Best Vegan Running Shoes in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Vegan Running Shoes

Being vegan isn’t just a decision that dictates what you can and cannot eat. It’s a lifestyle choice and a firm stance against any form of abuse or cruelty to animals. The problem, however, is that finding vegan alternatives can be quite a challenging feat. But not to worry, we’re here to help.

In terms of footwear and apparel, a profusion of brands, slowly but surely, is turning the industry on its head, with products that fit our ethical choices, and without compromising on comfort and practicality. And our job, here at GetVegan, is to shed light on those brands.

This article is dedicated to all the vegan runners out there trying to manage their blood pressure, weight loss, and cholesterol levels, but having a hard time pinpointing the ideal pair of shoes for the task. Stick around as we’re about to highlight the best vegan running shoes on the market.

Comparison Table

ShoesWeightHeel-to-ToeArch TypePronation
Brooks Beast 18377g12mmLow Over
Merrell Trail Glove 3190g0mmHighProper
Asics DynaFlyte 3215g8mmNeutralProper
Mizuno Wave Inspire 15247g12mmNeutralOver
New Balance Zante V4212g6mmNeutralProper
Brooks Glycerin 16267g10mmNeutralProper
Mizuno Wave Rider 21247g12mmNeutralOver
Adidas Ultraboost266g10mmNeutralOver
Saucony Guide ISO 2255g8mmNeutralProper
New Balance 1080 V8276g8mmNeutralProper

The 5 Best Vegan Running Shoes for Men

Brooks Beast 18

Brooks Beast 18

Designed to support acute overpronation, the Brooks Beast 18 running shoe is the ultimate pick for motion control. If you’re a runner that suffers from one of the many problems associated with overpronation, such as joint pain, this shoe will help offer the right biomechanics for your foot. 

This shoe flaunts an air mesh upper that ensures ample ventilation, which is something that you should expect from any modern running shoe. The tongue is also breathable and comfortable. It features a pull-tab that allows for a precise and immediate fit that will lock your feet in place. 

Brooks is known for its excellent padding, and the craftsmanship is very apparent with the latest of the Beast series. The collar is quite stretchy, ensuring a great deal of comfort. To improve the fit and lockdown of your feet, the Beast 18 shoe features additional overlays over the midfoot. 

We’re quite fond of the heel counter guard, as it brilliantly makes this running shoe super stable. Not only that, but it also allows for a smooth transition towards the toes. As for the cushioning, it features full-length Super DNA technology, which is one of the better cushioning solutions. 

Three different types of rubber are involved in the manufacturing of this shoe’s midsole, offering you exemplary comfort and cushioning. In addition, HPR is rubber found on the heel side of the outsole, serving as a means of increasing durability for running on highly abrasive surfaces. 

ProsCons
Optimal for severe overpronation Improved ventilation and comfortPull-tabs ensure an immediate fit Extra overlays for better lockdownGrants improved foot positioning Suffers from a heavy constructionHeel stability needs improvement

Verdict:

Acute overpronation can lead many running enthusiasts to take a rest from their favorite activity, but with the help of the Brooks Beast 18 running shoe, overpronation won’t dare to stop you. 

Merrell Trail Glove 3 

Merrell Trail Glove 3

Merrell is a well-established manufacturer of athletic shoes for various purposes. While not all of Merrell’s products are vegan-friendly, the brand offers a remarkable line-up of vegan footwear. A non-equivocal label is often used to indicate whether or not a Merrell product is vegan-friendly.

Merrell’s Trail Glove 3 is a prime example of high-quality vegan running shoes for men. It flaunts an upper that’s made of synthetic mesh and TPU, allowing for great breathability. With this shoe covering your foot as you’re running, you no longer have to deal with sweaty, irritated feet. 

Moreover, the upper has some reflective details that serve as a means of ensuring ideal visibility in low light. The Trail Glove 3 running shoe integrates the Merrell Omni-Fit lacing system, which helps ensure a comfortable fit. Not only that, but it also helps prevent your foot from shifting.

Merrell’s Trail Glove 3 is a remarkably durable shoe that’s guaranteed to last you a considerable amount of time. When it comes to the cushioning at the bottom, it’s comfortable, but not quite as comfortable as the cushioning found on the Trail Glove 2, which is kind of a bummer for us. 

