Best Canvas Shoes Reviewed & Rated

Nothing says winter is now over than a pair of canvas shoes. When you hear the name ‘canvas shoes’ you may think of the classic, low-cut, lace-up tennis shoe but great canvas shoes can be found in a lot of styles – skater shoes, slip on loafers, and the eternal favorites – chucks, to name a few.

Canvas is an affordable, durable material that softens over time. They are fuss-free, easy to clean, easy to stain-proof and waterproof, canvas shoes scream youthful, care-free, simplicity. Almost everyone has enjoyed a pair of canvas shoes when they were kids – they were part of some of our best childhood memories. Basketball in the park, exploring the woods, that time it poured rain and you puddle-jumped all the way home in your soggy but still comfy canvas high-tops. Owning a good pair as an adult is nostalgic and comfortable, like coming home.

Last Updated: May 20, 2018
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By Himmatpreet Kaur:

We’ve updated our list of canvas shoes to now include 15 canvas shoes that are the best on the market. We’ve updated our criteria as well to give you better information about what you should consider when choosing a great canvas shoe. Finally, we’ve updated the frequently asked questions list to provide you the answers you are looking for.

Featured Recommendations

TOMS Classic
  • TOMS Classic
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Cushioned insole
  • Price: See Here
Converse Chuck Taylor
  • Converse Chuck Taylor
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Classic Chucks
  • Price: See Here
KEDS Chillax
  • KEDS Chillax
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Many Color Options
  • Price: See Here

Before we get to our list of 15 of the very best canvas shoes on the market today, a little canvas shoe trivia for you:  The very first sneaker was created by the U.S. Rubber Company as the KEDS line in the late 18th century and consisted of a rubber sole and canvas upper. Humans have been making and using canvas for over 5,000 years – it’s one of our earliest manmade materials and has been found in sails, paintings, and clothing besides some of our all-time favorite shoes.

 

15 Best Canvas Shoes

 

2. Converse Chuck Taylor

The timeless, classic chuck has been around for more than 100 years. There’s a reason it’s been around that long - it’s light, simple, breathable and has great traction. Originally designed for the court, chucks can be seen virtually everywhere you look, including a trend to wear them with wedding dresses and tuxedos for a fun, youthful and sporty touch to a formal occasion.
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Classic style
Chuck Taylors are the most recognized sneaker in the world, for its silhouette and for the starred ankle patch. Available in a variety of classic colors, these canvas sneakers have been popular for a century.

Vulcanized rubber
Vulcanization takes soft rubber and hardens it enough to make it durable and resistant to rough surfaces like concrete and pavement. It also provides good traction on most surfaces.

Cost and Value
These low-top chucks are in the lower end of the price range. For a reasonable price, you’ll have a new favorite canvas sneaker - the classic Converse Chuck Taylor. Sometimes simple is everything.
Pros
  • Iconic style
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable canvas upper
  • Vulcanized rubber sole
  • Ortholite insole
Cons
  • Beware of knockoffs

3. Vans Slip-on

These are classic Vans in a slip-on. Whether you choose their unique checkboard design or one of their solid color options, this will be a durable, lightweight shoe that is youthful and stylish at the same time. The Vans slip-on is a popular shoe among teens and adults alike for its look and long life.
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Youthful style
These slip ons have a classic style that is youthful and carefree at the same time. A great shoe for school or for relaxing with friends, you’ll enjoy this slip-on for a very long time.

Durability
Not only are these Vans stylish and comfortable, they are built to last. With Vans rubber, waffle sole, it will take awhile before these begin to wear out.

Cost and Value
These Vans are in the higher end of the price range. For that money though, you are getting a very lightweight, durable, and comfortable shoe that is stylish for most environments and occasions. Get out there and be your best, carefree self.
Pros
  • Waffle sole
  • Durable build
  • Lightweight canvas
  • Slip on ease
  • Youthful style
Cons
  • Fits narrow

4. KEDS Champion

4. KEDS Champion
KEDS is the company that designed the very first sneaker and this classic Champion has been popular for more than 100 years. It has a go-with-anything style and cushioned comfort that has made the shoe popular around the world.
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Versatile style
KEDS Champions come in an array of colors, textures, and patterns that will suit just about anything you have in your closet. These famous classics have even been dressed up for proms, weddings and the red carpet!

