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There are so many shoe companies out there these days that they are hard to keep track of, but sometimes a brand stands out in a way that piques your interest. Cariuma is one of those brands, and based on our Cariuma shoes review, we think you will agree that it’s time to take notice.
Complete Cariuma Reviews
Cariuma was created because the founders realized a need for classic sneakers with an active focus on social responsibility and sustainability. As a result, theCariuma team created sneakers from scratch that look good and are comfortable while finding ways to serve people and serve the planet through its business.
Cariuma makes a good pair of sneakers with a distinct Chuck Taylor vibe. Of course, depending on who you talk to, Chucks have never been an exceptionally comfortable sneaker, nor are they made with sustainable materials like Cariuma shoes. And while Cariuma shoes look like they were bred of Chuck Taylors and Vans, Cariuma shoes feature just enough flair to stand on their own as a new timeless classic.
If you are looking for a sustainable running shoe, you probably need to check out the Allbirds Dasher. Still, if you are looking for a clean casual shoe to wear with jeans or everyday shoes, a pair of shoes from Cariuma should be a staple in your wardrobe.
OCA High & OCA Low
The OCA sneakers offer a classic silhouette that looks familiar and stands bold at the same time. These canvas sneakers are much more advanced than the canvas sneakers your parents wore. The Cariuma OCA is elegant and straightforward yet incredibly versatile. Because of the classic silhouette, The Cariuma OCA will look just as nice with a pair of jeans as they look lounging by the pool.
While a relaxed Rio culture inspires the shoe’s look, the thoughtfulness and performance designed into the shoe are anything but relaxed. The durable canvas is made from certified organic cotton, meaning no pesticides or other harmful chemicals were used to grow the cotton. Other natural materials are used, such as raw rubber collected by tapping trees (more on that below). And while you will need to look to the IBI for a fully vegan shoe, it is worth noting that the Cariuma OCA also utilizes a signature vegan insole made from cork and bio memory foam.
Even though the OCA comes in a classic silhouette, it still offers enough variety to spice things up and allow you to wear your personality on your feet. This classic sneaker is available as the OCA High or the OCA Low. Sure, the low-top is versatile enough to be worn with shorts and pants alike, but we are suckers for high-top sneakers.
Since the high-tops are a little classier, they are available in premium leather, suede, or the traditional canvas and various colors ranging from neutral browns, blacks, and whites, to much brighter reds and blues. Still, the high-tops are available in more traditional colors and a classier palette than the low sneakers. Things get a little crazier with the low tops. If yellow sneakers are your thing, you’re in luck. Or if you are interested in leopard suede, they have you covered there too.
Regardless how colorful you choose to go, the Cariuma OCA offers classic shoe options for any occasions. It’s a versatile shoe, ready for almost any casual situation. And if you dress up a pair of leather OCAs, it would probably work in some more formal situations too.
IBI High & IBI Low
If the Cariuma IBI looks like it has a similar silhouette to the Cariuma OCA, that’s because it does. But make no mistake, these are very different shoes. That’s because the Cariuma IBI is a vegan shoe.A vegan shoe?. Yep, a vegan shoe. For some of you, that may seem a little over the top or off the wall but stay with me. All that means is that while your shoe size will run the same as other shoe styles, the footprint you leave on the planet will be much smaller.
The knit upper provides a perfect slip-on fit. The shoe hugs your foot but is also featherweight light. In some ways, it might not feel like you are wearing a traditional shoe, but the IBI still has a very classic look. When electric cars were first introduced, vehicles like the Prius were made to look odd and stand out for a reason, so other consumers would notice how prevalent the green technology was becoming. Cariuma goes the other way, which we appreciate.
This is a cool-looking shoe, and similar to the OCA, the Cariuma IBI will look as good during a night on the town as it does chilling by a bonfire. And by the way, the IBI is machine washable, so if you choose to go sockless, you will be able to keep your shoes fresh. After all, no one wants dirt stains on their favorite pair of shoes.
Like the OCA, the Cariuma IBI comes in a high-top model and a low-top model. The low model is available in nearly 15 colors, so there is something for everyone’s preference. The IBI High is available in 5 neutral colors, including a model with a black sole that offers a classier look.But how exactly is a vegan shoe constructed?
The Cariuma IBI slip-on is made from the same materials as the IBI High and IBI Low, so we save the redundancy, other than to share one statistic. The Cariuma IBI slip-on is made with a carbon footprint that is three times lower than the industry average. Like its siblings, the IBI slip-on is also lightweight and machine washable. They wear easy and look good.