The insole, on the other hand, is as comfortable as we’d like it to be. Arguably more comfortable than the insole found in the predecessor. The outsole boasts Vibram technology, which consists of rubber lugs and wide contact areas, offering you excellent grip and exemplary support. 

ProsCons
Extremely durable and breathableProvides a superb deal of supportIt prevents your feet from shifting Reflective details for ideal visibilityFlaunts an ultra-lightweight upper Not the most comfortable insolesThe shoe runs on the smaller side

Verdict:

The barefoot feeling granted by the heel-to-toe drop combined with the high stability and traction offered by Vibram technology makes Merrell’s Trail Glove 3 the ideal pair of trail running shoes. 

Asics DynaFlyte 3

Asics DynaFlyte 3

Not all running shoes are rugged enough to handle daily running, but the DynaFlyte 3 shoe from Asics is one of the few and far between ones out there that are built to withstand daily running. It can even be used for marathons! Best of all, it flaunts Asics’ exceptional aesthetic appeal.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, we’d like to point out that we’re quite fond of this shoe’s youthful design. It’s arguably the best-looking running shoe on this list of ours. To add, it’s one of the most comfortable ones as well, as it’s equipped with proven cushioning technologies. 

The DynaFlyte 3 running shoe from Asics features FlyteFoam and gel insertions, which makes it an excellent shoe for running on both flat and uneven surfaces, be it the track or the park. We’re also quite fond of how stable this shoe is. It’s an ideal choice for neutral running pronation. 

DynaFlyte 3 features the redesigned Adapt Mesh 2.0 upper, which strikes an awesome balance between durability and breathability. The Adapt Mesh upper is actually one of the best uppers in terms of offering an unrestricted fit, eliminating the possibility of the shoe being too snug. 

Another attribute that sets this shoe apart from other running shoes is the AHAR rubber outsole, which is highly recommended for both dry and wet surfaces. To add, it flaunts the Ortholite X-30 sock-liner, which ensures optimal moisture control. This running shoe is simply exceptional!

ProsCons
Aesthetic appeal is through the roofPerfect for neutral running pronationOffers a comfortable, unrestricted fitGreat bounce and shock absorptionIdeal for use on wet and dry surfacesCan be perceived as a little bulkyNot suggested for overpronators

Verdict:

There’s no such thing as an all-round perfect product, but the Asics DynaFlyte 3 running shoe is as close as it can get to perfection. We’d highly recommend it for neutral and underpronators.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 15

Mizuno Wave Inspire 15

The Wave Inspire series from Mizuno has made quite a name for itself as one of the best series of running shoes on the market, and the Wave Inspire 15 shoe takes things to the next level, as all major attributes that have made runners fall in love with the series have been updated. 

The Inspire 15 running shoe remains faithful to the superb support that the Mizuno Wave series is known for, but it presents it in a more modern fashion. This running shoe is equipped with the Jacquard upper mesh for ideal ventilation, so you can say farewell to sweaty, irritated feet.

What’s more, the shoe features the Mizuno Wave plate, which does a splendid job of dissipating shocks. It flaunts U4ic with a midsole that’s 30% lighter than midsoles found on previous models of this shoe. The U4icX midsole is comfortable, and it offers the runner an excellent rebound. 

The Mizuno Inspire 15 running shoe features the X10 Carbon Rubber outsole technology, which helps ensure exemplary durability that can withstand significant wear and tear. To add, this shoe flaunts SmoothRide technology, so don’t you worry about rapid acceleration and deceleration. 

Like the rest of the running shoes on our list, the Mizuno Inspire 15 shoe is vegan-friendly. Also, it utilizes Pebax Rnew elastomer materials as a means of reducing pollution. The main problem that many runners may have with this shoe is that it’s heavy, almost reaching the 300g mark.

ProsCons
Features upgraded technologiesMesh upper for ideal breathabilityShocks are dissipated completelyEmploys anti-pollution materials Withstands longer wear and tearOne of the heavier running shoesRuns smaller than earlier models

Verdict:

If you’ve ever tried previous Mizuno Wave Inspire models like the Inspire 13 shoe, you know just how brilliant this series is. And the 15’s upgraded technologies kick everything up to eleven. 

New Balance Zante V4

New Balance Zante V4

The Free Foam Zante V4 running shoe from New Balance flaunts a stellar combination between lightweight construction and HypoSkin technology, making it one of the prime contestants for the title of the best vegan running shoes. The textile and synthetic materials make it 100% vegan. 

