I may not be a certified sneakerhead, but I know a good sneaker when I see one—and this includes Cariuma, the footwear brand everyone from Helen Mirren to Pete Davidson to Well+Good editors have been wearing non-stop since its launch in 2018. If you're here because you searched for Cariuma shoe reviews, wondering what the hype is all about, we're here to give you the 4-1-1—and also to confirm that the hype is very much deserved. In the past two years alone, the eco-friendly shoe brand has launched styles like The Slip On and the IBI Knit Sneaker—both of which immediately sold out post-launch. Other popular canvas sneaker Cariuma styles have also sold out, amassing waitlists of thousands of interested shoppers.
What to know about Cariuma
For those unfamiliar with the buzzy shoe brand, the sneaker company puts sustainability and quality first—without the absurd price tag. It uses ethically-sourced, raw materials like bamboo, organic cotton, sugarcane and mamona oil to create its lineup of comfy sneaks. There are several different styles to choose from for both women and men: OCA Low, OCA High, Salvas, Slip-On Skate Pro, Catiba Pro, Catiba Pro High, The Valleley, IBI, IBI Slip-On, IBI High, and collaborations. Below, we've reviewed several of the various styles (spoiler alert: You can't go wrong with style or comfort).
Cariuma common Q&As
Do Cariuma run big or small?
Cariuma sneakers run true to size. W+G testers have tried almost every style of shoe, and can confirm that the shoes fit perfectly, and don't require a break-in period. That's thanks to the premium canvas and leather quality of the shoe.
Are Cariumas comfortable for walking?
Cariumas are excellent everyday walking shoes. While they won't give you the same shock-absorption and arch-support as most sports sneakers do (these aren't gym shoes, but they do have soft memory foam insole which cradles your arches, balls, and heels), Cariumas are great for if you're active and on your feet all day, and need a good lifestyle tennis shoe to get you from point A to point B. Since Cariuma is known for its breathability and premium materials, your feet won't easily sweat or get irritated.
Do Cariuma sneakers have arch support?
Cariuma sneakers are constructed with a soft memory foam insole, so they do have slight arch support for feet. With that said, they're night designed for folks who need arch support insoles, or support for flat feet or fallen arches.
Can I wear Cariumas without socks?
You probably shouldn't technically wear any shoes without socks in order to protect your feet, but we've tested Cariumas with and without socks, and can confirm they're high-quality enough to be worn without socks if you just need a shoe to slip on for a short period. We wouldn't recommend going sock-less if you have plans on commuting on foot all day, since that could be a recipe for toe and heel irritation disaster.
We tried Cariuma shoes: These are our honest thoughts
“The first thing I noticed about the shoes was how lightweight they were, which is thanks to the soft canvas and cotton materials. As I walked, they helped propel me forward rather than dragging my feet down—something I appreciated as I passed block #5 on the way to the grocery store. They also have a narrow silhouette so you don’t have to worry about your feet looking too bulky. Plus, the low-top design is great for pairing with a skirt, dress or whatever street style look you might be going for (they also look good with pants—so what I’m saying is, they look good with everything).
The real selling point was how and if they held up during my adventures exploring my neighborhood in New York City. Spoiler alert: They did! I was able to wear them for more than eight hours without discomfort. That’s partly because of the vegan insoles made of organic mamona oil and cork, which are cushioned with memory foam to provide arch support. The shoes have a snug fit but still give your feet room to breathe. The OCA Low also comes in various colors (the Well+Good team collectively loves the Camel Suede, which is a nice fall shade that pairs with everything).” -Taylor Bell, Social Producer
“The OCA Low Camel Suede is just one iteration of the classic OCA sneaker, and it’s one that I love for its versatility, comfort, and low-maintenance (yes, even though it’s suede!). If you’re someone who wants to avoid white sneaks for practicality purposes, I’d recommend the Camel Suede since it offers a neutral footwear option for your outfit, and delivers on the same comfort that the OCA sneak has.
But okay, let’s talk suede: Does it get scuffed up and damaged easily? The answer is no, but with a caveat: I always apply this suede shoe protection spray ($14) to all of my suede shoes before I start wearing them, and it’s helped my shoes last so much longer. The other nice thing is that since the color is a nice caramel, it hides any small marks or scuffs very easily.
Like the OCA, these are super lightweight, and they’re soft on the interior, so I’ve worn these without socks and have experience absolutely zero irritation on my toes or the back of my heels. They don’t require a break-in period, just like other Cariuma styles. The only difference is the suede, which I think elevates any look, but I will say, if you live somewhere very rainy or muddy, you may want the leather option.” -Gina Vaynshteyn, Editorial Commerce Director
Cariuma offers a wide variety of sneakers, too: Well+Good’s Editorial Commerce Director tested the White Premium Leather Catiba Pros for several weeks, wearing them on four-mile walks and jogs with her dogs, and outings on the weekend. These particular shoes feature the Cariuma signature logo on the side, differentiating them a bit more from your standard white sneaker. Her takeaway? This shoe took no break-in time (similar to the OCA Low), were roomy (even with thick socks), and gave her the perfect amount of support she needed on a day-to-day basis. Plus, they looked cute with her outfits (a steady mix between leggings and floral maxi dresses on weekends, because Los Angeles).
Catiba Pro Low
“When shopping for sneakers, there are two things I look for: comfort and a style that can pair with more than a few things in my wardrobe, and the Cariuma Catiba Pro Low ($89) delivered on both counts. Upon receiving them, I put them to immediate use, walking literal miles in the shoes (mostly on pavement), and even standing in them for hours at a concert, without the creeping pain that comes after wearing uncomfortable footwear.
