Created by Monxi Garza in 2020 as a $150,000+ Kickstarter project, SUAVS has quickly morphed into a fantastic sustainable shoe brand, gaining traction and recognition in fashion and lifestyle footwear circles. I first heard about them when they reached out to me to tell me about their brand. Soon, companies like Business Insider and Conde Nast were writing about them.
The company’s current lineup consists of shoes made of 100% vegan materials, right down to the glue used in keeping their footwear together. But there’s more to their ethical and sustainable ethos. The company donates all unsold SUAVS footwear to organizations such as Soles4Souls and LifeWorks. Additionally, the company’s shipping boxes can serve as the return box for anyone who needs to return them or exchange them for a slightly different size.
SUAVS sent me two pairs of their terrifically comfortable shoes, the Men’s The Zilker and Men’s The Legacy sneakers, for review.
Men’s The Zilker & Men’s The Legacy
Available in eight colourways, The Zilker is an ultra-soft digital knitted sneaker that’s designed for everyday wear. I found these sneakers to be extremely comfortable, owing mostly to their soft upper body as well as the lightweight nature of the sneaker. The softness of this shoe can’t be overstated, as I found myself wearing them mostly sockless for hours on end.
The Men’s Legacy sneaker is essentially the same shoe as the Zilker but a high-top version. And while I’d say the Legacy sneaker can be dressed up like boots or worn like sneakers, the only other difference is that the Legacy has a rubber toe cap to keep your toes dry in wetter conditions.
Both these sneakers’ thin and airy material makes them a perfect summer shoe for taking to the cottage or on your favourite boat ride, which is exactly what I did. The breathable fabric does a nice job of wicking sweat away from my feet. While not exactly imbued with the same magical sweat-wicking properties as something like an Allbirds shoe, the SUAVS sneakers still did a very good job of keeping my feet cool and comfortable. No noticeable or sweaty, or stinky feet were detected after wearing both pairs on different days for nearly the whole day in relatively hot conditions.
One of my favoured aspects of these stylish sneakers is just how compact they can get. When packing, shoes can often serve as a bulky component, but the SUAVS sole and upper are so flexible and lightweight that they have no trouble being shrunk down into a very compact form. For those of us who like their apparel and accessories to pack flat and in a fairly tight manner, this is a huge win.
As I mentioned earlier, I often wore both these pairs of sneakers without socks. Thankfully, that didn’t result in any abrasions or blisters, which given the delicate nature of my feet, is a huge personal pet peeve of mine.
Fitting true to size and featuring cotton laces, the SUAVS sneakers also sport a removable and washable polyfoam insole. Despite accidentally dunking the Zilker in a lake when trying to get a canoe to a particular spot, I found that the shoes dried relatively quickly in direct sun.
Even on wet rocks and after a pretty heavy downpour, the rubber soles of both shoes provided decent traction and are quickly becoming one of my go-to slip-on sneakers.
My only minor complaint about the SUAVS sneakers is that the insole does not provide a whole deal of cushioning. So if you’re looking for a casual, breezy pair of sneakers that packs light and small, provides plenty of comfort, don’t expect that you’ll be taking these out for multi-mile hikes without getting sore feet at the end; the cushioning is simply not that thick.