The 10 Best Canvas Shoes of 2019

Shoes are unique garments in that they are both accessories and essential tools for mobility. The right shoes can make an outfit and make you comfortable. The wrong shoes can be awkward and painful. It is no surprise, then, that canvas shoes have become ubiquitous staples of both contemporary- and vintage-inspired wardrobes. The canvas shoes are often stylistically ambiguous — complementing a variety of fashions — and also support and ventilate your feet. Despite first appearing in the 1920s, canvas shoes are still worn by athletes, appear on catwalks, inspire new footwear, and are the flagship designs of up-and-coming brands.

This review highlights the 10 Best Canvas Shoes of 2019, based on style, fit, and overall wearer experience. The top pick for this review is the Vans Women’s Slip-on™ Core Classics. Though they are vintage-inspired, one thing is for sure: these are not your grandparent’s canvas shoes.

Best Canvas Shoes

NameMade ofSolePrice
Vans Women's Slip-on™ Core ClassicsCanvasRubberCheck Price
Sanuk Men's Chiba Slip-OnCotton/ PolyesterRubberCheck Price
NIKE SB Check Solarsoft CanvasSuedeRubberCheck Price
TOMS Women’s Classic Casual ShoeRubberRubberCheck Price
Blowfish Women’s Marley SneakerTextileSyntheticCheck Price
Keds Men's Champion Original Canvas SneakerCanvasSyntheticCheck Price
Jellypop Women’s Dallas SneakerTextileRubberCheck Price
Easy USA Women's Lace Up Canvas Plimsol Sneakers ShoesSynthetic and FabricSyntheticCheck Price
Teva Women's W Freewheel Washed Canvas ShoeTextileRubberCheck Price
Lugz Men's Clipper SneakerFabricRubberCheck Price

1. Vans Women’s Slip-on™ Core Classics

Vans Women's Slip-on™ Core Classics

Van’s Slip-On™ shoes are as iconic as they are enjoyable. They stand apart from other popular canvas shoes because, though they are slip-on, they are not slippers. These shoes are made to withstand high-intensity wear-and-tear (think skating tricks, jumps, and falls).

However, that same slip-on design makes it difficult for wearers to get a perfect fit, and their origins as skating shoes may make them a poor fit for professional/preppy fashion styles and low-intensity-but-constantly-active lifestyles.

PROS:
  • 15 different colors/patterns for versatile styling.
  • Round toe-box and 0° heel drop for a high-comfort, no-pressure fit.
  • Slip-on design for easy wearing.
  • Padded insole with EVA foam for all-day comfort and moderate arch support.
  • Cotton-dill liner for increased breathability.
  • Thick heel collar for preventing blisters and ankle injuries.
  • Off The Wall rubber outsole with signature gum rubber waffle tread for exceptional traction, especially on smooth surfaces.

CONS:
  • The skate-style design may be stylistically limiting.
  • Slip-on designs do not provide the ideal fit, as wearers cannot tighten/loosen the upper.
  • Added cushioning limits breathability.
  • Some reviewers experience tearing at the seams and separation of the sole after less than six months of daily wear.

Van’s makes excellent skate shoes. Luckily for non-skaters, the features that make them amazing on skateboards and skate ramps also make them incredibly comfortable for day-to-day wear. Van’s Slip-On™ Core Classics are easy to wear, are not as easy to style outside of a skate-inspired look or as durable outside of a skatepark.

2. Sanuk Men’s Chiba Slip-On

Sanuk Men's Chiba Slip-On

The Sanuk Chiba Slip-On is a collection of contradictions. It is a shoe with the soul (sole) of a flip-flop. Its spongy sole, marketed as soft, provides little protection for your feet and less support. Its EVA foam liner is antimicrobial, to reduce foot odor, but is a polyester blend guaranteed to limit breathability and increase sweat. Reviewers, too, are divided; either they call it the most comfortable shoe ever or they hesitate even to call it a shoe at all.

