Our Genuine VIVAIA Shoes Review: A Must-Read Before You Buy!
VIVAIA is on a mission to inspire positive change in the sartorial world; creating sustainable, eco-friendly and responsible footwear that helps consumers make conscious choices as part of a burgeoning fashion-forward movement.
This article contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure here.
There’s nothing like a good pair of shoes.
If you’re a conscious shopper, it can feel challenging to find sustainable shoes that are also stylish and comfortable.
This is why we couldn’t resist writing a VIVAIA shoes review. From eco-friendly materials and responsible manufacturing right through to supportive shoe designs and trendy styles, VIVAIA shoes tick many boxes for the sustainable fashionista.
This genuine VIVAIA shoes review will cover a brief overview of the brand, what makes VIVAIA shoes sustainable and ethical, customer ratings, and a general FAQ. Plus, it includes my experience wearing VIVAIA Margot 2.0 and Aria 5°.
Are you ready? We hope this VIVAIA shoes review will help you decide if this brand is worth investing in!
VIVAIA Shoes: A Brief Overview
Established in 2020, VIVAIA is an online footwear brand with “a mission to create the most stylish and sustainable footwear”.
Flawlessly marrying revolutionary technology with sustainable and ethical practice, VIVAIA creates luxurious and eco-friendly footwear that places people, and the planet, at the heart of every design.
VIVAIA is not only renowned for its iconic, minimalist styles, it also tenaciously sets the sustainable standard within the footwear industry; challenging the untenable status quo alongside appealing to a growing trend of eco-conscious shoppers.
VIVAIA Shoes Review: Thoughts So Far
Before we delve deeper into this VIVAIA shoes review, let’s do a preliminary rundown of what we like about this conscious fashion brand:
- VIVAIA shoes are trendy and minimalist which means they can be effortlessly paired with many outfits. Not only that, the brand’s neutral and fluid aesthetic challenges the toxic fast fashion ideology that trends are finite and readily expendable with every new season.
- We love that VIVAIA shoes are machine washable, or can be washed by hand! Consumerism discourages us from taking care of our clothes because let’s face it: we can always buy a new pair of shoes if they get a little tatty, right?! VIVAIA shoes challenge our dominant throwaway fashion culture by encouraging customers to take care of their shoes so they last longer.
- VIVAIA likes to put its customers first. Rather than selling through retailers (which incurs extra cost), VIVAIA deals directly with the customer which means every pair of shoes is sold at a fair price.
What Makes VIVAIA Shoes Sustainable and Ethical?
How do we know if VIVAIA shoes is a sustainable and ethical brand? We hear you ask!
With greenwashing permeating the fast fashion industry, it can be difficult for consumers to identify which fashion brands are genuinely implementing green initiatives.
Keep reading this VIVAIA shoes review as we take a closer look at how VIVAIA shoes consider sustainability across its materials, manufacturing, and packaging.
VIVAIA shoe uppers are made using discarded plastic bottles (approximately 6 bottles for each pair of shoes) which are spun into eco-friendly threads using 3D knit technology and a zero-waste production process.
The advantage of using recycled polyester is it gives a second life to recycled plastic, preventing waste from entering landfills and adding to the 11 million metric tons of plastic waste dumped into the ocean each year! VIVAIA sources its recycled plastic from “carefully selected suppliers and factories that meet our sustainability criteria and process discarded plastics from the oceans.”
Furthermore, recycled polyester is just as good as virgin polyester but uses around 45% less energy during production, and reduces water consumption by 20% and carbon emissions by 30%.
What are the disadvantages of using recycled polyester?
Well, recycled polyester poses some challenges when considering circularity and a product’s end of life as it isn’t biodegradable. Experts are hopeful that recycled polyester has the capacity in the future to be infinitely recyclable without the quality of the material diminishing over time.
It’s worth noting recycled polyester doesn’t address the issue of microfibres polluting the natural environment, which happens when we wash our clothes. Still, using recycled polyester for enduring, high-quality items such as shoes means they won’t need to be washed very often, and you can buy microplastic filters to go in your washing machine to prevent microfibres from entering water systems.