This shoe weighs at just 244 grams, so it may very well be the most lightweight running shoe on this list. It boasts a 6mm drop, ensuring excellent responsiveness and prompt performance. And performance aside, the Free Foam Zante Z4 running shoe just stands out aesthetically. 

Free Foam Zante Z4 features neutral cushioning that caters to the needs of most runners. You’ll love how distinct the upper looks on this shoe. It provides remarkable ventilation for your feet, so you never have to suffer from irritation, thanks to the integration of HypoSkin technology. 

HypoSkin technology enables the shoe to adapt to the shape and motion of your foot, so you’re guaranteed ideal comfort as you’re sprinting at top speed. The outsole is made of rubber, which helps grant the shoe a ton of traction that you’ll appreciate as you’re running around the city. 

Like the Brooks Beast 18 shoe, this shoe features overlays over the midfoot to ensure improved lockdown. It also capitalizes by adding overlays over the heel area. As for comfort, the Zante V4 features Fresh Foam cushioning, which combines different types of foam for ultimate comfort. 

ProsCons
Ideal for fast running and sprintingIt adapts to the motions of the footOutstanding traction on the trackFresh Foam cushioning for comfortHighly flexible from all of its anglesNot the most budget-friendly shoeRequires a bit of a break-in period

Verdict:

Free Foam Zante V4 from New Balance makes for an astounding shoe for sprinters and speedy runners, thanks to its lightweight construction and super-comfortable Fresh Foam cushioning. 


The 5 Best Vegan Running Shoes for Women 

Brooks Glycerin 16

Brooks Glycerin 16

The Brooks Glycerin 16 running shoe has undergone major improvements that set it apart from the previous model, especially in the upper and midfoot areas. The updated DNA technology is the reason behind the pillow-like comfort and remarkable support that this shoe provides. 

The upper employs Jacquard mesh, which makes it plenty more flexible and breathable than the upper on Glycerine 14. Aesthetically, this upper is also better than the 14’s one. All new designs from Brooks feature premium cushioning in the ankle area, and Glycerin 16 is no different. 

Glycerine 16’s tongue is made of breathable mesh, which will help keep the foot cool and dry in the heat of running. We’re quite fond of the tongue-pull design, as it helps grant a proper fit. The shoe doesn’t require a break-in period like other shoes on the market. It offers an immediate fit. 

The upper also features a sock-like fit that does a brilliant job of improving natural stride. One of the best features that this shoe flaunts is the blown rubber outsole. It features different pressure zones that help distribute shocks evenly across its surface, allowing for a comfortable run. 

The outsole also offers the Glycerin 16 running shoe excellent traction. It can be used on a wide range of outdoor and indoor surfaces for your convenience. This shoe offers neutral support, so if you’re someone with a low arch, continue reading to find a shoe that meets your needs. 

ProsCons
Superb overall running experienceImproved midfoot and upper areasProper fit without a break-in period Exemplary, even shock distributionIdeal for a broad range of surfacesCost-prohibitive for some runnersGets a little soft on some surfaces

Verdict:

The Glycerin 16 running shoe from Brooks provides excellent support and is great for daily runs. It’s not particularly fast like other alternatives on our list, but it’s roomier and more comfortable.  

Mizuno Wave Rider 21

Mizuno Wave Rider 21

Mizuno has always been a dominant force in the running shoe industry, and it’s not very hard to see why considering they’ve always implemented cutting-edge technology in their shoes. Wave Rider 21 is a prime example of Mizuno’s craftsmanship. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. 

Featuring an air mesh upper, Wave Rider 21 flaunts next-level ventilation, making it an excellent choice for longer running sessions. The upper integrates the Dynamic Fit technology, so it’s very flexible and capable of expanding to accommodate your foot, granting it a more natural feel. 

To further solidify its status as one of the best running shoes as far as durability, Wave Rider 21 flaunts the Intercool technology, which works in unison with the well-ventilated upper to provide optimal breathability. The SmoothRide design ensures an ideal transition from heel to toe. 

Minuzo’s Wave Rider 21 does a fantastic job of ensuring proper biomechanics for your foot. Not just that, but it excels in terms of reducing the impact on your joints. The X10 outsole is capable of handling different flat surfaces. It’s not that great when it comes to uneven surfaces, though. 