PROS:
  • Loose, slip-on design for easy, comfortable use.
  • Wide profile design for increased comfort.
  • Incredibly lightweight, spongy rubber sole for increased flexibility.
  • Round toe-box for a high-comfort fit.
  • Padded heel collar for preventing blisters and enabling sock-free use.
  • Antimicrobial liner for odor control.

CONS:
  • Distressed style and visible “flip flop” sole may be stylistically off-putting.
  • Slip-on designs do not provide the ideal fit, as wearers cannot tighten/loosen the upper.
  • No arch support or insole padding increases foot and joint pain.
  • Some reviewers find that the pronounced lip of the sole is a trip hazard, while others find that catching the lip while walking causes the sole to rip off the bottom of the shoe.

In its sales listing, Sanuk promises that Chiba Slip-On wearers will become a “true master of comfort.” Buyer beware: your comfort comes at the expense of the shoe’s style, fit, and durability. If you purchase Chiba Slip-Ons, relax and put your feet up; it will be a better experience than walking!

3. NIKE SB Check Solarsoft Canvas

NIKE SB Check Solarsoft Canvas

If you are looking for the best-branded canvas shoes, look no further. The Nike SB Check comes in a huge number of color combinations highlighting the branding on the side, tongue, and sole. However, this is a skate shoe; it has a heel drop ideal for protecting skaters without sacrificing their ability to feel the board. This elevated heel design is less than ideal for almost everyone else, as it increases the pressure on wearer’s toes and causes rapid wear-through of its proprietary shock-absorbing liner.

PROS:
  • 28 different canvas/logo/rubber color combinations for versatile styling.
  • 12-eyelet lace-up design with metal grommets for more customized, comfortable fit and increased durability.
  • Round toe-box for a high-comfort fit.
  • Solarsoft liner for improved shock-absorption and moderate arch support.
  • Thick, high heel collar for preventing blisters and ankle/tendon injuries.
  • Flex wrap outsole for lightweight, high-traction performance.

CONS:
  • Skate-style design and large logo may be stylistically limiting.
  • Specialized liner increases the heel drop, adding pressure on toes.
  • Added cushioning limits breathability.

The abundance of branding material on this shoe gives a strong impression that it is fashion footwear. Moreover, it is. However, it is also a skate shoe, designed for skating. You may not notice the high heel drop, especially if you already regularly wear shoes that have a low, wide heel, like running shoes. But if you are looking for a right minimalist shoe — either in style or design — this shoe won’t fit.

4. TOMS Women’s Classic Casual Shoe

TOMS Women’s Classic Casual Shoe

TOMS is something of a unique entry on this list, as their marketing focuses more on the social impact of your purchase than the physical effects of your purchase on your life. In terms of style, though they look significantly different from vintage-, classic-, and skate-style canvas shoes, TOMS are iconic in their way. Their Classic Casual shoes are stylistically significant not only due to their appearance but also because of their implied humanitarian and environmental commitments (check out their One for One program for more details).

PROS:
  • Unique style for visible branding.
  • Slip-on design for easy, comfortable use.
  • Semi-round toe-box for an excellent snug fit.
  • Grippy rubber outsole for increased traction on dry surfaces.
  • Moisture-wicking cotton liner for increased breathability.

CONS:
  • Unusual appearance and implied personal politics may be stylistically limiting.
  • Semi-round toe-box is too narrow for some wearers; they, however, do make “wide fit” options for average and wider-than-average feet.
  • Slip-on designs do not provide the ideal fit, as wearers cannot tighten/loosen the upper.
  • No heel collar decreases protection and support for wearers’ ankles, increasing the potential risk of injury.

TOMS make fashion footwear that is good for the planet, suitable for people, and ultimately good for your feet. Though not the most ambiguous or universally-appealing design, their classic casual shoes are still versatile and easy-to-style, so long as you are comfortable being comfortable. They are not made for high-impact use, but a moderately-active lifestyle, though their social statement is one of activism.

