10 Best Vegan Running Shoes Reviewed

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Searching for the best vegan running shoes? Take a look at the top choices for 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying a pair in a store!

As runners, we certainly enjoy our time outside and even want to preserve our environment and surroundings. This includes animals. If we can have a great running shoe with unbelievable feature and benefits without interfering with the animal kingdom, isn’t that better. Many of you probably agree. One way we do that is by choosing footwear that is manufactured with vegan materials

Last Updated: June 14, 2017
by Brian Price :

In addition to conducting further research, in search of more helpful information, we also figured that it was time to add a few more shoes to the list.

Our newest additions include the Trailroc 245, Bare Access Ultra and Saucony’s Triumph ISO 2. Check back later on for even more updates!

Our Top 3 Picks

Brooks Beast 14
  • Brooks Beast 14
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ideal for motion control
  • Price: See Here
Brooks Glycerin 14
  • Brooks Glycerin 14
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Full length DNA cushion
  • Price: See Here
Newton Gravity IV
  • Newton Gravity IV
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Action/Reaction technology
  • Price: See Here

In fact,  some companies that  only produce vegan products such as Mizuno, Brooks and Newton. There are also many others that fit vegan shoes into their product lines like Asics, Merrell, Saucony, Inov-8 and many others. We have put together this guide to, not only present you with the best vegan running shoes, but to also offer some guidance in your search.

Let’s go ahead and get right into it, starting with our compiled list of the top rated options available.

10 Best Vegan Running Shoes

 


Brooks Beast 14

Brooks Beast 14
The #1 spot on our list goes to Brooks' Beast 14. This time the Beast tops the stack as the best rated vegan running shoe model. They certainly "unleash the fury of the beast" with this one, but in a more environmental and animal friendly way. With benefits such as breathable upper construction, Secure fit, stability and exceptional cushioning, Its top status seems to be well deserved. Check out below for our full review of the Beast 14.
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Comfort / Stability
The cushioning in this model is actually surprisingly comfortable. There seems to be a nearly perfect balance between comfort and responsiveness, which makes these very popular for many different specific reasons. These are even an excellent choice for those who need a bit more motion control. The breathability offered by the mesh upper material is really quite good. Additionally, these have features such as Brooks' BioMoGo midsole with full length DNA cushioning for even more support.

Quality / Durability
The upper is well made. The mesh material is reinforced with both stitched and non-stitched overlays for added support as well as increased durability. Other than a few reviews which suggest some issues with the midsole after repeated heavy use, there really aren't any major reports of quality concerns. These are intended for road use, so taking them on a rougher trail or similar type of terrain probably isn't a great way to make them last as long as they could.

Cost
Although not the most expensive running shoe in the world, the aren't exactly the cheapest either. Depending on where you look, there are usually some good deals on sites like Amazon. It does seem that, though they are a bit pricey, they are probably worth the cost when you weigh in the benefits.
Pros
  • Good upper breathability
  • Interior saddle design locks feet in place
  • Adaptable support provided by Brooks' DNA cushioning
  • An ideal choice for heavier runners
Cons
  • A bit expensive


Brooks Glycerin 14

Brooks Glycerin 14
We should probably mention that Brooks is a company that produces, if not all, most of their products with vegan materials. And with features such as and Adjustable saddle design that allows the shoe a better, more secure fit, and the Full-length Super DNA midsole, these features are sure to give provision of benefit of a secure and comfortable run. Open the review below for more.
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Comfort / Stability
The lightweight materials, secure fit, premium cushioning and energy returning properties make this model ideal for long distance or even competition runs. The full-length Super DNA and blown rubber sole work as a combined effort to archive outstanding comfort and stability to the user.

Quality / Durability
The upper is reinforced with Brooks' 3D Fit Print overlays, which add additional support, but also help with the overall durability and form retention of the Glycerin 14. The only critical review that we have found regarding durability is one that suggests that the customer had an issue with the outsole. we don't know the conditions that the shoes were used under or for how long, so we really aren't too concerned when we only find one mention. In all the ratings from users are really good, putting this version of the Glycerin in the number two spot on our list.
Pros
  • Full-length Super DNA cushioning provides responsive comfort
  • More than adequate airflow through the upper
  • Energy returning properties
Cons
  • Somewhat higher price


Newton Running Gravity IV

Newton Running Gravity IV
Many recognize this one by the unique lugs under the forefoot which are designed to aid in forward propulsion and an effective gait. These also offer a great percentage of good cushioning in a seemingly lower profile build. The innovative 5 lug design, breathable upper, supportive and responsive sole all work together to provide a unique runner that help to enhance the efficiency of the wearer, all while using materials that are friendly to the animal kingdom.
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Comfort / Stability
These incorporate Newton's Action/Reaction Technology. This basically offers a trampoline-like effect to help reduce energy loss during a run. The P.O.P 1 Technology provides more rigid and isolated lug for even more improved efficiency. As far as stability goes, these are equipped with a Biomechanical Metatarsal Sensor Plate. This give specific key areas in the foot necessary added support. Additionally, you'll find good energy return from the High-rebound EVA foam sole.

