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.
- Vans Slip On
- Cushioned insole
- KEDS Champion
- Classic Comfort
- Sanuk Vagabon
- Many Color Options
Before we get to our list of 1o 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 man-made materials and has been found in sails, paintings, and clothing besides some of our all-time favorite shoes.
10 Best Canvas Shoes
1. Vans Slip-on
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.
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.
- Waffle sole
- Durable build
- Lightweight canvas
- Slip on ease
- Youthful style
- Fits narrow
2. KEDS Champion
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!
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.
- Versatile style
- Comfortable insole
- Breathable upper
- Durable outsole
- American classic
- Initially feels stiff
3. Sanuk Vagabond
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.
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.
- Unique style
- Molded footbed
- Canvas construction
- Ventilation portholes
- Happy U outsole
- Sizes run small
4. Skechers BOBS
As a slip-on style of footwear, the Skechers BOBS is similar to a simplistic loafer, made from comfortable canvas uppers. Roomy and flexible in nature, canvas wraps the entire foot, and has flexible goring inserted for a great fit. Canvas is layered in its construction, helping to make the shoe integrity more durable and last for longer. With a vast array of color options to choose, you can find a pair perfect for your individual style and wardrobe.
To help make this flat canvas shoe casually comfortable, Skechers has given it a memory foam footbed for soft cushioned steps, and a quarter inch heel for some shock absorption. Insole incorporates an arch pillow to give support and structure, while low-profile midsole helps to provide additional shock-absorption when out and about on your feet. Great for lounging around, walking the dog, or just causal evenings with friends!
Cost and Value
Considering the Skechers BOBS construction and canvas comfort alone, it’s an averagely priced pair of casual shoes that succeeds in simplicity and cushion for tired feet. Add to this it’s philanthropic endeavor with each purchase of a pair of BOBS to help cats and dogs, and this pair of canvas shoes now becomes a no brainer to try out. Well worth the purchase if you’re in the market for a cozy pair of canvas shoes, or want to help out our furry friends!
Ease of Care
5. Grasshoppers Windham
Inspired by classic boat shoe design styling, the Grasshopper Windham has a clean look to it, thick, rubber sole for grip, and some added flair of design elements that will have you wanting to step onto the nearest dock. Slip on makes these easy to get on and off, and its canvas uppers make them lightweight, breathable, and washable. Rubber soles have added traction patterns on the base, so you’ll stride confidently even on slippery surfaces.
Along the collar of the Windham is interwoven lacing that ties around the shoe, and completes the look with a bowtie on the tongue. Elastic gores on the sides of the tongue allow for some adjustable fit and ease of access, while a removable footbed provides some cushioning and padding for your feet, but can easily be replaced should you need to.
Cost and Value
Definitely one of our budget friendly options on our list, the Grasshopper Windham brings a cute boat shoe inspired design to a canvas casual flat. Great for casual outings, summertime events, or just lounging around, its collar lacing and bowtie give it a little bump in style. Perfect for anyone who loves boat shoes!
6. Sanuk Pair O Dice
Many of Sanuk brand shoes come complete with super comfortable footbeds and linings, and the Pair O Dice is no exception. Yoga Mat drop in cushions the foot with each and every step, and low top styling allows for flexibility and freedom of movement. Sanuk rubber cupsole helps to cradle the foot for support and comfort, while maintaining flexibility for proper walking gait.
As the Pair O Dice is made from canvas, they are easily washable should you get them dirty, or if they just need a good clean. Inside the slip on is a antimicrobial additive applied to help reduce foot odor by reducing bacterial growth. You’ll be able to wear these barefoot if you prefer, without having to worry too much about heat retention or foot odor!
Cost and Value
Similar to other Sanuk brand shoes, they are pretty reasonable in cost. For a slip on flat, which is best suited for casual occasions or lounging, it’s a great option for consideration. Sanuk comfort yoga mat drop in, along with antimicrobial additive will have you going barefoot in these in the summer. Add to it the washable canvas uppers, and you have a winner!
7. Converse Chuck Taylor
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.
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.
- Iconic style
- Breathable canvas upper
- Vulcanized rubber sole
- Ortholite insole
- Beware of knockoffs
8. Blowfish Marley Sneaker
Standing out from typical sneaker design, the Blowfish Marley incorporates some design elements that will have you taking a second look. Lace up vamps are replaced with sturdy elastic bands to secure the shoe snuggly to your foot, but also give a little bit of adjustability. Canvas uppers have a distressed look, with frayed seam edges to give it some urban appeal. Great for dressing down, running about town, or out dancing at the local pubs.
Along with cozy canvas uppers, the Blowfish Marley has a rubber outsole for traction and grip, which wraps around the outsole and forms a toe bumper to help protect your toes. Cushioned footbed helps give added comfort when walking or skating around town, and elastic stretch panels make them easy for wear. Add to all of this the fact you can select a number of colors or patterns, and you’ll find one to fall in love with!
Cost and Value
For something funkier in a canvas shoe, the Blowfish Marely Sneaker keeps urban appeal looking unique for a budget price. Great colors and pattern options make it easy to find one you’ll love, and its adjustable fit with elastic straps keep it flexible and versatile. Cushioned footbed and thick sole give proper cushion for walking about, and its unique distressed uppers make it super easy on the eyes. A great option for your next pair!
9. PF Flyers Center Hi
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.
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.
- Ribbed toe bumper
- Retro style
- Durable rubber sole
- Lace up front
- Breathable upper
- Sizes run narrow
10. Keds Double-Up Core
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.
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.
- Sleeker lines
- American icon
- Durable soles
- Thicker rubber
- Breathable canvas
- Narrow in front
Our list of 10 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
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.
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 surfers – These 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.
- Loafers – Loafers 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.
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.
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.