This shoe integrates the U4ic midsole to ensure proper shock absorption. To add, the midsole is equipped with Cloudwave technology, which is composed of additional cushioning that makes it an extremely comfortable shoe to run with. The premium sock-liner also adds to the comfort. 

ProsCons
Offers excellent comfort and stabilityWell-ventilated and highly breathableLimits the impact falling on the jointsPremium sock-line for extra comfortAvailable at a budget-friendly priceNot available in vivid color optionsNot that great on uneven surfaces

Verdict:

Mizuno Wave Rider 21 strikes an admirable balance between security, comfort, and affordability. We can’t think of another running shoe that offers as much value at such a reasonable price tag.

Adidas Ultraboost

Adidas Ultraboost

Adidas Ultraboost is a pair of premium running shoes that combine admirable breathability, ideal support, and soft feel to offer you an enjoyable overall running experience. Stability is one of this shoe’s strong suits, courtesy of its superb midfoot lockdown, lateral support, and padded collar. 

Adidas Ultraboost is available in a wide range of colors, so you don’t have to worry about getting them in a color that you don’t like. Boasting a 10mm offset, this shoe is a superb pick for anyone who champions comfort and stability over everything else, as well as minimalist aesthetics. 

The Ultraboost running shoe offers excellent responsiveness on flat surfaces of all types. It’s not the best choice when it comes to uneven surfaces, though. The collar and tongue are padded to ensure maximum comfort. The upper is made with Primeknit, which is also quite comfortable.

Almost all new Adidas running shoes feature outsoles that are made of Continental rubber, and Adidas Ultraboost is no different. This unique type of rubber is remarkably durable and offers an excellent deal of traction in the gym or on the track. It’s also webbed to ensure proper running.

Adidas Ultraboost provides fantastic lateral support for both the heel and midfoot area, elevating your running experience. The only issue you may have with this shoe is its weight. For a regular size 9, this shoe weighs over 300 grams, which is quite heavy compared to other shoes. 

ProsCons
One of the most comfortable shoesProvides outstanding lateral supportIdeal for use on various flat surfacesDurable outsole with optimal tractionAvailable in a broad range of colorsNot really a lightweight running shoeOne of the costliest shoes on the list

Verdict:

If you champion comfort over the need to go as fast as possible, Adidas Ultraboost will offer you exactly what you need. Just keep in mind that this running shoe doesn’t come cheap at all. 

Saucony Guide ISO 2

Saucony Guide ISO 2

Performance-wise, Guide ISO 2 from Saucony isn’t a revolutionary running shoe. It’s simply an extremely reliable option. The aspect in which this shoe shines is aesthetics. It’s one of the best running shoes for women in terms of looks. Further, most runners will find it super comfortable. 

The Guide ISO 2 running shoe is equipped with thick foam cushioning that doesn’t only ensure a great deal of comfort, but also does a great job of absorbing shocks and reducing the impact falling on the joints. The ankle area features thick padding as well, providing ample support. 

The upper is made of highly breathable Jacquard mesh, so you can enjoy long-running sessions without having to worry about your feet getting all sweaty and uncomfortable. Further, the upper is sufficiently stretchy, which is why this shoe is recommended for runners with overpronation. 

This running shoe from Saucony provides the right level of support for a natural stride. The heel features reflective elements for ideal visibility in low light. Guide ISO 2 is available in regular and wide sizes for both men and women. Pricing-wise, it’s a little bit on the expensive side. 

The main issue we have with this running shoe is the design of its tongue. We’re not really sure why, but the tongue isn’t all that comfortable. Nevertheless, Saucony’s Guide ISO 2 is a superb running shoe when it comes to stability and aesthetics, so you should certainly consider it.    

ProsCons
Thick foaming for shock absorptionReflective elements for ideal visibilityGreat construction for overpronationExcellent support for a natural strideThe mesh upper is super breathable Not as light as you’d like it to be The tongue can be uncomfortable

Verdict:

This pair of shoes are, without a doubt, built for intense road running. The shoe might not be the best running shoe for uneven surfaces, but on the track, it’ll showcase exceptional performance. 

New Balance 1080 V8

New Balance 1080 V8

Whether you’re a fan of retro-style or modern-looking sports shoes, New Balance 1080 V8 is an excellent combination of the two. This shoe flaunts a new design built with no-sew materials, an Ortholite insole, and a blown rubber outsole that ensures excellent traction and durability.