If you are looking for sustainably made skate shoes, look no further. Of course, Cariuma already uses ethically sourced materials and green processes, so it would be easy enough for them to make a new shoe and just call it a “skate shoe.” That would be easy, but that’s not what they did.
Keep in mind the founders partially connected over their mutual love for board sports and the planet, so developing a premium skate shoe is definitely something they worked hard on. The Cariuma CATIBA Pro is built for enhanced board feel and stability and features such thoughtful design as adding side traction with a grip that will help you improve your flick.
Beyond that, Cariuma added a reinforced flick point that will help the shoe last longer. Skaters go through shoes quickly, so it’s no minor feature that flick point is made with a triple-stitch upper. The CATIBA Pro is a durable and sustainable shoe made by skateboarders for skateboarders.
The CATIBA Pro is available in a low or high-top model, though colors are limited for the high-top model. There are only a handful of brands in skate culture offering sustainable shoes. Still, with lightweight cushion technology, foxing providing side traction, and a reinforced flick point, the CATIBA Pro rises to the top. The team in Rio De Janeiro knows what they are doing.
Cariuma Shoes Review
Cariuma makes classic-looking sneakers, that are sustainbly sourced, and sold at an affordable price. Seems like a win in our book. If you found this site, chances are you agree Cariuma makes a good-looking shoe. The question remaining is whether Cariuma is a good brand. When all factors are considered, there’s a good chance a pair of Cariumas will be your new favorite shoe. So let’s dive in.
Sustainability & Ethical Manufacturing
Some recent reports show that the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs, which is terrifying, to be honest. The Cariuma team deeply cares about the planet, and particular the Brazilian rainforest, so for every pair of sustainable sneakers purchased, Cariuma plants Two Tree. Not only is it awesome for our planet that they do this, but it is also cool that they are working in their native Brazil to make it happen.
Sustainability starts with sourcing, and Cariuma has taken the time to source raw materials safer for the planet. For instance, Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant in the world, and therefore highly renewable. In fact, not only is Bamboo the fastest-growing plant in the world, but it is regenerative, meaning when you cut it in half, it regrows like a blade of grass. Bamboo fibers are very strong and have natural anti-microbial qualities.
The Cariuma team also uses natural rubber that is gathered from the hevea brasiliensis tree through tapping. What is tapping? Glad you asked. Tapping is a safe process of capturing sap off the bark of trees and is the same process used to make maple syrup. Of course, it’s a weird thought to consider natural rubber is made from a similar source to pancake syrup, but the result is a high-quality product made from a sustainable source, so we are all here for it.Aside from bamboo and natural rubber,
Factories & Operations
But does Cariuma pay a fair wage with fair working conditions? The brand takes pride in choosing its manufacturing partners to do just that. Cariuma has positioned itself as an emerging brand that cares about people and the planet. It’s about more than just pumping out endless pairs of shoes. Instead, the mission remains at the center of everything they do, and they’ve developed policies to ensure just that.
As a company, Cariuma follows International Labor Organization guidelines that focus on establishing and maintaining human rights and labor rights. The ILO is a U.N. agency that has been around since 1919 to promote decent working conditions for all men and women.
To accomplish this standard, Cariuma developed a stringent code of conduct, against which all of its manufacturing partners are audited. This is more than just lip service and sleek shoes. This is serious business.
Of course, every aspect of a shoe’s life journey must be considered, so even Cariuma’s warehouse meets high environmental standards and is LEED Gold Certified. And Cariuma addressed shipping too, by joining a program through DHL called Go Green. It’s a carbon-neutral express shipping program that works with various reforestation and carbon capture programs around the world. Impressive stuff.
Are Cariuma Sneakers Vegan?
Not all of Cariuma’s sneakers are vegan, but the Cariuma IBI is a 100% vegan shoe. How did Cariuma make this happen? Well, let’s work from the bottom-up. The durable outsoles are derived from a sugarcane product called Green EVA. You are probably familiar with the concept of carbon-neutrality, but these outsoles are carbon-negative, believe it or not.
Cariuma’s proprietary memory foam insole is made from a mix of cork and organic mamona oil. To source cork, harvesters simply scrap bark from cork trees. The tree then forms new bark. And Mamona oil might be my favorite because it is a plant-based alternative to petroleum. The knit top is made from a bamboo product, and as we previously noted, Bamboo is self-regenerative, so when harvested properly, Bamboo is incredibly sustainable.