VIVAIA shoe uppers also include wool. Wool is a superior material in many ways: it’s resilient; breathable; biodegradable; renewable, and can be produced organically. As the production of wool involves animals, it cannot be considered 100% vegan or cruelty-free, but global animal welfare standards look to be significantly improving across the wool industry.
VIVAIA shoes feature a cushiony and natural insole, made using Artemisia Argyi Herbal. Historically used as traditional medicine, this ancient herb is naturally deodorizing and antibacterial which means you won’t need to worry about your feet smelling in the heat and humidity! What’s more, the insole lining is made from a super soft and silky sustainable cloth that is 100% biodegradable.
Midsole and Outsole
VIVAIA soles are carbon-free and made from natural rubber. The outsole has high flexibility, shock absorption, and is slip-resistant. The “yoga mat” midsole is incredibly lightweight and is combined with a high rebound.
It’s great to see VIVAIA has chosen to ditch carbon fibers as this material isn’t biodegradable, creates a lot of waste during production, and is complicated to recycle or repurpose.
With VIVAIA head office based in the United States, VIVAIA shoes are manufactured in Dongguan, China. VIVAIA chose to outsource manufacturing to Dongguan based on “their quality, price, efficiency, environmental impact, working conditions, and employee treatment.” VIVAIA facilitates regular audits to ensure employees are treated fairly and work under safe and regulated conditions.
Moreover, the factory reduces its carbon footprint by operating partially from renewable energy and turning off lights during the day when not in use.
Sustainability doesn’t stop with the shoes! VIVAIA packaging is luxurious in its own right; but what we loved most is all the packaging (box, paper, labels) is 100% recyclable. VIVAIA also avoids using artificial colourings in order to prevent toxic waste contaminating the natural environment.
VIVAIA Shoes Review: Margot 2.0 and Aria 5° 3.0
Taking my VIVAIA shoes out of the box for the first time, I couldn’t help but notice the quality of the outsoles, the soft knit uppers, and the beautiful satin detail. Many VIVAIA shoes come in patterned colors; but, in keeping with the minimalist look, I decided to go with the Laura – Cream Ivory with Satin Stripes. For my first outing, I paired my VIVAIA shoes with mom jeans and a relaxed front-tie cardigan (pictured).
Slipping on my VIVAIA shoes, the stretchy knit hugged my feet like a sock and the insole felt cushioned and supportive. The Margot 2.0 new insole is specifically designed to provide arch support, heel support, and a high rebound. After sustaining a running injury a few years back, my left ankle and foot cause me problems from time to time so it was great to find stylish shoes that also provide the necessary support.
Taking inspiration from VIVAIA’s classic Aria 2° collection, the 3.0 upgrade boasts of impressive ergonomic design features that take care of your feet.
From a “yoga mat” midsole which feels lightweight, right through to patented sole design that is flexible and shock absorption, I find the Aria 5° comfortable and versatile. Plus, I love the elegant ballet shoe design, the wider toe box and heel padding to prevent blistering.
Unsurprisingly, the Aria 5° model is one of VIVAIA’s bestsellers!
VIVAIA Shoes: What Customers Think
This wouldn’t be a VIVAIA shoes review without exploring what other VIVAIA customers think.
On the VIVAIA website there is a myriad of positive reviews across popular styles:
“Elegant and stylish shoe! Comfortable and good! I like it and very much-loved, will definitely buy again” wrote one 5-star reviewer about the Pointed-Toe Ballet Flats (Aria 5°).
Another customer raves about the Pointed-Toe Kitten Heels (Stella 3.0), “I really like how comfy the heels are! They don’t make my feet sweat and are a perfect height.”
On Trustpilot, VIVAIA has 1,001 reviews with an average rating of 4.1. Again, there are many happy customers:
“Beautiful and luxurious shoes! The quality of these shoes really are breathtaking! Just like all the reviews say- the comfort is unmatched. They are made unlike any other shoes I’ve owned. The style is so classy and one of a kind! Absolutely worth the price!”
“I am one of the biggest Fan. I am one of the biggest Fan. Got over 17 pairs and I still love them all. If there were any issues the customer support is very helpful and quick.
My vivaia rule is to size up at pointy toes.”
To round off our VIVAIA shoes review, here’s a short FAQ we hope you will find useful!
