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20+ of the Best Vegan Sneakers

Vegan sneakers do not include any animal-based products in the creation of the shoe.  Thus, no living creature is harmed during the production. This article provides cruelty-free alternatives with a list of more than 30+ vegan sneakers brands.
Vegan Sneakers

Vegan sneakers are cruelty-free and made without any animal ingredients or testing. Thus, no living creature are harmed. Shoe materials like leather and suede are frequently derived from animals, as are glues and dyes. In addition, chemicals used to treat sneakers are often tested on animals.

We have compiled a curated, comprehensive list of the best vegan sneakers. We also highlight each vegan brand’s commitment to sustainability and fair trade policies.

When testing vegan sneakers, we look at a variety of key features, including

  • Type of Material: The textiles used to construct the sneaker’s upper, toe cap and collar to provide protection, breathability and water resistance.

  • Best Activities: We identify the best use cases for each sneaker.
  • Activities to Avoid: We list activities that are not recommended based on the sneaker’s features and attributes.
  • Type of Support: A solid foundation is essential for every movement, whether you’re walking, leaping, jogging, or performing stationary exercises like weight training. Shoe support is provided by sole, midsole, outsole, collar and tongue. We also look at the elevation of the heel above the front of the foot, known as “heel drop”.
  • Type of Cushion: A shoe’s cushion may vary from flat, dense, and less bouncy to thick, plush, and highly springy. The midsole and sole provide the shoe’s cushion.
  • Type of Sole: The outsole provides agility, speed and traction. This allows the user to move in all directions quickly, and avoid slipping or sliding as they move.

Best Vegan Sneaker Brands

Best Comfort: Freewaters

Freewaters is a vegan shoe brand that specializes in sandals, and launched into vegan footwear with their Peralta trainer. Launched in 2010, the company creates sustainable, cruelty-free footwear while also supporting clean water initiatives around the world.

Features: 

  • Extra support
  • Thick midsole
  • Super cushiony foam insole
  • Extra grip traction

What activities are Freewaters best for?
These shoes are great for casual wear, whether you’re going to a party, walking around city streets or heading into work. The Pelota DDC look and feel great, with a throwback style and color combination.  The thick midsole is also great for standing for long stretches of time. The extra plush foam cushion provides additional back support, making the shoes feel like supportive clouds on your feet. 

What activities to avoid?
Wet weather, distance jogging / running, hiking or intensive sports like basketball. The ankle support is not strong enough to effectively hold the foot in place and the thick foam cushion makes it easier to roll your foot.

What type of materials?
The upper is constructed of cotton canvas and vegan microsuede. The outsole is made of extra grippy, PVC-free recycled rubber.

Price: $100
 

Does the company sell all vegan products? 
No, Freewaters makes sandals using animal leather.

 

Colorado-based Lems creates durable, all-terrain vegan footwear that are both stylish and healthy for your feet. Lems is are fantastic for people with foot issues like bunions, fallen arches and flat feet. I have bunions and found their vegan sneakers to be especially roomy and comfortable.

The shoes have an extra large toe-box, ensuring that your toes have plenty of space to move. They also have minimal, zero drop heels, which reduces the elevation between the heel and front foot. This is meant to strengthen the foot arch and encourage healthy posture.

Features:

  • Flat sole
  • Extra grip traction
  • Water-resistant upper
  • Zero-drop heel
  • Natural shape foot box

What activities are Lems Primal 2 best for?
Casual wear, trail running, hiking, walking. Lems can also be used for sports like basketball, soccer, track and tennis. This is because the zero-drop structure gives the wearer more connection to the ground, creating more stability. This is important for activities that require quick back and forth, left to right movements.

What activities should be avoided?
While the rugged construction of these shoes make them seem ideal for backcountry hiking, in my experience, the Primal 2 is not well suited for hiking along very rocky terrain or wet weather. This is because the shoes are not completely waterproof or sealed, so moisture and rocks can easily enter the footbed.

What materials are they made from?
100% vegan microfiber upper, open-weave mesh, water-resistant polyester lining. All of the materials used in the sneaker are vegan, including the shoe laces and glues.