Quality / Durability
For added durability they have incorporated s.h.a.r.c in the build of the outsole. This is a super high abrasion rubber compound that is intended to protect against quick wear from the road. Although some are hesitant to try new things like a shoe with lugs protruding from the bottom, those who have tried them say things like " I'll never buy a different brand". We haven't been able to find much critical feedback on the Gravity IV. Really the previous versions haven't suffered much criticism either.
Pros
  • 5 lug design under forefoot promotes a more efficient stride
  • Forefoot Flex Zone offers a more custom fit for the toes
  • Breathable upper materials
  • Vegan materials used in the shoe's construction
Cons
  • The innovative lugs aren't for everyone

Mizuno Wave Rider 18

Mizuno Wave Rider 18
Aside from Wave technology, The Mizuno Wave Rider is vegan running shoe that has quite a few features to offer runners who like to put some distance under their feet. With some pretty positive ratings from users, let's take a closer look at what these are all about.
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Comfort / Stability
Want breathability? The Mizuno Intercool technology offers exceptional ventilation throughout the length of the shoe. Additionally, the designed Fit of the shoe's upper provides a secure, but stress relieving natural fit. Of course we couldn't fail to mention Mizuno's Wave technology which provides extra cushioning, equally to energy returning, shock absorbent bounce back.

Quality / Durability
There is a more durable high abrasion compound covering the high wear areas of the outsole. Really, there aren't many critical of the quality or durability of this model. They seem to hold up well to quite a few miles .
Pros
  • Wave technology under the heel provides energy returning impact resistance
  • Extremely breathable
  • Flexible and lightweight
Cons
  • The sizing runs a bit narrow

Merrell Bare Access Ultra

Merrell Bare Access Ultra
If you like to take your run to the trails, then you're most likely familiar with Merrell's trail runners. The Bare Access Ultra in a slightly minimalistic improvement to the Bare Access line. With the grip of the Vibram sole and zero drop, these vegan trail runners are sure to provide a solid off-road run. Let' dig a bit deeper into the general features of this shoe.
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Comfort / Stability
Although these are more of a minimalistic design, they do have some decent cushioning from the MBOUND+ midsole, which also offers efficient energy return. The Zero-drop and 0mm differential from heel-to-toe allow the wearer excellent ground contact and confident running stability. These are really meant to be used on the trails, but work well on the road as well. However, the impact response may be different on harder road surfaces.

Quality / Durability
The grippy Vibram outsole is designed to be used over off-road terrain, so they seem to hold up well to their intended use. There are, however, a few critical reviews from customers that claim the outsole didn't last as long on the road as it did over trails.
Pros
  • Good ground contact
  • Lightweight, minimalistic design
  • Vibram sole provides good grip on multiple surfaces
Cons
  • Takes some time to get used to the reduced cushion and support of a minimalistic trail runner

Inov-8 Trailroc 245

Inov-8  Trailroc 245
Here is an offering from Inov-8, another manufacturer that produces really good vegan runners. Lie the name suggests, Inov-8 does produce some innovative designs with features specific to the untended use of their particular models. The model that we have here is the Trailroc 245. This is a minimalistic trail running shoes that boasts some decent features to keep you going.
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Comfort / Stability
The shoe's Natural Fit anatomical design gives the user a secure but natural and flexible fit, allowing better foot motion and control. Although a minimalist shoe, there is some cushioning and impact resistance provided by the Shoc-Zone midsole, which also offers a decent amount of bounceback.
You can have some added stability from the grip provided by the durable high traction outsole, which is ideal for the trail, but works okay on the road as well.

