I ‘m vegan and I love running. Being vegan and wanting to do anything other than eat grass and live in a hole was probably hard work 50 years ago but luckily things are a little kinder for us now and that means we can run with shoes on and not go against our vegan and vegetarian morals.

When you look inside the tongue of most running shoes (yes Vegan shoes have tongues too!), luck would have it that you are less likely to see the leather symbol, as seen below. Great, so most running shoes use natural or man-made fibres, no leather, that makes them Vegan!!!! Not so fast!

The Leather Symbol


Sadly looking in the tongue is not where the vegan identifying ends.

I’m sure you have heard the saying that something or someone “has been sent to the glue factory”. That saying means something is done with and comes from old horses carcasses being sent to glue factories where their bones were used for glue. Sadly animal products are still used in many glues to this day!

Luckily for us many running shoe companies have abstained from using animal based glues.

Below is a table from Vegan Runners UK outlining the responses they received from various shoe companies about which of their shoes are vegan. Companies not listed most likely did not respond or were not contacted and may have vegan options.


Asics All running shoes with N in the label/product code are vegan
Brooks All but the ‘addiction walker’ are vegan
Carn cobra, viper ev
Inov8 All but the Roclite 400 GTX Boot
Merrell Some styles are vegan friendly*
Mizuno All running products are vegan friendly
Newton All are vegan
Pearl Izumi Leather-free are vegan friendly
Puma Not vegan
Reebok Not vegan
Saucony Leather-free are vegan friendly
Walsh Some styles are vegan friendly*


*Walsh: PB Elite Trainer, PB Elite X’treme, PB Elite Racer, PB Ultra, PB Ultra X’treme, PB Junior, PB Boot, Spirit Lite, Spirit Peak, Spirit React 

*Merrell: Men’s: Chameleon3 Blast, Chameleon3 Plexus Sport, Chameleon Wrap Slam, Waterpro Manistee/ Waterpro Maipo, Waterpro Gauley, Waterpro Ganges, Pathway Moc Canvas, Women’s: Siren Strap Sport, Waterpro Manistee/Waterpro Maipo, Waterpro Belle, Waterpro Ganges. 

I’m vegan or vegetarian haven’t thought about that before!!!!

I hope I didn’t just shatter your world and you have just found out your favorite perfect running shoes are not vegan! If they are not for whatever reason then I first off think you should wear them til they are dead and you need new ones (pardo the pun!). Of course you’ll need to find a new pair but in the mean time it’s also worth contacting the company direct and asking for them to consider making the shoe vegan friendly. Let me know if you do and i’ll do my best to help and maybe even get a petition going for that shoe and any others.

Do you know any other things us vegans should be considering when it comes to running shoes? Do you have any other comments, thoughts, advice?

Please also take the time to share this post on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media that you engage in.

Thanks a million.

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When I can be I am a regular runner but I am also nothing special and certainly no elite, so in that respect I am regular too. However I do love talking about running and related things and I do have a lot of experience, over 15 years now.

6 Responses to “Are My Running Shoes Vegan / Vegetarian?” Subscribe

  1. Katie @ Produce on Parade July 16, 2013 at 20:24 #

    Yikes! I hate to be the one to tell you but NONE of Mizuno’s running shoes are vegan. I contacted the company today just to double check and I was informed that the glue they use does contain animal product. So sad 🙁

    I’m not sure where you obtained the information that they all their running shoes were vegan. I’d be interested to find out!

    Goodbye my sweet, sweet Mizunos! On the lookout for a new vegan-friendly shoe 🙂 I’ve seen that brooks advertises that they are vegan friendly, however.


    • Forest July 17, 2013 at 08:07 #

      Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh damn, that’s a real pain. I have really been enjoying the Alchemy’s I have :(… May have to be back to Brooks Adrenaline for me too.

      Looks like you are right, found more info on Mizuno here: http://runvegan.wordpress.com/shoe-guide/

      I may have to contact the source of my info and let them know.

  2. shane September 6, 2013 at 06:31 #

    Brooks are not totally honest. the information above “all shoes are Vegan except for the addiction runner” only applies to the US. I queried them about another one of their shoes that is leather and is available in australia (not sure where else) and they admitted that their statement does not apply to other countries and that they have no interest in modifying their statement to reflect that.

    • Forest December 28, 2013 at 09:59 #

      That’s sad Shane :(… A little annoying for us Vegans.

  3. verbosity October 18, 2013 at 23:03 #

    I have compiled a list of shoe manufacturers, the aim being to determine their Vegan suitability and consideration for working conditions. I am hoping to survey the companies every year.

    http://vegan8.wordpress.com/vegan-athletic-shoes/ gives you the option of going to a summary page which describes the categories and process and shows the company results, or to the details page which contains the correspondence with the companies as well as their contact details and information about their working conditions.

    Feedback and company suggestions are welcome

    • Forest December 28, 2013 at 09:59 #

      Thanks for the list! I am sure any help anyone can give to us will be helpful.

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