Today we’re talking all about the viral sustainable shoe brand in this honest Vivaia shoe review. I had seen advertisements for Vivaia, added a few pairs of shoes to my cart, and then emailed the brand to ask if they’d be willing to send shoes for an IG post. This review is NOT sponsored, all opinions are my own. UPDATE: Vivaia saw this post and offered to give us a discount – you can use the code “elisabeth10” for 10% off.
Introduction: Stepping into a Sustainable Future? Or a marketing ploy?
Have you been inundated with gorgeous shoe ads for Vivaia on social media? Tempted to hit purchase multiple times a week? I started getting Viviaia ads a last year and the shoes were too cute to pass up. After a few months of wear, I’m sharing the ins-and-outs of the company along with the good and bad of the shoes themselves.
If you’re on the lookout for stylish and comfortable shoes that also contribute to a greener planet, keep reading to see if Vivaia shoes live up to the hype.
What is Vivaia?
Vivaia is new shoe brand founded in 2020 that places sustainability at the core of its product development (or at least at the forefront of its marketing). With a goal to create stylish, comfortable shoes that have a positive impact on the environment, Vivaia touts their initiative to recycle plastic bottles into fashionable footwear.
Vivaia’s Eco-Friendly Materials: Are you really walking with a lighter footprint?
A. Recycled Plastic Bottles: From Waste to Fashion
Vivaia uses old plastic bottles to make shoes by converting them into yarn. These yarns are then expertly woven into a breathable and durable fabric for their shoes. By doing so, Vivaia helps reduce plastic waste in landfills and oceans while offering a sustainable alternative to conventional footwear materials. There is some debate about whether creating more clothing helps the environment (90% of clothes end up in landfills). Each pair of flats uses 6 plastic bottles and some heels or boots use more.
B. Natural and Organic Fibers: Embracing Nature’s Goodness
In addition to using recycled materials, Vivaia also incorporates natural and organic fibers like hemp and cotton into their shoe designs. These materials are biodegradable and have a lower impact on the environment compared to their synthetic counterparts. Yay, I guess? But it also makes the shoes really soft and comfortable which I have really liked.
C. Biodegradable Outsoles: Walking Towards a Greener Earth
Vivaia has developed biodegradable outsoles for their shoes. These outsoles break down naturally over time, reducing the environmental burden caused by conventional shoe soles that may take hundreds of years to decompose.
More important to me, though, is finding out whether or not the shoes are long-lasting, comfortable, and good quality. If they are, they’ll stay in my closet for a decade. In my opinion, one of the best ways for clothing to be sustainable is for it to be great. If you have a high-quality garment you love, you’ll wear it for years and years. That garment won’t end up in a landfill AND you’ll be buying less because you already have something you love.
The Vivaia marketing seems a little gimmicky (I’ve read some accusations of greenwashing) BUT let’s see how the shoes hold up.
What I ordered: My Shopping experience with Vivaia
I ordered a pair of mules in this bright pink color and this pair of heels. I read a few reviews of the Aria flats that said they run true to size and are very comfortable. I don’t love the style of a basic flat (I prefer the mule or loafer) and I couldn’t pass up the knot detail.
I placed my order and had my Vivaia shoes within a week. The second pair I ordered was on back order so those took two weeks longer to arrive. You can also shop Vivaia directly on Amazon.
First Impressions: How do Vivaia Shoes look?
Are you kidding me? These are gorgeous.
This is not the “they look better in ads and not as great in person.” The colors are vibrant. They appear well-made. They are just really beautiful shoes. I really wanted to love wearing them because I like looking at them 😛
I’ve also had compliments every single time I’ve worn the pink shoes.
Vivaia Shoe sizing: my two pairs
I ordered my standard size 7 in both shoes. I am usually a 6.5 or a 7 in shoes (7 in higher-end brands that tend to run small). My foot is on the wider side.
The knotted mules fit perfectly.
The fit of the heels is slightly questionable. The length fits perfectly so if you are in between sizes, go up. The sling-back strap doesn’t feel very secure. It took a minute to get used to while walking. These are not shoes I’ll be running to catch a train in.
