Veganism is more than what you eat – it is a lifestyle. A large number of vegans are interested in health and fitness. They frequent gyms, running tracks, and hiking trails. This means they also need a comfortable pair of shoes that can keep up with them. Luckily, several big-name brands follow the vegan philosophy. For instance, ASICS, Mizuno, and Merrell have excellent shoe lines designed with vegans in mind. So how do you find durable vegan gym shoes that will give you the proper support during your workouts?
If you are looking for cruelty-free footwear, there are a couple of things you need to pay close attention to. The first thing is the glue. Animal-based glues were everywhere a couple of decades ago. However, the majority of manufacturers dropped it after discovering that synthetic glue is stronger. Unfortunately, some synthetic glues are still tested on animals. Secondly, go for synthetic materials since some companies still use animal skin. You can also find gym shoes made from recycled materials. Finally, make sure none of the materials or dyes are not tested on animals. A small percentage of companies use animals to determine if the dyes irritate human skin.
Vegans who don’t have enough time to dive deeper into the subject shouldn’t worry because we researched it for you. Here is the list of the best vegan gym shoes that will bring your workouts to a whole new level.
Xero is one of those companies that are focused solely on cruelty-free exercise gear. They are not a huge name yet, but more and more people are discovering Xero’s products. Xero Prio might seem like basic running shoes, but this model is quite versatile. If you are looking for super comfortable gym shoes that are also lightweight and comfortable, these might be the perfect fit. The minimalist design is well done, without too many details. The lacing system is reflective, so you will be visible while jogging in low-light conditions. The soles are super flexible, allowing you to move naturally and with ease. Additionally, Xero Prio features low soles that can improve your stability. Gym goers who have issues with painful foot arches often make a switch to low soles. They can come in handy if you are doing Crossfit or any type of cross-training that requires full contact with the surface.
Created fully out of synthetic materials, New Balance’s FuelCore Nergize V1 shoes are both stylish and functional. They are so comfortable that you will want to wear them outside of the gym as well. Even though the shoes have laces, they are indeed slip-ons. You can adjust the laces and make these shoes fit like a glove. The V-dip collar with a comfortable elastic band should keep your ankle in place. The REVlite cushioning created exclusively by New Balance adds extra support to your feet, making it easy to move around the gym. The Memory Sole adds an extra layer to the overall comfort of these shoes. FuelCore Nergize V1 shoes are very breathable thanks to the synthetic materials of the upper part. There are more than 20 different color combinations to choose from with this model, which is great if you plan on wearing them every day.
Even though Merrell is not entirely a vegan brand, their running shoes are cruelty-free. This particular model stands out because of its minimalistic design and excellent support. Not to forget that Vapor Glove 2 is incredibly lightweight and has zero drop. The heel cushioning can be beneficial if you are doing weight training. These shoes have flat laces that stay in place regardless of your movement or activity. The soles are made of textured rubber so they will not slip on wet surfaces. The only downside to Vapor Glove 2 is breathability. The synthetic material on the top of the shoe is coated with a thin layer of rubber which makes them water-resistant. After all, Vapor Glove 2 is primarily created for trail running. Unfortunately, this limits the airflow, and your feet might feel a bit hot in the gym settings.
Asics Onitsuka Tiger shoes were a staple for all serious runners back in the 1980s. These classic shoes are made of vegan-friendly materials and perform incredibly well in the gym. Surely, the design looks a bit basic, but once you put them on your feet, you will notice the cushioning and the support around your heel. The soles have a good grip on almost all surfaces, so parkour enthusiasts often use Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 shoes. The shoes are also lightweight, and you may move in any direction while still having enough support around your ankles. The padded collar alongside flat laces will keep your feet comfortable and in place. Asics is known for creating durable shoes for all types of activities, and these are no exception. Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 shoes are made of breathable materials, so your feet will stay dry during your gym session.
Mizuno is a cruelty-free brand, and all of its training shoes are vegan-friendly. Wave Inspire 16 is one of Mizuno’s most popular stability shoes, and they improve this model with every new edition. The upper part of the shoe features breathable materials that will keep you dry during your workout. The wave knit fabric is very soft but durable. It feels gentle around the ankles. The lacing system helps you to get the perfect fit with these shoes. There is a special cup for your heel designed to improve your stability while moving. Keep in mind that the soles are not super thin, so you will not have the barefoot feeling. However, there is more than enough cushioning, which is appreciated if you lift heavy weights in your gym. The overall flexibility of these shoes is excellent. Your movement will feel natural and flowy.