5. Blowfish Women’s Marley Sneaker

Blowfish Women’s Marley Sneaker

Like Jellypop, Blowfish’s take on canvas shoes is more grunge- than vintage-style. Blowfish’s Marley Sneakers, however, depart from the classic lace-up canvas shoe design. Unlike other slip-ons, Marley Sneakers feature taught elastic bands across the tongue to — ideally — create a best-of-both-worlds setup: easy to put on/take off and a perfect, consistent fit. In practice, however, the elastic bands can be uncomfortably tight, compounding the discomfort already caused by the under-padded insole and overly thin outsole.

PROS:
  • 32 different colors/patterns for versatile styling.
  • Round toe-box and 0° heel drop for a high-comfort, no-pressure fit.
  • Slip-on design for comfortable wearing.
  • Limited lining/thin canvas upper for increased breathability.
  • Lightweight rubber outsole for increased flexibility.

CONS:
  • Grunge-style distressing may be stylistically limiting.
  • Slip-on designs do not provide the ideal fit, as wearers cannot tighten/loosen the upper.
  • Little-to-no arch support or insole padding makes it necessary for many wearers to purchase extra inserts.
  • Uncomfortably tight elastic bands across tongue often pinch; many reviewers have to stretch out the shoes before wearing them mechanically and have difficulty fitting additional insoles or liners.

Like other grunge-style and distressed canvas shoes, these are ideal for occasional wear and complementing specific fashion statements. As far as day-to-day wear is concerned, your comfort depends on your ability to stretch out the elastic bands and supplement the insole padding to meet your needs. If you can do those things, you will end up with a fashionable, custom-fitted shoe, just as Blowfish intended.

6. Keds Men’s Champion Original Canvas Sneaker

Keds Men's Champion Original Canvas Sneaker

Another branded canvas shoe, Keds ‘Champion Men’s CVO,’ is a classic, on-trend design meant for everyday wear. It lacks the extra heel padding and foam liners of earlier list entries. It does feature a latex insole, flexible treaded outsole, and cotton twill lining that combine to create a flexible, durable, breathable shoe with average-traction and above-average styling potential. Keds sells additional arch-supporting liners on their website as a suggested addition to most purchases, so the primary complaints associated with this design — the limited arch support and limited midfoot padding — are easily resolved with a few extra dollars spent.

Click through to more discussion about everyday shoes here!

PROS:
  • Classic style with visible branding.
  • 10-eyelet lace-up design with metal grommets for more customized, comfortable fit and increased durability.
  • Round toe-box and 0° heel drop for a high-comfort, no-pressure fit.
  • Grippy rubber outsole for increased traction on dry surfaces.
  • Moisture-wicking cotton liner for increased breathability.

CONS:
  • Small number of color options may be stylistically limiting.
  • Little arch support and insole padding often make it necessary to purchase inserts.
  • No heel collar decreases protection and support for wearers’ ankles, increasing the potential risk of injury.

Keds makes fashion footwear; their shoes are known for being minimalist in both style and design. The Champion Men’s CVO is quintessential to the Keds brand. Though this design does not feature the best arch or heel support, it is the best classic canvas shoe available. Unlike other classically-styled shoes, it balances consumer health, safety, and comfort against its minimalism, rather than sacrificing it.

7. Jellypop Women’s Dallas Sneaker

Jellypop Women’s Dallas Sneaker

Jellypop Dallas Sneakers are more grunge- than vintage-style take on canvas shoes. While still minimalist in both style and design, these shoes have a faded/distressed exterior that masks comfort-driven interior features like a semi-padded heel collar and memory foam insole. Ultimately, however, Dallas sneakers may look more comfortable than they feel, as the thinner/more flexible outsole and shallow tread that gives them that worn-in look also gives them a more worn-out feel.