Cushioned comfort
These kicks are the original low top sneaker but they’ve long since been upgraded with a padded insole and improved shock-absorbing sole because your kicks should be comfortable.

Cost and Value
These durable sneakers are at the low end of the price range so it will be hard to resist getting several pairs to match all your outfits, or just express yourself in casual style. Comfortable and breathable, say hello to your newest best friend.
Pros
  • Versatile style
  • Comfortable insole
  • Breathable upper
  • Durable outsole
  • American classic
Cons
  • Initially feels stiff

5. Vans Authentic

5. Vans Authentic
Vans began with skate and surf culture in California and this was the shoe that started it all. In the 50 years since they were first rolled out, they’ve only become more popular among skaters and the general public for their simple, stylish, minimal, low-top, lace-up style. They come in solid colors, simple patterns and fun patterns like hamburgers and cupcakes so you can express your individual style.
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Classic skater
These shoes are a favorite among the skater crown for their flat outsoles and their simple but fun styles. These shoes are all California sunshine and youthful energy.

Waffle outsole
The synthetic rubber, waffle outsoles on this shoe are flat and provide good traction on the most surface. Whether you’re boarding, at the beach, at school or just hanging out with friends, you’ll stay well and secure on your feet.

Cost and Value
These Vans are in the mid-range of canvas shoes on our list. For a not unreasonable price, you’ll express your own individual style in breathable, youthful, skater low tops that will last.
Pros
  • Fun styles
  • Simple skater
  • Waffle outsole
  • Breathable canvas
  • Low top lace-up
Cons
  • Sizes run narrow

6. Sanuk Chiba

6. Sanuk Chiba
Sanuk is a company founded by surfers and this Chiba is their unique sidewalk surfer. Part flip-flop, part canvas loafer, these shoes are remarkably durable and comfortable. Along with the Happy U outsole, the shoe features a comfortable molded EVA foam footbed. It’s a comfortable flip-flop that you can wear all year long.
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Flip-flip meets loafer
The Chiba has a flip-flop style outsole with a molded EVA foam footbed on the bottom and its a heavy, durable canvas loafer on top. The best of both worlds in a beach shoe you can wear all year long.

Molded EVA footbed
The Sanuk Chiba features a molded EVA footbed that is shaped to the natural lines of your foot and made of a comfortable foam material.

Cost and Value
These shoes are in the higher price range for our list. For the price, you are getting a unique looking and uniquely comfortable shoe with a durable canvas upper and a softer canvas lining.
Pros
  • Rubber sole
  • EVA footbed
  • Happy U outsole
  • Heavy canvas upper
  • Soft canvas lining
Cons
  • Sizes run small

7. Converse Shoreline

7. Converse Shoreline
Another fantastic canvas sneaker from Converse - this time the Shoreline, with fixed laces and an easy, slip-on, slip-off design in a low-top sneaker with elastic collar. It’s a lightweight shoe perfect for the beach, for running errands or for relaxing, this snug fitting shoe will become a favored addition to your wardrobe.
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Comfortable and flexible
This shoe has a snug fit thanks to the elasticized collar. It is also a very lightweight build with a flexible canvas upper that will move with you.

No fuss laces
No tangles, no breaks, no fuss fixed laces add to the sneaker style of the Shoreline while it remains an easy-fit slip-on.

Cost and Value
These Converse slip-ons are the most expensive shoes on our list but still very reasonably priced for Converse style, slip-on ease and a flexbile rubber sole that will move with you while providing good traction on most surfaces.
Pros
  • Slip-on
  • Durable canvas
  • Rubber sole
  • Fixed laces
  • Elastic collar
Cons
  • Sizes run small

8. Sanuk Vagabond

8. Sanuk Vagabond
The Sanuk Vagabond is a casual canvas loafer made with Sanuk’s unique style of placing flip-flop type soles on a casual upper. It has a Happy U plastic outsole, cloth lining and a heavier canvas upper with a molded footbed for comfort.
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Molded footbed
The Vagabond features a molded EVA footbed that is shaped to the natural curves of your feet for comfort and cushion. The footbed is also surrounded by a soft cotton liner to add further comfort.

