The 5 Best Vegan Gym And Lifting Shoes for Athletes


A lot of popular lifting shoes aren’t vegan.

Even classic brands like Converse often use adhesives that contain animal products.

Adidas has a few product lines that some claim are vegan, but they’re never clearly labelled or certified.

Personally, I’d like to be sure that my shoes are vegan.

A while back I needed new shoes, and ended up researching the best options. I’m going to share with you the best options I found for vegans here, whether you’re looking for just a lifting shoe, or more of a cross-trainer for lifting and trail running.

You’ll notice that most of these brands also make vegan minimalist shoes.

Vivo Barefoot

vivo barefoot

Vivo Barefoot isn’t a fully vegan company, but they do sell a vegan line of shoes for both men and women.

You can view those vegan lines on the official website, and if you find a shoe you’re interested in, it shouldn’t be hard to find it on some online shoe store that ships to you no matter where you live (they’re pretty popular at this point).

All Vivo Barefoot shoes are minimalist (i.e. flat bottoms), which make them great for lifting and running. Personally they’re my favorites here, but also quite pricey.

The only drawback is that most of their shoes are lightweight, which means they don’t offer much (if any) protection if a weight fell on your foot. If that’s a significant worry, it’s probably not the brand of shoes for you.


inov 8

Most Inov-8 shoes are vegan. The only ones that are not are the ones that contain leather or suede.

While Inov-8 makes a wide variety of shoes, you can filter them down to just see the gym and training shoes.

These are not minimalist shoes, they all have the standard heel padding, which some people like if they have limited ankle flexibility (can help with squat depth).

Etnies Scouts

etnies scout

Etnies sells quite a few vegan shoes, but most aren’t too great for the gym.

The Etnies Scouts line is your best bet from them.

I’d say they’re the most comparable to Classic Chucks, which are arguably the most popular general lifting shoes.


merrell shoes

Merrell mainly makes “barefoot” running shoes, but most of those are fine for the gym as well.

The trail glove line is the one I’d recommend looking at for men.

It’s on the light side (about 200 grams), with a mesh lining and mesh upper, and has a Vibram sole.

Ani Brand

ani brand shoes

Finally, Ani Brand is a good, fairly new, vegan brand.

All their products are eco-friendly (100% organic canvas and recycled packaging), vegan, and personally I like the style.

They’re not too flashy, more on the casual and plain side, but still look good.

Ani Brand shoes aren’t specifically designed for the gym, but with have a flat sole, I think they’d be decent lifting shoes.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.