PROS:
  • 18 different colors/patterns for versatile styling.
  • 8-eyelet lace-up design with metal grommets for more customized, comfortable fit and increased durability.
  • Round toe-box and 0° heel drop for a high-comfort, no-pressure fit.
  • Limited lining/thin canvas upper for increased breathability.
  • Memory foam insole for increased comfort and improved fit.

CONS:
  • Grunge-style distressing may be stylistically limiting.
  • Short laces make changing the fit of the upper functionally challenging.
  • Thin outsole and shallow tread harm traction and support.
  • Some reviewers note faster-than-average degradation of the tread from day-to-day wear.

Jellypop’s grunge-style canvas shoes are unique in style, and also in their effect on your bank account. Podiatrists recommend replacing your shoes when the outsoles show significant signs of wear, so buying shoes that already look/feel broken in and which may wear down faster than normal may reduce the time until your next purchase. At up to $90 per pair (depending on size/color selection), these are not ideal for daily wear but make a great occasional statement piece.

8. Easy USA Women’s Lace Up Canvas Plimsol Sneakers Shoes

Easy USA Women's Lace Up Canvas Plimsol Sneakers Shoes

Are you planning a trip far away,? Easy USA’s Lace Up Canvas Plimsol Sneakers might be the perfect purchase for you. Lightweight and flexible, this design would be well-suited for air travel; it would not take up much of your weight allowance in checked luggage nor would it be the worst design to wear while seated for long periods. Costing as little as $7.99, you could wreck them going on off-road adventures or buy too many souvenirs to have room in your bag and never mourn having to throw them out or leave them behind.

PROS:
  • Classic look is available in 26 different colors for versatile styling.
  • 8-eyelet lace-up design with metal grommets for more customized, comfortable fit and increased durability.
  • Semi-round/semi-tapered toe-box for a moderately comfortable fit.
  • Unlined canvas for increased breathability.
  • Lightweight, thinner-than-average rubber outsole for increased flexibility.

CONS:
  • Shallow treads can be a slip-hazard; some reviewers report slipping even on dry, clean surfaces.
  • Little to no arch support makes it necessary for many wearers to purchase extra inserts.
  • Thin padding on the insole is uncomfortable, with reviewers often seeing the liner lift up and then bunch at the toe of the shoe.
  • No heel collar decreases protection and support for wearers’ ankles, increasing the potential risk of injury.

Easy USA makes the least expensive classic canvas shoe available, and you get what you pay for. Though the wide variety of color options may be appealing, the design of this shoe is not. Wearers often experience foot and joint pain due to the scant padding and arch support and thin sole, falls due to the shallow tread, and discomfort due to the rapid breakdown of the materials.

Concerned about finding the right shoe for arch support? Look at our review that is available here.

9. Teva Women’s W Freewheel Washed Canvas Shoe

Teva Women's W Freewheel Washed Canvas Shoe

These easy-to-style sneakers have all the advanced tech of Teva’s flagship line of sandals. They are exceptionally durable, lightweight, and conform to the wearer’s unique foot shape and weight-bearing tendencies. Unlike many other platform-, vintage-, and skate-style canvas shoes, the Freewheel’s insole and outsole designs are beneficial for foot- and joint health. Unlike other foot-friendly shoes, it is trendy and appeals to a wide variety of fashion senses. This is a shoe you will *want* because of how it looks and *love* because of how it feels.

PROS:
  • Classic silhouette and simple design for versatile styling.
  • Round toe-box and 0° heel drop for a high-comfort, no-pressure fit.
  • 8-eyelet lace-up design for a customized, comfortable fit.
  • Double-thick Mush® Infused insole for shock-absorption and ideal arch support.
  • Thick heel collar for preventing blisters and ankle injuries.
  • Spider365™ rubber outsole for exceptional grip and durability.
  • PedalLINK outsole and tread design under the heel and toe for added traction, especially on bikes and walking on rough or slick surfaces.

CONS:
  • Limited neutral-only (albeit trendy) color options.
  • Some reviewers find the laces a little short for the 08-eyelet design.
  • Added cushioning and rubber bumpers limit breathability.