Breathable
The shoe also features side cut portholes that allow air into the interior of the shoe keeping your feet cool and dry. These are great for sweaty feet.

Cost and Value
These shoes are priced in the mid-range for our list but that price is still very reasonable. These loafers feature a molded footbed, quality canvas construction and a plastic but cushiony outsole all in Sanuk’s unique style.
Pros
  • Unique style
  • Molded footbed
  • Canvas construction
  • Ventilation portholes
  • Happy U outsole
Cons
  • Sizes run small

9. Tretorn Nylite Plus

9. Tretorn Nylite Plus
Tretorn makes shoes for everyday life with a Swiss heritage and contemporary flair. These are a fashion, breathable, canvas sneaker, with sleek lines and a contrasting side detail. The shoes are durable and provide great traction on most surfaces through their rubber sole.
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Fashion sneaker
It’s great to own a pair of kicks whose sole purpose for being is to look good but bonus if the shoe is also breathable and comfortable. The Nylite Plus is just that. Get them while they last, in their 2nd iteration the canvas is traded for leather.

Great traction
The rubber soles on this Tretorn sneaker are durable and provide good traction on most surfaces. They are made for urban or rural wear, in any weather, no matter the season, though we would avoid using them in icy conditions.

Cost and Value
These fashion kicks are in the mid-range price wise and for the money, you are getting a shoe that looks great, will last a long time and will keep you on your feet.
Pros
  • Rubber soles
  • Durable
  • Canvas upper
  • Fashion kicks
  • Great traction
Cons
  • Less cushion

10. PF Flyers Center Hi

10. PF Flyers Center Hi
This is a retro high-top canvas sneaker with modern upgrades. It features a Posture Foundation (PF) footbed and a diamond patterned rubber sole for great grip. The toe bumper is a retro touch while the canvas sides provide great style and support for your ankles. Who’s up for a game of 1 on 1?
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Posture Foundation footbed
The Posture Foundation footbed in this sneaker promotes good alignment in the foot and ankle and therefore in the rest of the legs and hips. You’ll be far more comfortable with good posture and correct alignment.

Retro style
This is a re-issue with plenty of modern upgrades including the footbed and durable, diamond-shaped rubber sole. This classic high top was originally built for the basketball court but will be comfortable in any casual environment.

Cost and Value
This high-top canvas sneaker is in the mid-range of our list in terms of price. Still reasonably priced, these shoes will last a long time and are perfect for school or for any casual outing.
Pros
  • Ribbed toe bumper
  • Retro style
  • Durable rubber sole
  • Lace up front
  • Breathable upper
Cons
  • Sizes run narrow

11. TOMS Del Rey

11. TOMS Del Rey
TOMS Del Rey canvas sneaker is a casual lace-up with a durable canvas upper. It contains a breathable textile lining, a cushioned footbed, and an EVA molded outsole. The shoe is light and comfortable and slightly dressier than most casual canvas shoes. For every pair of shoe you purchase from TOMS, the company donates a new pair of shoes to a child who needs them.
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Lace up closure
The traditional lace-up closure on this casual canvas sneaker comes with a rear pull tab for easy to get on, easy to get off convenience. If you want to change the style up, you can purchase a pair of custom or fashion laces for your own, unique look.

Cushioned footbed
These TOMS feature a cushioned footbed for great comfort in a flat sneaker. The EVA molded outsole also provides some cushion and shock absorption for additional comfort.

