Did you know that an average pair of running shoes takes between 30-40 years to break down in a landfill?
The Veja Condor 2 sets out to fix this problem, and it proves that sustainability doesn’t also mean underperforming. This shoe is composed of 57 percent recycled materials, and runners have found that these shoes are able to run with the big dogs.
If sustainability is just as important as finishing first, the Veja Condor 2 is worth checking out!
If you love midsoles that are slightly stiff and rigid and provide an excellent ground feel, you won’t be disappointed with the performance of the Veja Condor 2.
One of the biggest complaints with the performance of this shoe is often with the midsole. The midsole material used in this shoe feels incredibly stiff right out of the gate but loosens up a bit over time.
It’s important to note that what it lacks in a soft and squishy ride it far makes up for in durability. Soft and squishy midsoles have a reputation of flattening out into a pancake over time, and that will certainly not be the case with the midsole of this shoe.
Even after 100 miles, the midsole shows no signs of creasing, cracking, or flattening out. It might be a little stiff, but it’s insanely durable.
For a little added boost of comfort, this midsole also includes Veja’s unique 4 mm L-Foam insert. This insert provides a little boost of comfort, and the unique design offers a touch of added stability where you need it most.
One of the things that I r appreciate about this running shoe is that it boasts an insanely durable outsole that is built to last. Overall, the lugs on this design are built for road running or treadmills and don’t perform very well on trails.
The lugs are fairly shallow, which means that you will need to stick to paved and flat surfaces. Many runners report that the grip on this outsole is excellent, and is great for running on slick sidewalks or grass without losing traction.
I also love that the outsole of this design is built to last. Runners found that the rubber used on this outsole is built to conquer around 300 miles before it starts to show any signs of wear and tear.
For a sustainable running shoe, the outsole of the Veja Condor 2 outshines many brands that don’t utilize recycled materials in the construction of their outsoles!
The Veja Condor 2 rea shines when it comes to the performance of the upper. This updated design has a few updates to the upper that make it more breathable and comfortable to wear on those longer runs. It is composed of a stiff Alveomesh material that is composed of 100 percent recycled bottles.
The Condor 2 dropped a layer of mesh on the upper to make this design a little more lightweight and breathable. Overall, the upper is slightly stiff, but the vented panels work to keep your feet nice and dry as you run.
What I also love about the construction of this upper is that it offers just enough padding cushioning in the heel collar and tongue for a super plush and comfortable fit.
These shoes will not rub or chafe against your ankles, even on those first initial runs. The padding in the heel collar helps to boost your overall lockdown while wrapping your feet in plush comfort.
It’s not exactly fair to stack the Veja Condor 2 up against brands that use virgin materials in the production of their running shoes. It’s like comparing prime rib against a tofu loaf.
However, I would hardly compare the Condor 2 to a tofu loaf. While this shoe’s main claim to fame is its use of recycled materials, it performs quite well out there on the road.
Overall, runners found that this shoe is built for easy tempo runs, recovery runs, and long-distance runs that are under 10k. It may pack in durable features to conquer distances longer than a 10k, but the stiff and unforgiving materials will cause your feet and muscles to fatigue quickly.
These shoes pair best with runners that love to get out there for easy runs to clear their minds and aren’t as concerned with top speeds or distances.
Veja’s biggest claim to fame is its sustainability, and I would feel remiss if I didn’t take a brief dive into the construction of its shoes. Veja is constantly moving in the right direction as far as making the most of recycled materials. The original Veja Condor was composed of 53 percent recycled materials, and the Condor 2 is composed of 57 percent recycled materials.
Brands such as Adidas utilizes recycled materials in their upper (think Primegreen and Primeblue), but stop there. The Condor 2 not only uses recycled materials in the upper but the outsole and midsole as well.
The midsole is composed of 62% bio-based materials derived from banana oil and sugar cane. The outsole is made from 61% bio-based materials, which even includes 31 percent rice waste!
As a brand, the sizing of Vega running shoes varies from style to style. Some tend to run a little small, while you may need to opt for a half size larger in other styles.
Overall, however, the Condor 2 runs true to size. Be sure to take good measurements of your feet and compare them to Veja’s sizing chart to spare yourself a trip to the post office to make a return.
These running shoes boast a nice and roomy toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoe and a nice and secure heel collar to prevent slippage. If your feet are slightly wider and thicker than average, it may be in your best interest to opt for a half-size larger.
These shoes aren’t offered in wide sizing options, and the accommodating lacing system allows users to tinker with the fit.
There’s a reason that many brands aren’t flocking to sustainable materials, and one of the biggest factors is that they don’t come cheap. These materials are not only difficult to obtain in the manufacturing process, but they also require a few extra steps to create.
Due to these manufacturing obstacles, the Veja Condor 2 is a shoe that is slightly more expensive than your average high-end daily training shoe.
Justifying the price tag of this shoe is tricky. When running, the performance of this shoe is fine, but it doesn’t perform quite as well as a budget-friendly trainer from brands such as New Balance or Sketchers.
So, why spend more money on a shoe that doesn’t perform quite as well as similarly-priced high-end trainers from brands such as Hoka?
To answer this question, you must first consider how important sustainability is to you. As I mentioned earlier, your average running shoe takes around 40 years to decompose at the dump. In America, nearly 300 million running shoes are thrown away every year.
If you want to continue to have clean earth to run on, you may want to consider selecting more eco-friendly shoes.
Much of the weight loss is due to the slimmed-down upper. The previous design utilized an upper that was composed of a few layers of Alveomesh which not only made the shoe heavier but also made it run hotter. By simply using a single layer of mesh material in the construction of the upper, this updated shoe is lighter and much more breathable.
While many of the big brands such as Nike and Adidas are slowly transitioning to recycled materials in the manufacturing of their running shoes, Veja is leading the pack.
The Veja Condor 2 uses are more recycled materials than many of the bigger brands and demonstrate that upcycled materials don’t translate to degraded performance.
Even though these shoes are green in all of the best ways, they perform just as well on the road or at the gym as some of the bigger brands.
The L-Foam midsole provides excellent energy return with a boost of stability and works to keep your feet nice and cool. They’re breathable, lightweight, durable, and the perfect daily training shoe for conquering your training schedule.