10 Best Vegan Running Shoes in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
10 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 Bondi 7
Hoka One One Bondi 7
£103
£108
£108
£128
Top pick

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 119,093 users
86 / 100 from 20 experts

Pros

  • Next-level comfort 
  • Great lockdown 
  • Molds to the feet
  • Breathable
  • Stable
  • Awesome for heel strikers
  • Great grip on roads & light trails
  • True to size
  • 3 widths for men
  • 2 widths for women

Cons

  • Feels big & heavy  
  • Pricey

Verdict

After putting it to the test, we can confidently say that the Hoka Bondi 7 screams comfort! It's highly cushioned and soft, we just couldn't get enough of it in long-distance recovery runs. It runs as smooth as a butter! And if there was a heaven for the feet, this is it right here. If there's a downside, it's that all its plushness comes at the expense of durability.
See our full review and facts
Hoka One One Mach 4
Hoka One One Mach 4
£99
£99
£107
£110
Also great

Corescore

93
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 8,238 users
94 / 100 from 29 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
£151
Top pick

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 1,024 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
Hoka One One Gaviota 3
Hoka One One Gaviota 3
£83
£84
£110
£110
Also great

Corescore

85
Great!
4.2 / 5 from 7,243 users
87 / 100 from 6 experts

Pros

  • Cushioned for heavier runners
  • Great for wide feet
  • Tuned for overpronators
  • Super stable, wide platform
  • Extremely durable
  • Plush, padded upper

Cons

  • A bit too stiff 
  • Heavy 
  • Tongue bunches up

Verdict

Heavily padded, cushioned, and keeps the feet's motions in check, we've never been more stable than the Gaviota 3 from Hoka! With all the cushion and support it provides, this motion control running shoe not only suits overpronators but also heavy runners. If there's a stability version of the Bondi, it's THIS. Ultimately, it's a shoe meant for daily runs rather than fast, uptempo paces.
See our full review and facts

Best trail vegan running shoes

Merrell Nova 2
Merrell Nova 2
£50
£69
£110
Top pick

Corescore

84
Good!
4.4 / 5 from 1,574 users
83 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Grip is great in good conditions
  • A decent amount of cushioning
  • Excellent lockdown
  • Sturdy upper
  • Dependable Vibram outsole
  • Good laces

Cons

  • Too much ground feel for some
  • Heavier than most
  • Grip isn’t reliable in wet conditions

Verdict

The Merrell Nova 2 is a traditionally designed trail running shoe, with less flair than many modern alternatives, but versatility and grip enough to prove its position as one of the best trail running shoes for beginners.
See our full review and facts
Merrell Moab Flight
Merrell Moab Flight
£66
£74
£76
£76
Also great

Corescore

86
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 419 users
89 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • No break-in period
  • Comfortable ride
  • Light
  • Excellent breathability
  • Reasonably-priced

Cons

  • Middling performance
  • Not so durable
  • Poor grip

Verdict

The Merrell Moab Flight is the Toyota RAV4 of shoes. It looks decent, can handle moderate dirt trails, and is comfortable enough to wear in many applications. While it is not the fastest or the most aggressive off-road, it has enough features that warrant consideration if you are looking for an all-around good quality trail shoe.
See our full review and facts

Best value vegan running shoes

Hoka One One Clifton 8
Hoka One One Clifton 8
£99
£99
£102
£108
Top pick

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 12,614 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
Merrell Antora 2
Merrell Antora 2
£74
£84
£89
Also great

Corescore

82
Good!
4.5 / 5 from 953 users
74 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Straight-out-the-box comfort
  • Grippy
  • Protective
  • Stable
  • Versatile use
  • Spacious toe box
  • Light

Cons

  • Stiff
  • Not for narrow feet

Verdict

As the women's counterpart of the Nova 2, the Merrell Antora 2 offers a sneaker-light comfort and confidence-boosting performance on both light and rugged trails. It has a durable grippy outsole for uphill and downhill runs, and an underfoot cushioning uniquely tailored for female athletes. With its protective and stable platform, this trail running shoe won't disappoint on long-distance and slow-paced runs.
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.