Are Nike Shoes Vegan? The Ultimate Guide

The Nike brand produce some of the most popular sneakers, whether you’re looking for athletic shoes or a fresh lifestyle trainer, Nike have confidently got all bases covered. When it comes to vegan options, Nike caters for a wide variety of vegan shoes in their footwear range.

Nike sells footwear across thousands of stores worldwide and currently takes up around two-thirds of the US footwear market. As one of the most famous and trusted footwear brands and a market leader it’s no surprise that people have confidence using Nike as a choice free from animal products. 

We all have different needs when it comes to our clothing and shoe choices. If you are vegan, or just like to avoid the use of animal products, then you know you need to be careful about what kind of products you purchase and wear. So, are Nike shoes vegan – or should they be avoided?

Let’s find out!

Are Nike Shoes Vegan?

Nike sells both vegan and non-vegan footwear. This means that only some of Nike’s shoes are vegan while others are definitely not. 

Vegan shoes are shoes that are not made using any type of animal product. When checking to see if a shoe is vegan, there are two things you need to check – the leather, and the glue. 

Leather is a prominent issue for vegans. It’s made from animal skins, which makes it unsuitable for vegans who want to avoid using animal products.

Luckily, most shoe brands are up-front with whether or not their shoes use real animal leather as a material or faux leather, a synthetic leather made from plastics that is suitable for vegans.

Some Nike shoes do use real leather but not all of them do. When browsing Nike shoes, check out the product details and see if the shoes use leather anywhere in the description.

If the shoe is made from faux leather, then ‘synthetic materials’ will be mentioned instead. Some Nike shoes use a combination of both – so always check the product description! 

Luckily, when it comes to glue, all Nike shoes created in 2015 and after are made with vegan glue. Traditional glue used in shoes is made using animal collagens but today, more and more footwear manufacturers are switching to a vegan alternative glue. 

Nike made this switch in 2015 and ever since, all of their footwear products are made using vegan glue. This means that the glue that they use on their products is free from any animal products, and it also hasn’t been tested on animals. 

This means that if you are purchasing a pair of shoes that were released after 2015, you will not have to worry about the glue used.

If you are buying an older model on the after sale market then you will need to ensure that you double-check whether the shoe was made using vegan glue. The best way to do this would be looking at the date of release.

So if purchasing a new item, all you need to worry about is whether or not the pair of Nike shoes you are interested in is made using any leather.

What Is Synthetic Leather?

Synthetic leather is artificial leather. This means that it is not made from animal skin. This type of leather is vegan. 

Synthetic leather is the future of leather because it is a much better material. It is easy to use, and it does not require any animals to be harmed in the process. 

What Nike Shoes Are Vegan?

So, Nike does create some ranges of vegan shoes – but not all of their footwear products are vegan-friendly.

There are lots of popular Nike shoes that are vegan. You can find cross trainers, basketball shoes, running shoes and casual lifestyle shoes that are vegan. No matter what you are looking for, you will have the chance to find a vegan version of the shoe that you are hoping to buy. 

It’s important to do your research, check the product details and description, and the date of the shoes before you purchase them to ensure they are vegan.

On its website, Nike will label any vegan products as ‘Next Nature’ or ‘Sustainable Materials’. This is a quick and easy way to browse vegan Nike shoes.  

When you are shopping for vegan Nike shoes, you will need to make sure that you keep an eye out for certain materials that can mean that the product is not vegan. 

Whilst other brands like adidas or Nike will specifiicly state which shoe is vegan on the branding, Nike make things a little bit more tricky. For any shoe you are interested in you will need to consult the product descriptions at the Nike site. If you see synthetic leather, polyurethane and canvas on the materials list as none of these materials are made from animals. 

You will also need to look out for the glue that is used to ensure that it is vegan glue. The shoes are also sometimes coloured using animal dyes, so check out for this too! 

Usually, if the shoes are vegan, they will indicate this in their description on the website. There are many different options for you if you are looking to purchase vegan Nike shoes.

Vegan Nike Shoe Examples

Here are some examples of well-known vegan Nike shoe silhoettes. Check out the options below so you know where to start looking for your next pair of vegan Nike shoes. 

Air Max Terrascape 

The Air Max line is easily one of the most famous lines of footwear produced by Nike. The shoes in this line are durable yet flexible, making them incredibly comfortable.

Unfortunately, most shoes in the Air Max line are not vegan but there is a small selection of shoes that do not contain any animal products at all. 

A perfect example being the new Air Max Terrascape line – all of these shoes in this collection are made from recycled materials. This means that they do not contain any leather and so are suitable for vegans. 

The Terrascape line absolutely dominated 2022 as one of the biggest breakthrough styles that year with three of the biggest Air Max silhouettes to be included in the line. One of the most popular is the Nike Air Max Terrascape 90. They’re available for both men and women’s sizes. You can also shop the Air Max Plus and Air Max 97 styles in terrascape version. Both of which are extremely popular. 

Shop Nike Terrascape HERE

Nike Air Force 1 (Next Nature) 

The Nike Air Force 1 range is probably the most popular style in Nike’s footwear range, with bot Men, Women and Kids ranges having some of the most varied options available. However, their original Air Force 1 line are not vegan – but those under the Next Nature selection are. 

The Air Force 1 ‘07 Next Nature is easily a go-to choice for a lot of women. These shoes are not only vegan but feature a timeless design that is both comfortable to exercise in and wear for day-to-day use.

However, make sure that you are purchasing the Next Nature version of this classic Nike shoe and not the original line because they use real leather! 

Nike Court Vision (Next Nature)

The Nike Court Vision is a range of men’s and women’s shoes designed to have the retro look of 80s basketball shoes. The original line included real leather but their Next Nature selection does not.

This means that if you love the classic look of Nike’s Court Vision shoes, then there are vegan options open to you. 

Both the Nike Court Vision Low Next Nature is available in men’s sizes and women’s sizes

Are There Any Vegan Jordans?

Unfortunately, there are not yet a wide range of Air Jordan’s made without any leather. Most Air Jordans use leather alongside synthetic materials, which means that there is currently not a huge selection of vegan Jordans. Whilst some modern styles like the Jordan Flight Flex are vegan friendly, most will contain some sort of animal-based leather.

Hopefully, this will change in the future as the Jordan range is one of Nike’s most recognisable and most popular footwear line. But, for now, vegans must settle for one of Nike’s other famous footwear styles. 

Final Thoughts

Not all Nike shoes are vegan, however, there are lots of Nike shoes that are. Nike has made the move in many cases from animal based leather to synthetic leather as well as making the decision to move to vegan glue in 2015.  

If you are looking to purchase Nike shoes that are vegan, we recommend heading to the Nike site, browsing what shoes you’re interested in and consulting the product descriptions for their materials used. You can also check out some of the most popular vegan shoes shown in this article.

Nike does offer some specific vegan footwear but you have to search for them. Most of their vegan shoes fall under their Next Nature selection but there are some other vegan options (like the Terrascape line) that are separate. Shop the full Next Nature range HERE.

While their vegan selection of shoes is much more limited than the rest of the products they offer, Nike does definitely have some options available – you just need to be prepared to do some digging to find them.

When you are purchasing these shoes, ensure that you double-check that the shoe you are buying is suitable for vegans. Some models have both vegan and non-vegan options, so be careful when you are buying!