14 Best Sustainable Running Shoe Brands for 2021

Shopping for a new pair of running shoes is hard work – you need to ensure they fit your running style, are comfortable, match your gait type, and will hold up for as long as you need them. It’s even harder if you’re narrowing your choice down to include sustainable running shoes.

Despite the rapid growth in sustainable fashion brands, there’s still a lack of eco-friendly running shoes out there.

That’s why we put this guide together.

We’ve collected some of our favorite sustainable running shoes out there to help you find your ideal shoe. We’re not going to show you any shoes that look like running shoes, but don’t actually provide real support. These are all great shoes, made for running in.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the recommendations.

Our Sustainable Running Shoes and Sneaker Recommendations

1. Allbirds Tree Dasher

Highlights: Super comfy, breathable, and lightweight everyday running shoe made from eucalyptus and merino wool. They have the world’s first carbon-negative green EVA.

Allbirds Tree Dasher Sustainable Running Shoe

First, we have the Allbirds Tree Dasher.

Allbirds are well-known for their minimalist, high-performance shoes, and the Tree Dasher is their first foray into the world of running.

The uppers are made from eucalyptus tree and merino wool, and the sole is made of the world’s first carbon-negative green EVA, which includes natural materials such as sugar cane. To keep you stable in all weather conditions, they have natural rubber traction pads as well.

The Tree Dasher only emits 9 kg CO2e during the production process, which Allbirds then offset, turning them into a carbon neutral shoe. They’re a great option on your search for a sustainable running shoe.

They come in multiple colorways for both women and men, and are perfect for running, workouts, and will even look good as an everyday sneaker. Click here to view them on the Allbirds site.

Key benefits:

  • Breathable & lightweight
  • Eco-friendly & recycled materials
  • Responsive and supportive midsole
  • Low CO2 output, and all output offset by Allbirds
  • Carbon negative green EVA
  • Ideal everyday running shoe

2. On Running

Highlights: High-performance running shoes made with high-tech eco-friendly processes

On Running CloudX sustainability

On use technology to continuously improve the materials and manufacturing process for their environmentally friendly running shoes.

They’re designed for performance, and have a variety of models to fit different running shoes and shoe preferences.

On’s shoes are lightweight, grippy, and while they might look funky at first, they’re pretty good-looking too.

Definitely a great choice and a company to consider in your search for a pair of sustainable running shoes.

Key benefits:

  • Lightweight running shoes
  • Shoes to suit a variety of running styles and gait type
  • Eco-friendly production processes

3. Vivobarefoot

Highlights: Minimal water usage, materials include cork, recycled rubber, natural yarns, and completely vegan.

Vivobarefoot vegan running shoes

Vivobarefoot is another sustainable running shoe brand that we definitely recommend.

As you can see on their sustainability page, every part of their brand has sustainability in mind.

In terms of materials, they ensure that everything is sourced in a responsible way. For example, when using leathers they source from wild roaming cattle and sustainably tanned hides. This minimizes water and chemical use in a typically energy-intensive process.

They also use sustainable materials including cork, recycled PET and rubber, and natural yarns.

Their end goal is to make running shoes that create zero waste and have no negative effects on the environment and communities involved in the production process.

Key benefits:

  • Barefoot-style running shoes
  • Sustainable materials and production process

4. Allbirds Wool Dasher Mizzles

Highlights: Water-repellent shoes for wet weather running, made with sustainable materials. Carbon neutral.

Allbirds Wool Dasher Mizzles

The Allbirds Wool Dasher Mizzles are designed for runners who regularly run in wet and rainy conditions. They’re completely carbon neutral and made with sustainable materials.

The uppers are made with ZQ merino wool, which as a flourine-free waterproof coating so they never absorb water — perfect if you live in a rainy climate.

The Wool Dasher Mizzles have a grippy sole to ensure you never slip, made with FSC® Certified natural rubber treads, and a comfortable SweetFoam sole.

As rainy weather usually coincides with low visibility, they also have reflective highlights around the show to keep you safe.

If you want even more protection against the elements, Allbirds also make a version with a mid-height sock around the top.

Key benefits:

  • Extra grip for running in the rain
  • Carbon neutral production
  • Water repellent uppers

5. Adidas x Parley

Highlights: Shoe made from recycled materials and ocean plastics, low energy and low water waste in the production process

Adidas Parley sustainable sneakers

We’ve mentioned this collaboration before, but it’s worth talking about again.

Adidas has teamed up with Parley to help clean the oceans.

All of the shoes in the Adidas x Parley range are made from recycled ocean plastic trash. Don’t worry, they look great too. In fact, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish the materials from other shoes, and we’re confident you’ll be impressed at just how good they are!

These sustainable and recycled running shoes are also created using a low energy and low water usage process.

