What do Helen Mirren, Jon Hamm, Whitney Port, and Well+Good have in common? We’d like to think a lot, but one shared interest we’re sure about is that we’re all in love with Cariuma’s sneakers. The celebrity-favorite sneaker brand—Chris Martin, Robert Downey Jr., Pete Davidson, and Nina Agdal have been photographed in them, too—has garnered attention in recent years for their many-thousands-long waitlists. We’re here to confirm: The hype is worth it.
Recently we gave Cariuma’s IBI Slip On Sneakers a spin, and now we’ve given their classic lace-up sneaker, the IBI, a try. The IBI is the perfect blend of stylish and sustainable, with unmatched versatility that’s making the rest of my shoe collection a little jealous. Sorry, other (less comfortable and practical) shoes. They can take a break for a while, since the IBIs go with—dare we say it?—every outfit and nearly every situation. A sundress and denim jacket, naturally. A pair of leggings and an oversized sweater, of course. In line for security at the airport, when you want a pair of shoes you can easily slip on and off for TSA? Definitely.
While versatility is a must for an everyday sneaker, the benefits of the IBI don’t stop there. You’ll be genuinely impressed by how lightweight they are, making them a breeze to wear all day long and equally as breezy to pack in already overstuffed luggage. We’ve all been there, struggling to throw our carry-on into the overhead compartment. If you don’t choose to wear them while traveling, these would surely lighten the load of your luggage.
Another perk: They’re slip-on. Though we’re fully capable of tying our shoes, and have been since kindergarten, it was a pleasant surprise to learn you can easily slip the IBIs on and off. They give you the tied look without actually needing to bend down and tie (and retie) them thanks to the perfect stretch knit and no-slip heel tab.
My favorite perk, though, is the IBIs are comfortable straight out of the box. Seriously. Since they’re made with a flexible knit and fit precisely true to size, there’s no break-in period. The number of times I’ve left the house on an ambitious walk in new shoes is genuinely embarrassing. I hobble home, then tend to blisters thanks to a pair of well-intentioned but not yet broken-in shoes. Not so with the IBIs. They were ready to wear for long walks the first time I tried them on. A shoe miracle!
They also leave a lightweight footprint environmentally, unheard of in the sneaker world. It’s a bummer to think about, but sneakers are up there as one of the most wasteful apparel products. Think about it: Oftentimes they’re loaded with virgin plastic, questionably-sourced leather, toxic dyes, and so (!) much (!) cardboard and plastic packaging waste. Your old pairs are likely living in landfills, and will be for years to come.
That’s where Cariuma comes in. The Rio de Janerio-based company is serious about its sustainability efforts. The IBIs are 100 percent vegan, knit in naturally-sourced materials, like regenerative bamboo and organic cotton, from heel to toe. The shoelaces are even made from recycled plastic bottles.
The brand is equally as thoughtful in its super fast, carbon-neutral shipping methods. If you buy one pair, they’ll arrive in the box itself. (Not a box within a box within perhaps another box with loads of packaging that goes straight to trash.) If you order more than one pair, they’ll use a fits-just-right box and minimal packaging. Also, for every purchase of a pair of Cariuma shoes, they plant a pair of trees in Brazil.
The highlights don’t end there, either. They’re also machine washable! I know what I’m getting into adding another pair of white sneakers to my shoe collection. They look blindingly white until you leave the house in them, then they collect all the dirt, scuffs, and questionable smells they can. The IBIs, thankfully, just need a quick cycle in your washer, then voila! Good as nearly new.
Perhaps at the top of the “reasons we love the IBI sneakers” list, though, is the simplest: They look cool. Though I played it safe by choosing the white IBIs, I’m already eyeing up a few other bolder pairs that’ll be joining my shoe collection soon. The IBIs are available in 17 colors, including an array of neutrals as well as a few not-for-the-faint-of-bold-dressing-heart hues. The red knit is begging to come home with me, and I have my eye on the green knit, too. I can imagine my mom loving a pair of the sand beige, and my stylish eight-year-old goddaughter would rock the sun yellow knit.
The unisex design is available is both men and women’s sizing, from size 5 to 13, including half sizes. They fit true to size, both for me and many reviewers—a rarity in the shoe world these days!
You can take our word for it, or give Jon Hamm a call. (Tell him we say hi!)
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