Cost and Value
The Del Rey is in the upper range of prices on the list, but for that price, you are getting a durable, comfortable, breathable shoe. Though it is inspired by a sneaker and is a casual shoe, it can also be dressed up for other occasions.
Pros
  • Breathable lining
  • Durable canvas upper
  • EVA molded outsole
  • Lace up closure
  • Help a child in need
Cons
  • Sizes run small

12. Keds Double-Up Core

12. Keds Double-Up Core
KEDS appears four times in our line up for good reason. They make great, casual canvas shoes - it’s what they do. This lace-up KEDS Doubleup fashion sneaker has been refined with sleeker lines, a contrasting midsole stripe, and brand callouts on the tongue, counter, and topline. There is an all black version for those who want to wear these at work or a school that has a uniform dress code.
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Classic style/fashion shoe
This shoe is made for its looks and not any particular performance, yet it is comfortable with KEDS traditional rubber sole for good grip on most surfaces. It’s sleeker and more refined than their more retro line.

KEDS Durability
The KEDS Double-up is a durable sneaker with high-quality canvas upper, and a thicker rubber sole built to last. These shoes will last very well whether you’re playing a little 3 on 3 in the neighborhood or running errands on your feet.

Cost and Value
These shoes barely fall into the mid-range of prices for our list. For the reasonable cost though you are getting an American icon that lasts you many seasons, in a more refined style.
Pros
  • Sleeker lines
  • American icon
  • Durable soles
  • Thicker rubber
  • Breathable canvas
Cons
  • Narrow in front

13. KEDS Chillax

13. KEDS Chillax
How chill will you look in this laceless KEDS? Did you forget the laces or are you just that relaxed that you just don’t need them? You’re just that chill, that’s what. These lace-free slip-on are the ultimate in relaxing outdoor footwear, with a hidden elastic panel to ensure a good fit. The sneaker is also lined and the sole is textured for grip and flexible for movement. Sit awhile, relax, don’t worry about your kicks because you won’t need to.
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Unique style
In the 70s it wasn’t uncommon to see kids remove the laces from their kicks for a more relaxed, cool fit. KEDS brings kids dreams to life in a better fitting uniquely styled shoe that says “I could not be more chilled out.” And they’re right.

Soft lining
The Chillax has a breathable lining inside that will feel so soft against your skin. Combine this with the cushioned insole and you may forget your even wearing shoes. Awesome.

Cost and Value
These are one of the most unique shoes on our list for their retro and relaxed style and they are also the least expensive. The most carefree among us will not only appreciate the style but the fact that these kicks are machine washable is a bonus.
Pros
  • Machine washable
  • Washed canvas
  • Rubber sole
  • Relaxed insole
  • Laceless
Cons
  • Not supportive

14. Polo Ralph Lauren Vaughn

14. Polo Ralph Lauren Vaughn
For a dressed up, very grown up canvas sneaker, check out the Polo Ralph Lauren Vaughn. You can’t miss the polo player on the sides or the finely woven canvas upper. It also features leather detailing and a leather lace ties that all say ‘We’re Polo’. This is Ivy League dress-down style that is suited to the preppy style.
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Preppy touches
This sneaker is dress-down Ivy League, Polo, preppy style in a grown-up canvas shoe. Everything from the canvas twill upper, the polo player, leather touches around the collar and on the tongue and the leather laces say preppy style.

Rubber sole
The shoe may be a fashion shoe with a long heritage but its rubber sole is also designed to last and provide the great grip on many surfaces that come with good quality rubber. You could shoot some hoops in these shoes and be perfectly comfortable.

Cost and Value
This shoe is in the mid-range of shoes on the list, which is fantastic for the elevated look and feel of this sneaker. You will also appreciate the quality materials that Polo Ralph Lauren builds into its footwear, including the Vaughn.
Pros
  • Leather laces
  • Leather accents
  • Rubber sole
  • Fashion sneaker
  • Preppy style
Cons
  • Laces break early

15. KEDS Coursa LTT

15. KEDS Coursa LTT
This is the final KEDS on our list and the second of their fashion shoes to make the list. The shoe has a knit fabric look to it that will match well with many different outfits and in many different circumstances. There is an interesting ribbed texture around the midsole, tonal stitching and contrast stripes for further casual details.
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Casual fashion
This is a fashion sneaker that is designed to highlight the elements of casual style from the lace-up front to the tonal stitching, from the contrasting stripe to the midsole, ribbed detail. Each detail says casual comfort.