Price: $110

Does the company sell all vegan products?
No, although Lems does have a large and growing vegan selection, they also carry non-vegan products.

Fair Trade Policies:
Lems promotes sustainable practices by expanding their line of vegan materials, integrating recycled materials into their products, and donating shoes to people in need through the non-profit soles4souls.org.

Best Shock Absorption: Veja Condor 2

Veja, based in France, has been a pioneer in sustainable sneakers for almost 20 years. They create shoes that are stylish, environmentally friendly and socially responsible. The Condor 2 is the newest version of their flagship vegan running shoe and comes in styles for both men and women. 

The Condor 2 is the next generation of the first Condor. This second version is significantly lighter than the first – by 14 grams. Veja clearly wanted to make their most popular sneaker more agile and precision-oriented for joggers and runners.

What activities are Veja Condor 2 best for?
The Condor 2 is obviously a great jogging, running and walking shoe, and works well as an everyday gym shoe. It’s also an all-round good sports shoe. There’s a lot more midsole cushion on the Condor 2 compared to the first version, which provides more shock absorption and support. A runner at The Sports Edit writes of her experience testing the Condor 2 over long 5+ miles runs.

What activities are they NOT good for?
The Condor 2 is not waterproof, so would not work well in wet, rainy or snow conditions. Your feet will get drenched pretty quickly.

What materials are they made from?
Veja uses materials like vegan suede, polyester made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and insoles made out of wild Amazonian rubber and other synthetic materials.

Price: under $100

Does the company sell all vegan products?
No, while Veja has a large and growing vegan selection, they also carry non-vegan products.

Sustainable Certifications:
Veja is a Certified B Corporation which verifies the company’s social and environmental impact, and uses Fairtrade certified organic cotton.

Fair Trade Policies:
Veja verifies that it pays its employees a living wage.  They also buy materials directly from farmers in Brazil and Peru, and signs one year contracts at a pre-negotiated price. This allows producers to be guaranteed a fixed price, which in turn allows them to better plan and budget for future crops. Veja’s warehouses are located in Brazil and inspected regularly by the company.

Best Orthotics: HOKA Rincon 3

HOKA vegan running shoes are designed with ultralight materials, including compression-molded EVA foam midsoles, breathable mesh uppers, and asymmetrical tongue for the perfect fit.

Features: 

  • Thick, plush sole
  • Extra shock absorption
  • Extra foot and ankle support

What activities are HOKA Rincon 3 best for?
HOKA shoes are great for serious jogging, running and walking over long distance. This is because of innovative technology such as a cushioned midsole for shock absorbency, a minimal heel to toe drop to improve your gait, and a special heel architecture to reduce impact on your joints. 

The shoes even have special frames which keeps your foot in place and prevent your ankle from rolling. HOKA shoes are rated to meet Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being.

What activities to avoid?
Wet weather activities, sports that require lightness on your feet. The shoes are on the heavy side and would not be good for sports like basketball, soccer or tennis where every ounce counts.

What materials are they made from?
Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole

Price: under $150

Does the company sell all vegan products? 
No, HOKA makes shoes using animal leather.

Best All Sport: ON Cloud X Shift

ON Cloud X Shift

When you travel around Europe, you’ll notice a consistent trend – a huge percentage of people are wearing ON shoes. While they haven’t caught on as big in the US, they are gaining momentum.

ON was founded in the Swiss Alps with one purpose in mind: to change the running experience. The architecture of the sneakers revolves around the concept of gentle landings followed by ferocious takeoffs, also known as “running on clouds”.

Features:

  • Thick, bouncy midsole
  • Extra grippy sole
  • Extra ankle and support support

What activities are ON Cloud X Shift best for?
The light-as-air, super bouncy support these shoes provide make them fantastic training / gym / jogging / walking shoes. However, what makes them truly unique is the way they hold your foot in place while providing springboard precision for all your movement. Shoes like this can take aerobics, kickboxing or zumba to another level. You can move left, right, front, back with speed and confidence that you’re not going to roll your foot or lose balance.

