I spent a week running with the Veja Condor 3 and I was amazed by their comfort

Veja introduces the latest addition to the Condor lineup

the Veja Condor 3 running shoe
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Veja Condor 3 is a great option for runners seeking a sustainable and stylish running shoe. Whether you're logging leisurely miles or prioritizing post-run recovery, the Condor 3 delivers a supportive and eco-friendly option for your training needs.

Pros

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Sponge-like cushioning

  • +

    An eco-conscious option

Cons

  • -

    Not ideal for speedwork

  • -

    Not good for covering large distances

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This was my first time testing out a pair of running shoes from the French footwear brand and my expectations were exceeded. I won’t lie, when I first opened up the box containing the brand new Veja Condor 3 I thought it looked like a fashion trainer dressed up as a running shoe. However, my preconceptions were far from the truth.

While I haven’t tested the predecessor to this shoe I can confirm that Veja has made some improvements with the Condor 3, like a redesigned upper, T.P.U. panels, and an L-FOAM cushioning insert to offer improved comfort, support, and durability — all of which have been crafted from recycled materials. We know from testing countless of the best running shoes that the jargon around them can start to sound like a different language. But don’t worry, we’ll break down all these details about the shoe below.

As I’m currently marathon training I had plenty of runs to test the Condor 3 on including tempo work, interval training, easy miles and a long run. With the Condor 3’s light feel and eco-friendly design, I was curious to see what this shoe had to offer.

Veja Condor 3: price and availability

The Condor 3 launched on March 28th, 2024, and is priced at $200/£160 which does sound a little on the pricier side for a casual, easy run shoe.

For comparison, Brooks recently brought out the Glycerin 21 running shoe, another cushioned running shoe that costs $40 less. Similarly, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25, a highly cushioned running shoe option is also priced cheaper at $160.

However, Veja are known for placing a strong emphasis on ethical and eco-friendly production practices in their shoe creation and this can ramp up the cost of a shoe. 

Veja Condor 3 review: design and fit

the Veja Condor 3 running shoe

(Image credit: Future)

The Veja Condor 3 is available in three colors: areia white gradient, white black and black calcaire. For reference, I tested the shoe in the areia white gradient colorway in a size US 9.5 (UK 7.5). The shoe supposedly comes up small so it was recommended I went up a half size and I’m glad I did as they fit like a glove. I have quite narrow feet but felt fully supported in the shoe while running.

The shoe weighs 287g which is a pretty ideal running shoe weight and helpful if you do want to push the shoe into longer distances. The shoe has an 8mm drop helping to offer a balanced transition from heel to toe. The "drop" in a running shoe refers to the height difference between the heel and the forefoot of the shoe and can impact your biomechanics and running efficiency. An 8mm drop is a nice middle ground meaning the shoe won’t feel too bulky, nor too minimal on the foot.

Upper

the Veja Condor 3 running shoe

(Image credit: Future)

The laces have a slight serrated effect around the edges which I assume is to help keep them more securely in place once tied. I didn’t find myself experiencing the laces come loose or undone while running in the Condor 3, so this design inclusion must be doing something. 

The upper also features a very thin and light tongue which can help minimize any unwanted pressure points on the top of the foot and can reduce rubbing. The material of the upper is an engineered mesh made from 100% recycled polyester. During testing, I appreciated the lightweight breathability and flexibility that this provided.

You will notice bold strips of material stretching over the mesh and toward the laces. These are TPU panels that are meant to provide targeted support and structure, enhancing stability and durability while ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. I felt a secure and stable fit around the midfoot and heel areas while running in the Condor 3 and didn’t have any slipping around inside the shoe.

Midsole

the Veja Condor 3 running shoe

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to the specs, 43% of the midsole is made from sugar cane-based EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), while 27% is composed of Amazonian rubber. This is words you might want to hear if you are looking to buy a sustainable running shoe. But if you're more interested in how this translates into performance then we can answer this for you.

Performance wise, I was impressed with the very spongey feel of the midsole. EVA provides cushioning to a run shoe and absorbs the impact generated during running, helping to reduce the strain on the feet and lower limbs. It’s also meant to provide notable energy return, which I could see the potential of in the Condor 3 but not enough to tempt me into wearing these shoes for any hefty mileage.

R.A.D is another brand like Veja trying to invest sustainable materials and practices into running shoes with the R-1 running shoe. However, Veja's Condor 3 wins by a mile in my experience of testing both running shoes. I find the Condor 3 offers significantly greater comfort and energy return, whereas the R-1 made me feel very stompy on my test runs.

Outsole

the Veja Condor 3 running shoe

(Image credit: Future)

I tested the Condor 3 on roads and sidewalks as it’s not the type of shoe you’d look to hit the trails with. Check out our guide to the best trail running shoes if you are on the market for a trail shoe. 

The L-Foam which technically lives in the midsole, but what Veja describes as covering the outsole as well, is a feature designed to enhance shock absorption and protect the underfoot as you hit the roads.

On the bottom of the shoe there are also plenty of visible lugs and grooves to provide grip while running. I did slip on some wet pavement during one test run where it had been raining. But considering this happened at the end of the run and I hadn’t had any other instances like this with the shoe, I wondered if I just stepped onto a type of concrete that gets extra slippery when wet no matter what shoe you have on.

Veja Condor 3 review: performance

the Veja Condor 3 running shoe

(Image credit: Future)

From the get-go, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfy and cushioned the Veja Condor 3 felt, making easy-paced runs feel very natural and not a chore. It’s not a shoe designed for any huge mileage but it does offer enough cushioning and responsiveness to keep you going further than you may expect.

For tempo sessions, a shoe needs to offer responsiveness and a smooth ride to maintain a consistent pace, and the Condor 3 did manage to deliver on that for me. While it may not have the same level of speed-focused features as other shoes, its smooth ride and decent bounce made it a reliable companion for tempo efforts. It just didn’t excel as much in my speedwork sessions but they aren’t marketed as a speed shoe, so no surprise there.

As mentioned before, I did slip while wearing the shoe during a rainy run but this was the only hiccup I had with grip during the week of testing.

I haven’t had the shoe long enough to comment on its durability but Veja claim that based on their own testing, the Condor 3 can last up to 1000km and still retain performance consistent with original testing. The industry average is typically 500km.

Veja Condor 3 review: Verdict

If you are willing to spend $200 on an everyday pair of trainers then this is a solid, comfortable and cushioned shoe for easy-paced runs and recovery sessions or for beginners looking for a great pair of daily trainers to start their running journey with. But, you can find cheaper alternatives.

If you’re looking for something similar but for less then the New Balance Fresh Foam X1080v12 is one to check out. Or if you’re on the hunt for something that will help you with your speed, take a look at the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3

Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.


Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.


She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.