Easy clean
The Coursa LTT is easy to clean and maintain. For light dirt on the soles, simply wipe away with warm soap and water and for a deeper clean, these shoes are machine washable.

Cost and Value
This casual canvas shoe is in the lower range of prices. For a very reasonable price, you get a cute little fashion sneaker that is all about being casual and easy. With a padded insole and machine washable ease, you’re sure to fall in love with these care-free kicks.
Pros
  • Rubber sole
  • Lace up
  • Tonal stitching
  • Padded insole
  • Logo patches
Cons
  • May rub heels

Our list of 15 of the best canvas shoes on the market shoes that canvas shoes are more than just a stereotypical flat tennis shoe. They are sidewalk surfers, fashion sneakers, flats, basketball shoes, and skater shoes, to name a few. They are breathable, comfortable, and have great traction. They look right at home, at school, on a tennis or basketball court, hanging with friends for a movie, running errands, or most other places that life takes you. You will look cool, relaxed, and comfortable in any of the shoes on our best list. Your new favorites are waiting!

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Canvas Shoes

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Quality Construction

When we assessed our canvas shoes, it made sense to take a good hard look at the construction and quality of the canvas in each of the shoes. Canvas has two faces. It can an extremely comfortable, protective, natural material for uppers or it can be rough and scratchy and uncomfortable if not well constructed. Here are some of the things we looked for:

  • Thickness – Canvas should be thick enough to protect your feet, resist wear, and provide support to your upper foot and ankle (in the case of a high top). Good canvas may initially feel stiff but will soften with wear. Canvas shoes do not have to be as thick as canvas tents. The material should be pliable and comfortable to wear rather than making your feet feel trapped in a canvas box.
  • Closely woven Canvas material should be closely woven to provide protection, weather resistance, and durability. You will be able to tell this because there won’t be much space between the threads. However, Canvas needs to be woven loosely enough to be breathable and not overheat your feet.
  • Double stitched seams– Canvas is a sturdy material that requires double stitching where pieces are sewn together to make strong seams. Avoid any canvas shoe that has flimsy, or thin single stitching.

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Purpose

All shoes, including canvas shoes, should suit the purpose for which they are made. If a company markets something as a basketball shoe, for example, you should be able to play basketball in it without feeling fatigue or pain in your feet. Canvas shoes serve many purposes so, in our criteria, we took a good look at whether the shoes were suitable for their purposes.

  • Sidewalk surfersThese shoes from Sanuk are meant for walking around town in reasonably warm weather. Therefore, they need breathability, cushioning, resistance to wearing on the pavement, and shock absorption. The sidewalk surfers on our list all meet that purpose.
  • Fashion shoes – Fashion shoes are all designed for their appearance and there is much less focus on functionality like comfort, durability and weather resistance. Each of the fashion shoes on our list do what they claim to do – look good and all also have rubber soles, which provide shock absorption, durability, and resistance. Most are also easy to clean and maintain.
  • Flats flat shoes are meant to give you a low to no heel look and they should still provide cushioning and comfort. You cannot expect a flat to provide a lot in the way of support in the sole, but you can expect some support in the upper. Each of the flats in our list has good traction and some cushion for comfort. They are also more supportive than many other materials in the upper because they are canvas. Some have additional support with hidden elastic panels and full lace closure.
  • Basketball shoes The hi-top basketball shoes in our list are more than fashion shoes. You can play basketball with them and certainly, early basketball players did so without all the technology that is available today. Be aware though that these two shoes do not have the modern technology that today’s basketball shoes have in terms of spring, shock absorption, zoned foam, and zoned traction. Go for it but don’t expect any fatigue at all after a long game. 
  • LoafersLoafers are made for comfort and relaxing. All of the loafers on our list have comfort elements that will satisfy those criteria. Sit back, relax, and enjoy in a comfy pair of shoes.

