Make sure your running shoes match your vegan principles
Almost all our running shoes use exclusively vegan materials but the glues don’t necessarily meet Vegan standards. So here is our selection of the best 100% Vegan running shoes.
BEST VEGAN RUNNING SHOE BRANDS
Brooks have become the go-to brand for runners who want running shoes they can trust. What sets Brooks apart? Number one in their world is the – not the marketing jingo, not the latest fad, it’s just you! This shows in a range that is complete with shoes to fit any width and any running gait. They are strongest in road running but also have an excellent trail shoe in the Cascadia, one of the few trail shoes to come in a broader width offering too. Brooks have been focussing on their Eco Policy for longer than it’s been fashionable and this now includes 100% vegan shoes across their entire range of running shoes. Not all are listed here but every Brooks shoe you find on our site is vegan.
Hoka One One have been setting their own path since the brand’s inception, focusing on natural motion with enhanced cushioning. Their answer to enabling runners to run as far and long as they want, while encouraging better posture and lessening stress on joints, has been a low heel-drop, a natural rock from midfoot to toe-off and light but substantial cushioning. Many brands have tried to copy Hoka with a Hoka-type shoe, but the original is still the best! Their materials have been vegan for a while; now they’re fully committed with vegan glues too.
With their foot-shaped toe box, specific form-fit women’s models, and cushioned zero drop platforms, the Altra range really achieve their goal of making shoes that are healthy for your feet and posture. Not surprisingly they’re inspired to make their running shoes healthy for our eco-system too. So right down to the glue their running shoes are 100% vegan.
Arguably the Trail and Fell running brands are leading the way on Veganism and Sustainability. In this section you’ll find Altra, Inov-8 and La Sportiva trail running shoes. They are not only 100% vegan but also focused on lessening our impact on the planet. In the words of Inov-8’s representative, “ethical considerations are a big part of our global strategy as we look for more ways to reduce our environmental impact as a business and explore how we can contribute to a sustainable society.”
One of our most popular neutral road running shoes, the Ghost comes in 3 widths for men (4E being the widest) and 2 for women, so there’s a fit that’s right for everyone. The cushioning is sublime, thanks to plush DNA LOFT. The upper of the shoe is so comfortable, especially around the heel where the comfort collar hugs and protects your Achilles heel. There is also a lovely flow through the stride thanks to the segmented cushioning. All in all, a supremely comfortable shoe for any amount of miles/Ks.
The Ghost is an excellent running shoe, the Glycerin takes perfection to another level. If you’re looking for the smoothest of rides with ultimate comfort then this is your shoe. It feels lighter than previous versions, its combination of DNA Loft and DNA Foam cushioning gives a very smooth and cushioned roll through your stride without being heavy or soggy, and the uppers are luxurious.
The Levitate combines cushioning with spring, so it’s a more responsive shoe. Brooks categorise this as an Energise running shoe; the momentum and power in your stride reacts with the high energy return DNA Amp to power your next stride. It’s luxuriously comfortable and perfect for those who want impact protection but not an overly soft shoe.
There’s a reason the Bondi remains our most popular Hoka road running shoe – it provides a perfect balance of cushioning and natural guidance. It is stable enough for someone who needs a little support to keep the feet in a neutral position. The Meta Rocker eases transition from heel/midfoot to toe-off, adding a little to your momentum. You’ll especially appreciate this as you start to tire towards the end of your runs. Hoka are not the most generous in width, so with Bondi they handily provide extra width fittings. If you’re on the cusp of broad feet then take the wider width, they are not as generous as New Balance and Brooks wide widths.
The Clifton provides you with a lighter weight and nicely cushioned road running shoe, with a lower stack height (not as thick a midsole) than Bondi. It has the Hoka Meta Rocker for a smooth toe-off and the standard Hoka 5mm heel drop. With a more responsive feel than Bondi, thanks to the slightly firmer cushioning, this is a good option for both regular training and speed sessions.
Simply the King / Queen of supportive road running shoes. This shoe continues to out-sell all other supportive running shoes thanks to its effective GuideRails that support and guide your foot, its smooth transitioning from heel to toe, and the DNALoft cushioning. It comes in 2 widths for women and 3 for men (4E being the widest) and is also available in black which can be a great option for those looking for a supportive shoe to wear day in and day out.
Men's Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Men's Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 2E
Women's Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Women's Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Women's Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 D
The Launch (previously the Ravenna) is a great option for those looking for slight support against over-pronation but nothing too controlling. This is also a slightly firmer shoe in the Brooks Energize category, so it feels lighter, more responsive and quick. It’s still got ample shock-absorption properties, so you are well protected.
Formerly known as Transcend (and not to be confused with Glycerin without the GTS as that’s a neutral shoe), this is Brooks' deluxe and fully supportive road running shoe. The GuideRails very effectively support and guide your foot through each stride, providing great stability without bulk or a negative effect on smoothness of stride. The cushioning is simply lush! The uppers use luxurious fabrics to ensure your feet feel cocooned in comfort as you hit those training runs.
