9 Sustainable Running Shoes Made With Recycled Materials
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When we want to hit the open road with nothing but our own feet, it’s sometimes tough to find the right running shoes. Will they be cushioned enough? What’s the heel-to-toe drop? Are they going to last me for 500+ miles? And sustainably speaking, are there any running sneakers that don’t include virgin plastic, polyester, or rubber?!
Whether you’re training, jogging, or sprinting, here are the best running shoes that are also responsibly made. 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!
Materials | FSC-certified eucalyptus tree fibers, responsibly sourced wool, sugarcane
Ethics | Certified B Corp, carbon-neutral, sustainable & responsible materials, gives back, recycled packaging, ethically made
Size Range | Women’s 5–11, men’s 8–14
Price Range | $105-$160
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 Runners, which are breezy, rigorously tested, and generously cushioned—you can read our full Allbirds review here.
2. On Running
Materials |Castor beans, cotton, recycled materials including polyester, polyurethane, polypropolene, and rubber
Ethics | Supplier code of conduct aligned with ILO standards, ethical sourcing, recycled materials, circular production
Size Range | Women’s 5–11, men’s 7–14
Price Range | $130–$270, subscriptions available
Small 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, which thrives in very dry, sparse landscapes (not a water guzzler!). This material that 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 offsetting 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! ) Our editor’s mom loves these for everyday comfort and support, and so do we— they provide all the lift and bounce we need.
3. Hylo Athletic
Materials | Corn fibers, natural rubbers, organic cotton, water-based glue, algae
Ethics | Sustainable & organic materials, recyclable, low carbon, ethically made
Size Range | Women’s 5.5-11.5, men’s 7–14
Price Range | $135
Hylo Athletic only carries one signature style—because these vegan running sneakers are that good. They’re made with corn fibers, natural rubber, algae, and organic cotton, and if you return your shoes after use, Hylo will recycle them and share a $10 credit as a thank you. The brand also offers free US and UK delivery on all orders. Get ready to run like the wind.
Materials | Amazonian rubber, rice waste, sugarcane, recycled polyester
Ethics | Recycled & sustainable materials, ethically made in Brazil, sustainable practices
Size Range | Women’s 4–10, men’s 9–13
Price Range | $100–$270
VEJA’s running 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, these shoes are comfortable and durable enough for everyday runners. The bright color options are pretty enticing, too. 😍
Materials | Recycled polyester, recycled fishnets, recycled rubber
Ethics | Climate-neutral, Bluesign-certified recycled & sustainable materials, gives back
Size Range | Women’s 5.5–11.5, men’s 7–15
Price Range | $130–$210
Born in Sweden, Icebug became one of the first climate-positive footwear brands in the world by offsetting and reducing its emissions as much as possible. These running shoes are almost entirely made of recycled materials, from fishnets to polyester to rubber. Don’t worry though, your strides won’t be compromised—these high-performing shoes are precision-engineered for every kind of runner and terrain (yes, including ice).
6. Lane Eight
Materials | Recycled PET, algae, vegan suede
Ethics | Vegan, recycled & sustainable materials, gives back
Size Range | Women’s 5–11, men’s 7–13
Price Range | $130
Lane Eight is on a mission to make the world’s best running shoes, and it’s getting close! The team uses recycled polyester yarn from plastic bottles, vegan microfibers, and algae-based foam for its trainers—which actually remove 64 cubic meters of carbon from the atmosphere. We especially love the gorgeous colors, responsive cushioning, and flexibility to wear from the treadmill to the trail. Stretchy, supportive, and sustainable.
Materials | Merino wool, FSC-certified eucalyptus tree fibers
Ethics | Responsibly sourced materials, no scrap waste & oil-free production, sustainable practices
Size Range | Women’s 5–11, men’s 7–15
Price Range | $140–$160
Giesswein harnesses the power of Merino wool for its sustainable running shoes. Based in Austria, this family-run business responsibly sources wool because of its antibacterial, heat-resistant, and odor-free properties. During production, absolutely no waste is created and 90 percent of the water is recycled. The special 3D stretch technology makes these runners incredibly lightweight and flexible. Free worldwide shipping to boot!
Materials | Recycled polyester, biodegradable compounds in EVA soles
Ethics | Sustainable & recycled materials, eco-friendly initiatives, take-back program, gives back
Size Range | Women’s 5–13, men’s 5–16
Price Range | $65–$250
Brooks has been a long-time favorite in the running community. Now more than ever, the brand is focused on corporate responsibility too—with a focus on mindful sourcing, net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and transitioning to circular products. Whether you want to hit the road or the gym, you can find what you need here. As Brooks says, “More feet, less footprint.”
Materials | Recycled plastic
Ethics | Sustainable & recycled materials, vegan-friendly options
Size Range | Women’s 5–19, men’s 4–18
Price Range | $60–$260
Adidas, one of the world’s largest shoe brands, has committed to shifting to 100 percent recycled polyester by 2024. Many of its shoes are made already with sustainability in mind—you can search for Primegreen or Blue options for partially recycled options or look for vegan running shoes.
Featured image from Hylo Athletic