I love sneakers and shoes. I hung onto my collection for a long time after going vegan. They were banished to the back of the wardrobe, never to be worn again. Giving up my collection of leather footwear was a hard day for me but it was something I felt I had to do in order to live more accordingly with my ethics. But of course then I had to find new cool shoes which not only were leather free but also didn't use animal products in their glue.
This was a harder task than I imagined. I went searching for vegan blogs and websites which were focused on cool sneakers. I didn't want to wear no damn hippy shoes! Everything I found just looked so...ugly. I really appreciated the fact that there are so many companies making compassionate footwear but I secretly wished they had hired a better designer.
I still looked to the big brands and whilst I know that ethically they're not perfect in many ways, I just wish they at least had some vegan options. After all it makes going vegan so much easier if there are less things in our life we have to change. A big sports brand providing vegan options is a big deal really. It was hard to research this however because there seemed to be lots of different information out there concerning different brands and the manufacturing processes of their products.
I was saddened to read on a website called Vegan Kicks that they now didn't class Nike as a vegan brand as they no longer specified on their website which trainers did not use animal glue any more (they used to have a specific list online of which trainers did. )
I gave up on my Nike dreams and have found happiness in my Asics Gel Lyte trainers. Asics are widely known not to use animal products in their glue so their synthetic trainers were a good choice for me, as they look quite cool.
However, I'll always hold a torch for Nike. I didn't give up and kept badgering them and doing research. Last night I found a great group of German vegan sneaker enthusiasts called Vegan Sneaker Connection. They're a great group of people who are doing lots of research into the big sneaker brands to see which products are vegan. I was surprised to read that they were adamant that synthetic trainers from Nike were vegan.
Excitedly I asked them if they would share the email they had from Nike which confirmed that the glue used on the trainers did not include animal products. They copied the text from the email and sent me two screenshots which prove it is from Nike and that it is from November 2015.
The email is in German but luckily we know someone who can speak great German who translated for us:
Good Morning Tim
I hope you have had a good start to the week.
At Nike we have a whole lot of shoes that are produced without animal products.
I have recently updated myself about this because an acquaintance of mine only buys vegan products. You can assume that all products which are shown with synthetic leather or canvas are animal product-free. My acquaintance insisted that I should inquire even further, to make sure that the adhesives used are also free of animal products.
Since the contents of our adhesives are a well-kept secret it was not easy to find someone who could answer the question, but I have been told that the adhesive is manufactured from water-based materials and without animal products.
A list of vegan products would be much too long and has not been maintained by us for some time.
You will need to make sure that the shoe (you buy) is not made with “full-grain leather” – raw leather, corrected grain leather, nubuk leather or full leather – this will ensure that your shoe is made without animal products.
If you are interested in the topic, you can get more information about Nike’s policy on the use of animal skins from the following link.
The Nice Corporate Animal Skin Policy can be found here...
So there you have it. Nike does not use animal products in their glue. What are your favorite Nike styles? We have curated a list of the 5 coolest vegan Nikes we can find: