7 Best Vegan Running Shoes in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Vegan Running Shoes in 2022

Picking a true vegan running shoe can be really tricky. The market is overloaded with running shoes that are not suitable for vegan runners as countless shoes are made primarily from animal-derived materials.

There are a lot of things to look out for as a vegan runner looking for that perfect fit, which doesn’t involve cruelty to animals. Some brands are labeled as nonleather but they also used glues derived from animal bones or varnishes extracted from beetles.

RunRepeat is here to make it easier for you to find the perfect pair of vegan running shoes. We’ve tested 100+ running shoes and selected our top picks in five categories from best on the road and trail, to budget-friendly and most popular options.

How we test running shoes

Our goal is to give you the most up-to-date and honest reviews on the best running shoes for vegans available on the market today. We get down to the nitty-gritties of each pair of shoes before we select the best among them. A testing lab is set up for our series of comprehensive reviews to closely examine each model to its essential parts.

Here are our guiding principles to achieve our goal:

  • We buy all shoes for testing with our own money. This is to make sure we’re totally free from bias and preserve the integrity of our process.
  • We cut each shoe into pieces to examine its parts and validate their authenticity. We then weigh and measure 30+ parameters of the shoe, from the materials, used, breathability, cushioning, and many others.
  • We test the performance of the shoes in training and racing environments. We have runners run in them for at least 30 or more miles and give us their personal feedback.
  • We gather more useful information from experts in vegan shoes and actual users.

To conclude the test, each model is assigned a score from 0 to 100 using our CoreScore system. The top-rated vegan running shoes in five categories are featured on this list.

Best vegan running shoes overall

Hoka One One Mach 4
Hoka One One Mach 4

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 8,554 users
94 / 100 from 28 experts

Pros

  • Glove-like fit
  • Perfect lockdown
  • Has an elf tab
  • Lightweight
  • Balanced 
  • Superb comfort
  • Extremely stable
  • Large reflective elements

Cons

  • Stiff for an everyday trainer
  • Not a tempo shoe either
  • Break-in period needed

Verdict

The Hoka Mach 4 is what we consider a do-it-all daily running shoe that shines in medium to medium/fast days. It's touted as a fast shoe, but we didn't find it speed-inspiring. It's light and nimble, but not mushy, making it a shoe that's comfortable enough for daily runs and capable when the pace is pushed. What's surprising is that this Hoka doesn't skimp on padding, but it's one of our ultralight shoes!
See our full review and facts

Best road vegan running shoes

Saucony Endorphin Pro
Saucony Endorphin Pro

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 1,158 users
92 / 100 from 27 experts

Pros

  • rocks and pushes you forward
  • generous cushioning
  • super breathable
  • supportive fit
  • great for halfmarathons
  • built for speed AND distance
  • feels like a rocket

Cons

  • lace bites

Verdict

The Endorphin Pro is a shoe that literally pushed us to paces! It's smooth-rolling and explosive - it's easy to set/beat PRs in this shoe. Despite it being speed-oriented, we never had issues with discomfort, even in high-mileage runs. A reminder: this shoe is a race-exclusive speed monster. If you run slow, or if you want it to double as your training shoe, consider something else.
See our full review and facts

Best trail vegan running shoes

Hoka One One Torrent 2
Hoka One One Torrent 2

Corescore

87
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 3,761 users
90 / 100 from 27 experts

Pros

  • Responsive
  • Fast
  • Grippy
  • Nimble
  • Breathable
  • Nice lockdown
  • Stable
  • Good fit

Cons

  • Laces are too long
  • Tongue is not flexible

Verdict

This shoe is amazing, it checks all the boxes for me. I had more gripes about the Terraultra G260 and that was my favorite shoe last year. I don’t know what else to say, I just love this shoe! If you need a quick, nimble, grippy trail racer, look no further. If you think you want the Speedgoat 4. Check out the Torrent 2. It’s what I had hoped for in the Speedgoat, to be honest. I’m so psyched about this shoe! As of now, it’s my daily trainer until someone else can knock it off this pedestal.
See our full review and facts

Best stability vegan running shoes

Hoka One One Arahi 5
Hoka One One Arahi 5

Corescore

89
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 7,019 users
90 / 100 from 13 experts

Pros

  • Super plush
  • Balanced ride
  • Good grip
  • Wide feet friendly
  • Removable Ortholite insole
  • Lightweight
  • Added stability for heel strikers
  • Durable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Too wide
  • Sloppy around turns

Verdict

If there's one thing that stood out to us when we tested the Arahi 5, it's that it's SUPER plush. It's a max-cushioned trainer that's built for recovery days and the long haul on the road, and we are pleased that it does its job so well! Even better, it's the embodiment of "looks can be deceiving" - it's big and clunky, but truly, it disappears on foot!
See our full review and facts

Best neutral vegan running shoes

Hoka One One Rincon 2
Hoka One One Rincon 2

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 26,349 users
91 / 100 from 19 experts

Pros

  • Extremely light
  • Solid lace lock
  • Soft landings
  • Springy toe-offs

Cons

  • Lacks breathability for summer
  • Issues with outsole durability

Verdict

Hoka One One Rincon 2 is a max-cushioned daily trainer that is ready for all kinds of runs: easy, fast, and long. But it is also a surprising shoe. It looks bulky, like most Hokas, but its weight is really where it shines. At about 7.7oz for a men size 9, it comes close to the elite race shoes like Nike Vaporflys, at less than half the price. There’s no carbon plate here but it could still be a decent race day shoe. Sadly it’s not all roses, and all this comes at a cost on the durability front.
See our full review and facts

Best value vegan running shoes

Hoka One One Clifton 8
Hoka One One Clifton 8

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 14,473 users
90 / 100 from 18 experts

Pros

  • Comfy, comfy comfy
  • Fits true to size
  • Smooth rockered ride
  • Great durability
  • Grippy outsole
  • Lightweight for a daily trainer
  • Great lockdown
  • Good value at $130 

Cons

  • Runs warm
  • Doesn’t love to go fast

Verdict

Whether it's a long-distance or recovery shoe you're after, we couldn't recommend the Clifton 8 enough! It's a literal couch to the foot, keeping it cozy and stable. The ride is also buttery smooth, you will roll through seamlessly. And with all the cushion it gives, it's not at all heavy (a shocker really). Overall, the Clifton is a literal bag of treats that comes at a moderate price!
See our full review and facts
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.