We're adventure seekers. People who hike through muddy forests to spot natural wonders and explore new cities in the pouring rain. So don't let soggy feet stop you from making the most of your trip!
If you've lived in a rainy city, you've heard of Vessi, a recently established footwear brand that sells waterproof shoes. They're made to be light, comfortable, and puddle-friendly.
Being a Vancouverite myself and having personally tried both the Vessi Everyday Sneaker and Weekend Sneakers, I can confirm they are 100% waterproof.
But are they really worth it for travelers? And will they last?
If you're on the verge of buying a pair or just looking to see what all the hype is about, read on for my full review of Vessi waterproof shoes.
What Is Vessi?
Vessi is a Vancouver, B.C. headquartered startup that makes waterproof footwear and other accessories.
Vessi was started in 2018 by founders Andy Wang, Tony Yu and Mikaella Go, all who've decided to do something about soggy rain-soaked shoes. They created a waterproof, stylish shoe while still remaining comfortable and breathable to wear.
Named after the Finnish term for water, Vessi quickly caught on to raise over USD $1 Million in their first kickstart campaign. In a city nicknamed Raincouver (Rain + Vancouver), Vessi waterproof sneakers was born!
Vessi went on to become a Vancouver household name in the waterproof footwear industry. I even dare to say that no one lives in a rainy city that hasn't heard of Vessi—thanks social media!
I personally see at least 5 Vessi sneakers worn in Vancouver, BC every time I go outside, especially during the rain.
Where to Buy Vessi Shoes?
Vessi's waterproof shoes are primarily sold online on their website, but they do have occasional pop-up stores.
The website offers a range of styles and sizes, making it easy to find the perfect pair for your needs.
To sweeten the deal, Vessi offers free standard shipping on all orders over $80 USD on the US site and $50 CAD on the Canadian site. That means you can get your new shoes delivered straight to your doorstep without any extra shipping costs.
Just another reason why buying Vessi shoes online is a convenient and hassle-free experience.
Can You Buy Vessi Shoes in Stores?
If you're in Vancouver, you're in luck! Vessi’s first brick and mortar storefront location has officially opened! You can try out the waterproof sneakers at Metropolis in Metrotown.
If you've been hesitant of buying a pair of Vessi shoes, you can now go try one out yourself and determine whether they're the right pair of shoes for you!
What Key Features Make Vessi's Great?
Well yeah, this feature is obviously the first one I'll mention. After all, its entire identity is focused on being THE waterproof shoe.
Vessi touts their all of its sneakers, and other products, as being 100% waterproof due to their proprietary material. This feature can be a significant advantage for those living in rainy climates or who enjoy outdoor activities.
No shoe is invincible, though. So be careful of excessive wear or improper care, which may reduce this waterproof quality over time.
Balance Between Comfort & Style
Vessi shoes are known for their lightweight design, aiming to offer a balance between comfort and style. The cushioned soles and flexible material contribute to their overall comfort.
But, as with any shoe, individual comfort may vary depending on personal preferences and foot shape.
For myself, I find that Vessi is great for rainy days but I don't find them as comfortable when it's warm or after wearing them for long, long periods!
An Eco-Friendly Option
If you're all about environmentally friendly goods, you'll feel good about purchasing a pair of Vessis because of the company's sustainability claims.
Vessi promotes its shoes as sustainable and vegan-friendly, using less water and producing less waste in manufacturing compared to traditional methods.
Easy to Clean
Vessi sneakers are designed to be easy to clean, which can be a real time-saver. One pair can even be thrown in the washer!
It's important to follow the company's care instructions to maintain the shoes' integrity and waterproofing. Remember, Incorrect cleaning methods might affect their performance and lifespan.
Limitations of Vessi Sneakers
While Vessi shoes come in a range of sizes, some customers have reported issues with finding a perfect fit. Everyone's feet are different, and the brand's sizing might not work well for everyone.
In my personal experience, I found it hard to get a size that was the most comfortable for me. I'm usually a 7 to 7.5 and would definitely recommend going to the next full size up.
Now this might not be a drawback for everyone, but Vessi shoes are priced higher than some other casual shoe brands.
Some will definitely find value in the features they offer and therefore find it a very acceptable price to pay for dry feet! That being said, the price point might not fit within everyone's budget, especially for those who are used to spending less on footwear.
Lacking Insole Support
As I mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of wearing Vessi sneakers for long periods of time. Yes, in rainy weather, it's a must. But if it's any other type of weather I'll grab another pair of shoes to do long day treks with.
This is likely because I have flat feet and feel like there's very little support with at least the Vessi sneakers I tried.
The shoes are designed with a certain level of cushioning, but I'm not the only one who's mentioned a lack of arch support.
