Vessi Shoes Review: Are These Waterproof Shoes Worth the Hype?

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TL;DR: After testing the Everyday Classic Sneakers over the past year, I don’t recommend Vessi shoes. These are the key takeaways from my Vessi shoes review:

  • They do a good job of repelling water
  • But this also means that Vessi’s aren’t very breathable, which causes uncomfortable, sweaty feet
  • They take forever to dry once they’re wet
  • They’re fairly comfortable and lightweight
  • They don’t offer half sizes, so finding the perfect fit might be more challenging for some

If you live in a rainy climate, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of having damp feet. A shoe company called Vessi set out to design completely waterproof shoes to solve this problem. 

Now, I’m no stranger to the wet shoe life. Growing up in early-aughts San Francisco (before the drought came to California), I basically lived in my Converse sneakers paired with soggy-bottomed flare pants. 

A woman white jeans and white Vessi shoes seen from the waist down stands in front of a bush covered in white flowers.

Trudging through the rain in canvas sneakers was a way of life for me, much to my mother’s dismay.

After moving to New York, I learned that boots exist and it’s a good idea to wear them in wet weather, but I was curious about Vessi waterproof shoes. Could they keep my feet totally dry in the rain?

So, I got my hands on a pair and set out to answer the question: are Vessi’s waterproof shoes actually as good as the hype makes them out to be?

An honest review of Vessi shoes: a woman with pink hair wearing sunglasses, a white blouse, white jeans, and white Vessi shoes stands on a bridge in Venice looking over her shoulder.

What are Vessi Shoes?

A pair of white Vessi Shoes on a white background.

Vessi makes shoes in numerous designs for men, women, and kids. 

All of these models are a variation of a sneaker and they’re all waterproof shoes. In this article, I’m specifically talking about their original shoe, the Everyday Classic Sneaker.

Vessi sneakers are comfortable shoes that promise to work every day in every type of weather. They’re waterproof, but they also claim to repel sand, wind, snow, and slush. 

They do this by using a proprietary knit material called Dyma-tex, which includes a membrane with tiny holes that allow vapor and heat to pass through but are too small for water molecules. 

The Vessi Everyday sneaker has a super sporty look available in white, black, grey, and blue.

A Quick Look at Vessi as a Company

A hand holding a white Vessi sneaker open to show the logo on the insole against a white background.

Vessi’s founders are three Vancouverites named Andy Wang, Tony Yu, and Mikealla Go. Vancouver is a notoriously rainy city, so they set out to design a shoe that people can wear rain or shine. 

Go and Yu, who are romantic partners and business partners, had a lot of experience launching brands on Kickstarter before teaming up with Wang. So, they knew what they were doing when they launched Vessi on the crowdfunding platform. 

They ended up running two campaigns and raised over two million dollars to launch the company. 

On top of focusing on making great shoes for everyday wear, Vessi makes efforts toward sustainable practices. 

They use all vegan materials and plastic-free recyclable packaging. They also partner with factories that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability for manufacturing.

Vessi Shoes Review: My Experience With the Women’s Everyday Classic Shoes

A woman with pink hair wearing sunglasses, a white blouse, white jeans, and white Vessi shoes in front of a bush covering in white flowers, laughing a the camera.

I opted for the all-white version of the Vessi Everyday Sneakers

Unfortunately, they don’t come in half sizes, but luckily for me, I wear a size 8 and it fits just fine. The shoes are pretty stretchy, so it wouldn’t be a problem to size up or down if you’re a half-size, as they suggest.

Stylistically, these aren’t the type of shoes I usually go for, but I got my Vessi’s just before a trip to Italy, thinking they’d make good travel shoes. 

In person, they were less attractive to me than they’d appeared on their site. 

Most notably, the outer sole flares out, giving them a very wide look. The upper is stretchy and reminiscent of neoprene and a faux-suede flap goes over that. 

I think these Vessi sneakers would make more fashion sense for someone with a sportier wardrobe than mine. I wasn’t fond of them with shorts or dresses, although I liked how they looked with long pants and a few other outfits. I might have preferred the Vessi Weekend shoes, which are lace-up.

The Everyday Sneakers reminded me of water shoes, aesthetically and fit-wise, so I thought they’d be a good choice for a sea-kayaking excursion. It would also be my first chance to test their waterproof resilience.

When I first stepped into the water to get into my kayak, I thought, “Wow, these really ARE waterproof.” Standing in several inches of water, my feet were completely dry.

But as soon as the water seeped over the top of the shoes, it was game over, and they were entirely soaked. 