Where Can I Buy VIVAIA Shoes?
You can buy VIVAIA shoes online at www.vivaia.com. VIVAIA ships products directly to the customer rather than adopting the costly process of selling through retailers. This means VIVAIA shoes can be sold at a fair price, which I think is pretty great. Happy sustainable shopping!
What Types of Shoes Does VIVAIA Sell?
VIVAIA creates its shoes based on slow, sophisticated and minimalist styles which can be worn on many occasions and across different seasons. VIVAIA’s shoe collection includes:
Where Does VIVAIA Ship To?
As an international brand, VIVAIA offers worldwide shipping. Check out VIVAIA’s website for a handy list of shipping FAQs.
Can You Wear VIVAIA Shoes If You Have Bunions?
Yes, you can wear VIVAIA shoes with bunions.
If you are a bunion sufferer, VIVAIA shoes are super stretchy and are designed to hug any protruding parts of the bone. Also, the sole is designed with extra grip so as not to inflame bunions when walking.
How Do You Clean VIVAIA Shoes?
You can clean VIVAIA shoes in the washing machine, or wash them by hand. VIVAIA provides a handy shoe cleaning guide, cleaning kits, and wash bags to help you take care of your VIVAIA shoes. Check out their website for more info!
Are VIVAIA Shoes Made in China?
Yes, VIVAIA shoes are manufactured in Dongguan, China.
VIVAIA is often asked why it outsources its manufacturing to a Chinese factory; especially as many Chinese production lines are known to exploit workers. Nevertheless, VIVAIA is open about its manufacturing processes, noting “China has developed some of the most modern, high-tech, and ethical factories in the world.” Also, the brand completes regular audits to ensure the factory is operating safely and ethically.
Who Founded VIVAIA Shoes?
VIVAIA shoes were founded by business professional and University of Minnesota graduate, Marina Chen who has copious supply-chain and sourcing management experience in the fashion and footwear industries.
Do VIVAIA Shoes Smell?
To prevent VIVAIA shoes from smelling, each pair includes a deodorizing insole made from Artemisia Argyi Herbal which is moisture-wicking, mold-proof and odor resistant.
What Are VIVAIA’s Shoes Made Of?
Deeply committed to addressing humanity’s catastrophic waste problem, VIVAIA is “proud to be part of recycling materials for our Mother Earth” by making its shoe uppers from recycled ocean plastic, and wool (a renewable material) from sustainable sources. VIVAIA’s deodorizing insoles are a mix of natural herbal and PU foam which is completely eco-friendly, and its seamless 3D knit technology creates zero-waste throughout the production process.
Are VIVAIA Shoes Breathable?
VIVAIA shoes are breathable and antimicrobial, with all designs featuring an eco-friendly deodorizing insole that not only provides ultimate comfort and support, but is also moisture-wicking and mold-proof so you can feel confident your feet won’t smell when it’s hot and humid!
Are VIVAIA Shoes Waterproof?
Although not all VIVAIA shoes are waterproof, its slip-on Bernie Sneakers are. The Bernie Sneaker is breathable, lightweight and comfortable. With a 100% waterproof upper made from recycled materials, you’re guaranteed to look great whatever the weather!
What Sizes Do VIVAIA Shoes Come In?
VIVAIA offers a wide range of shoe sizes which caters to UK, US, EU and Japanese size guides.
How Much Do VIVAIA Shoes Cost?
As VIVAIA is an international brand, prices can vary depending on the country. As a baseline, a pair of VIVAIA shoes starts at USD $97 with the highest price being USD $199. VIVAIA’s pricing seems to be slightly more competitive when compared to other sustainable shoes brands such as Allbirds, Baabuk and Rothy’s which seem to be selling at a marginally higher price point.
VIVAIA Shoes Review: Final Thoughts
So, are VIVAIA shoes worth it? Short answer: yes, we believe they are!
VIVAIA shoes are the perfect blend of comfort, style, and sustainability. From doing a deep dive into the brand’s mission and values, as well as its materials, manufacturing, and packaging, people and the planet are considered at every step of the process.
What do you think about VIVAIA as a brand? Would you try a pair of VIVAIA shoes after reading this review? Let us know in the comments below.