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After Vessi debuted their Cityscape Sneaker, they had a 23,000 person waitlist. When given the opportunity to road-test their new Weekend Sneaker, I couldn’t say no. After all, a sneaker that can take the place of a sweaty, annoying rain boot, is styled like a classic court shoe, and can be worn year-round is a winner in my book.
Before we get into how they feel on the foot, let’s talk about construction. All Vessi’s products are vegan, heck, even the glue they use is vegan. All their sneakers are 100% waterproof. They created (and patented) Dyma-Tek, a knit fabric that never lets your socks get soaked. Water literally bounces off the fabric. The same goes for mud and slush, that stuff beads up, flies off and never gets the chance to stain the sneaker.
All of Vessi’s sneaker styles weigh in at 6.7 ounces: they offer some of the lightest waterproof shoes we’ve seen. When you wear them, you may forget you have them on. The top of the shoe is knitted and has vegan leather trim, knit laces and a vegan leather pull tab by the top of the heel. A different type of knitting is done over the toes for added breathability, and there’s a semi-circle knitted area on the sides of the kicks that add additional support.
The sneaker’s lining is smooth and slipper-soft. Word of advice: Keep the removable insole in the shoe when you’re out and about. Not only does it provide some arch support, but it also absorbs shock and the extra layer of cushioning feels decadent. The midsole is EVA and cushioned (more decadence for ya), and the insole is molded and created to provide support and additional comfort. Wearing them is like walking on a cloud.
The first day I tried them out, I went on a three-mile walk. Up and down hills my feet felt great. You know how after you take off a pair of shoes or sneakers, and then the pain sets in? Yeah, it didn’t happen with the Vessi Weekend Sneaker. My feet were cradled in comfort.
The bottom of these sneakers was created to prevent slippage and falls. Perfect for those of us who are slightly klutzy. Most sneakers lose traction when it rains, these babies don’t. Aside from cool color blocking, the outer soles are equipped with a triangular pattern that really does grip whatever ground you’re walking on. When I tested them out during both wet and dry days, I realized that it’s not that noticeable when the ground is dry, but when it’s wet, they really rock it out and help give you a smooth gait over slippery surfaces. At one point I was ankle-deep in rain while stepping on cobblestones. Not once did I teeter, totter, slip or fall.
Let’s talk about style. The Vessi Weekend Sneaker has a rounded toe and laces up easily. The white sidewalls are reminiscent of skater shoes from the 80s, so they have a retro-cool vibe to them. The vegan leather trim on the eyelets and tabs ads cool visual contrast to the matte knit. Because there’s a slightly different knit pattern over the toes from the rest of the sneaker, this detail makes the sneaker look like a luxe top-end designer offering. They’re the type of sneaker that’ll look sharp with jeans or casual pants. You could probably push the style envelope a bit and wear them in black with work-type trousers.
Are they really waterproof? Short answer, yes. Long answer, I wore them in the pouring rain and deliberately plowed through deep puddles. I watched as water beaded off them and was slightly stunned that my feet were completely dry.
Care of the Vessi Weekend Sneaker — or any of their other models — is amazingly simple. Toss them in the washing machine. Soap and water will get them clean but won’t disturb their waterproofing. They have micro-air pockets in the sneakers, so you can wear them all year long and your feet will stay comfortable.
Vessi’s Weekend Sneaker runs true to size and comes in sizes 6-13. Aside from black, they also come in white, grey, and tan. Right now, you can reserve your pair for $5, and pay the balance when the sneaker ships around September 20, 2020. Your five dollars goes to nonprofits that support mental health awareness. While Vessi’s a young brand, since their inception, they’ve raised and donated $500,000 to various charities and initiatives. Clearly, they’re poised to be around a while.