I’ve only worn minimalist shoes for the last 9 years or so, since first reading Born to Run.
The only problem is that many minimalist shoes are not vegan, and unless you’re really into minimalist shoes, vegan ones can be hard to find.
Lucky for you, I am.
And I’m going to share with you the best brands for vegans looking for minimalist shoes.
These brands cover all the main types of shoes:
- Hiking shoes
- Dress shoes
- Work and winter boots
These are in no particular order, but let’s jump in.
Table of Contents
Types of shoes sold: Running, Casual
Vivo Barefoot uses the same material for the soles of their shoes as the infamous Five Finger Vibram shoes do, and has gotten a lot more popular in recent years.
It’s pretty easy to find their products in other online stores, no matter where you live. If you’re looking for vegan trail running shoes, Vivo is probably the best option.
They have a line of vegan shoes, with a pretty wide selection. The materials are sustainably sourced, like using recycled PET plastic bottles for example.
The quality of Vivo’s shoes are pretty high, but also expensive.
Types of shoes sold: Running, Casual, Boots
Xero mainly is known for their running shoes, but does offer other shoes. I’m fairly confident that all of them are vegan (double-check individual product pages to be sure though).
I actually have a pair of Xero running shoes, as Vivo Barefoot was a bit out of my price range when I needed to buy a new pair.
While Xero shoes aren’t the most stylish or light, they’re very sturdy and durable, and have no drop. They also fit my wide feet really well, lots of breathing space for your toes.
Types of shoes sold: Dress shoes
You’ll need to translate the website (it’s Dutch I think?), but ZAQQ has one of the best selections of vegan minimalist dress shoes.
There’s zero heel drop, and they use only vegan material for most (maybe all) of their shoes.
Worth a look if you need something formal.
Types of shoes sold: Casual, Winter
Ahinsa has a whole line of barefoot shoes for men and women.
They’re quite stylish, but the shoes are quite expensive.
I’d recommend Ahinsa mainly for casual shoes and boots, I’m not a huge fan of their running shoes (because of the style and limited selection).
Types of shoes sold: Running, Casual
This is another European store, I believe it’s in German so you’ll need to translate it with your browser.
They mainly make running shoes made from a blend of polyester and polyurethane, which are both vegan-friendly.
Types of shoes sold: Running, Dress, Hiking, Boots
Lems makes shoes for both men and women.
There’s a good mix between running shoes and boots that are designed for work or hiking.
They also have a few pairs of dress shoes, although not the biggest selection.
Types of shoes sold: Casual
Kigo sells mostly casual shoes.
They are all handcrafted in the U.S.A. and made with recycled materials. Despite that, prices are quite affordable.
Their minimalist vegan shoes use a vibram outsole, and a mix of plastic (PET) and cotton for the rest of the shoes.
Merrell Trail Glove
The trail glove 4 is a minimalist trail running shoe. There’s both a men’s and women’s version.
It has a Vibram outsole, and a 0mm drop, not to mention being incredibly light (just 230 grams per shoe).
There is a “TrailProtect” pad on the bottom that adds a bit of protection, which helps for particularly rocky or rough trails. Overall it’s a great shoe if you prefer barefoot-style runners, as I do myself.
Altras Unisex Golden Spike
I really wanted to include the Altras Golden Spike, which is a very popular and versatile vegan trail running shoe, which is also unisex.
It has a bit of padding, is very comfortable, and has a good level of grip for a wide variety of trail conditions.
Overall it’s just a very balanced option to have.