Vessi review: are they the perfect travel shoe?

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by travelingwithsunscreen

I don’t usually buy things from Instagram ads (actually, I’ve never before bought something from an Instagram ad), but this time the product seemed actually really useful. I kept seeing ads for Vessi 100% waterproof shoes, and eventually, I ordered a pair. And they did not disappoint! Here’s my review of Vessi shoes. (Caveat: I haven’t bought every Vessi shoe in the catalog. Really, this is a Vessi CityScape review!)

vessi shoe review
They’re cute, and they’re even vegan, but do they work?

Why I wanted them: TRAVEL SHOES!

So usually, at home, I like rain boots. They’re tall and waterproof and they allow you to stomp cheerfully through puddles that everyone else is trying to jump over. Wet socks are my worst nightmare, but throw on a good ol’ pair of rain boots, and you have nothing to worry about. The trouble comes when traveling.

See, rain boots are ENORMOUS, and if you’re traveling light they’ll take up pretty much your whole little suitcase (not to mention backpack). And they’re hot and sweaty, so it’s not like you can just wear them on airport days and leave them in your lodging other times.

So my travel solution for rain was: sandals. Not super ideal, because it meant that dirty rainwater was sloshing all over my feet on the reg. And I couldn’t wear them in cold weather, obviously. But at least sandals let your feet dry off when the rain stops, unlike closed shoes that stay waterlogged and disgusting for days (or at least hours).

So, what’s the verdict on Vessis?

I ordered up my Vessi shoes with some anticipation. I was nervous that they wouldn’t fit properly, that they wouldn’t be comfortable, that they wouldn’t be truly waterproof, or that they wouldn’t allow my feet to breathe. I couldn’t find many reviews, and it felt a bit like throwing money into a black pit… But my new pair arrived, and NONE of my worries came true. I was amazed!

I ordered the original Vessi, the women’s CityScape, in charcoal grey. Per advice I had read online, I ordered a size up. I usually wear a 7.5, sometimes a 7. But Vessi doesn’t do half sizes, so I ordered an 8. This turned out to be the right call, as they fit perfectly. They were comfortable right away, and they didn’t require any breaking in.

The shoes are really light, and they’re cute, as sneakers go! This was a good start. But I wanted to test out their waterproof-ness before wearing them outside. So I stuck my foot inside a shoe and ran it under the bathtub faucet for about 30 seconds. And my foot stayed dry! The waterproof knit fabric covering the outside of the shoe got damp, but not a drop made it through to the inside.

vessi shoe review
It stays dry UNDER A BATHTUB FAUCET!!! What.

Lucky for me (in a way), there was a huge nasty rainstorm about two days after my shoes arrived. So I wore them around all day, and my feet stayed dry dry dry. No wet feet! No wet socks! It was like wearing rainboots, but less hot and sweaty, more light and nimble. Moisture wicking knit fabric beats rubber any day.

I also tested my shoes outside on a hot, sunny day, just to check out the breathability factor. It was totally fine. My feet weren’t any hotter than they would be in typical sneakers or running shoes. My roommate swears by Allbirds, and by comparison I would say that Vessi sneakers are just as light, comfortable, and attractive for sunny-day wear, but with the added bonus of being waterproof should a rain cloud materialize. So, if you’re debating between Vessi footwear vs. Allbirds, I’d say Vessis are the way to go.

I was so excited about these shoes that I wore them to work one rainy Monday (I’m a teacher, so sneakers are acceptable work attire). I told all my colleagues about my new Vessi footwear, and another two teachers have already purchased pairs of their own, one in black and one in turquoise. They love them as well, and now we all match anytime it’s rainy (haha).

How I’ll use them

I’ll wear these primarily on trips. They’re light and comfy enough to be a good airport shoe, which is lucky because although they squish flatter than a regular sneaker, they’re still not quite as packable as a sandal. I’ll bring a pair of sandals along for sunny days, but wear these on rainy days or for more outdoorsy activities that aren’t well-suited to sandals.

To my surprise, because this was not in the plan, these are also taking the place of my rain boots at home. Again, I’m lucky because I can wear sneakers to work, and these are just wayy more comfortable than rain boots, plus I don’t have to bring a change of shoes to wear during the day!

Anyway, it’s rare for me to get this excited about a product, but these are actually awesome and are going to make rainy-season travels so much more comfortable. Check them out!

(UPDATE: I’ve had my Vessis for over three years now, and am happy to report that they’ve kept my socks dry and my feet snug through Mongolian streams and Taiwainese downpours. And they are STILL going strong! Really, they’re the best travel gear I own. Love love love!)

Camels love Vessi shoes!

Have you tried out Vessi waterproof shoes? Share your Vessi review in the comments!

You might also be interested in:
Ultimate Packing List (for anywhere in the world!)
The Best Travel Clothes for Men
Vessi Cityscape Classics review

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