This is a common question that I and other vegans have been wondering for a long time. It’s a question that’s not easily answered by the internet or by walking into a Nike store.
And, as all vegans know, finding truly vegan shoes (that also look sick) is hard. It’s not just about the leather or suede, it’s also about what you can’t see – the icky sticky glue that holds the whole thing together.
Typically the glue used in shoes contains animal byproducts. So, even if a shoe contains no leather it probably still has animal bits hiding away in it. I had heard that Nike had stopped using animal glue since 2015 and had also heard on the grapevine that many of their shoes are now using synthetic leather. But, I don’t want to trust the grapevine – so I went to Nike and asked them. Below is a sample of my questions and the chat transcript for you to view in all its glory.
Q – Does Nike use animal glue in its shoes?
A – All adhesives used in our shoes are synthetic and free of animal byproducts.
Q – Does Nike use synthetic leather in its shoes?
RUNNING, TRAINING – All performance shoes are free of animal products. They’re made up of textile material (mesh, flyknit, Dri-FIT, etc.) and/or synthetic leather. Please note, the Monarch is a Training/Lifestyle shoe and includes some leather.
BASKETBALL – Most are made of synthetic leather material and free of animal products.
SPORTSWEAR/LIFESTYLE, JORDAN – Most include leather elements.
GLOBAL FOOTBALL (SOCCER) – Most styles are made of synthetic leather. The exception is the Tiempo line, as many of these classic styles use kangaroo leather.
Q – Will Nike tell you if it uses synthetic or animal leather on its online store?
A – If we used animal leather on the item you can see it on product information.
So, there you have it. Nike provides a wide range of vegan / plant based shoes. Don’t hate me, but I just went and grabbed 3 pairs (running, futsal and lifestyle shoes) and damn I feel fiiiiiine.
Want to see it for yourself? Below is a screengrab of the conversation which covers this.