New Balance’s 1080 V8 features an 8mm drop that enables you to take an aggressive approach towards running. And with the aid of the firm blown rubber outsole, you’ll easily be able to run on highly abrasive surfaces without worrying about the shoe being rendered useless.

The shoe flaunts engineered mesh, which grants it considerable breathability. We wouldn’t label it as one of the best running shoes in terms of breathability, though. The insole doesn’t have any sort of sewing, so you don’t have to worry about your feet forming blisters or getting irritated. 

The Ortholine insole features extra cushioning for comfort and additional arch support. The shoe weighs around 276 grams, which might not be as lightweight as some of the other shoes on this list, but for New Balance’s standards, it’s pretty light. It’s designed mainly for neutral pronation. 

To capitalize on the comfort aspect, the shoes feature a collar that’s made of molded foam. This helps keep your ankles secure and comfy. The heel area is reinforced to grant the runner proper stability while sprinting. Best of all, the shoe is available in a broad range of vivid colors. 

ProsCons
Features super-sturdy construction Available in a broad range of colorsExtra cushioning and arch supportZero sewings for improved comfortHas hexagonal patterns for flexibility Bit heavy compared to other optionsThis shoe tends to run a bit too large

Verdict:

New Balance 1080 V8 boasts a profile that champions comfort, so you’ll be able to go for longer running sessions without getting tired. Keep in mind that the sizing tends to run a bit large. 

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes

In this section of the article, we won’t be discussing which materials you should avoid and which ones you should opt for. We’re sure you already know what’s vegan and what’s not. We’re going to focus more on how to select a pair of shoes that can offer you the best running experience. 

To ensure an enjoyable running experience, some factors must be taken into consideration like pronation and foot type. Moreover, you must have a solid understanding of a shoe’s anatomy in order to pinpoint the right shoe. This brief buying guide will specify exactly what to look for. 

Pronation

Simply put, pronation is the rolling of the feet from the heel to the toe through the foot strike. It’s important to know your foot’s pronation before picking a running shoe. Neutral pronation is when the foot pattern strikes the outside of the heel before moving up to your foot’s ball evenly. 

Underpronation, also known as supination, is when the foot rolls to the outside too much. This is very common among runners with a high arch. Lastly, overpronation is when the rolling happens too much to the inside during the strike cycle. It’s common amongst people with low foot arch. 

Arch Type

To figure out your foot type, you have to wet both your feet and stand for about 10 seconds on a paper bag or any material that can showcase your arch pattern. If you have a normal arch, you’ll notice the curve along the inside of the foot has a band that’s less than half of the foot’s width. 

If the imprint on the paper bag shows most of your foot without any prominent curve, you have a low arch. Lastly, if the imprint showcases a pretty notable curve along the inside of your foot and the band connecting your heel and toe is very thin, then you have a high-arch foot type.

Flexibility

Starting here, all of the following factors have to do with the shoe itself rather than your feet. You must be sure that the shoe can bend at the same place your foot bends to ensure a natural stride. Check the flex point, which is the area that creases when pressing your toe into the floor. 

Toe Length

Our feet tend to swell significantly when we run, which is why you need to purchase a shoe that features a thumbnail-length that can accommodate the space between your longest toe and the back of your foot. That said, expect your running shoes to be larger than your regular shoes. 

Toe Width

The shoe’s toe width is just as vital as the toe length. You don’t want to end up with squished-in toes, as that’ll likely equate to blisters and intense discomfort, especially during longer sessions of running. So you need to make sure the shoe offers enough wiggle room in the toe box. 

No Seams

You want to make sure that the shoe has no seams whatsoever, as seams can rub against your foot and cause blisters. This is especially crucial in the shoe’s upper. And speaking of the upper, make sure the shoe is well-ventilated in that area. There’s nothing worse than sweaty feet. 

Lockdown

Obviously , you don’t want your heel to move every time you go for a sprint. Some models have very poor heel lockdown that they’re often sent flying in the air when you attempt a sprint. Go for a quick jog after getting your shoes to see if it’s capable of holding your heel in place. 

Final Thoughts

Any of the above-mentioned shoes will do you justice on the track or around the city. Just make sure you’ve taken the factors underlined in our buying guide into consideration to ensure buying the best vegan running shoes. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions.