I bought the cult-favorite Veja sneakers after Meghan Markle wore them—here’s why I’m obsessed
I finally understand all the hype.
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As the trending editor at Reviewed, I like to stay up on, well, the trends. And this year has not disappointed. I've lived in matching loungewear sets. I've embraced the return of tie-dye. I've stocked my drawers with bike shorts. I was able to finally don my Crocs with pride (instead of shame). But of all the 2020 trends, perhaps the one I've loved the most is the rise of the casual sneaker.
My collection has grown exponentially over the last few months. First, it was Taylor Swift's light-up sneakers. Then it was the stunning Rifle Paper Co.-themed Keds. Then it was the most comfortable—and most sustainable—pair of shoes I've ever put on my feet: the wildly popular Cariuma sneaks.
And now, it's Veja sneakers. After the cult-favorite shoes kept popping up all over my Instagram feed, I finally broke down and got two pairs for myself, the best-selling Esplar sneakers and the V-10s, to find out what the hype was all about. Here's my honest review of the sneakers everyone's obsessed with and whether or not they're worth the money.
Why are Veja sneakers so popular?
Celebrities love them. Style influencers love them. Regular people love them. What makes Veja sneakers so trendy? Maybe it's the sleek white design or the iconic "V" logo stitched on the side, which comes in every color from basic black to neon yellow. Or maybe it's the fact that Veja was the first sustainable sneaker brand in the world, making way for other popular kicks like Allbirds. Its shoes are made with high-quality recycled materials, organic cotton, and sustainably-sourced leather.
Whatever it is, there's no denying that the French footwear brand—which sells over two million pairs of sneakers per year—has quite the cult following. Some of its most famous fans include the likes of Meghan Markle, Reese Witherspoon, Katie Holmes, and Emma Watson.
What I love about Veja sneakers
Fact: I've never felt more cool or more trendy as I did when I put on my new Vejas. The minimalist aesthetic, accentuated with the bold black "V," has that effortless French je ne sais quoi that I've never been stylish enough to pull off on my own but with my new sneakers, I totally can. They're both subtle and eye-catching at the same time and can instantly elevate even the most casual of outfits. I got tons of compliments on them the first time I wore them, even from friends (and my dad!) who had never heard of Veja but liked the look.
More importantly, the Veja sneakers are surprisingly comfortable. I have wider feet so I sometimes have problems with sizing, but these were forgiving enough that my foot didn't feel squished. But they weren't too big that I felt like I was slipping out of them (I wear a size 8 and these fit true to size). Additionally, the sole provides an appropriate amount of cushioning and support, so my feet didn't ache after walking in them all day.
What I don't like about Veja sneakers
As stylish as it may be, when it comes down to it, leather will never be the most comfortable material for a pair of shoes. Let's be honest: Even the world's highest quality leather couldn't compete with the worn-in comfort of canvas or cotton. Vejas offer great support and a well-cushioned footbed, but they're lacking in flexibility and freedom of movement due to the somewhat stiff leather exterior. Even after breaking them in, they still weren't as flexible as I prefer in a pair of walking shoes. This wouldn't deter me from recommending them—but it's something to consider when you're debating buying them for yourself.
Are Veja sneakers worth buying?
If you're willing to spend a little extra on a quality pair of casual shoes, then yes, I recommend Veja sneakers. To be totally honest, I think it's totally worth the $120 for the brand recognition alone—i.e. unlike some shoes (like Keds) that you can easily buy knock-off versions of, there is no alternative to the unique design and branding of the Veja sneaks. They're also very comfortable and very versatile, so you'll get a lot of wear out of them.
I wouldn't recommend Veja sneakers for those who want to specifically use them for walking. I can happily wear my Vejas for running errands, shopping, or general everyday life, but if you're walking miles and miles every single day, you might want to look elsewhere for a shoe that's a little heavier duty and flexible, like the very popular Allbirds, which some of our own staff own and love.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.