Here Hoka offers a beautifully supportive and cushioned road running shoe, with their 5mm heel drop and Meta Rocker design. The Meta Rocker nicely smooths the transition from heel/midfoot to toe-off, helping to slightly relieve stress on tendons and easing things for you as you tire during a challenging training session. Hoka are not the most generous in width, so with Arahi they nicely provide an extra width fitting. If you’re on the cusp of broad feet then go for the wider fitting, as they are not as generous as New Balance and Brooks wide widths.
This lightweight Altra shoe provides moderate cushioning and great proprioception thanks to the low profile – the stack height is 24mm. The uppers are breathable and super comfy, with the standard Altra toe-box that allows your toes to spread as they were designed to. This is a great option for someone looking for a lightweight, natural roll-through shoe for running or walking.
The Paradigm has more cushioning again, and comes with a chunkier 29mm stack height, so it’s great for long distance. It also offers some support for a foot that is softer in the arch and has a tendency to over-pronate; there are no firmer densities on the inside of the shoe, but effective Stabilipods that guide your foot to a neutral position.
The waterproof Goretex version of the ever popular Cascadia offers complete foot protection (as long as water doesn’t get in over the top) for trail running and walking. Brooks have hit it just right with the cushioning; there’s enough there to protect you on longer runs over craggier trails (plus a bit of road), without losing that ground connection that gives you confidence in your stride when tackling uneven terrain.
This is Hoka’s serious trail running shoe; 5mm stepped lugs for not only excellent grip in the mud but crucially a good release of said mud! It keeps the Hoka cushioning, so you can go for miles and miles in (relative) comfort. You can still do a bit of road running in these but if you’re going to be doing an equal balance of road and trails then Challenger may be a better option. Hoka are not the most generous in width, so with Speedgoat they handily provide an extra width fitting – if you’re on the cusp of broad feet then take the wider width.
With the Challenger, Hoka give you a shoe that will take you from your front door to the trails. With its 4mm deep lugs you’ve got reasonable grip for wet and muddy, but if your trail runs take you into seriously muddy then head to Speedgoat instead. The cushioning is very good, akin to that you’ll find in road running shoes. With a nod to the environment, version 6 now uses 70% recycled plastic materials in its upper. Hoka are not the most generous in width, so with Challenger they nicely provide an extra width fitting – if you’re on the cusp of broad feet then go for the wide fitting. They are not as generous as Brooks wide widths, so the Brooks Cascadia Wide is still more generous.
This is Inov-8’s offering for those looking for support and comfort over hours of running. The shoe-last is broader than some of their other shoes and the cushioning is more substantial; they designed it with long distance training/racing in mind on a variety of terrains. This was their first shoe to feature a Graphene outer sole; famously the world’s toughest grip, and it even comes from the UK (the Lake District). So this shoe can stand up to a lot of punishment, all the time protecting your feet.
La Sportiva’s shoes are literally made on the mountains – at their factory in the Italian Alps. This family brand has a terrific reputation for making excellent trail and hill shoes in an ethical and people-friendly manner. The Akasha is their popular, well cushioned model that can take you from road to trail (but not too much road, you don’t want to wear the grip down). It’s extremely comfortable and will give you enough grip for muddy trails but not fells. There’s a Trail Rocker system that provides a very smooth roll through and almost makes running easier!
This is your zero-drop, broad-based, foot-shaped trail to fell shoe. The upper is tough and can take all sorts of punishment from mud and wet and thorn. There’s even some drainage so the water that gets in can escape. This shoe will cope well with tougher trail conditions and is pretty useful on the fells too. Cushioning wise it’s good but with the focus on ground connection, so it’s not as soft as La Sportiva’s Akasha.
The Mutant offers more cushioning than the other fell shoes here. This is a great option for someone looking for a shoe that can cope with muddy fells and steep climbs but also protect on flatter, drier trails. The sticky rubber outer sole provides the grip for wet ground, and the lugs are well designed to give you surety on muddy terrain. The uppers have a great fit; the shoe really hugs your foot, which is so reassuring when you’re careering up and down slopes.
Inov-8's message to the most intimidating of fell conditions is: Don’t mess with the Mudclaw G260! This is the shoe that can take it all on. Steep, wet, muddy/rocky mountain slopes? No problem, the Graphene grip will GRIP and is almost indestructible. Forgotten to clean the mud off, dry the shoe, treat it well? Okay, not a great idea but the uppers are tough and the Kevlar overlays that protect your feet are tougher than steel, but don’t worry, they will cut up the ground, not your feet!
This is a very effective fell shoe: flexible to cope with steep inclines, light which is great for racing, 8mm intelligent lug design to grip and release mud, low profile midsole offering protection but more importantly excellent ground contact. So you can move quickly in these shoes and respond to the changes underfoot at all times. There’s the added security of a meta plate to protect your feet from jabbing stones.