We Tried Basically Every Style of Cariuma’s Sustainable and Stylish Sneakers—Here’s Our Honest Thoughts

Photo: W+G Design
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We may not be certified sneakerheads, but we know good shoes when we see ‘em. And, at the top of our list: Cariuma sneakers.

The footwear brand is dedicated to designing shoes in a way that’s better for people and the planet. Each sneaker is handmade in ethical factories with sustainable materials like recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and natural rubber, and for every shoe purchased, Cariuma plants two trees. Plus, the styles are pretty stinking cute, can be dressed up or down, and feature innovative advancements that ensure a lightweight, durable, perfectly broken-in fit. So, it’s no surprise that celebs like Helen Mirren, Brooke Shields, Pete Davidson, and Jon Hamm have been wearing Cariumas 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 to confirm that the hype is very much deserved. In the past three 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 Cariuma styles, like winter-friendly Caturi Black Suede Boots have also been cleared off the digital shelves, amassing waitlists of thousands of interested shoppers.

Inspired to buy your own pair of unbeatably comfortable Cariuma sneaks? You’ve come to the right place. We tested a great selection of Cariuma sneakers, including the most popular OCA Low Canvas shoes, on all foot types and terrains to provide the most authentic and in-depth review so you know where to spend your dollars. Keep scrolling.

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, including classic lace-up low-tops, sporty high-tops, slip-ons, and booties. Below, we’ve reviewed several of the various styles (spoiler alert: you can’t go wrong with any of them, they’re that good.)

Our review of (almost) every Cariuma sneaker

oca low cariuma sneakers
Cariuma, OCA Low Off-White Canvas Sneakers — $85.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

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. — Taylor Bell, Social Producer

Material: Organic cotton canvas

What makes the shoe unique:

  • Vulcanized sneaker
  • Made with rPET + organic cotton, with debossed metal aglets
  • Vegan insoles made of organic mamona oil and cork


  • Comfortable for long hours of wear
  • Memory foam insole
  • Comes in various colors
  • Breathable cotton upper and slip-resistant rubber outsole


  • Narrow fit may not be great for those with wide feet

cariuma oca low sneaker
Photo: Cariuma/Gina Vaynshteyn
Cariuma, OCA Low Camel Suede — $105.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

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 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 ($15) 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 experienced 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, W+G Contributor

Material: Premium suede sourced from LWG-certified Gold Rated tanneries

What makes the shoe unique:

  • Vulcanized sneaker
  • Made with rPET + organic cotton, with debossed metal aglets
  • Vegan insoles made of organic mamona oil and cork


  • Soft on the interior
  • Low maintenance (don’t get scuffed easily)
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Versatile style


  • Run narrow; may not be great for those with wide feet

catiba pro cariuma sneakers
Cariuma, White Premium Leather Catiba Pro — $139.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

Cariuma offers a wide variety of sneakers, too: Vaynshteyn also 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 sneakers. Her takeaway? These shoes 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).

They do sell out in the leather style quite quickly, but if that’s the case the suede and canvas version of the Catiba sneaker ($89) is a great alternative.

Material: Premium leather sourced from LWG-certified Gold Rated tanneries

What makes the shoe unique:

  • Engineered for durability, movement, and the best grip possible


  • No break-in time needed
  • Stylish
  • Provide the perfect amount of support


  • More expensive than others from the brand
  • Sells out quickly

Cariuma Catiba Pro Low Sneaker
Photo: Cariuma/Danielle Calma
Cariuma, Catiba Pro Low — $89.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

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 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. This 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, comfort does not come at the sacrifice of style with these sneakers. The logo and white rubber strip add 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 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, Commerce Writer

Material: Premium suede and organic cotton canvas upper, slip-resistant rubber sole

What makes the shoe unique:

  • Offers the same durability and grip as the original Catibas with more breathability


  • Cork insole offers cushioned and springy support
  • Upper material allows for some airflow
  • Comes in a versatile style


  • Still somewhat heavy
  • Suede toe is prone to stains and smudges

cariuma salvas sneakers
Photo: Cariuma/Gina Vaynshteyn
Cariuma, Salvas White LWG Leather — $129.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

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 sneakers. 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).