Also, because the upper part of the shoe is made from a knit material, they are very flexible. This means they are very comfortable but not structured. My little toe seems to stick out a little bit in them which I thought looked funny at first. But, really, no one is going to notice except me and I’ll take this added comfort to NOT have my toe squished into a more narrow shoe. I have had no problems with the shoe staying on while walking (it just feels a bit like it is going to slip off).
**update: My husband snapped a few pictures of me wearing the heels and when he got down to take the above picture he asked “why is your toe sticking out??”
Are Vivaia Shoes Comfortable? Can you wear them all day? My experience
These shoes are admittedly VERY comfortable. They are not a comfort sneaker. If you’re walking 8 miles around a new city sightseeing, I would still recommend a great sneaker or a pair of Kork-ease sandals. BUT, if you are running errands, heading to a work conference for the day, or just like a more comfortable fit, these are fantastic.
I have worn the heels to a day of meetings and dinner with no problems. They’re the kind of heel I’m willing to wear when I need to tote a baby on my hip the whole time. I wish I’d had these while pregnant!
I have worn the mules for the last few months and they are even more comfortable. Because they don’t have a back, I wouldn’t recommend them for a full day of walking but for a full day at the office or running errands, they’re perfect.
Are Vivaia shoes durable? Can they stand up to daily wear and tear?
Many Vivaia shoes are machine washable (Lindsey shows her before and after’s washing her cream flats and how they came out looking good as new). I have NOT washed my pairs yet because after a few months I haven’t needed to.
I did get a spot on the toebox of my cream heels and spot-treated it with some stain remover.
Will I order from Vivaia again?
Absolutely. It has taken some self-control to NOT order another pair already. I have my eyes on the loafers and alternate colors in the knotted mule (this is a shoe I would own in multiple colors and wear all the time). The boots also look perfect for a California winter when I don’t need a heavy-duty snow boot but want something more seasonally stylish. I don’t think I’ll order another pair of the heels because of the toe-sticking-out situation and will try to stick to darker or bolder colors so they’re easier to keep clean.
Update: Vivaia read this post and reached out offering a discount code. We can use “elisabeth10” for 10% off future orders. I am eying this fall pair square toe mary janes to use it on.
Vivaia Frequently Asked Questions
Are Vivaia shoes true to size?
Yes, Vivaia shoes generally run true to size. I have read some complaints that they don’t work well for wide feet but, as someone who has wider feet, I haven’t run into this issue.
Can Vivaia shoes be machine-washed?
Yes! Vivaia shoes are designed to withstand gentle machine washing. Remember to remove any removable insoles before washing and use a laundry bag for protection. Check the specific style of shoe on their site for instructions.
Do Vivaia shoes have arch support?
Most Vivaia shoes offer moderate arch support, providing comfort for extended wear. I find them very comfortable.
Can I wear Vivaia shoes in wet conditions?
Yes, many Vivaia shoes are water-resistant or have waterproof features, making them suitable for light rain and wet conditions. However, they may not be suitable for heavy downpours or submerging in water.
How do Vivaia returns work in the US?
Online purchases (Final sale items and gifts excluded) made through VIVAIA are valid for exchange and return within 30 days from the date you’ve received all your item. All returned/exchanged items must be returned in unworn and undamaged condition.
Here is how to initiate a return in the US:
1. Visit the online return portal
2. Enter your order number and email address
3. Select the items you wish to return
4. Choose your desired return/refund method
5. Download and print the return label
6. Attach the label to your return package
7. Drop off the package at your local courier store
Once Vivaia receives the returned items, it will take up to 3 business days for them to process the refund. For PayPal account holders, up to 3 business days for the transaction to appear on your PayPal account. For credit card refunds, between 7-14 business days for the transaction to be completed.
What makes Vivaia a sustainable brand?
Vivaia’s sustainability stems from its use of recycled materials, natural fibers, and biodegradable outsoles.
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