Why the workout shoe from the brand is my new go-to

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    You’ll have heard of Veja – one of the first sustainable shoe brands in the world loved by the likes of Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, Emma Watson and Emily Ratajkowski.

    So, when I heard they’d launched their first workout trainer, the Impala, I was keen to try it. It’s their lightest trainer ever, is made from rice waste, and was designed to be worn for both work and workouts, ideal for the busy working woman.

    Being honest, I’m still yet to find a workout shoe that can do both well – that is, most other trainers that look acceptable with work clothes aren’t actually that good for working out in, let alone weight training or running longer distances. But that’s where the Veja Impala’s come in, promising to look good and perform well for running, HIIT workouts, strength training and more.

    I put them to the test, taking using them for a 3 mile, 5 mile, and 6 mile run and a few strength training sessions at my local gym, too. How did they fare? You’ll have to keep scrolling to find out. Don’t miss our AllBirds TreeFlyer review, while you’re here.

    I tried the Veja Impala running trainers: here’s what I thought 

    A bit about the Veja Impala, the first fitness offering from the certified B Corp. All of the shoes are made from organic, agroecological and fairtrade cotton, wild rubber from the Amazonian Forest and innovative materials such as recycled plastic bottles.

    Veja Impala Trainers in Black Cream – was £115, now £92 | Flannels 

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    Veja Impala Trainers in Eggshell Pierre – was £115, now £92 | Flannels 

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    Veja Impala Trainers in Oxford Grey – was £115, now £92 | Flannels 

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    Veja Impala Trainers in White Matcha – was £115, now £92 | Flannels 

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    How are the new Veja Impala trainers to run in?

    Good question. When I first unboxed the trainers, I was impressed. The shoes look more elevated and less sporty than other alternatives, if that’s not your thing – ideal for if you’re after a workout shoe that you can seamlessly transition into your work wardrobe, too.

    But did they stand the sweat test? Short answer: yes. Sure, they’re not as propulsive and springy as some of the running-focused Nike, Hoka, Adidas or other brand alternatives, but that said, you couldn’t really wear those to the office without them really standing out.

    The Veja Impala’s, on the other hand, strike the perfect balance. They’re breathable, have a good grip, and didn’t cause any blisters. They go well with dresses, skirts and trousers, but don’t sacrifice on performance, either. For all of my workouts, my feet and ankles felt supported and stable, and I was impressed with both the weight (they’re super light) and the bounce.

    Not only are they functional, but they’re fashionable, too – offering comfort, style and, a workout trainer that won’t give you shin splints if you actually workout in them. 

    Not to mention the fact that they’re wide, giving those of you lucky enough not to have wide feet extra room for comfort or any swelling, and those of us with wide feet (myself included) adequate room and breathability. I sometimes struggle in summer months when it’s hot (anyone else relate?). When my feet swell, the laces and upper of some trainers can cut in. Not with the Impala’s, though, which I tested in both Croatia and Turkey in over 30 degree heat – a big plus point from me.

    They’re a great option for holidays – as I said, I took them on both of mine. They look good for the plane and mean you save precious space on packing two pairs of trainers (a fitness pair and a fashion pair). Plus, they’re super comfortable.

    A Health Editor's Veja Impala review

    Health Editor Ally Head wearing the Impala for a hike, to work, and for a run.

    Cons: While they’re great for two or three workouts a week, I wouldn’t wear them for more than that as, at that level of training, you’d likely need more cushioning and support (read our round-up of the best running trainers, here). They’re a good basic shoe, but I wouldn’t advise for, say, marathon training.

    It’s also worth noting that the laces are quite long, and I had to draw the loops rather wide to stop myself from tripping over them.

    Bottom line: The Impala’s are a great all-rounder – I ran, strength trained, walked and hiked in mine and they still look brand new, bar a bit of dust here and there. They’re my new go-to option and recommendation for people who work out a few times a week and want a pair of trainers that they can wear outside of their workouts, too.

    After all, it’s important that we all strive to be more sustainable in our day-to-day and invest in products and clothes that you don’t just wear for one thing, rather, all the time and for a variety of occasions.

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