I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but now that summer is over, you can’t rely on flip flops to be your go-to shoes. With Fall coming down the pike, it’s almost time for your annual dig through the closet to find all of the shoes that you probably forgot you had. I speak from experience when I say I had forgotten how many pairs of shoes I had… probably because most of the shoes are seasonal and haven't seen the light of day since last year.
I’ve come to realize that finding a stylish and comfortable shoe that could be worn all year is a near impossible task… or at least I thought it was. I began looking into all-season shoes and it seemed like low-top dress sneakers were a staple in everyone's capsule wardrobe. Not sure which style was my perfect fit, I decided to try the Cariuma OCA Low Canvas and the Allbirds Women’s Wool Piper Woven sneakers. Here are my thoughts…
Round 1: Comfort. Cariuma wins!
I’ll be honest – as someone with wide feet I’ve always had a rough go with canvas shoes. So I was definitely a bit skeptical that the Cariuma OCA Low Canvas sneakers would be a good fit for me, but I decided to give it a try. You know how when the first time you wear a new pair of shoes they’re stiff and hurt like crazy? These shoes were the exact opposite… from the second I put them on they were comfortable and fit perfectly. They also stayed comfortable as I continued to walk around in them. No cramping or rubbing anywhere!!
I’ll also give it to Allbrids, the sneakers were comfortable, but again with my wide feet I definitely felt a little cramped as I was walking around. Also, with the Wool material, I hate to admit that my feet got really hot and sweaty so I’d definitely consider this more of a winter shoe than a year-round style.
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Round 2: Performance. Allbirds will take this category.
I guess the one thing to note about Cariuma is that they don’t have performance shoes for activities like running or weight lifting. BUT they do have performance shoes made for skating (their CATIBA, Vallely and Pro Slip-On collections). But that’s not exactly what I was looking for anyway when I was on the hunt for a new pair - can’t say I’m a huge skater… yet.
Allbirds are known for their running shoes and not their everyday style shoes. Perhaps that’s why Cariuma is 100x better looking and comfortable than Allbirds for everyday wear. But either way, Allbirds will win this category by default just because they offer runners and performance shoes.
Round 3: Style. Cariuma wins.
I really like the timeless look of Cariuma. It’s exactly what I look for in my shoes, so I was really happy when I noticed it was one of their main style features. I mostly wear a lot of neutral colors and rarely wear anything flashy or super high-fashion - so the neutral selection of Cariuma fit me really well.
I also really liked how Cariuma’s shoes have the neon green logo and looped tag to give a tiny bit of flair. Unfortunately, Allbirds didn’t have anything like that on their kicks and I couldn’t find a color I loved. Allbirds were mostly bland colors or either really funky colors that never fit my style.
Cariuma also has what feels like ENDLESS amounts of limited edition collaborations (they’ve done collaborations with Panton, Peanuts, etc.), which means there is always something new. I can’t say Allbirds does that - maybe here and there, but defintley not like Cariuma. So Cariuma wins the style award without a doubt!
Round 4: Sustainability. Cariuma by a mile!
Trying to reduce my carbon footprint, I've been exploring brands that are committed to using upcycled and recycled materials. I tip my cap to both Allbirds and Cariuma for their sustainability efforts – both brands use natural materials and recycled plastics to make their shoes.
However, Cariuma goes above and beyond with their Reforestation Program – for every pair of shoes purchased, Cariuma will plant a pair of trees in the Brazilian rainforest! Wearing Cariumas, you’ll leave nothing but footprints (and trees) behind!
Overall, Cariuma Is The Clear Winner
To be honest, I am blown away by the durability of both the Cariuma OCA Low Canvas and the Allbirds Women’s Wool Piper Woven sneakers. Also, I can’t get over the commitment to pairing style and sustainability from both brands. But… we all know there can only be one winner: Cariuma!
Cariuma shoes are stylish, comfortable and can be worn in every season. I’ve been able to dress them up and down, pairing them with just about anything. As a plus, every purchase makes a difference through their Reforestation Program.