Run tester Kieran Alger reviews Veja’s eco-focused neutral running shoe.

So far, the majority of efforts to create non-petroleum based running shoes that live up to their fossil-fuel-reliant rivals haven’t quite worked. Eco-midsole foams tend to come up too firm and not cushioned or lively enough for most runners’ needs.

The Veja Condor 3 wants to finally fix that. This neutral daily running shoe aims to deliver cushioned comfort and reliable easy-run performance, while also using more sustainable materials that leave a lighter footprint on the planet.

Has it worked? With its new EVA midsole foam made from sugar can and three ISPO Awards, do we finally have a winning eco running shoe?

Men’s Fitness verdict

The Veja Condor 3 offers comfort and eco-friendliness but is a tad pricey. Competes well for easy-day use but faces stiff competition in its price range.
  • Plenty of cushioned comfort
  • Roomy fit
  • Good durability
  • Quite heavy
  • A bit pricey
Veja Condor 3 pictured outside

What’s new with the Veja Condor 3?

The Veja Condor 3 has been given an overhaul. It now has a big midsole stack of what Veja calls L-FOAM cushion with 37mm in the heel and 29mm in the forefoot for an 8mm drop.

The Veja Condor 3 midsole is made from 43% sugar cane based EVA. There’s also a Pebax Rnew heel insert that’s there to boost comfort and protect against impact on landings.

Up top the Condor 3 has quite thick, engineered-mesh uppers made from 100% recycled polyester. Those uppers are generously perforated for breathability across the top of the toe box. Meanwhile TPU panels add structure to the shoe and help with hold and security and trail shoe-like overlays around the toe box improve durability and protection. 

This is a plush-ride easy shoe and other comfort-boosting notes include nicely padded heel collars, a flat wrapping tongue and sort of internal booty wrap that starts midway inside the shoe to help the foot feel swaddled and secure. 

Veja has also opted for lock-lace style laces that you usually find on all-out race shoes rather than daily trainers and there’s an external heel clip for added heel hold and security. 

Flip the Condor 3 over and there’s a generous covering of fairly thick outsole rubber that’s made from 27% Amazonian rubber. That also has little studs to enhance the grip and adds to the overall road-to-trail shoe vibe.

At 11.1oz or 314g in my UK men’s 8.5 test shoe size, there’s no escaping that this is a heavy shoe. One of the heaviest shoes going in fact with the same heft as the ASICS Gel Nimbus 26. 

On price, the Veja Condor 3 will set you back $200. That’s somewhere in the middle of the daily trainer price range. 


When it comes to fit, I ran in my regular running shoe size which is a UK 8.5 and I’d recommend going true to size. 

I’d describe the fit as unfussy and roomy. It’s pretty easy to get them feeling comfortable on the foot. There’s a good roomy toe box, the heels hold well but I had some mild movement elsewhere in the shoe. But aside from the weight, I think the Condor 3 does a good job of melting away into the background, letting you get on with the business of running.

Veja Condor 3 heel

Veja Condor 3 performance

In testing I’ve done about 45km in the Veja Condor 3. The majority of those miles have been slow, easy recovery runs. But I’ve thrown in the odd faster mile to test the upper pace potential.

At over 11oz, the Veja Condor 3’s weight undoubtedly limits it to being an easy-day shoe. Unless you like to train fast in big heavy shoes. I don’t, so I’ve used it and judged the performance on easy to middling pace efforts. 

For those runs, it’s been a very reliable performer. Along with the new Hylo Impact and the Zen Running ZR-01, I think we’re finally starting to see an improvement in the ride of eco-conscious running shoes. 

The harsh, firm, hard midsoles that plagued earlier sustainable running shoes have been replaced by much more capable, competent and cushioned foams. When it comes to a plush, comfortable ride, I found the Veja Condor 3 was a big step on from its predecessor.

It has closed the gap on a lot of the rivals in this space, like the New Balance 1080 v13, Brooks Ghost Max and the ASICS Gel Nimbus 26

The ride is soft, there’s a little bounce and the Condor 3 does a good job of taking the edge off any harshness from the road when you’re moving with slower, heavier landings. It’s a heavy shoe, there’s no getting away from that but it’s not too sluggish and ponderous. I didn’t find it burdensome on those easy miles. The stability was also good, with consistent landings, even on my trips onto light off-road. 

From a durability perspective, that generous outsole tread and the reinforcements of the shoe should add up to good mileage. 

Should you buy this shoe?

The Condor 3 is by no means perfect but Veja got a lot right with this shoe. I’ve enjoyed this shoe more than most of the sustainable shoes I’ve tested over the years and the Condor 3 suggests the days of compromising between eco materials and a comfortable ride are coming to an end.

The Condor 3 offers standard easy-day fare, a big cushioned stack with a bit of bounce and has good potential for that casual runner, everyday wear crossover. It’ll suit heavier runners, too. 

It’s not as lively as the new Hylo Impact but it’s a long way ahead of recent Allbirds shoes. 

I liked that it’s no-nonsense and versatile enough to handle road to light off-road, too. I’d be surprised if this shoe isn’t still going strong well over 500 miles. 

However, I think Veja has priced it a bit too high. Take away the environmental story and there are cheaper and similarly priced shoes that are as good – or better – for logging easy miles.

The Saucony Ride 17, the Brooks Ghost Max, even the ASICS Novablast 4 can do everything the Condor 3 does and more but for a chunk less. 

This is a perfectly capable easy-day shoe, and the environment creds are appealing, but I don’t think it’d be my first choice. There are still better options.