What I found most notable was the cork insole, which was breathable (no sweat!) and offered a cushy springiness that I thought only running sneakers could promise. It was such a pleasant surprise that I told anyone who would listen about just how comfortable they were. Which is all to say, it’s true: these sneakers had no break-in period.
If anything, I wouldn’t describe them as lightweight, but they weren’t so heavy that I was dragging my feet after wearing them for an extended period of time. The upper is sturdy and simultaneously allows for some airflow, though it took some time for the suede upper to dry after I accidentally spilled a drink on them.
What’s more, comfortdoes not come at the sacrifice of style with these sneakers.
The logo and white rubber strip adds more interest to the shoe, and the color I chose (Sand) was versatile enough to pair with everything from neutrals, like white and black, and earthy-toned hues, which comprise most of my wardrobe. The simple and straightforward design also seems to pair well with everything from pants to dresses—and you can bet I’ll be wearing them with shorts and skirts through the warm months.” -Danielle Calma, SEO Writer
- Cork insole offers cushioned and springy support
- Upper material allows for some airflow
- Comes in a versatile style
- Not very lightweight
- Suede toe is prone to stains and smudges
The Salvas sneaker, is all white and comes with four different logo colorways. Like the rest of their styles, this sneaker doesn’t need to be broken in, and is supremely comfortable all day long. Crafted from premium leather, recycled mesh lining, and a breathable cork insole, these have quickly become our W+G editors’ go-to, everyday sneaker. The sole is 100 percent slip-resistant, so if you find yourself on frictionless surfaces, you’ll have grip. Similar to Stan Smiths, these kicks are a classic (but more comfortable, in our option).
“I spent most of my teenage years stomping around in slip-on sneakers, and Cariuma’s smart and sustainable take on the style totally won me over,” says Alexa Morales, commerce writer. “The Slip-Ons have a classic, casual look that pairs well with virtually any outfit, and it’s designed with comfortable upgrades, making them a joy to wear for long hours. Take, for example, the mamona oil-based memory foam insole, which offers the perfect amount of cushion and support. And the chunky, natural rubber outsole—made using the sap of Pará rubber trees, which are ethically tapped to preserve the Brazil-native species—which is slip resistant and supportive. They even have a handy little pull tab on the back which makes slipping them easy.” -Alexa Morales, Writer
Slip-on Skate Pro
“If you don’t want to bother with tying and retying laces, and instead want some easy kicks to just slide on and off, these slip-ons are the answer. These slip-ons have that laid-back skater style, and pair well with any casual outfit, whether you’re hitting the skate park or brunch with friends. The shoes have a suede and canvas upper with a rip-resistant toe area, and a grippy, natural rubber sole to keep you grounded.
W+G Associate Commerce Editor, Francesca Krempa, gifted these to her dad for testing. His immediate response? “Wow, these are cool.” (Pretty impressive for a man of few words.) Here’s his full review:
“I don’t know a ton about shoes, but I know these are really comfortable,” Krempa says. “I like that I can just slip them on my feet and go—it makes kicking them on and off easy, especially in the summer when I’m barefoot most of the time anyway. The insole is impressive, too. It feels like it’s molded to my foot even after a few wears, which is nice to walk in. My only complaint is that they’re a half-size too big and I have to wear them with socks, otherwise they feel like they might slide off.” In short, size down.” -Francesca Krempa, Associate Commerce Editor
“I’m skeptical when it comes to canvas sneakers because of my bunion, but I have no complaints about Cariuma’s IBI Low. The bamboo knit outer is like a bungee cord; it’s super stretchy, doesn’t irritate my bunions, and moves with my every move. Even more, it’s extremely breathable and has gotten my feet through Texas heat, which is notorious for reaching beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it came to the cork insole, my first thoughts before putting the shoe on for the first time were “how is cork going to be supportive?” Boy, was I proven wrong. The cork was infused with memory foam to support my arches and give the oomph I need for long days on my feet. Recently, I went to a local arcade in Texas, and these kept my feet in tip-top shape while standing hours on my feet. They didn’t ache after a long night of standing.
My favorite part of the shoe is the eco-friendly thought that went behind it. What impressed me was the soft yet sturdy laces. They’re made of recycled plastics, but I couldn’t tell. They looked and felt “brand new” to me. Also, the shoe is featherlight, and it doesn’t feel like I have any shoes on.” -Kayla Hui, Commerce Writer
- Comfortable to walk in
- Doesn’t irritate my bunion
- Sole gets dirty easily
These high-tops are not only timeless and comfy but they’re also super earth-friendly too. The knit material is made from self-generating bamboo and recycle plastics and hug your feet just so. Plus, the laces are made from recycled plastics, and the outsole is made from green EVA from sugarcane, so your shoes have a minimal environmental footprint (no matter what size you wear). The shoes are also lightweight and have a water-repellant coating, so you’ll have a spring in your step all year round.
Caturi Winter Boot
While we wrote about the Caturi Winter Boots in detail here, here’s the quick download: The Caturi sneaker boots are weather and water-repellent and lined with vegan shearling to keep your feet nice and toasty. Unlike traditional, bulky boots, these give you a lot more flexibility and movement—while still keeping you warm in the snow. If you prefer the OCA style, you can get the winter version, too.
If you're looking for a high-quality sneaker that you can wear every day (and with multiple outfits) that's easy on your feet, these shoes are a safe bet. The only downside is that these shoes sell fast. If you find a style you like that's out of stock, get yourself on a waitlist, stat. They're totally worth it.
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