What activities to avoid?
The lightweight construction is not good for heavy duty, long distance running of more than 5 miles at a time. 

Materials:
The Cloud X Shift upper is made from partially-
recycled polyester, with EVA midsole and rubber outsole.

Does the company sell all vegan products?
No, ON also sells leather and suede based products.

Fair Trade Policies: 
On Footwear has a number of fair trade and sustainability initiatives. They convert carbon emissions into raw materials and created a sneaker subscription service with the goal of reducing waste and over-production.

German-based Lunge are specialists in ergonomic, environmentally friendly, handcrafted vegan running shoes.

Lunge’s footwear is 100% vegan brand and also makes non-toxic shoes without the use of harmful chemicals or dyes. Their products follow Öko-Tex Standard 100 specifications to verify that products are free of toxins and harmful pollutants.

Features:

  • Midsole with significantly more EVA support
  • 9mm heel to toe lift

What activities are Lunge shoes best for?
Running, running and more running. These shoes are built for serious jogging, running, and walking. They are also great for dynamic sports like boxing and tennis.

Lunge are designed to provide superior midsole support for your foot and joints upon impact. One key differentiator of the shoes is the amount of EVA used in the sole. Lunge midsole are 80% EVA, which is significantly more thank other running shoes. The gives your foot robust suspension, pronation support and shock absorption.

What activities to avoid?
Lunge shoes are not waterproof, so will not work well in rainy conditions.

Sustainability Certifications:
Lunge products are made with REACH and Öko-Tex certified materials.

Does the company sell all vegan products? Yes, Lunge sneakers are 100% vegan.

Fair Trade Policies: The company also sources and produces the majority of vegan shoe materials from Germany, ensuring its supply chain and labor practices are ecologically sensible and socially responsible.

Best for Women Runners: Adidas x Parkey Ultraboost 22

Adidas has teamed up with environmental group Parley to clean the oceans, including removing thousands of pounds of plastic bottles. These fashionable, durable and sustainable running shoes are also created using an eco-friendly low energy and low water usage process.

The collaboration of Adidas and Parley has resulted in the creation of “Primeblue”, a high-performance recycled material derived of up-cycled plastic waste from remote islands, beaches, and coastal communities. The companies have also created targets to reduce their carbon emissions and made progress in removing toxic chemicals from their products.

Adidas has been improving its Ultra Boost line of Primeblue shoes for years. Ultra Boost 22 is the latest iteration and improves and what makes this version even more special is that it was developed specifically to address the ergonomic issues of female runners. Adidas scanned the feet of approximately 1.2 million women runners. Watch one runner’s video review on Road Runner Sports.

Features:

  • Snug fit
  • Firm midsole
  • Optimized instep

What activities are Ultra Boost 22 best for?
These running shoes are optimized for long distance jogging and running. The Ultra Boost 22 are extremely versatile and work well for boxing, basketball, dance, aerobics, and just about any sports that requires quick, reflexive foot movement. The sneaker has a snug fitting heel, extra firm cushion midsole, and reduced height on the instep to help wearers keep their foot in place, avoid rolling arches and incorrect pronation. 

These changes were made based on the fact that women have narrower feet and a smaller toe box. The Adidas scientists also concluded that, on average, women are more prone than males to over pronate. Read one runner’s review of the Ultra Boost on Live Science.

The Ultra Boost sole is thus designed to be broader, longer, and more flexible. This sole’s extreme thickness and width offer landing support and cushioning. The tongue of the Ultra Boost 22 also stays in place very well, adding to the customized fit of the shoe. 

What activities to avoid?
The Ultra Boost 22 midsole is too chunky for high speed running or track sports. They maneuver slippery, wet sidewalks and pavement very well.

Materials:
Upper made of 50% recycled ocean plastic

Does the company sell all vegan products? No. Adidas does prohibit the use of exotic animal skins such as angora and cashmere, they still allow the use of leather and wool.

