What It Is: New-to-market waterproof shoes for women and men from Vancouver-based brand Vessi Footwear. The vegan-friendly shoes are a great complement to an active lifestyle and a socially conscious mindset.
What You Might Not Know: Vessi hit their Kickstarter goal in about 14 minutes for the Cityscape shoes they now sell on their website. That’s the style I test-drove, as well.
Feelin’ the Love: They really are waterproof! I was skeptical at first because I am conditioned to think of traditional mesh sneakers as so not waterproof. After repeated wearings, I agree with the claim that these knit shoes are indeed waterproof.
They are also nicely breathable, so my feet haven’t gotten particularly sweaty. However, I’ve only worn them for a few hours at a time (not all day) and just in winter so far. I’ll be curious to see how my feet fare when the weather warms up.
I’ve worn these Vessi shoes in the rain, walked through puddles and once had to basically hose them off after a muddy nature hike. In fact, these waterproof kicks take the worry out of stamping around on mucky trails because, unlike my regular fitness footwear, they are easy to clean with as much water as needed. They’re probably best for flat trails though because they have the same kind of tread as regular runners.
BTW, normally, I’d photoshop dirt specks off any shoe that I photograph for this blog. But, in this case, I wanted to keep the puddle-dirt in the pics to make a point about how easy they are to wipe off.
Are Vessi Shoes Comfortable?
My Vessi shoes are just as comfortable as running shoes. The toe-box is quite roomy, so if you have narrow feet, you might think that front part of the shoe looks and feels especially wide. I like the width—it makes these sneakers feel a bit like outdoor (waterproof) slippers.
Before I got my Vessi Footwear, I was late for an appointment and so speed-walked there in a pair of rubber boots. That resulted in blisters, but at least my feet stayed dry in the pouring rain. I wish I’d had these sneakers from Vessi back then because they are way comfier than rubber boots for walking at a fast clip or long distances.
I also prefer to wear my Vessi kicks to and from the gym on damp days because there’s something about stuffing chunky, drenched rubber boots in a gym locker that bugs me. Vessi shoes are much more practical for an active lifestyle.
If I Could Change One Thing: More colors please! I love the neutrals in grey, black, white and navy, but could also go for something brighter. Fortunately, I spotted online that one of Vessi’s newest collections, which drops May 2019, includes Dusty Rose and Carbon Blue for men and women.
Should You Buy Them? If you live in a climate that’s as wet as Vancouver—or even just half as wet!—these shoes are a worthwhile investment, especially since they are perfect for an outdoor active lifestyle. And you can feel good about the fact that they’re 100% vegan, too.
Available online at VessiFootwear.com. They ship to Canada, USA and internationally; $170-$180.