Cariuma is a new eco-friendly sneaker brand founded by two footwear industry veterans who came to believe there was a better, more sustainable way to make shoes. They knew that shoppers wanted sneakers that were comfortable, affordable and eco-friendly. Just as importantly, the sneakers needed to look cool, and Cariuma was founded on the premise that you really can have it all.
And so Cariuma was born. The company was founded in Brazil, where it sources materials such as sugar cane, organic cotton and rubber in a sustainable fashion and employs workers in ethical factories. Plus, like other popular give-back brands, the company promises to use its customers’ money for good. The Cariuma website states, “For every pair of sneakers sold, we plant a pair of trees in the Brazilian rainforest.”
For sneaker shoppers fed up with fast fashion, quality can be the deciding factor on whether you’ll purchase a pair of shoes. Maybe that’s why Cariuma has gone viral again and again. Not only are Cariuma sneakers stylish, but you can trek through multiple continents and keep going. Since we discovered Cariuma, the brand’s shoes have been featured consistently in our guides to the best men’s sneakers. On top of all that, these shoes are also affordable. A pair of these well-crafted eco-friendly sneakers can be had for under $100, and they’re so popular that some of their models end up with a 5,000 person waitlist.
The unisex sneaker brand has a devoted following. Pete Davidson has worn Cariumas on SNL and off duty. Other celeb fans include Robert Downey Jr, Helen Mirren and John Hamm. Pro surfers and skaters like Jack Freestone, Gustavo Ribeiro and Leandre Sanders wear them competing, or in the case of Jack Freestone and other Cariuma-clad surfers, leave them on the beach during events.
We can verify that it’s not all hype. SPY editors have tested and worn Cariuma’s most popular styles, and they’re one of the most exciting footwear brands of 2022.
What Makes Cariuma Unique
Cariuma is a plant-based unisex sneaker line and a Certified B Corporation that’s based in Brazil. Owners Fernando Porto and David Python believed that creating an ethically made sneaker could help change the world. The duo states on the Cariuma website, “we also felt we had a duty to take a stance against the wasteful practices in fast fashion. It was vital for us to reinvent the sneaker game.” T
Instead of chasing trends, the founders wanted to create classic sneakers that transcend them. From production to shipping, the company tries to have a positive impact on the environment. The company uses sustainable materials in its shoes, including a unique cork EVA sole that makes these shoes so comfortable.
What Are Cariuma Sneakers Made Of?
Cariuma sneakers are made with organic cotton that has been certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The rubber is sourced via tapping the sap from the hevea brasiliensis tree, so they’ll stand tall for years to come. They also use bamboo that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, OEKO-TEX and the Organic Crop Improvement Association. They also use recycled materials and leather and suede sourced from Leather Working Group gold-rated suppliers.
And yes, they also make vegan sneakers too. Members of Cariuma’s skateboarding team just won the 2022 SLS Championship tour sporting the brand’s footwear.
Good looking, incredibly durable, stylish, Cariuma sneakers are lightweight, and kind to your wallet. Most of their styles are easy to clean too — pop them in the washing machine and then let them air dry.
The Best Cariuma Sneakers for 2022
We’ve rounded up the 10 best Cariuma sneakers, so scroll through to find a pair you can wear now and through the winter. The brand is particularly well-known for its stylish canvas shoes, and SPY editors have worn (and loved) multiple Cariuma styles.
Cariuma Oca Low Sneaker
This is it: the classic Cariuma sneaker. In the style department, it has a classic canvas upper, a weighted rubber sole and a cap toe. This smart-looking sneaker comes in 16 colors: from classic white to magenta. The canvas upper is made with organic cotton, and it has the cushy cork-based memory foam insole that’s a hallmark of the brand. With a clean-looking design, it’s dressy enough for work, but you can also wear it on a hike.
Pro Tip: We’ve learned from painful experience that these shoes need to be broken in slowly! Supremely comfortable once the EVA insole and upper molds to your feet, it does take some breaking in.
In all-white, they’re some of the best white sneakers in the world right now, but there are tons more colorways to choose from. And while we prefer the classic canvas design, you can now buy Cariuma Oca Low sneakers in both suede and leather.
Off-White Vintage Gum/Black
In our best sneakers for men roundup, this model graces the list. We like the vintage old skool skater style that’s married to sustainable manufacture. Designed with a flick point and it provides ankle stability and traction when on a skateboard, these skate shoes are worn by their team. The upper is made with organic cotton canvas and premium suede. They’re lined in cotton canvas, has a Mamona oil and cork insert, and is a handmade vulcanized sneaker with a stitched outsole. They come in 14 color combinations: from neutrals to bright primary shades.
Cariuma Ibi Sneaker
Earlier in the article, we mentioned that Cariuma sneakers are so popular that they’ve created waitlists. Meet the sneaker that broke the internet with its 5,000 shopper waitlist. This unisex sneaker comes in 17 colors, and the knit upper is sourced from bamboo, while the lining, laces and threads are recycled polyester. It has a removable memory foam insole that’s been created with cork and Mamona oil. And the outsole is made from sugarcane. Because it has a built-in arch support, you can rack up miles walking in them, and your feet will feel comfortable.
Cariuma Oca Therma Sneaker
Cariuma’s newest style loves chilly weather. The padded high-top sneaker has a water-repellent vegan suede outer and is lined in vegan shearling that’s created with GRS-certified recycled materials. It has a natural rubber sole that has been stitched to the upper for durability. Like the other Cariuma sneakers. it has a memory foam insole made with cork and Mamona oil. At present the Oca Therma comes in either camel or black.
Cariuma Caturi Sneaker
Recently released, this is Cariuma’s first sneaker boot. Looking like a cross between a high top sneaker and a hiking shoe, this vegan suede sneaker is water-repellent and ready for adventure. Lined with thick, warm vegan shearling, it laces up with D-rings and speed hooks. And like their new Oca Therma, it has a vegan memory foam insole and is winterproof.
Cariuma Slip-On Skate Pro Sneaker
This performance skateboard sneaker has it all, it’s got looks and comfort. This slip-on sneaker has a padded upper and heel collar and a rip-resistant toe area. The sticky grip outsole keeps you on your skateboard and absorbs shock when walking around. It also comes in solid colors.
Cariuma Catiba Pro High Top
Designed for great board feel, this high-top sneaker has a sticky grip outsole, ankle stability, and side traction. Like all Cariuma sneakers it has the organic cork memory foam insole and uses organic cotton canvas for the upper. The reinforced flick point is triple stitched. The Catiba Pro High comes in four colors.
Cariuma The Valleley Sneaker
It’s named after pro-skateboarder and Cariuma team member Mike Vallely. The other members of the team wear this handsome and sturdy skateboard shoe when they’re competing too. It’s also 100% vegan, from its vegan suede upper to the recycled webbing and insole. It has a reinforced flick point, sticky grip outsole and was inspired by ‘80’s basketball sneakers. The sneaker comes in 10 color combinations.
Cariuma Salvas Sneaker
This classically designed sneaker looks like stylish and much more expensive tennis shoe. The leather upper comes from LWG (Leather Working Group) certified tanneries and has a recycled mesh lining. The sole is slip-resistant and made with natural rubber. The laces are a mix of organic cotton and recycled plastics. It comes in white with a choice of seven different color accents.