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There once was a time where I quite happily wore the most impractical and uncomfortable clothes in the name of fashion. It’s safe to say that I left those days behind when I had children, in favour of ease and flexibility for chasing around little ones. When it comes to shoes it can be so difficult to find shoes that are both practical, comfortable and still super stylish. So when I recently discovered VIVAIA I was intrigued to say the least. Here’s my full review of the shoes that promise to be stylish, sustainable and comfortable.

A Review of VIVAIA's Sustainable Shoes

A Review of VIVAIA's Sustainable Shoes


There’s sometimes a perception that eco-friendly shoes won’t look chic, but with VIVAIA shoes I don’t feel that at all! I love how they’ve designed shoes that are beautiful as well as being sustainable. Each pair of shoes is made from 6 recycled plastic bottles, with a process that produces very little waste. I particularly love how beautiful their flats are, like the Aria Flats that you can see in these pictures.

Digging into the details, I was impressed by how VIVAIA selects its suppliers, choosing only those who meet their sustainability criteria, and ensuring they have a transparent supply chain from plastic bottle to shoe. Any elements that aren’t made from recycled materials are chosen carefully from ethical sources, and recyclable materials prioritised to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the shoe. There are wool elements in some of the shoes, so do be mindful of that if you are vegan.

Before receiving my shoes, I had read some reviews saying that they didn’t like the fact that VIVAIA ship their shoes directly from the manufacturer in China, but for me this was actually a positive. By shipping direct to you, VIVAIA have cut out unnecessary carbon impact from multiple journeys, as well as cutting out extra cost.

Beyond the shoe itself, the packaging is made almost entirely from recycled materials, which is a little bonus. Shoe boxes are always an easy thing to recycle too – either upcycled around the house or in kerbside recycling.


One of my main considerations when looking into these shoes was the manufacturing. While the shoes are manufactured in China, the factory adheres to high ethical standards, caring for workers’ mental and physical health. The factory is independently audited each year, and any areas where it falls short of ethical standards (such as health and safety, working hours or fair pay), identified and monitored.

VIVAIA were very open with me about the results of their latest audit, and the results were very reassuring – I could tell that the factory is ethically run, and the workers cared for. The factory is also partially run on renewable energy.

A Review of VIVAIA's Sustainable Shoes

A Review of VIVAIA's Sustainable Shoes

When I say these shoes are comfortable, I mean seriously comfortable! The sole feels almost like memory foam, and I’ve worn the shoes on days I’m constantly on my feet without any discomfort. They’re like a little hug for your feet! The flexible knit fabric moulds to your feet, without being stiff, so even the trainers feel like wearing socks.

I did have a concern that, being made of plastic, the shoes wouldn’t feel breathable. I have worn them recently on some fairly hot days and whilst they were not quite as breezy as a pair of sandals, stayed comfortably non-sweaty and didn’t turn smelly! I found the knit design of the fabric helps them to stay really breathable, though if you’re looking for a pair of shoes to wear regularly in hot weather, these wouldn’t be the most practical option.


When you have kids, anything washable is a godsend, especially shoes! Each one of VIVAIA’s shoes is washable, and while I haven’t tried washing them yet myself, a friend of mine has a pair she’s washed that looks just about as good as new. This felt particularly exciting for the Evermore Sneakers, which I chose in white, since I won’t have to worry about the beautiful bright white getting too dirty! You can find out more on how to wash VIVAIA shoes here.

Another practical benefit is that the shoes are remarkably hardwearing. Plastic, as everyone knows, is a super strong and durable material, making it excellent for holding up to heavy wear. I can see these shoes lasting me many years without deteriorating.


If you are looking for an affordable shoe then VIVAIA may not be for you. Given how much effort has gone into producing a high quality, sustainable shoe, it probably comes as no surprise that these are not the most affordable. Having worn and loved my pairs, I can say that the price is definitely merited if you can afford it, but it’s sadly not going to be accessible for everyone.

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