The rest of the day was like walking around with bags of squelching water tied to my feet. The dyma-tex material that keeps puddles out also keeps them in once they’re there.

Okay, that’s fine. Vessi clearly states that they’re not for total submersion, but I was a little disappointed by the lack of quick-drying material. 

They stayed soaked for two full days afterward–and these were days when outside temperatures reached 90 degrees F! (luckily, I brought multiple pairs of shoes on my trip).

Again, Vessi doesn’t claim that they’re kayaking shoes, and I now know that I misused them. 

This experience showed me how well they would work in light rain and shallow puddles, but also how they take longer to dry than your average shoes once water gets inside. 

I also tried my Vessis as walking shoes and found them comfortable and supportive for shorter to medium distances. However, my feet were sore after a longer seven-mile stint. 

I wore them without socks because they say they’re breathable and advertise a sock-like fit (I can confirm that). On their website, Vessi says socks are optional but recommended.

That was a misstep. My feet felt clammy and sweaty, and they were downright wet by the time I took them off. 

Even the following day, the shoes felt slightly damp. I never thought of myself as someone with sweaty feet and have frequently neglected to wear socks with other sneakers in the past, so it was surprising. 

I wore them again, this time with tights, and got the same result. When I took them off at the end of the day, my feet left damp footprints on the tile floor.

So, while Vessi repeatedly describes their dyma-tex material as a “breathable knit,” I’d argue that it’s only breathable compared to rubber rain boots.

As a comparison, I recently wrote an Allbirds Wool Loungers shoes review, slip-on shoes made from merino wool. 

Although my Allbirds shoes aren’t technically waterproof, they keep my feet dry even in light rain, and my feet never sweat in them–even without socks. 

So, comparatively, the Allbirds win out against the Vessis for short walks in the rain.



A pair of white Vessi Shoes on a white background.

Despite putting the Vessi sneaker to the test and wearing these shoes in ways that Vessi didn’t recommend, I will say that these are legitimately waterproof sneakers. 

As long as you don’t fully submerge them, they will keep your feet dry in wet climates.

While I initially looked forward to wearing these waterproof shoes in the fall and winter, I never ended up doing so. I imagine they could be an excellent choice to wear in the snow because they have good traction and they’ll resist moisture. However, the style and sweatiness factor had me reaching for other pairs of shoes.


Vessi sneakers are sensible footwear for long walks and light hiking. They’re supportive, and the sock-like fit makes them feel reasonably cushioned. They have pretty good arch support as well. 

Durable and high-quality

While I haven’t been wearing my Vessi sneakers for very long, I can tell they’re sturdy, well-made, and long-lasting. The materials feel very thick and durable, and I can’t imagine the sole wearing down anytime soon.


Vessi’s shoes have pretty thick soles, but they weigh just 6.7 ounces, which is ultra-lightweight for how substantial they are. 

I like them as travel shoes because I know they won’t add too much extra weight to my (already very overstuffed) suitcase.


Not quick-drying

A pair of white Vessi Shoes on a white background.

I fully understand that I shouldn’t have submerged these shoes, but I was surprised by how long the Everyday Sneakers took to dry. 

Most shoes I’ve owned will be dry within a day of getting soaked, but when I checked my Vessis two days after the kayak excursion, they were still completely wet. 

I moved them to a spot where a beam of sunlight was coming through the window and left them another day, and they were finally dry enough after that.

Not very breathable

Compared to clunky rain boots made from rubber, yes–this knit sneaker is more breathable. But I wouldn’t go so far as the call them breathable shoes. 

After wearing the Everyday Sneaker all day without socks, I had surprisingly sweaty feet. 

So sweaty that the shoes were still damp the following day (sorry, I know that’s gross, but it’s the truth). Excessively sweaty feet aren’t something that generally happens to me.

Also, they supposedly have antibacterial insoles. However, I gave them a sniff after my sockless day, and they…don’t smell great. 

I’m also not someone who typically struggles with foot odor (I swear!), so I’m skeptical about the antibacterial power of the insoles.

While Vessi’s shoes don’t advertise that they should be worn sockless, they state that it’s optional. I’ve had less stinky, sweaty feet after going sockless with regular Keds, which don’t advertise breathability.

No Half Sizes

Vessi footwear is pretty stretchy, so this isn’t a huge deal. However, if you wear a half-size, you’ll have to decide whether to size up or down, which could be a bit of a sizing gamble. 

I found that my size eight Vessi sneakers hug my feet pretty snugly. So, if I wore an 8.5, I would probably size up.

Other Vessi Shoes

A semi-beat-up Vessi Shoebox on a white background.

The Vessi Everyday Shoes are not the only Vessi tennis shoes available. Vessi footwear makes multiple shoes for men and women and there are even Vessi shoes for kids.

The Everyday Move shoes by Vessi are similar to the Classic Everyday shoes but with extra arch support, breathability, and color options. 

Vessi’s also come in a slip-on model. The Everyday Slip-Ons have a similar design to the Everyday Move shoes but without laces. The Sunday Slipper is a comfortable house shoe with a solid sole and collapsible heel.

If you’re looking for even more variety, Vessi makes other styles as well. The Vessi Weekend Sneaker is a casual shoe reminiscent of skateboard sneakers.

The Cityscape Sneakers are sleek and lightweight slip-on shoes with elastic laces.

And for cold climates, the Vessi Weekend Chelsea is an ankle boot that will keep your feet dry even in deep puddles.

These styles are available for both men and women, and all of them feature Vessi’s waterproof technology. 

Kids’ sizes only come in the Vessi Weekend Sneaker and the Vessi Weekend Chelsea

And in addition to shoes, Vessi also makes hats, socks, gloves, and face masks.

Vessi Shoes Sizing Tips, Fit & How They Should Feel

How Does Sizing Work? Do Vessi Sneakers Run Big or Small?

A woman with pink hair wearing a white blouse, white jeans, and white Vessi shoes seen from the neck down, standing on a bridge in Venice.

Vessi’s shoes run true to size and do not come in half sizes. They’re very stretchy, allowing for some wiggle room. 

If you don’t wear a whole size, Vessi recommends sizing up for a looser fit or down for a more snug one, which seems a bit like stating the obvious. 

In my experience, my Vessi Everyday shoes are true to size in terms of the sole, but the stretchy upper clings to my foot. I would size up to a nine if I wore an 8.5.

Do Vessi Shoes Stretch?

Vessi footwear is very stretchy and thick. The ankle opening is tight, but the knit will stretch and loosen over time to better fit your foot. I don’t see them becoming overly loose.

Are Vessi Shoes Comfortable?

Vessi’s shoes are pretty comfortable and supportive and work well for anyone on their feet. I would recommend Vessi shoes for nurses, waiters, and travelers. 

The one thing I find uncomfortable about my Vessi Everyday Shoes is how sweaty my feet get when I wear them for an extended period.

How Long Does it Take to Break in Vessi Shoes?

The Vessi Everyday Shoes are mostly a stretchy knit material, so they don’t rub or cause blisters. 

After my kayaking adventure, I entirely broke in my pair. Vessi footwear should stretch to fit your foot’s shape after one good wear.

How Should Vessi Shoes Fit When I Try Them on?

Initially, the ankle opening will feel quite tight, but it shouldn’t pinch. The tight opening will stretch a bit over time, but it should remain snug to ensure a watertight seal if you’re walking in the rain.

Do Vessi Shoes Provide Enough Support?

A woman with pink hair wearing a white blouse, white jeans, and white Vessi shoes stands on a bridge in Venice looking down at her feet.

Vessi sneakers’ snug fit provides good support for the whole foot, and they feel very secure. 

They work well as a travel shoe or an everyday shoe because they’re good for walking.

Are Vessi Shoes Good For High Arches?

The Vessi Everyday Shoes provided adequate arch support for me. 

Plus, the insoles are removable, so if you want some extra support, you can switch them out for something more heavy-duty.

Are Vessi Shoes Good for Wide Feet?

Because of their stretch, Vessi sneakers work for people with both wide and narrow feet. 

Men’s sizes are wider than women’s, so if you’re a woman with wider feet who usually wears a size eight, then a men’s size seven will fit like an eight wide.

Can You Wear Vessi Shoes With Plantar Fasciitis?

I’ve had bouts of plantar fasciitis in the past, but it hasn’t acted up since I started wearing Vessi sneakers. 

If you’re actively struggling with pain from plantar fasciitis, I’d recommend swapping the insoles with ones specifically for plantar fasciitis.

Can You Wear Vessi Shoes With Bunions?

The Vessi sneaker is stretchable and should accommodate bunions well. However, you should size up or choose the equivalent men’s size for a wider fit if you’re a woman.

Vessi Shoes Durability

How is the Quality of Vessi Shoes?

A pair of white Vessi Shoes on a white background.

I was reasonably impressed with the quality of my Vessi Everyday Sneakers. They feel sturdy, substantial, and durable, and I don’t expect them to wear down or tear anytime soon. 

However, since I opted for white, they are collecting dirt and will probably stain over time.

Are Vessi Shoes Waterproof?

I have some qualms with my Vessi Everday Sneakers and the company’s claims about them, but Vessi’s number one claim is also what they excel at: staying dry. 

