The Best Vegan Trail Running Shoes


I know from experience that finding a new pair of runners that you like can be a chore, especially if you’re looking for vegan trail running shoes.

So I put together a list of the most popular options that are pretty diverse. I’m sure that there’s at least one or two appealing options for just about all runners.

Note that I left out companies like Salomon and Nike. While both are known for their trail runners, neither guarantee that their shoes are fully vegan (even though some probably are).

Most trail running shoes don’t use leather, but they sometimes use adhesives formed from animal products. The same shoe may use different adhesives in different factories, so I only trust companies that guarantee their shoes are vegan.

I’ve divided the shoes in mens and womens, in no particular order.

The Most Popular Men’s Vegan Trail Running Shoes

Here are the men’s runners that kept coming up over and over again in my research.

Merrell Trail Glove 4

merrel trail glove

The trail glove 4 is a minimalist trail running shoe.

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.

Vivo Barefoot Primus Trail SG

vivobarefoot primus shoe

The Primus Trail SG is incredibly popular with hardcore trail runners who run on tough muddy slopes.

It has minimal padding, but a high grip sole for slippery terrain. It also features a water-wicking design, which helps if you expect to be running in wet conditions.

Vivo Barefoot also makes other vegan minimalist shoes that are worth taking a look at.

Brooks Mazama 2

brooks mazama

Moving away from barefoot options, the Mazama 2 is a popular neutral vegan Brooks shoe.

It has a relatively small 6 mm midsole drop, and is lightweight at 263.7 grams.

It’s a good mix between a traditional runner and trail shoe. A good option if you like just a bit of support and aren’t planning to run in conditions that are too messy.

Inov ROCLITE 305

inov roclite

The Inov Roclite shoe is incredibly popular.

It offers a lot more padding and grip than the other options, and is really comfort.

While it excels in slippery conditions, it’s a versatile enough shoe to work on just about any trail in a wide variety of conditions.

The Most Popular Women’s Vegan Trail Running Shoes

Here are the most popular trail running options for vegan women.

Altra Lone Peak 3.0

altras lone peak

The Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is the latest version of this popular model.

It’s a rugged trail shoe that can handle most trail conditions.

It also has rock plates built into the soles for a little extra underfoot protection.

Brooks Cascadia 12

cascadia brooks

The Brooks Cascadia has been a popular vegan trail shoe for ages, and the 12 is the latest in the line.

It features a lot of padding, but it’s super comfortable, while giving enough traction on slippery surfaces.

It has rock shields, crash pads, and a “ioMoGo DNA midsole” to protect your foot and make your run more comfortable.

Inov ROCLITE 305

inov roclite mens

The Roclite has a fairly small drop, but features a lot of grip for unpredictable terrain.

It’s a nice versatile shoe that’s comfortable and good for most trails. A really good choice if you plan on running a variety of trails.

Merrell Women’s Pace Glove 3 Trail Running Shoe

merrell barefoot

This is a really nice minimalistic barefoot shoe for women.

It has a vibram sole and thin upper mesh for ventilation. It’s a good shoe for clean, level trails, but not ideal if you’re planning on running in treacherous conditions.

Merrell Women’s Encore Q2 Breeze

merrell encore

The Encore Breeze was designed for light trail running with a breathable mesh lining.

It has a minimal sole, but does have a removable insole support if you need light arch support.

It’s reasonably light, weighing in at 400 grams.


Altras Unisex Golden Spike

altras 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.

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.

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