Quality / Durability
The durability of the Trailroc is enhanced by features such as upper overlays and abrasion resistant sections applied around midfoot and even more liberally over the toe, in the form of a protective cap. Although these are extremely lightweight with very mass, when it comes to material, they do hold up pretty well. There are some customer reviews that are critical of the shoe's longevity, but there really aren't any that give specific examples of conditions of use. So we will go with the majority of the reviews which are positive.
Pros
  • Very lightweight
  • Exceptional breathability
  • Decent traction over various types of terrain
Cons
  • They run a bit narrow

Saucony Triumph ISO 2

Saucony Triumph ISO 2
Saucony is a great example of a company that produces shoes from vegan materials. And, a great representation of one of their quality procts in the Triumph ISO 2. This one boasts many of the features that Saucony includes in their best models, but in a normal design. Take a look below to see these features and just how they benefit the runner who puts these on.
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Comfort / Stability
Starting from the top, the upper is made up of a breathable, lightweight mesh material which is blended with synthetic overlays that are non-stitched for additional support. Inside there is a soft ISOFIT inner sleeve liner, allowing a secure, comfortable fit. moving down, the EVERUN topsole combined with the shoe's PWRGRID+ midsole,there is plenty of supportive and responsive cushioning. For increased shock absorption, the Triumph sports Saucony's SRC Landing Zone, which helps to manage impact response. Finally, the TRIFLEX outsole and fairly aggressive tread provide great traction, suitable for multiple surfaces and conditions

Quality / Durability
Saucony usually puts out products of good quality, made with durable materials. Besides added support, the upper overlays also help to aid in the shoe's overall durability. We have gone through a ton of reviews and customer feedback, coming up with no major durability concerns. There are some critical of sneaker sizing problems and firmness, but that's about it.
Pros
  • Excellent breathability
  • Decent impact resistance with the SRC landing zone
  • Exceptional traction provided by Saucony's TRI-FLEX outsole
Cons
  • Some experienced issues with sizing

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.
Asics brand comes with bundles of joy to any person who wants to rock it just as a lay back look or for sports and this specific shoe was designed specific for underpronators because it has lots of cushioning and great enhanced support system. It is best for people who love animals but still like running for hours or marathon, and just like we put it that in all vegan shoes you want to purchase makes sure you look for any signs or ask any questions to ensure you get the right vegan shoes and not otherwise. Since Asics not only deals in vegan shoes but also make leather shoes that is non vegan.
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Comfort / Stability.

This shoes has attracted the eyes of many and we cannot stop getting positive feedback from the clients who purchase them. With their perfect stability and cushioning that enhances comfort to the features that are in built like the fluid fit technique in the upper area, the cushioning made of gel, the ability to wick out moisture to the clutching ability of the heel makes this one of the best vegan shoes out there.

Quality / Durability
With the comfort being on check we have to make sure the durability of this shoe doesn’t disappoint. Well and it doesn’t since it has the outsole made from the AHAR rubber to ensure that it is of great quality and durability making this shoe even more appealing.

Cost.
Asics shoes are one of the best rated shoes. However, they also have a cost that can make you think twice, but with all the features that it has we are damn sure you wouldn’t mind giving just a few extra pennies.
Pros

Has great cushioning that makes it one of the best Asics shoes there is.

Has the ability to wick out moisture to ensure the foot remains dry and cool all the time, this also helps with the shoe hygiene.

 The clutching ability that the heel does ensure comfort and stability is enhanced thus making this shoe stand out in terms of stability.

With the different colours it brings out the style and fashion sense in you once you have them on.

One of the best vegan shoes for underpronators with all the stability and extra cushioning.

The outsole is one of the most durable ones as it makes the shoe equally durable.

Cons

Sometimes narrow for the users, to avoid this kindly make sure you get the right size

ASICS GEL-Kayano 22.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 22.
Among the vegan shoes this one comes in our list as well, Asics brand are well known in sport gears which makes this a phenomenal choice for runners. The stability of this shoes is unquestioned as it works best for people who have overpronation and are long distance runners. Also have in mind when shopping for vegan shoes that this brand also deals with non-vegan shoes and they are labelled L to mean leather is used while making them.
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Comfort/Stability
When designing this shoes they put comfort in consideration, from its mesh upper that has a fluid fit. The midsoles that have inserts made of silicone gel to enhance cushioning and other features like the ability of the sock liner to have the ortholite X40 on it is great for athletes with over pronation and high aches also has the upper mesh that covers your foot perfectly to ensure it is secure.

Quality/Durability
The durability of this shoe is outstanding whether you have them on for casual outfit or daily runs.The lining that makes the upper is strong to improve the durability of the shoe as well as the outsole rubber is also hard to make it long lasting and stable.
Cost.
The Cost is fair compared to what you get in the long run, the features are worth the price.
Pros

This shoes is quite stable making the user comfortable in everything they do.

Best for people with over pronation and high arches. As it helps in the healing process with its midsole that is well cushioned with gel.