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Versatility

All of the canvas shoes on our list are versatile in some ways and limited in others. The things you should be aware of in terms of versatility of the canvas shoes on our list (and any others you may consider) are:

  • Casual? –
    Canvas shoes are casual shoes generally. You cannot expect most canvas shoes to be dress shoes or formal footwear. However, trends are changing and more and more people are wearing canvas shoes to weddings and proms and other formal functions. They can be a great way to express your individuality and a little youthful, fun.
  • Work or play? –
    Some canvas shoes, especially if they are comfortable can be used for work and for play. Which they will be, or whether they will be both, will depend on the rules at your work, your comfort and your preferences.
  • SIngle season or more? –
    You won’t get a lot of wear time out of a single seasons shoe and that’s no knock on a fabulous summer sandal. However, if you want the most wearability from your shoes you should look for shoes that can be worn for at least two seasons and preferably three. Most of the shoes on our list can be used outside in spring, summer or autumn. None are going to give you sufficient warmth in winter climates.
  • Indoor only? –
    If a shoe cannot resist walking on the ground, it has no business being outside. All of the shoes on our list are sufficiently durable for walking on pavement, concrete and hard surfaces as well as very abrasive surfaces like sand.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is canvas made from?
A:  It’s made out of hemp and/or sometimes cotton. Either way, it’s generally a bit coarse but very strong and breathable, which makes it particularly convenient when it’s used to build a shoe. Whenever canvas is used to line the insole of a shoe, it’s usually softened. Canvas shoes also often have rubber soles that give you great traction.

Q: Are canvas shoes difficult to clean?
A:  One of the many advantages of canvas shoes is that they are actually very easy to clean. You can scrub them by hand with some warm water, laundry detergent, and a sponge (or even a toothbrush!), or you can use a standard washing machine, although there’s a chance that doing so may cause the shoes to fall apart.

Q: What are the best brands for canvas shoes?
A:  Many of the most respected brands for canvas shoes are already included in this list, such as Keds, Sanuk, and Vans. However, Nike, Puma, and Converse are also known for producing top-quality canvas shoes.

Q: Do age or gender matter when considering canvas shoes?
A:  Not really. This is another benefit of wearing canvas shoes–they look great on people of any age, and many designs can be conventionally swapped between men and women. Whether you’re old or young, male or female, canvas shoes can be a wonderful look for you.

Q: Are canvas shoe slip-resistant?
A:  This may vary from shoe to shoe, but most canvas shoes–including the ones on this list–are created to give you proper traction. The rubber soles will usually have a texture that helps you keep a firm grip on the ground wherever you go.

Q: Do canvas shoes have removable insoles?
A:  Again, it depends on the brand and style, but many canvas shoes do have removable insoles, so don’t worry about that if you need to use an orthopedic insert.

Q: When is the best time of year to wear canvas shoes?
A:  They are generally best to wear in warm weather since they keep your feet fully protected but also cool. However, you can wear them anytime you want.

Q: Where can I wear canvas shoes?
A:  This is the core beauty of canvas shoes and one of the main sources of their appeal–they’re appropriate almost anywhere. Sports, exercise, school, errands, social activities–canvas shoes are wonderful for all of them. You could have a full day of going to the gym, playing tennis, walking your dog, picking up something at the store, and dancing with your friends at the club without ever taking off your canvas shoes, and it wouldn’t be strange at all. Your feet could also remain perfectly comfortable the whole time.

Q: Why is canvas so much less expensive than leather?
A:  Canvas is made from cotton, linen or hemp, which are all plants. Leather is made from animal hide. It is generally more expensive to produce, process and manufacture leather products than it is to produce, process and manufacture natural cloth products. Natural fibers are also generally easier to dye or print, so they are more versatile in that way for shoe designers. So you do end up paying less for canvas.

Sources

  1. Masni Rizal Mansor, What You Should Know About Canvas Shoes, Website,
  2. Famous Footwear Staff, Benefits of Canvas Shoes, Website,
  3. Cleanipedia Staff, How to Clean Canvas Shoes, Website,
  4. Finish Line Staff, Top 5 Reasons to Wear Canvas, Website,
  5. Shoe Zone Staff, Your Canvas Shoe Questions Answered, Website,

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