Vessi Everyday Shoes are extremely waterproof sneakers, as long as you don’t submerge them completely.

If you’re looking for more options, read our guide to the best waterproof walking shoes.

How Long Do Vessis Last?

Vessi Everyday Shoes have similar longevity compared to other shoes of decent quality. 

They come with a one-year warranty on factory defects and should last more than a year without heavy wear and tear.

How to Take Care of and Clean Vessi Sneakers

The Vessi Everyday Sneaker is not machine-washable. Instead, Vessi recommends using a mild detergent with a scrub brush and rinsing them under warm water. 

The same goes for the Everyday Slip-Ons and the Cityscape Sneakers. The Vessi Weekend Sneaker collection can go in the washing machine on cold, and all styles should air dry.

Vessi Return & Exchange Policy

A woman white jeans and white Vessi shoes seen from the waist down stands on a bridge in Venice.

Vessi accepts returns and free exchanges within 90 days of purchase from their website, and they offer free standard shipping for orders within North America. 

If you return your Vessi Sneakers without the original box, they’ll charge a $5 reboxing fee.

Vessi may reject your return or exchange if they detect signs of wear and tear. Some orders are non-returnable, so note that before you purchase.

Vessi Discounts & Coupons

A pair of white Vessi Shoes on a white background.

Vessi periodically has seasonal sales for both Black Friday and Labor Day. In 2021, their Black Friday sale offered up to 30% off sitewide and a free $25 gift certificate for every $110 spent. 

As with many companies, finding a Vessi coupon online is also possible if you search for a discount code on Google.

Where to Buy Vessis

A pair of white Vessi Shoes inside an open shoebox on a white background.

Vessi sneakers are only available from their website

Vessi doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar stores, and they don’t currently work with third-party retailers. They occasionally have pop-up events, which they announce on social media.

FAQs About Vessi Waterproof Sneakers

A woman with pink hair wearing sunglasses, a white blouse, white jeans, and white Vessi shoes in front of a bush covering in white flowers, laughing a the camera.

Where are Vessis made?

Vessi’s headquarters are in Vancouver, but their factory is in Taiwan.

Do you wear socks with Vessi sneakers?

According to their FAQs, socks are optional, but they recommend wearing them.

In my experience, these are not the most breathable shoes, and your feet are bound to get a bit sweaty in them, so I’d recommend you wear socks.

Are Vessi waterproof sneakers really waterproof?

Yes, as long as the water isn’t deep enough to go over the tops of the ankle openings, Vessis are highly waterproof sneakers. 

If you wear them in the rain, stomp into puddles, or even cross a shallow stream while hiking, you won’t end up with wet socks.

Are Vessis breathable?

Vessi describes their sneakers as breathable. But in my opinion, they’re not breathable. 

If you’re comparing them to rubber rain boots, these sneakers will keep your feet dry but with slightly more ventilation. Compared to most other casual shoes, they’re not very airy.

Are Vessi waterproof shoes washable?

Vessi’s Everyday Shoes, Cityscape Sneakers, and Everyday Slip-ons are not machine washable, although you can clean them by hand in the sink. The Vessi Weekend Sneaker collection is machine-washable.

Are Vessi sneakers slip-resistant?

Vessi’s Everyday Shoes have a four-way tread with a herringbone pattern that makes them slip-resistant.

How long does Vessi take to ship?

In North America, you can expect Vessis to arrive within 2-9 business days after leaving the warehouse. In my case, they arrived about a week after placing the order.

Do Vessis make your feet stink?

The combination of how much they make your feet sweat and how long they take to dry leads to a slightly funkier atmosphere.

Vessi’s Everyday Shoes have an antibacterial insole, but the truth is that I’ve noticed more odor coming from the Vessi Shoe than from my average sneaker. 

Are Vessis good for standing all day?

The Everyday Sneakers have good support and stability–they’re ideal shoes for being on your feet for extended periods.

Are Vessi waterproof sneakers good walking shoes? How about hiking shoes?

Vessi’s Everyday Sneakers are pretty good for walking and easy hikes. There are no Vessi running shoes, although the Everday Shoes would work fine for a light jog.

Can you wear Vessi’s in winter?

Depending on what climate you live in, winter can mean many different things. 

I wouldn’t wear my Everyday shoes in a blizzard or for walking around in deep snow. Even though they’re waterproof shoes, they only reach up to your ankle.

But during winter in NYC, when there’s packed snow on the ground and slushy puddles at the crosswalks, I think Vessi Everday Shoes would be a solid choice. 

This is mainly because they have better traction than the average shoe.

