If you’re curious about Vessi shoes, check out my candid Vessi shoes review to find out if they’re worth it.
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 a completely waterproof sneaker 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.
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 shoes actually as good as the hype makes them out to be?
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
What are Vessi Shoes?
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. 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
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
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 shoes 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.
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 where 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 reviewed the Allbirds Wool Loungers, 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.
Despite putting my Vessi shoes to the test and wearing them 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.
I look forward to wearing these waterproof shoes in the fall and winter. I bet they would be an excellent choice to wear in the snow because they have good traction and they’ll resist moisture.
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 shoes 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 too much extra weight to my (already very overstuffed) suitcase.
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 Vessi Everyday shoes 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
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 heels.
If you’re looking for even more variety, Vessi makes other styles as well. The Weekend Sneakers are casual shoes reminiscent of skateboard sneakers, while the Cityscape Sneakers are sleek and lightweight slip-on shoes with elastic laces.
And for cold climates, the 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.
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 Shoes Run Big or Small?
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?
Vessi sneakers’ snug fit provides pretty good support for the whole foot, and they feel very secure on your feet.
They work well as a travel shoe or an everyday shoe because they’re good for doing a lot of 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?
Vessi shoes are stretchable and should accommodate bunions well. However, it would be good to 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?
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 the white color, they are collecting dirt and will probably stain over time.
Are Vessi Shoes Waterproof?
I have a few qualms with my Vessi Everday Sneakers and the company’s claims about them, but Vessi’s number one claim is also the thing 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 Vessi Shoes 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 they should last more than a year without heavy wear and tear.
How to Take Care of and Clean Vessi Shoes
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 shoes collection can go in the washing machine on the cold setting, and all styles should air dry.
Vessi Return & Exchange Policy
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 any signs of wear and tear, and some orders are non-returnable so make note of that before you purchase.
Vessi Discounts & Coupons
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 shoes coupon online is also possible if you search for a discount code on Google.
Where to Buy Vessi Shoes
Vessi sneakers are only available from their website.
Vessi doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar stores and they don’t currently work with any third-party retailers. They occasionally have pop-up events, which they announce on their social media.
FAQs About Vessi Shoes
Where are Vessi shoes made?
Vessi’s headquarters are in Vancouver, but their factory is in Taiwan.
Do you wear socks with Vessi shoes?
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 wearing socks.
Are Vessi shoes 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 find yourself with wet socks.
Are Vessi shoes breathable?
According to their website, yes, Vessi Everyday Shoes are 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 shoes washable?
Vessi Everyday Shoes, Cityscape Sneakers, and Everyday Slip-ons are not machine washable, although you can clean them by hand in the sink. The Weekend collection is machine-washable.
Are Vessi shoes slip-resistant?
Vessi Everyday Shoes have a four-way tread with a herringbone pattern that makes them slip-resistant.
How long do 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 Vessi shoes 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 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 Vessi shoes good for standing all day?
The Vessi Everyday Sneakers have good support and stability–they’re ideal shoes for being on your feet for extended periods.
Are Vessi shoes good walking shoes? How about hiking shoes?
Vessi 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 shoes in winter?
Depending on what climate you live in, winter can mean many different things.
I wouldn’t wear my Vessi 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 shoes 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 would attribute the price to the fact that they’re a reasonably new, crowd-funded start-up.
In the footwear industry today, there are several start-up shoe companies like Vessi, who need to charge a lot for their shoes as they get off the ground. If they gain more popularity, the price will probably drop a bit.
Conclusion: So, Are Vessi Shoes Worth it?
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 the Vessi Everyday Shoes don’t deliver on.
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.
I will continue to wear my Vessi’s when I need 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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elina Ansary is a writer, visual artist, and avid traveler. She grew up in San Francisco, CA, and spent her childhood camping up and down Northern California. These days, she visits artist residencies around the world and has lived in Amsterdam, Australia, and now Brooklyn, NY.
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