Fair Trade Policies: Adidas is the 2nd largest athletic footwear company in the world, behind Nike.  That said, they are miles ahead in terms sustainable fair trade practices when compared to other fashion companies of their size. According to the 2018 Australian Fashion Report, they have an A- rating in terms of workplace safety and workers earning a living wage.

However, Adidas is still a “fast fashion” company and still falls short of many fair trade labor goals in terms of workplace safety and worker compensation. For example, the company still has a long way to go in terms of what they pay their supply chain employees, as compared to what they pay sport stars for product sponsorships.

8000Kicks hemp shoes are the world’s first 100% waterproof vegan sneakers made of cannabis hemp. The Explorer V2 vegan sneaker is their flagship sneaker. The aerodynamic, form-fitting design reminds us Nike Fly Knit running sneakers.
 
The sneaker‘s upper body exterior is make from hemp fibers, the bottom sole from algae BLOOM foam. As stated on the 8000Kicks website, an easy way to remember this is “Weed upper, algae bottom” . Some of the most appealing characteristics of the vegan sneakers are durability, water resistance and inherent anti-bacterial properties. Hemp naturally repels moisture, is anti-microbial and is one of the strongest fibers in nature.
 
Features:
 
  • Waterproof upper
  • Bouncy, extra cushion midsole
  • Antimicrobial / odor resistant 
What activities are 8000Kicks best for?
The Algae bottom midsole of 8000Kicks hemp sole provide a lot of support and cushioning , making them reliable jogging, running and walking shoes.  However, where 8000Kicks really shines is with the odor-resistant, waterproof hemp fabric. These shoes can get grimy and wet while keeping your feet dry and odor-free.
 

Does the company sell all vegan products?
Yes, 8000Kicks shoes are all made from hemp.

Fair Trade Policies:
The company sources the world’s most premium hemp in order to create long-lasting, durable products. Their shoes have one of the lowest CO2 footprints, meaning that they release significantly less pollution into the air when creating their sneakers. They also partner with factories in China and Portugal, known for preeminent standards in hemp quality.

Best Style: GGDWL Running Shoes

Good Guys vegan leather sneakers will get you noticed. The company creates cool street footwear, is 100% cruelty-free, and holds fair trade labor practices as a top priority.

Good Guys sneakers are made from synthetic leather for the upper body, brown rubber outer sole.

Features:

  • Thick midsole
  • Bouncy support
  • Removable insole
  • Odor resistant lining

What activities are GGDWL sneakers best for?
Guys running shoes are great for walking, light jogging, gym workouts and stationary activities like weight lifting. The odor resistant interior fabric also keeps your feet dry and smell-free. They are also great for casual wear and will inspire complements from friends and strangers alike, making you feel like a bit of a fashionista.  They are bouncy, supportive, with a moderate elevation between the heel and front of the foot. 

What activities to avoid?
These sneakers are not ideal for distance endurance sports, like long distance, marathon running or track running.

Materials:
Vegan suede upper, microfiber antibacterial lining, rubber sole

Does the company sell all vegan products?
Yes, all products are 100% vegan.

Fair Trade Policies: GGDQL produces its shoes in Europe following fair-trade workspace safety codes of compliance.

Merrell shoes, sneakers and hiking boots have been at the forefront of shoe technology for decades. The Siren Edge is their foray into a style of shoe that works for both hiking and trail running.

Features:

  • Stiff midsole
  • Slim, removable insole
  • Molded arch support
  • Elevated heel with cushion

What activities are Merrell Siren Edge best for?
Known for their excellence in hiking, Merrel’s Siren Edge are a solid choice for backpacking, hiking and walking along uneven terrain. They are also very lightweight for a hiking shoe. You can get them wet and muddy without worry of your foot getting damp. They also effectively seal your foot to keep out pebbles and stones, while allowing air flow through the breathable mesh upper.

What activities to avoid?
Distance jogging and running more than 5 miles. The firm midsole is also not great for sports like dancing, basketball and tennis because your foot needs more flexibility and movement. 

Materials:
The Siren Edge 3 vegan