It would be easy for a company to make 100 percent vegan shoes that were gimmicky or sub-par quality, butCariuma designed a casual sneaker for the ages. As fart as sustainable footwear goes, Cariuma is top in class.
Are Cariuma Shoes Comfortable?
It doesn’t take much more than glancing at a few product reviews on Cariuma’s website to see how popular the shoes are. And consider this: Cariuma shoes are born from skate culture, where foot comfort is of utmost importance. So yes, Cariumas are comfortable. The memory foam insole contours to the foot’s natural shape, providing the support and cushioning you need.
The shoes do seem to run a little small, so you might consider sizing-up. Cariuma focuses on making classic sneakers that are sustainable, so they may not be as comfortable as some brands that place a premium on comfort. Allbirds and Casca come to mind as brands that place first focus on comfort. Still, Cariumas are very comfortable compared to other classic sneakers like the Converse Chuck Taylor, and they are comfortable enough that we wear them as our every day, around town shoe.
And let us just say that we particularly love our slip-on. There is something about a well-made slip-on that elevates comfort to another level. Cariumas works well as an active shoe or a casual shoe.
Are Cariuma Shoes Affordable?
Yes, Cariuma shoes are priced similarly to brands such as Allbirds, which is impressive considering the investments Cariuma makes in people and the planet. From responsibly sourcing raw materials to working with factories that take care of their employees to using recycled packaging and carbon-neutral shipping, Cariuma shows a commitment to doing the right things regardless of price. It’s not cheap to responsibly consider the end-to-end lifecycle of a shoe, which is one reason, so few companies care. Still, the shoes are very affordable. So much so you might consider a pair of IBI slip-ons and IBI Highs.
Alternatives to Cariuma
There are few brands directly comparable to Cariuma, but there are a few worth highlighting if you want to think through how Cariuma compares to the alternatives.
Cariuma vs. Allbirds
Allbirds shoes naturally come to mind because of the brand’s sustainable focus. From our research, Allbirds and Cariuma represent the cream of the crop in terms of sustainable shoes. Allbirds has a strong reputation for making the comfiest shoes money can buy, so on comfort alone, Allbirds might have a slight edge.
Still, Allbirds are much more mainstream than they used to be, so if you are looking for an emerging brand under the radar, Cariuma is still well worth considering. We will also say that Cariuma has a much more classic look and offers shoes specific to skateboarding, too. Both brands are respected worldwide, so you might consider filling your closet with a pair of each.
Cariuma vs Converse
If the classic look is what you are after, it’s hard not to notice the stylistic cues that Cariuma borrow from Converse Chuck Taylors, but the classic converse shoe hasn’t changed in decades. It’s a cool-looking shoe, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Cariuma. We should note that select Converse shoes are now made with sustainable materials, but it is hardly the brand’s bread and butter.
Cariuma shoes are sustainably made in a very different world than the world Converse was born into. Modern technology also enables Cariuma to place a little added emphasis on comfort and support compared to old-school Converse. Back in high school, I wore a green pair of Chucks. I loved those shoes because our school colors were green and white, but they didn’t provide much support and weren’t very durable. Cariuma wins the comparison here, hands down.
Cariuma Review Summary
In many ways, this is a no-brainer. Cariuma makes a quality shoe that combines sustainability with comfort and a classy look. Cariuma shoes are also very affordable compared to other shoes. This is especially true when you consider how much Cariuma has invested in sourcing premium sustainable materials and developing a responsible end-to-end supply chain. It’s a great shoe and worth a try if you are in the market for a new pair of sneakers.SUMMARY PROS
- Responsibly sourced raw materials
- Allbirds might be slightly more comfortable
- Very affordable
- Classic silhouettes
- Vegan option available
- Ethical manufacturing
- Quality construction
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, for instance, the Bamboo is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, OEKO-TEX, and the Organic Crop Improvement Association. The recycled PET is certified by Global Recycle Standard, and the leather and suede are certified by the Leather Working Group
Cariuma ships to nearly 50 countries worldwide. You can see the full list athttps://cariuma.com/pages/shipping
Cariuma accepts returns for up to 60 days if the shoes are unworn, unwashed, and in original packaging. So if you think some cute shoes are just what your significant other needs, but they are expecting diamonds instead, no biggie.
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