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I’ve never been much of a runner, but more recently, I’ve started incorporating a few miles into my week and running on the treadmill at the gym. There’s something about beating your mile time or going a bit farther than you thought was possible—runner’s high is definitely real—and so I’ve taken up an interest in finding the best music, stretches, and shoes to support my new hobby.

Sustainable running shoes can be hard to come by. Finding a perfect shoe with enough cushion and support that doesn’t include virgin plastic, polyester, or rubber is a tall order. Thankfully though, some of our favorite brands have put themselves up to the challenge and created responsible running shoes that even the most experienced runners will love.

Whether you’re training, jogging, or sprinting, here are the best running shoes that are also sustainably made—tested first-hand by our editorial team. These brands have found virgin plastic and polyester alternatives, instead using recycled materials, sustainable fibers, and responsibly sourced wool. 👟

Hoping for everyday sustainable sneakers? We have a guide for that, too!

1. On Running

Natural materials
Recycled materials

Best For | Crosstraining, sprints, distance runs
Materials | Castor beans, cotton, recycled materials including polyester, polyurethane, polypropolene, and rubber
Size Range | Women’s 5–11, men’s 7–14
Price Range | $130–$270, subscriptions available

Swiss company On has created a running shoe from a bioplastic with a surprising origin: a bean! More specifically, the bean of the castor plant thrives in very dry, sparse landscapes (not a water guzzler!). This material can be recycled over and over, without the need for separating or wasting finite resources in the process. The brand launched a circular subscription service so you can “own your run, not your shoes.” This innovative approach to offset waste is ideal for high-mileage runners who need to replace their (expensive!) running shoes several times a year. With On’s Cyclon, shoes are returned and completely recycled into a new pair of shoes, a process that can continue indefinitely. (Talk about magic beans! )

As for our personal take: this was my favorite shoe I tested and I’m now an On Running convert. The shoe pictured below is the Cloud X 3, which, as the brand states, was born from their expertise in running but made for every squat, every lunge, every interval, and every burpee. It’s the perfect training shoe if you want to log fast miles, interval train, and perfect your power clean. I found this shoe to be most similar to my Reeboks and Nikes.


B corp
Natural materials
Recycled materials

Best For | Supportive and durable running shoes
Materials | Amazonian rubber, rice waste, sugarcane, recycled polyester
Size Range | Women’s 4–10, men’s 9–13
Price Range | $160–$245

From one of our very favorite sustainable shoe brands comes a running shoe we absolutely love: say hello to VEJA’s running shoe collection! These shoes have gained recognition around the globe, particularly the VEJA Condors for being the first post-petroleum running shoe. Ethically made using recycled polyester, Ricinus oil, rice waste, sugarcane, and Amazonian rubber, they are comfortable and durable enough for everyday runners. The bright color options are pretty enticing, too.

I have a few pairs of Vejas that I already love for walking and everyday wear, and the Condors did not disappoint. They offer more support than other shoes on this list, and they are designed to be highly versatile for long runs, easy runs, and recovery sessions. I found 5k runs to be the sweet spot. (Bonus: I also have a pair of the Impalas, which I absolutely love for travel/walking/spontaneous runs on the go.)

3. Allbirds

B corp
Natural materials
Recycled materials

Best For | Breathable, lightweight running shoes
Materials | FSC-certified eucalyptus tree fibers, responsibly sourced wool, sugarcane
Size Range | Women’s 5–11, men’s 8–14
Price Range | $105–$135

Allbirds, a certified B Corp, has revolutionized the shoe game. Its sustainable running shoes and sneakers are crafted using tree fibers and wool, sugarcane for midsole, and castor oil for insoles. Even better, the brand is fully carbon-neutral and ships its shoes in recycled packaging. They’ve also recently launched Allbirds ReRun, a marketplace that keeps gently used or slightly imperfect products out of the landfill and into new closets.

We’re especially big fans of the Tree Dashers (pictured in the left image below), which are breezy, rigorously tested, and generously cushioned. I personally tried the Tree Dasher 2, which is the next evolution of Allbird’s everyday active shoe with more responsive foam, extra grip, and an improved fit. While not my favorite for sprints or breaking mile records, it’s a perfect shoe for zone 2 training and warmup jogs. The sportier, angular heel shape also softens impact, which my shins love.

4. Vivobarefoot

B corp
Recycled materials

Best For | Barefoot running shoes
Materials | Recycled polyethylene terephthalate, synthetic rubber
Size Range | Women’s 5.5–11.5, men’s 7–15
Price Range | $145–$200

Move as Mother Nature intended is the slogan behind Vivobarefoot, a shoe you may have seen more recently in fitness communities and at gyms. The science shows there are benefits to having a more barefoot/natural shoe, including increased foot strength, flexibility, and stability. That said, these shoes do take some getting used to! We love our Vivos though. I pushed through the strange sensation for the first few runs and started noticing I preferred the barefoot feel over shoes with extra arch support and cushion. What makes Vivobarefoot even better is the sustainable materials, certified B Corp status, and regenerative mission. We’re fans!

5. hylo Athletic

Natural materials
Recycled materials

Best For | Lightweight training shoes
Materials | Corn fibers, natural rubbers, organic cotton, water-based glue, algae
Size Range | Women’s 5.5–11.5, men’s 7–14
Price Range | $170

hylo Athletic creates certified vegan running sneakers made with corn fibers, natural rubber, algae, and organic cotton. The brand also has its hyloop program, which offers care, repair, and recycling to keep shoes out of the landfill. The shoe we tested was the The hylo RUN, though it’s really made for all kinds of athletics and is lightweight enough for box jumps as well as road sprints. As the brand explains it, this shoe couples the cushioning required for short to middle-distance road running with the stability needed for the gym. The science behind these shoes is pretty spectacular, and they are incredibly lightweight at only 240 g.

Kayti Christian is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the creator of Feelings Not Aside, a newsletter for sensitive people.