Between the combination of becoming a mother, the pandemic, and being an entrepreneur, sneakers have become my go-to shoe choice over the last few years. I’ve had a pair of Superga’s classic white sneakers for a while and when it came time to replace them, I wanted to see if there was anything better out there. That’s when I learned about Cariuma.
In addition to comfort, color, and style, I care a lot about supporting brands that have sustainable and ethical practices, so I was excited to see if Cariuma could be my Cinderella fit.
If you plan to give the gift of comfort (to yourself or a loved one!) this holiday season, definitely check out my breakdown of each brand:
If you’re looking for the more stylish option…Cariuma
When I’m shopping for a sneaker, I look for a timeless but non-boring neutral color that will pair easily with my capsule wardrobe, which consists of neutrals and warm jewel tones and generally needs to look good and be well designed. I know, this is very subjective. But for me, Cariuma sneakers are an instant classic that won me over on style.
I picked the rose color and it looked exactly as featured on the site, which was a relief. Oddly enough, the standout neon green that’s used on the insole and on the logo and looped tag outside was a feature I really loved as well.
Cariuma offers a wider range of options with 17 color choices for the canvas Oca Low, plus limited edition collaborations released with the likes of Peanuts, National Geographic, Pantone, and Atari to name a few. Superga also releases different options from time to time but currently, there are only 5 options available.
If you care about making a positive impact…Cariuma
I was deeply impressed by Cariuma for many reasons. They’re dedicated to sustainability and all their shoes are made with organic, low-impact, or recycled materials. These include organic cotton, recycled plastic, and bamboo. Plus, Cariuma plants two trees in the Brazilian rainforest through our own on-the-ground in-house reforestation program to restore our earth's lungs. Cariuma ensures its sneakers are kept in a solar-powered facility and uses carbon-neutral shipping.
Beyond their commitment to the planet, they’re dedicated to the welfare of the people who make their products, which is shown in their commitment to above-average wages for workers and the use of ethical factories.
In comparison, other companies like Superga fail to take impact, sourcing, and human dignity seriously. There just isn’t enough information about the brand’s values and commitments for me to feel passionate about the brand or its products.
If you want super lightweight comfort…Cariuma
As soon as I tried on the Cariuma sneakers, I fell in love. It felt like a hug on my feet. There was no fighting with stiff canvas in order to break in the shoe (I’ve had to do that before with the Superga sneakers). I could have walked a mile in it right away. I like the feel of the memory foam insole under my feet, it’s got the right balance of bounce and firmness. I wore the shoe with and without socks while out holiday shopping last week, and it was just as comfortable both ways.
As I started to walk around, I was overjoyed at how feather-light they felt. To be honest, I didn’t wear my Superga sneakers that often because they felt like a weight is on my feet. This was the opposite.
If you prefer to pay less on holiday presents…Superga
The Cariuma Oca Low sneakers cost $79. Meanwhile, the Superga Cotu Classic sneakers cost $65. If you’re looking for the cheaper option to give as a gift, Superga beats Cariuma on price but for my money, I prefer to support the brand that’s better for the environment.
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Winner…Cariuma
These are my new go-to sneakers and they live up to the 61,000-person waitlist and 15,000 5-star reviews. They’re comfortable, a timeless classic, and support the future I want to live in. I may just order them in 5 more colors. The Oca Lows have been a home run for me. If I need another pair of sneakers, I’ll definitely be coming back to Cariuma.