Why are Vessi waterproof sneakers so expensive?

Vessi Everday shoes retail for $135, which is pretty pricey for a sneaker. 

Although they seem pretty well-made with quality materials, I’d attribute the price to the fact that they’re a reasonably new, crowd-funded start-up.

In the footwear industry, start-up shoe companies like Vessi need to charge a lot as they get off the ground. If they gain more popularity, the price will probably drop a bit.

Conclusion: So, Are Vessi Waterproof Shoes Worth it?

A woman with pink hair wearing sunglasses, a white t-shirt, an embroidered mini-skirt, black tights, and white Vessi shoes stands on a bridge in Venice.

All honest reviews need a final verdict: is the Vessi Shoe worth the price? 

If you need waterproof sneakers, then the Vessi Everyday Shoes are a good bet. They’re great for keeping cold water out as long as they’re not submerged.

But overall, there are some things that Vessi shoes don’t deliver on. 

To be perfectly honest, it’s been a year since I tested out my Vessis, and even though they’re comfy shoes, I can’t remember the last time I wore them.

The main reason is that they’re just really not my style. If I thought they were super cute, I’d probably wear them despite their functionality issues.

But the fact is, they’re not breathable, they take forever to dry if they get wet, and they get stinky quickly. I suppose that’s the trade-off for a knit material that keeps water out, but it’s also the reason they’re gathering dust under my dresser these days.

Vessi’s are decent-quality waterproof shoes, but they aren’t my favorite–I’d honestly recommend the Allbirds Mizzles for a good rainy-day shoe over Vessi.

However, if you’re sold on getting a pair of Vessis, I’d recommend getting them on sale if you can, as the price point is a bit high for what they are.


Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary is a visual artist, writer, teacher, and avid traveler who grew up in San Francisco, CA. Elina’s offbeat, colorful sense of style has been a mode of self-expression for as long as she can remember.

Elina’s love for fashion extends down to her toes. She’s a constant walker, and has also suffered from foot pain most of her life due to a extra bone in her feet. Finding shoes that are both comfortable and stylish is both a passion and a necessity, and her shoe collection is extensive.

When she isn’t writing and editing for The Atlas Heart, Elina is pursuing a Master’s degree in Visual Art at Cornell University and splits her time between Ithaca and Brooklyn.

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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


2 thoughts on “Vessi Shoes Review: Are These Waterproof Shoes Worth the Hype?”

  1. Great review. I never helped with their Kickstarter, but did line up for their first pop-up event here in Vancouver after my wife mentioned it to me. I fell in love with them as (to me) they were super comfy and felt I sort of had this nice lil’ bounce to each step. When I would come across people in the city wearing a pair, I’d always mention “Hey! You have Vessi’s too!” and chat with them. I would be so surprised when I heard any negative feedback like they were too wide of one’s foot, etc.

    I have probably bought 6-7 pairs since that pop-up event, but now (2023), I know I will never buy another pair of Vessi’s EVER. My reasoning… arch-support or any basic foot support. I’ve gone to physio, my doctor, ortho doc, all because of bursitis at the back of my foot due to wearing Vessi’s. Now I know there are some people that vouch by them (I was one of them), and even talking to my physiotherapist and an orthopedic surgeon, they simply said that there is literally NO SUPPORT in wearing these shoes.

    I was told to check out Allbirds as they had better support – which, thankfully, they do. And the ortho doc recommended gel heel seats to plop in to whatever shoe I wear.

    I am at fault here, because I would use them (Vessi’s) for day-to-day use. I honestly feel I should have just worn them strictly for walking to the grocery store, or taking the dog out. But I literally wore them all the time.

    If you run your fingers at the back of the shoe where the back of your foot meets to the material, you can feel there is literally no padding. I’ve mentioned to Vessi in the past about which pairs have arch/ankle support and they said their Stormburst have better arch support (they don’t).

    Anyways, they’re a gimmick shoe company. I got suckered into them and now I’m paying the price. But, guess what, after I stopped wearing their shoes, my bursitis doesn’t flare up as much.

    You’ve been warned. The Reddit threads on Vessi are pretty funny, too.

    Just ask yourself – what do you want more of? Protection from water? Or, protection from sore feet?

    • Hi Liam, thank you for chiming in and sharing your experience! That really sucks that you’re experiencing lasting foot issues from wearing Vessi’s. I wouldn’t blame yourself– these are sneakers; you’d think you’d be able to wear sneakers on a daily basis without them causing physiological problems! Now I feel lucky that I didn’t care for them much and only wore them for enough time to realize they weren’t quite right for me. Thanks again for your comment!


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