Like other Adidas running shoes, these sustainable trainers are designed for performance, and you can expect to feel great on your next run with these on your feet.

Key benefits:

  • Made from recycled plastics
  • Lightweight, but supportive
  • Multiple styles depending on your running style
  • Perfect for short to mid-distance running

6. Merrell Skyfire Undyed

Highlights: A variety of road and trail running shoes made from recycled materials. Undyed to save water and toxic chemicals being used.

Merrel undyed sustainable runners

This trail running shoe from Merrell is a recently released eco-friendly running shoe.

It’s packed with environmentally friendly features including a 100% recycled mesh upper, 100% recycled laces, and 40% recycled mesh lining and insole top.

They’re designed for high-performance, with a Merrell Quantam Grip™ rubber outsole, and a rock plate for protection on hard trails.

They’re super-light, weighing only 15oz (420g).

To sum it up: these eco-friendly Merrells are an awesome running shoe for trail and cross-country runners. They’re available in men’s and women’s variations.

Key benefits:

  • High-performance running shoes
  • Ideal for trail running
  • Variety of styles depending on your gait type

7. HOKA x Outdoor Voices Clifton

Highlights: OV focuses on using sustainable and recycled materials throughout the production process

Women's Hoka Clifto7 Sustainable Runners

HOKA ONE ONE and Outdoor Voices are both brilliant sustainable brands in their own right, and they’ve released this sustainable running shoe as a collaboration.

HOKA Cliftons are well-known for their comfort thanks to their unique Meta-Rocker system, which has a midsole that essentially rolls from the back to the front, to ensure that every step on your run feels good.

These OV Cliftons come in three different colors and have a breathable mesh upper that will keep your feet cool and comfortable.

Key benefits:

  • Lightweight with marshmallow-like cushioning
  • Versatile and supportive, ideal for road or trail running

8. Brooks Running

Highlights: High-performance shoes from one of the world’s leading running brands. They have sustainable initiatives focused on product sustainability, climate action, and responsible sourcing.

Brooks eco-friendly running shoes

Brooks is one of the world’s leading running brands, and for good reason. They produce a range of high-quality running shoes for a variety of running styles.If you visit a local running store, they’ll almost certainly stock several pairs of Brooks shoes.

Over the last several years, they’ve been incorporating more and more sustainable practices into their business. For example, wherever they use polyester, it includes at least 20% recycled content. They midsoles in Brooks contain organic, non-toxic compounds that means the EVA biodegrades 50x faster than in traditional running shoes. They also use 44% bluesign approved materials.

The company also has invested in eco-friendly headquarters in Seattle, which has LEED Platinum and ENERGY STAR certifications, using 75% less energy than traditional buildings.

They also have a wide range of other sustainability initiatives. Overall, it’s great to see such a well-known running brand investing in sustainability.

Key benefits:

  • Wide range of running shoes, suited to every gait type and running style
  • Dedicated to sustainability
  • Transparent, publishing a corporate responsibility report every year

9. Newton Running

Highlights: Reliable running shoes and the company helps communities thrive with its giving back program

Women's Gravity Newton Running Shoes

Newton Running is our next sustainable running shoe brand recommendation. They’re investing heavily into giving back to communities, as well as creating amazing shoes.

They make ethical running shoes for everyone. Whether you’re just starting out on a Couch to 5k plan, or running your third marathon, Newton Running will have a shoe for you.

They’re big on giving back to communities and charities and use their platform for social good.

For example, they donate to Soles 4 Souls, Trickle Up, and One World Running.

No matter the type of shoe style you like, we’re confident that you’ll find the right pair for you from Newton.

Key benefits:

  • Wide range of running shoe styles
  • Shoe donation programs

10. Giesswein Wool Cross X

Giesswein Wool Cross X running shoe

Highlights: Sustainable production methods and facilities, use only certified museling-free wool

Giesswein is a third-generation shoe brand from Austria. They make their running shoes, the Wool Cross X, from museling-free merino wool that are supportive and comfortable.

All wool is handpicked for it’s ethical standards, and Giesswein also have a variety of sustainable production initiatives. For example, they waste 0% of their scraps, use 100% renewables to power production, and 90% of water used is recycled.

The Wool Cross X fits true-to-size and comes in a range of colorways for women and women.

Key benefits:

  • Moisture and odor-wicking wool
  • Museling-free wool
  • Sustainable production methods, saving energy and water
  • Grippy sole

11. Hylo Athletics

Highlights: Negative carbon footprint, created using sustainable materials and as part of an ethical supply chain

Hylo sustainable running shoes

Hylo’s shoes are designed in a circular model – they can be completely reused when you’ve worn them out. The fabrics can be composted, and Hylo will grind up the soles to be used in new pairs of their shoes.