Material: Premium leather sourced from LWG-certified Gold Rated tanneries

What makes the shoe unique:

  • Cushioned, ankle-hugging heel collar
  • Fully-stitched outsole ensures durability and a longer life span


  • No break-in time needed
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Classic, versatile design
  • 100 percent slip-resistant sole


  • Runs a little large

cariuma ibi slip on sneakers
Photo: Alexa Morales
Cariuma, IBI Slip-On — $110.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

“I spent most of my teenage years stomping around in slip-on sneakers, and Cariuma’s smart and sustainable take on the style has totally won me over. 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, W+G Contributor

Material: Bamboo and rPET

What makes the shoe unique:

  • Chunky, natural rubber outsole made using the sap of Pará rubber trees
  • Outsole made from sugarcane


  • Lightweight and soft
  • Comfortable straight out of the box
  • Cushioned insoles
  • Easy to slip on and off


  • Not as supportive as some other models
  • May not be best for those with flat feet

Cariuma, Slip-on Skate Pro — $85.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

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. They have a 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 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 her full review:

I dont 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.

Material: Premium suede sourced from LWG-certified Gold Rated tanneries, organic cotton canvas and rubber

What makes the shoe unique:

  • The snug mid-foot band secures your arch at all times


  • Dad approved
  • Rip-resistant toe area
  • Grippy, natural rubber sole
  • Insole molds to your foot
  • Easy on and off


  • Run a half-size big

ibi low review
Cariuma, IBI Low Sneakers — $119.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

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, W+G Contributor

Materials: Bamboo and rPET upper, sugarcane outsole

What makes the shoe unique:

  • Stretchy knit upper makes them breathable and comfortable from the get-go


  • Breathable
  • Comfortable to walk in
  • Doesn’t irritate bunions
  • Eco-friendly


  • Sole gets dirty easily

Cariuma, Caturi Vegan Suede Winter Boots — $129.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

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.

Material: Water-repellent vegan suede; vegan shearling lining, made from GRS-certified recycled materials

What makes the shoe unique:

  • Lined with vegan shearling to keep your feet nice and toasty


  • Flexible
  • Comfortable for long walks
  • Water-repellent


  • Run a half-size small

What to consider before buying Cariuma sneakers


Cariuma’s sneakers range from $79 to $149, making its offerings suitable for a variety of budgets. Before shopping, consider how much you want to spend on sneakers based on how often you wear them.


Every brand has its own sizing, so before buying Cariuma shoes, familiarize yourself with the label’s size chart. While many of its sneakers come in full and half sizes, the brand recommends sizing up if you’re between sizes (although this may not be true for the stretchier, IBI knit models). Other than your actual foot size, you should consider the type of socks you will wear with the shoes. For example, if you typically wear a thick sock, going up half a size might give your feet more room to breathe, allowing for better circulation. If you’re wondering, many shoppers do not wear socks with their Cariumas because of their out-of-the-box comfort; however, we recommend doing so to prevent blisters and regulate moisture control.

Your foot type

Just as every Cariuma shoe differs, so does everyone’s foot. That’s why it’s important to consider your foot type before shopping for Cariuma shoes (and any shoe, for that matter.)

For example, if you have fleet feet, you should look for sneakers that feature supportive insoles, as these will mold to your feet and relieve pain on the arches by properly distributing body weight and preventing your feet from overpronating. If you have bunions, you may want to consider a Cariuma sneaker with a wide toe box and a flexible construction to ensure that your toes have room to move around and breathe. The good news is that while many of Cariuma’s sneakers run narrow, several options cater to those with wide feet, like the Salvas. Another example of why foot type is important is that if you have plantar fasciitis, you’ll want to find a style that ​​focuses on arch support, cushioning, and heel stability, which can be found in the styles that have the brand’s signature insole.


Lastly, think about where you will wear your Cariuma sneakers or what you need them for. Suppose you’re headed to a cold destination and know you’ll be doing a lot of walking; a silhouette like the Caturi Suede Winter Boots will be a great option, as they have a cushioned sole for comfort and shearling lining for warmth. On the other hand, if you’re on the hunt for an everyday sneaker for year-round wear, you’ll want to get your hands on something like the OCA Low sneaker, as they have a sleek, classic design that will go with anything in your wardrobe and well-made construction that’s pleasant for walking or standing for long periods.

Common FAQs

Does Cariuma run big or small?

Cariuma sneakers run true to size. W+G testers have tried almost every shoe style 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. In our experience, the IBI Low may run a little large due to the flexibility of the mesh knit upper.

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 that cradles your arches, balls, and heels), Cariumas are great 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 not designed for folks who need arch support insoles and might not be supportive enough for those with flat feet or fallen arches.

Can I wear Cariumas without socks?

You probably shouldn’t wear any shoes without socks 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.

Final thoughts

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 can 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.

Cariuma Alternatives

Not sold on the styles above? We found a few alternatives to the Cariuma style for you to consider:

But wait, there's more!
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