This is an essential consideration for those who require specific insole support for comfort or medical reasons.
What Makes Vessi Sneakers Waterproof?
So, what makes Vessi sneakers stand out in a sea of footwear options? A lot of it comes down to their unique waterproofing capabilities.
The secret lies in their innovative use of a Dyma-Tex material, a dual climate knit integral to the shoe's design.
This unique, 100% waterproof layer is a breathable knit that's tucked neatly between the inner and outer layers of the shoe. This proprietary Dyma-Tex membrane is cleverly designed to allow heat and moisture in sweat to escape in the form of vapor while preventing water droplets from entering the shoe.
That means your feet stay dry from both external rain or puddles and internal perspiration!
Another factor contributing to the waterproof nature of Vessi shoes is the use of polyurethane in their construction.
Polyurethane is known for its water-resistant properties and helps to fortify the shoe's defense against water ingress. This clever combination of materials ensures that Vessi sneakers can stand up to wet conditions while keeping your feet comfortably dry.
Best Vessi Sneakers: Top Picks, Reviewed
Price: ~ $135 USD
As the name suggests, these are your everyday sneakers for all day-to-day activities. These sneakers are perfect for those who live in rainy areas that require rain preparation at a moment's notice.
Wear them all day or slip them on before walking home. This classic style is easy to pair with any casual look.
Price: ~ $145 USD
Vessi's patented waterproof material is built into a stylish silhouette. This is the least athleisure-looking design by the brand. It is easy to pair with any outfit and can be worn on any occasion. Perfect for those looking to stay dry while still in style.
If you're looking for in-depth knowledge on these babies, check out the review of Vessi Weekender sneakers that our CEO wrote after wearing them for 6 months!
Price: ~ $135 USD
This is the brand's very first style. It's their staple design and the one you've seen in every ad. They're ultra-lightweight and made so you can move.
The cityscape does offer less traction compared to the others. So if your area is prone to ice, I would consider another style.
It's also one of the cheapest styles they offer. So if you're shopping on a budget, Vessi cityscape is for you.
Price: ~ $140 USD
The Everyday move was made for adventure seekers. Designed for movement with more support and breathability, these will keep your feet happy and dry on any adventure.
Price: ~$147 USD
Welcome the newest stylish shoe to Vessi's lineup: the Stormburst. This is for the outdoor lovers and features an adventure-ready design for travelers looking for their new activewear sneakers that are both comfortable and waterproof.
With 4 different colors—Peak Black, Frost White, Dusk Purple, and Boreal Green—us travelers can look stylish, be comfortable, and stay dry with one shoe!
Want to know more? We've tried a pair and written a whole Stormburst review for you!
How to Clean Vessi Shoes
Vessi recommends hand washing all styles except the Weekend collection, which is machine washable. Handwash with a toothbrush or cloth using clear, mild detergent. Rinse with warm water and let shoes air dry.
The Weekend should be cleared of laces and insoles before being thrown in the washing machine. Use cold water, and do not tumble dry. For more detailed instructions, visit the FAQ section on their site.
Vessi's Refund or Exchange Policy
Vessi accepts returns for up to 90 days after the delivery date for all unworn shoes. Return shipping will be paid for on all orders within North America.
Free exchanges are also available in-store if you live in Vancouver!
Only products purchased on their website apply. Final sale items are not included in this policy. Visit their FAQ section for details.
Captured by ©Pilot
My Experience With Vessi Shoes
Having almost 5-star ratings on every style on their site, Vessi has become the go-to brand for waterproof shoes. They're lightweight, breathable, and make you feel like you're walking on clouds.
Although perfect for daily routines and traveling, these shoes were not designed for high-intensity activities. So if you're looking for something to run a marathon or hike a mountain in, you may opt for a proper pair of running shoes.
Despite being waterproof, my light-colored Vessi's were still prone to stains, and dirt build-up. They recommend regular cleaning, but let's be honest, we don't have time to hand wash our shoes every use.
So aside from the weekend, maintenance should be considered when purchasing a pair of Vessis.
A strange thing I've noticed about these shoes is that they tend to make my feet look a little out of proportion. I do have smaller feet, so the shoes look bulky on me from a top-down angle.
I don't mind it too much, but this may be something to consider if you have smaller feet.
The material may look and feel flimsy at first glance, but that appearance is likely due to its lightweight quality. I've had mine for a couple of years, and they've been holding up, so I wouldn't be too worried.
Vessi vs. Allbirds: Which Is Better?
All that said, I and everyone I know with a pair prefer to have them than not. I'm no longer skirting around puddles or walking around with sloshing feet. So do yourself a favor and grab a pair of these lifesaving shoes. Soggy feet are not a pleasant experience.
If you're looking for Vessi footwear alternatives, why not check out Allbirds?