They contain seven different sustainable, natural materials, including organic cotton, corn fibre, castor bean oil, algae bloom, corn starch, natural rubber, and water-based vegan glue.

These runners are extremely lightweight and breathable, weighing in at just 215g.

The materials come together to create a comfortable but supportive shoe that will act as the perfect partner to your runs or walks around the city.

Oh, and they’re completely vegan too.

Key benefits:

  • Circular production for sustainability
  • Lightweight, breathable uppers
  • Supportive, strong soles

12. Lunge Neo Run

Highlights: Sustainable footwear, handmade in Germany

Lunge Neo Run sustainable running shoes

The Lunge Neo Runs are a sustainable running shoe, completely handmade in Germany. They use all vegan and non-toxic materials, so they’re a great option.

The Neo Runs are neutral shoes and have a good balance between comfort and support.

They’re lightweight but offer impressively bouncy souls that preserve energy upon impact and give you an extra boost on the track (something we could all do with!).

Key benefits:

  • Handmade in Germany, using vegan and non-toxic materials
  • Bouncy high-tech soles
  • Short distance runners

13. Veja Condor

Highlights: Vegan eco friendly running shoe made from recycled plastic bottles and organic materials

Veja Condor sustainable running shoes

Veja are a well known sustainable, fully vegan sneaker brand.

The Condor is their first foray into running shoes – and you’re going to want to check it out.

The design is modern and stylish, and it comes in a wide variety of colorways for both men and women.

You’d hardly believe the materials in it, either.

The upper is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, and the mid-sole even contains rice waste. There’s also organic cotton, recycled polyester, sugar cane, and sustainable Amazonian rubber.

Key benefits:

  • Uppers made from recycled plastic bottles
  • Completely vegan
  • Supportive everyday running shoes for short to mid distances

14. Icebug

Highlights: Trail and cold weather running shoe made from eco friendly materials. Carbon negative production process.

Icebug trail running shoes

If you’re a winter runner needing shoes that will carry you over variable terrain, including snow and ice, then you need a pair of Icebugs.

You can choose from a variety of outdoor running shoes with studs (or unstudded).

Icebug are a sustainable pioneer. They’re the first climar positive footwear brand, offsetting 200% of the carbon emissions their production processes cuase.

They also donate 1% of their annual profit to charitable cuases.

They use a variety of sustainable materials in their trail running shoes, including bluesign® 100% recycled PET polyester, algae foam as an alternative to fossil-based EVAs, and they’re currently working towards using non-toxic water repellent.

Key benefits:

  • Offset 200% of carbon emissions created
  • Donate 1% of profits to charity
  • Best running shoes for cold weather running

Frequently Asked Questions

Which sustainable running shoes are best for everyday running?

The Allbirds Tree Dashers are perfect for everyday runs, between 5-10K.

Other good options include On Running, Hoka, Brooks, and Adidas Parley.

Are Nike shoes sustainable?

Unfortunately, Nike hasn’t made huge strides with their sustainable initiatives. That said, they have recently released a line of running shoes made with at least 20% recycled materials. It’s a great start, and you can check out the range here.

Which are the best sustainable running shoes for cold weather runs?

We recommend you go with Ice Bugs, designed for running in snow and ice. Alternatively, the Mizzle Dashers are made for wet weather city runs.

Which running shoes are vegan?

Veja Condors, Hylo Athletics, and Vivobarefoot are all good vegan running shoe options!

Are Hoka shoes sustainable?

Hoka does not use any animal products in their processes. They’re also a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

Are Brooks shoes sustainable?

Brooks has a wide range of sustainable programs focused on three main pillars: product sustainability, climate action, and responsible sourcing. Shop Brooks here.

Conclusion: Best Sustainable Running Shoes

If you’re in the market for a pair of sustainable running shoes, these are all great options.

Whether you’re looking for completely vegan running shoes, or if you’re into running shoes using recycled materials, these have you covered.

Know a brand that deserves to be mentioned in this article?

Let us know in the comments below!

6 Comments

  1. Hylo corn and algae shoes look great. Available in Canada ? Saw only UK.

    • I believe Hylo are a relatively new company so it’s possible that their delivery options are limited. But, if you contact them directly they may be able to help!

  2. Does Vivobarefoot have any stores or just online sales?
    Because currently as trainers I am using the Condor Mesh Jaune Fluo by Veja and Corsa Evo Beige by ACBC … but as soon as I saw those by Vivobarefoot I fell in love with them!

  3. Excellent and helpful article. Many thanks. It drove me to do a bit more research and I found Icebug who’s sustainability credentials look good.

    • Glad to hear you found the article was useful. Enjoy your Icebugs, looks like they have some great initiatives!

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