Our 8 Favourite Sustainable Running Shoes - Good On You
02 Apr

Our 8 Favourite Sustainable Running Shoes

A few weeks ago we told you all about our favourite running clothes that will help you minimise your impact on the planet, people, and animals when running. And today, we’re looking at sustainable running shoes more specifically!

Choosing the right running shoes is super important. Good running shoes will help soften the impact of your jog, but most importantly, will prevent injuries.

But did you know regular running shoes can have a pretty negative impact on the environment? A pair of synthetic running shoes, for example, is said to generate 30lbs of emissions, equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for a week!

And don’t get us started on the impact of traditional running shoes on workers: Nike (It’s A Start) is still not paying a living wage, nor is New Balance (Not Good Enough), Mizuno’s (Not Good Enough) supply chain is not certified by labour standards and Saucony (Not Good Enough) got the lowest labour rating of ‘Very Poor’ for its lack of transparency.

Luckily an increasing number of brands are beginning to create more environmentally-friendly and ethical running shoes, incorporating sustainable materials and ensuring workers’ safety, health, and labour rights!

Before we dive in, here are a few things you should remember when buying your next pair of running shoes:

  • Get your foot properly measured: your shoes shouldn’t be too tight, or too large. Don’t be afraid to increase your shoe size! (Funny story: I usually buy EU size 39 shoes, but my running shoes are an EU size 42!)
  • Buy shoes adapted to your running level and routine: don’t buy trail shoes if you’re going on 20 minutes jogs in the city.
  • Know your gait and running style: according to HuffPost, gaits typically fall into three standard types—neutral, overpronated, or underpronated—and will help you determine which shoe to go for.
  • Take time adjusting to your new shoe: don’t go on your first 10km with that brand new pair you’ve never worn before. Runners World recommends alternating between your old and your new pair to lower the risk of injury and let your body and feet adapt.

So, without further ado, here are our 8 favourite sustainable running shoes! Ready, set, GO!

Allbirds

Rated: Good

Allbirds is a San Francisco-based startup that looks to Mother Nature as its muse. It uses a variety of eco-friendly, innovative materials including TENCEL™ Lyocell which uses 95% less water than traditional cotton and cuts its carbon footprint in half.

See the rating.

Shop Allbirds.

man wearing sustainable running shoes by Allbirds

Men’s Tree Dashers – Ships internationally from the US

Allbird’s most technical shoe yet, the Tree Dasher reimagines the traditional running shoe with renewable materials from eucalyptus to sugarcane, engineered for serious performance. Plus, it’s available in sizes 41 to 47.

woman wearing sustainable running shoes by Allbirds

Wool Dasher Mizzles – Ships internationally from the US

There’s nothing worse than wet and cold feet when you’re out on a run. Take stormy weather in stride with Ecoalf’s sustainable running shoes that use eco-friendly materials to give you extra grip AND comfort.

Veja

Rated: Good

Veja is a French brand designing ecological and fair trade footwear, and is also a sustainable fashion pioneer. The brand uses eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified cotton and vegetable-tanned leather! Veja pays its co-operative cotton growers and rubber tappers between 30% and 100% above the world market price. By not advertising, Veja is able to invest more money into strengthening its ethical practices. You can find Veja shoes in women's EU sizes 35-46, and men's 35-47.

See the rating.

Shop Veja.

Shop Veja @ Luisa via Roma.

Shop Veja @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Veja @ Outerknown.

Shop Veja @ Threads 4 Thought.

Shop Veja @ Farfetch.

colourful sustainable running shoes by French brand Veja

Condor 2 Alveomesh – Ships internationally from France

Combining maximum comfort with a very secured feel, this is a reliable partner to enjoy your run! Veja teamed up with Jolie Foulée, a French running community, to create this colourful pair.  You can find them in EU sizes 36 to 47.

Ecoalf

Rated: Good

Thanks to recycled materials like rescued ocean plastic, Ecoalf creates sustainable fashion with the same quality, design, and technical properties as the best non-recycled ones. Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Ecoalf @ Farfetch.

black and white eco-friendly runners by Ecoalf

Anthon Sneakers – Ships internationally from Portugal

The Anthon trainers are made mainly from recycled nylon. These vegan running shoes are perfect for any time of the year, as they are durable, lightweight, water-repellent, and committed to the planet. Find theses shoes in sizes 40 to 46.

peach ethical joggers by Ecoalf

Bora Bora Sneakers – Ships internationally from Portugal

Made from recycled PET from plastic bottles, the Bora Bora sneakers are fully elastic and ergonomic, and adapt to each person: providing them with greater support and a customised experience. The ultra-lightweight EVA soles contain 11% algae, enabling Ecoalf to reduce its environmental impact. Find this pair in sizes 36 to 40.

Adidas by Stella McCartney

Rated: Good

In an eco power collaboration we didn’t know we needed but definitely deserve, footwear company Adidas paired with sustainable luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney to create stunning sneakers and activewear that look and feel great. Made from a percentage of recycled Parley Ocean Plastic®, you can walk the walk knowing you helped prevent plastic waste from reaching the ocean.

See the rating.

Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney @ Luisa via Roma.

Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney @ Farfetch.

black woman wearing fluro yellow activewear and sustainable running shoes by Adidas for Stella McCartney

Ultraboost 20 Running Shoes – Ships internationally from Germany

These eco-friendly sneakers will help you support your fitness goals while you support the planet. Designed and tested for 10km runs, the running shoe’s upper was created using Primeblue—a recycled high-performance material, made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic.

Adidas

Rated: Good

Adidas is one of the largest sportswear makers in the world. The company has set some good environmental and labour standards, including an absolute target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from its own operations.

See the rating.

Shop Adidas @ Luisa via Roma.

Shop Adidas Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Adidas.

man running in sustainable running shoes by Adidas

Terrex Trail Running Shoes – Ships internationally from Germany

Trail runners, this one’s for you! The adidas Terrex Speed Ultra Trail Running Shoes are made from recycled materials and are built for speed across long distances.

ethical runners by Adidas

Adizero Finess Spikes – Ships internationally from Germany

This pair is for short distance and track runners: these sneakers offer fast transitions, a supportive landing zone, and are tuned for speed, allowing you to push past what you thought was possible.

Editor's note

Feature image via Allbirds, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet and animals. Use our Directory to search more than 3,000 brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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