Teva is renown for footwear that effortlessly bridges fashion and function, and the Freewheel is no different. Equipped with a proprietary insole, outsole, and tread technologies, Teva made this shoe to make you feel fabulous whether you want to look good or you want to look good while getting things done.

10. Airwalk Women’s Legacee Sneaker

Airwalk Women’s Legacee Sneaker

The design of Airwalk’s Legacee Sneaker aims not to stand out. The design mimics the exteriors of other, more expensive brands (like converse and keds) without incorporating the little-seen features that justify their price. There are a few remarkable aspects aside from the lack of remarkable aspects. This is a shoe that will look like one thing but feel like another unless modified at your additional expense. For readers with average or wider-than-average-feet, that modification may prove impossible, regardless of financial willingness.

PROS:
  • Classic style mimics the look of more expensive brands for increased value-for-dollar.
  • 10-eyelet lace-up design with metal grommets for more customized, comfortable fit and increased durability.
  • Round toe-box and 0° heel drop for a high-comfort, no-pressure fit.
  • Medium-thickness rubber outsole for excellent traction.
  • Thin cotton liner and limited lining for increased breathability.

CONS:
  • Small number of color options (though fashionable) may be stylistically limiting.
  • No arch support and little insole padding make it necessary for many wearers to purchase extra inserts.
  • Some reviewers found the design to be too narrow from sole to tongue to fit additional insoles comfortably.
  • No heel collar decreases protection and support for wearers’ ankles, increasing the potential risk of injury.

The Airwalk Legacee has below-average comfort with above-average appearance. The narrow shoe design may prove prohibitive to many wearers, as it is ultimately unfixable. The one is best purchased in person so you can try it on first. If the shoe fits, buy it an insole and wear it!

What to Look for Before Buying Canvas Shoes

Style

Canvas shoes have the benefit of being largely stylistically versatile. Unless you are looking for a specific style (like grunge or branded), finding minimalist style shoes that appeal to classic silhouettes and features will give you the most style options. Many canvas shoes feature little to no overt branding, and the canvas shoes can feel masculine, feminine, vintage, classic, contemporary, or preppy depending on the rest of your outfit.

Fit

Visually examine the laces and shape of the shoe. The best-fitting canvas shoes will have laces that can be tied to adjust how the upper (the exterior canvas of the shoe) compresses around your foot. Specialists also recommend looking for shoes that have a 0𝆩 heel drop (the heel and toe are levels and a wide, rounded toe-box (the ball of your foot to the end of your toes).

Comfort

Though comfort is subjective, the shoes often have medium arch support, provided by some memory foam liner or insole. Some, but not all, feature a ridged rubber outsole (which touches the ground) and a cushioned insole (underneath where your footrests, beneath any liners or foam padding). Those with more flexible insoles will be more comfortable for long term wear than those with a solid sole.

Ankle support

To check ankle support in canvas shoes, examine inside the shoe where your heel rests. These ankle support shoes features are a padded heel collar (cushioning around the inside back of the shoe), a great Achilles tendon guard (where the back point of the heel is high enough to support the tendon), and a semi-rigid heel bulb. Popular canvas shoes often have one of these features, but rarely all three.

Non-slip/ Traction

Unfortunately, Inexpensive canvas shoes often have almost-flat tread that provides poor traction even on dry surfaces. Skate-style canvas shoes can be especially problematic, as their outsole design grips best under a very narrow set of conditions.

Check out the outsoles before buying canvas shoes by turning them over and looking specifically for thick, deep tread patterns, especially under toes and heels. Thin, shallow patterns or goosebump-like tread provides little grip.

Breathability

Canvas shoes are naturally more breathable than leather or synthetic footwear, making them a better choice for spring and summer seasons. However, padding and non-cotton interior linings can negate the natural porosity of the canvas. These features can trap moisture inside the shoe, around your foot, and cause discomfort, odor, and potential fungal infection. Check product descriptions for mention of polyester or other synthetic linings, as well as extra-thick padding.