The ability of the sock liner to have  ortholite 40 that helps athletes with the overpronation  and high arches is also one of the best features of this shoe.

Cons

The toe box can sometimes appear to be tight and slim. Thus ensure you get a size that is ½ bigger than your normal size.

Saucony Guide 9

Saucony Guide 9
Saucony is one of our best shoe brand as they always have the buyers’ interest at heart, they make both vegan and non-vegan shoes.it is great for people who have average to mild pronation, with its extra cushioning and tick heel sole it stands out as one of the support enhanced vegan shoes in the market.
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Comfort / Stability
When we put the comfortability of this shoe to test it delivered quite an impressive result. Its EVA enabled midsole gave quite an impression of comfort and shock absorption quality when placed on the feet even after a long walk and run, which also means less injuries, with its light weight, good arch support and increased breathability of the upper mesh makes it worthwhile when running.

Quality/ Durability.
The durability of the shoe is commendable especially if well taken care of.
Cost.
Saucony have great features in a shoe but all the same they have affordable prices.
Pros

Well ventilated upper that makes the shoe breath which means no accumulation of moisture that can make your feet damp.

Great price that comes with the feature and once can easily own of these shoes.

It is light weight that means less stress to the feet that in turns reduces the risk of having injuries.

Has a good arch support system that ensure your arch is well taken care of.

Cons

The upper mesh tends to wear and tear off pretty fast, but also this depends on how you treat the shoes


 Need A Bit More Guidance?

 

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The Criteria Used  When Selecting The Best Vegan Running Shoes:

 

No Animal Products Or By-Products.

We know that when the environment is important to you, what your shoes are made from matters. We preformed our due diligence and researched beyond manufacturer’s information when ensuring that the running shoes we selected were free of any animal products of any kind; careful to also look for animal by-products that can be found in the glues used in the manufacturing process. We are happy to report that all footwear is 100% vegan.

Form and Function.

The great news is that today’s environmentally conscious runners don’t have to choose between an animal friendly shoe and style or performance. Major running shoe companies have stepped up, and made the choice to care about Mother Nature without sacrificing looks or features. We listened to what everyday runners opinion and suggestion about performance over long term periods or wear.

And since everyone likes to make a personal selection when it comes to choosing what they put on their feet, we made sure to include picks that also come in a wide variety of styles and colors to fit every runner’s personal sense of style. Research shows that if you are happy with how your footwear looks, you are more likely to exercise and put it to work.

 

Grip and Traction.

Runners never know what they will come across when they head out of the door, so it was important to take traction into consideration when developing a “best of” list. Running shoes with aggressive patterns on the out sole will ensure that you can step with confidence and give allowance for you to follow through with your stride. Seasoned runners also look for well spaced lugs that can make quick work out of small rocks and pebbles. Research demonstrates that vegan materials provide just as much grip and traction as non-vegan materials.

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Weight.

The general consensus is that a low weight helps with endurance and agility. While you may associate lightweight materials with synthetic, man-made fabrics, the fact is that vegan, organic materials provide excellent cushion while remaining lightweight and comfortable. We also made sure that no features were sacrificed in the name of weight to ensure that runners will feel satisfied with the performance levels of our selections.

 

Protection Levels.

We also focused on having a keen research and look at the overall amount of protection the footwear is offering.  Most runners and athletes have it in their fingerprints  that it’s extremely important to be able to trust your footwear when you need it most. This gave us, the researchers, more inspiration to find out what the  seasonal athletes or  runners had in mind  after the usage of  their running shoes on high paced and intense runs. We chose the most safe type of running shoes that provide whole-foot protection and tough and the upper of the shoe that is rugged  for the most safety as possible for the athlete.

 

Tough Durability.

There is a misconception amongst athletes that natural materials are somehow less durable than their industrially made counterparts. Nothing can be further from truth. When we took a look at the outsoles, midsoles, and uppers of these vegan running shoes and compared them to other shoes that we have reviewed, we found no difference whatsoever. Mother Nature is able to provide us with sustainable materials that stand up to the test of time and can take whatever you can throw at it. User feedback on vegan shoes demonstrated high marks in the durability department with just the same amount of mileage as a standard running shoe.

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Other Important factors  to put into Consideration When choosing Your Vegan Running Shoes

 

Now that we have provided you with a wide selection of the best vegan running shoes on the market, it’s time to narrow down that selection for a pair that works best for you.

While we have researched through a wide range of feedback and data when compiling our selections, to help you choose a running shoe that’s right for you, we’ve put together a brief list of factors to consider before  you start enjoying you runs. It’s important that you make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.

