-based materials. As with other brands, Nike has developed some very comfortable and durable vegan models, but not all of their shoes are vegan.
You might also like our picks for the best vegan skate shoes.
What materials are used for vegan running shoes?
Vegan running shoes are usually made of artificial materials such as polyester and nylon. The sole is almost always made of rubber or foam. Sometimes, smaller brands can use cotton and hemp for the upper or other parts.
In the article above I have demonstrated the idea that there is not a single reason why running shoes should not be vegan. There are vegan models that are a lot more modern and comfortable in comparison with their animal-based colleagues.
I truly hope that, in the nearest future, all companies, including those who utterly deny the superiority of synthetic materials, will choose a cruelty-free policy for all their products, including running shoes. Natural, cruelty-free materials are the future of our world and the fact that some companies have not adapted to this reality indicates that the world is desperate for a global change.