Allbirds is also a sustainable travel footwear brand that also sells comfy shoes for walking and traveling. It, too, claims that they're the go-to travel footwear for travelers, but make sure to check out our in-depth review to find out whether their claims hold up to be true!
One thing that wins over Allbirds, especially the Allbirds Mizzles, is the waterproofing qualities built in Vessis. The Vessi sneakers are guaranteed waterproof, whereas Mizzles are only highly water resistant. In terms of the dry socks club, Vessi shoes take the crown!
Other Vessi Products
Although Vessi started as a shoe-only brand, the company has added a variety of other waterproof, high quality items to its online store. Here's a quick rundown on other goodies you can buy from Vessi:
- No show, ankle, or mid crew socks
- All weather beanie
- Waterproof knit gloves
Image Courtesy of Vessi
Are Vessi Shoes Worth It?
I was very skeptical of Vessi myself. With all of the hype that's going on with a product, they rarely live up to the hype.
But, after trying them out myself, my final verdict is that Vessi sneakers are perfect for urban or light hiking adventures.
That being said Vessi brand itself is the travel shoe to bring on your next adventure. I tend to disagree there.
Being an avid hiker myself in a city full of trails and treks, I've worn my Vessi shoes out several times with me to some easy to moderate hikes. They're not the most comfortable and supportive shoes to go hiking in, especially when compared to running shoes.
And, if you plan on doing any moderate hikes, I recommend getting a pair of hiking shoes.
With all of that being said, I still very much love my Vessis! Honestly, there's little reason not to love waterproof shoes! They're comfortable, stylish, and, most importantly, 100% waterproof.
If you live in a rainy area like Vancouver, you should definitely consider investing in a pair of Vessis. But I'd definitely have another pair of shoes as my go-to travel companion!
My Rating: 4.5/5
- Puddle-friendly (waterproof)
- Breathable material
- Lightweight comfort
- Stylish designs
- Not all styles are machine washable
- Vancouver-only storefront
- Bulky look on smaller feet
- Not for high-intensity activities
- Slightly pricey
Other Frequently Asked Questions About Vessi
How Do Vessi Runners Fit?
Some customers find that Vessi shoes fit true to size, while others find them a bit small. Vessi provides a size guide on their website to help customers choose the right size.
Are Vessi Shoes Good for Running or Hiking?
Vessi shoes are made to be everyday shoes. They can also be used for light physical activities.
While they can handle a light jog or a short hike, they're not specifically designed for long-distance running or strenuous hiking. Best to look other places if you're doing lots and lots of outdoor activities!
Do Vessi Shoes Have Good Arch Support?
Vessi shoes are designed with a slight arch support and a cushioned sole for comfort. That being said, I don't find they provide enough support for people with specific arch-related issues or conditions.
I have very flat feet and find them uncomfortable to wear after long periods of time!
Are Vessi Shoes Good for Wide Feet?
Since they are made out of knit material, I would say that they stretch more easily and are comfortable even if you have wider feet.
I will say that when I compare them with my boyfriend's Vessis, the men's versions are designed with a bit more width. If you're a woman with wider feet, try going a size down in the men's Vessis!
Are Vessis Actually Breathable?
This is a big selling point in Vessi's advertising. And some people have had good experiences with their Vessis! In fact, I've had no breathability issues, which is why I was comfortable writing about it in my review.
That being said, I talked to people who prefer other sneakers over Vessi shoes because they personally don't find them all that airy and light.
My friends mentioned that Vessis might win in the breathability category, but only when comparing them to rubber boots. Unfortunately, her feet, especially her soles, get uncomfortably hot after a while.
That's why she won't wear them for long periods and will only opt for her Vessis when it's raining!
Are Vessi Sneakers Slip-Resistant?
Yes, Vessi advertises its products as slip resistant.
For instance, the Everday features a slip-resistant four-way tread and herringbone grip.
And if you pick up a pair of Weekend sneakers, you may find the grip even better! These runners feature a full-length rubber outsole and a triangular tread pattern that'll make sure you're not slipping!
Should You Wear Socks With Vessi Sneakers?
Vessi does recommend that you wear socks with your Vessi sneakers. They also mention it isn't mandatory!
Where are Vessi Shoes Made?
Vessi is a Canadian-owned and operated company, so this is also where its shoes are designed—specifically in Vancouver. The sneakers are manufactured in Taiwan.
Are Vessi Sneakers Vegan?
Yes, Vessi shoes are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
Plan Your Next Adventure With Pilot!
Ready to take your Vessis out for a test run? Bringing your next Vessi sneakers to your next adventure?
Make sure to put them on your packing list and join the "no more wet socks club." If you're worried you'll forget, I recommend using Pilot to plan your next trip!