 

Keep The Terrain In Mind.

It is important to consider what type of terrain you will be coming across on your run.  If this is your case, then  you might be more wishing to consider to stick  to a selection with a strong outsole pattern. Stay away from the minimalist models with less grip. If most of your running will be on a treadmill or road, then consider lower profile running shoe what can give you the benefit of lightweight steps.

 

Select An Option That Closely Matches What Has Worked For You.

We would never recommend selecting your running shoes based on trends or looks. This is the reason why we have provided a wide selection of styles and looks, to match every runner’s particular style and needs. Beyond looks, if you are used to a more supportive running shoe, then you should select a vegan option that best reminds you of what your used to. Some runners make the mistake of going from a padded running shoe to a minimal barefoot runner to quickly and experience increased muscle fatigue, blisters, and even unnecessary injuries.

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 Settling on the Right Size.

Choosing the right shoe size of the feet is one of the few things that are  overlooked frequently by most people, especially by runners who are beginners .  Typically, feet will swell throughout the day and after strenuous workouts. It’s a wise idea to get a size that is well fitting and sizing your foot whenever you are choosing your running shoe to get an accurate idea of your real size. Remember that these are running shoes that will see a lot of miles, and selecting the right size is crucial for comfort and support. Don’t assume that you’re the same size as your dress shoes.

 

Know When It’s Time To Replace.

It is very important to have  in your shoe considerations that while typical road running shoes are replaceable after every two hundred and fifty  to six hundred and twenty miles, vegan running shoes are no different. Most runners agree that you should never go based on how much life the footwear “looks like” it has left. Furthermore, if you have a plan of  running for back to back days strictly, you might need to have at least two pairs. Not only will this give allowance for your running shoes to get dried out   from any moisture or sweet that has collected in them, but it will also let the mid sole recover from the tougher impact that is common when running.

FAQ

 

We’re confident that by taking some of these factors into consideration when making your choice, you’ll find a vegan runner that is perfect for you. Before you get out and start running, we’ve also compiled some  of the mostly asked inquiries and questions  by athletes and users when in the stores shopping for a pair of Vegan running shoe.

Q:  How do I know if a pair of shoes is made with vegan materials?

A: There are actually companies who produce only vegan footwear. Some of the companies that are vegan only are Newton, Brooks and Mizuno to name just a few. Keep in mind that it’s also important to make sure that they don’t test products on animals or use animal by-products on dyes or glue.

Q: Will vegan shoes hold up the same as those made with non-vegan materials?

A:  Sure they will. Most running shoes these days are mostly made up of durable and lightweight synthetic materials. The big difference is that some are made from vegan methods of material production. Vegan materials are just as resilient as their non-vegan counterparts and runners reported high marks on durability.

Q:  How can I find other types of vegan footwear, other than running shoes?

A:  There are quite a few websites and organizations that will do the work for you, and advertise many of the brands for you. For example, PETA is a pretty good resource for finding what your looking, as far as vegan products go. There are a variety of other apparel as well. Including pants, tops, and socks.

Q:  Do any companies claim to produce vegan products, but really aren’t truly vegan?

A:  We haven’t found any cases of that. However, there are some manufactures that produce both vegan and non-vegan products. So, just because one pair of runners from a company is vegan, a different model may not be. When shopping, you’ll need to look for the product to state whether it is or isn’t. There are plenty of resources online, but you can even email a manufacturer inquiring the matter. It’s important to make sure if there is any doubt. Our list contains verified 100% vegan options that use no animal products or by-products.

Q:  Are vegan running shoes more expensive than non-vegan models?

A:  We haven’t really seen any evidence of that. Typically the brands that offer the option are the ones who tend to produce the higher quality footwear. So, the prices seem to be right in line with there other similar products. One of the best things about vegan footwear and apparel is that is doesn’t cost a penny more and you can really make a big difference in a defenseless animal’s life. Peta recommends that vegans vote with their wallets.

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This buying guide is aimed at helping a runner to the fullest in choosing vegan running shoes that best suite him or her. The considerations and factors if well looked at, the runner will end up having happy running and exercises. The happiness of a runner leans on the comfort and fitness of the running shoe the runner is in. If he or she chooses the best vegan for him or her, definitely the results will be happy.


Here are some of the sources used during our research

The following are the sources that help in the research and compiling of this buying guide;

Sources

  1. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,
  2. Peta, Peta, Animal Protection Website,
  3. No Meat Athlete, No Meat Athlete , Vegan Blog,
  4. Brooks, Brooks Blog, Brooks Blog,
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