Durability

Examine reviews for evidence of poor durability during use. Highly durable canvas shoes do not exhibit weakness in the stitching, the adhesive securing the rubber sole to the canvas, or the construction of the insole/lining. Weak stitches adhesive will tear and break, compromising the structural integrity of the shoe. Thin or poorly secured interior lining or insoles will wear through or rip out after short periods of day-to-day wear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do you care for/clean canvas shoes?

A. Most canvas shoes can be spot-cleaned using a mild detergent and a damp cloth. The interior can be wiped clean with a dampened (but not *wet* cloth), and the sole can be buffed or polished with any appropriately-tinted shoe polish. You should not submerge your canvas shoes in water or run water through the interior.

Stains and dirt will come off easier and faster if treated immediately and not allowed to set in. Dampened or wet shoes should be allowed to air dry out of direct sunlight to prevent shrinkage and discoloration. Even canvas shoes will likely shrink a little if machine-dried, and machine-washing may cause interior padding or liners to wrinkle or become dislodged.

Q. Will the color of my canvas shoes fade over time?

A. Few brands promise that their products will remain true-to-color after long-term use. Some darker colored canvas shoes — particularly blacks, blues, violets, and even reds — may bleed and temporarily stain your socks on the first few wearings as excess dye comes into contact with the moisture on your feet.

Though the colors are unlikely to bleed much or frequently, you should expect that lighter colors may become dingy and darker colors may fade. The degree of color change will depend on your environment and habits. That being said, canvas shoes are notoriously durable. Long term, daily wear may change how they look (and smell), but many brands will remain comfortable and safe to wear.

Q. How do I know if my canvas shoes have the right amount of arch support?

A. Arch support is often the difference between uncomfortable and comfortable canvas shoes. Just as it is possible to under-support your arches, it is possible to over-support them. Over-supporting your arches weaken the muscles and ligaments in your feet, and may ultimately cause fallen arches and exacerbate conditions like arthritis.

Luckily for you, almost no popular canvas shoes provide too much arch support! Often canvas shoes provide moderate-to-little support. Some have memory-foam liners or insoles that conform to the unique arch of your feet. Many brands explicitly list the degree of arch-support in product descriptions, and a quick analysis of your feet should tell you what kind of support you need.

Q. Do canvas shoes have removable/replaceable insoles?

A. There is no industry standard for insole/liner placement and adhesion for canvas shoes. Often, liners and insoles are glued down but can be ripped out with some elbow grease. Many of the less expensive brands have very thin liners or insoles by design, so wearers can easily purchase and fit third-party insoles.

The most significant barrier to this practice is a narrow fit, so if you like having padded or orthopedic insoles or know you are likely to experience discomfort on a harder insole, be sure to purchase canvas shoes that have a looser fit, especially from the bottom to top side of your foot. Canvas shoes with laces can be most easily modified to accommodate replaceable insoles.

Conclusion

No wardrobe and few outfits are complete without canvas shoes. A quick look at almost any fashion magazine (from the past five decades) or Pinterest inspiration board will tell you that. Regardless of your personal and professional style, and overall lifestyle, the right canvas shoes can complete your look and increase your comfort. The wrong ones will probably still look good, but may not enrich your life.

The canvas shoes based on wearing experience are Vans Women’s Slip-on™ Core Classics Canvas, but the options available to you (if your style- and other-standards are different) are almost limitless. Relying on product descriptions alone can be misleading, as they often tend to overstate the comfort and durability resultant from specific features. Do your research. Read the reviews. The best canvas shoes, for you, are out there. Just remember they might need an insole.

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I'm Douglas Reed. I am a shoe freak and founder at ShoePursuits.com. As a consumer and believer that the proper shoe can take you anywhere, I would like to dedicate my time and effort to helping others make the best choices in footwear.

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