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I’m used to walking around for long stretches, including the city where I was born, the Big Apple. I’ve also had my fair share of sore feet after standing and walking to heavy metal concerts and other events. That’s why I decided to lace up a pair of Cariuma high top sneakers – an eco-friendly shoe with cult cult following – to see if they could take the strain off my feet. Here’s what happened when I walked a few blocks in it.
What are Cariuma shoes?
Cariuma was founded by David Python and Fernando Porto in response to lingering problems in the fashion footwear space. Not only were many fashionable shoes uncomfortable and expensive, they were also rarely produced with sustainable sourcing or environmentally friendly manufacturing.
Python and Porto launched Cariuma as an affordable, stylish, comfortable and eco-friendly shoe brand in 2018. The company uses sustainable and recycled materials, like cork and bamboo, and aims to manufacture with a balance sheet negative carbon emissions. According to Cariuma, you will be “lighter on your feet and leave a smaller footprint” with their shoes.
Cariuma has seven basic styles on the market that range from casual slip-ons to sporty high tops – and the latter sparked my interest as a potential city walking shoe.
How to wear Cariuma shoes
When I unboxed the Cariuma white canvas high top shoes, I was immediately drawn to their clean, contemporary aesthetic. They’re definitely neutral like a white shoe, and their design makes them easier to style than most sneakers I’ve worn.
The top pairs easily with my more sporty outfits of leggings and hoodies, as well as casual travel-friendly outfits that I would wear around town, like skinny jeans or leather-look leggings with sleeveless blouses. After wearing the Cariumas with a few different outfits, I realized that I style these high shoes like boots most of the time.
Basically I was getting the best of both worlds. They have the ankle boot silhouette (which I’m a huge fan of) with the comfort of a sneaker. The cushioned vegan sockliner and lightweight construction were much easier to walk on for extended periods of time than most boots, including the ones I’ve worn with supportive insoles.
What you should know before buying Cariuma shoes
I’ll be the first person to admit that keeping white canvas shoes clean on the outside isn’t easy. I found it easy to clean them with a soft brush and, if necessary, a mild detergent. Cariuma also recommends preventative maintenance to keep shoes clean by treating them with stain repellants and natural deodorant sprays.
Cariuma shoe boxes are just as environmentally friendly as the brand’s shoes. You can either reuse the box like I did or recycle it. Some people keep it to store shoes between wears.
The Cariuma high top shoes have eight eyelets, which means the lacing and fit are an integral part of owning the shoe. This isn’t a compromise, especially if you’ve owned any Doc Martens or Chuck Taylors before, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for shoes to go.
Where to buy Cariuma shoes
You can pick up the Cariuma Canvas OCA High shoes at Cariuma for $ 98. They are available in men’s and women’s sizes and are available in off-white, black, navy blue, and all black. The other Cariuma styles are priced from $ 79 to $ 169.
Other products to consider
Cariuma IBI Knit Zebra Print Slip-On Shoe
Not only has this style sold preorders in 2020, but it remains a hit style for its flexible fit. To boot, it’s made sustainably with harvested bamboo and recycled plastics.
Sold by Cariuma
Allbirds Women’s Wool Runner Mizzles
This Allbirds shoe is made with ethically sourced wool that is naturally water repellent and an odor reducing sole. The cozy and comfortable style also happens to be machine washable.
Sold by All birds
Skechers Performance Go Walk Women’s Slip-On Walking Shoes
The lightweight and flexible construction of this Skechers slip-on makes it a popular choice for travel. It absorbs shock and promises a cloud-like walking experience.
Sold by Amazon
Nike Flex Experience Run 10 Women’s Running Shoes
Nike’s new Flex Experience running shoe has a dynamic design that supports natural movement. The padded heel absorbs shock and keeps wearers comfortable all day.
Sold by Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.