We Tried The Sneaker Brand With the 5,000 Person Waiting List, and Let’s Just Say We Get the Hype
Here’s the thing: At the PureWow office, a lot of us are kind of sneakerheads. We love sporting kicks almost as much as we love the allure of a four-figure waitlist. Remember this? Yea, we were just as curious about the highly coveted shoes as you were. So when three of our editors got the chance to try out Cariuma’s best-selling sneaker, the canvas OCA, we jumped at the opportunity—footie socks at the ready and shoehorns in hand.
FYI: The first round of Cariuma shoes that flew off the shelves were knit. These are made with fair-trade cotton canvas. And while some iterations by the brand featured leather, these are entirely vegan, using raw natural rubber, cork and mamona oil. Intriguing, right? Here's what our editors had to say.
Sustainable, Versatile and the Cherry on Top to My Wardrobe
“My regular style is kind of high-low, meaning, half of my look will be something bold and fun while the other half is pure comfort. And these sneakers are exactly the kind of finishing touch I love. Lately, I haven’t been going out unless it’s to walk the dogs. Even still, the OCA Low in off-white have been such a welcome break from my tennis shoes—and almost just as comfortable.
I’ve walked in them a lot and even brought Band-Aids in my pocket to cover the blisters I was sure would pop up (it’s not my first rodeo). But…nothing! Not even a raw spot, and definitely no bleeding at the top of my heels. The canvas they’re made from feels quality and the memory foam soles are seriously comfortable—not hard and flat like other sneakers in this style. The best part for me (other than the fact that they go with everything and even look cute with leggings) is that they’re vegan and made in ethical factories with 100 percent recycled and recyclable packaging.
While I do wonder how easy they’ll be to clean when I inevitably step in a puddle, I’m impressed by their versatility. I’m already planning out all the ways I’ll wear them with my denim and fluttery tanks this summer.” —Cristina G., Senior Editor
Great For Linen Dresses and Long Walks
“So, I’ve been trying the rose OCAs and I was surprised by how comfortable they were upon first wear. With most of my sneakers, there's definitely a breaking-in period where they feel stiff and cause blisters until they soften up. Not these. I love how they mold to my feet but still feel breathable and snug even after walking almost three miles in them (and still no blisters).
I can already see myself rocking them with a linen dress and woven basket bag for a picnic in the park or a Sunday spent shopping in a couple of months (fingers crossed). And I'm not worried about wearing them for long walks—the memory foam insole (made of cork and mamona oil) is great for that and is even removable.
If you're looking for a stylish and affordable pair of sustainably made low tops, these are going to be your bread-and-butter (err, raw natural rubber, I should say).” —Roberta F., Editor
Classic and Comfortable Meets Pop of Color
“I got low tops in yellow because I wanted a bright and fun sneaker to wear for the summer. And if I'm completely honest, I thought these would have a sort of flimsy construction since they're vegan and eco-friendly, but they're quite the opposite. The canvas upper and rubber soles are sturdy and such high quality that you wouldn't even know they're made from plants!
Since we've been social distancing, I've worn them on daily walks with my dog and to the grocery store usually with a pair of joggers and a sweatshirt, but in "real life" I'd wear them with my typical uniform of cropped jeans and a tee.
These Cariumas require absolutely zero break-in time, which is a huge win in my book. The only thing I'd note is that I found them to run a little bigger and would probably order a half-size down for my next pair. Otherwise, they're a classic pair of sneakers that are great for everyday wear.” —Rachel G., Associate Managing Editor