There’s an easy answer to the question: Are Veja sneakers comfortable? The answer is no. The answer is no! Sucks, but they’re not.
I love my Vejas — all my Vejas — and I continue to wear them. Let’s dig into this.
First: What are Vejas?
Despite its name, Veja is a French brand of high-end, athletic-inspired footwear. (Is it just me? Before a Veja store moved in down the block from my apartment, I thought it was a Spanish line.) Sustainability was built into the brand from the launch, in 2004, when co-founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion built out a production model in Brazil that made use of sustainably produced Amazonian rubber, organic cotton (farmed in the south of the country), and chrome-free leather, which supposedly means less waste in terms of water and energy. (According to them: “Coming from farms located in the south of Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), it undergoes an innovative tanning process where no chrome, heavy metals or dangerous acids are involved. By simplifying the tanning process, the use of chemicals and energy is limited, the use of water is reduced by about 40% and the use of salt by 80%. After tanning, the water is recyclable.” I can’t guarantee the value of any of this #greenwashing.)
Coolness was also built into the brand from the beginning: It launched at the Palais de Tokyo (a v. hip Paris museum), and early collaborators included Agnès B. and Comptoir des Cotonniers. Nearly 20 years later, you’ll see a line outside its shops: There are Veja stores in five cities: in Paris (one in the Marais, one in Montmartre), Bordeaux, Berlin, Madrid, and New York.
BTW: Most of the images and sales links below go to Madewell, since they had the best-looking photos, but Vejas are available across the Internet, at shops like Zappos, Shopbop, Free People, Amazon, the Veja store, and many others. They absolutely do go on sale, so have a good look around, and always keep an eye out for their great collabs — I’m obsessed with this Marni collab, now on sale.
So: Are Veja Sneakers Comfortable? It Depends.
It depends on the model. Some are, some aren’t. Here’s a breakdown:
The signature Veja style is probably the Campo (or the Esplars, which are a little narrower). It’s a low, fairly lightweight sneaker, and they look amazing with jeans, shorts, leggings, almost literally anything. Because they’re (for the most part) mostly white (with some colorful decoration in the logo and heel tag), you have to work really hard to get a pair that doesn’t go with almost everything — they’re super versatile. They’re great for a date where you might need to do some but not a ton of walking, or most weekend activities.
What they don’t have is terrific support, so if that’s a priority for you, try one of the sportier models. They can be quite stiff, and while they loosen up a bit, my two pairs have never felt truly “broken in,” if you know what I mean. Also, they look like sneakers, but they wear, in my opinion, more like loafers, or something with a less cushioned base. Honestly, when I learned that they’re made in Brazil, my first response was that it made sense, because to me they feel like winter-Havaianas: They’re not comfortable, but they’re not awful. You wouldn’t want to hike in them. You wouldn’t want to walk 40 blocks in them. (You could, but you’d have better shoes for the job.) Basically I wear them on days when I want to look cute — and know I won’t have a ton of walking to do.
FTR, this isn’t a question of breaking them in — I’ve had two pairs I’ve worn for over a year. They held up well — but they never became much more comfortable on Day 500 than they were on Day 5.
BUY IT HERE: Madewell
The Esplar is a lot like the Campo, but it’s slightly narrower, and the sole seems a little thinner to me. I bought these for myself originally, and then ended up trading them in for the Campos. It’s a no from me, dawg.
I do like the version in pink, at least from a looks perspective.
BUY IT HERE: Zappos
The V-10s are the Vejas made famous by Meghan Markle. On this point, I agree with her choice: Of all the Vejas in my personal rotation, the V-10s are both the most comfortable and the most athletic-looking, thanks to that waterproof mesh between the laces and the toes. (It’s basically the French version of a regular American sneaker.) The Campo and the Esplar, by contrast, have their usual smooth leather there. These are the only Vejas I would wear to the airport (not for nothing did they not make my list of airport necessities, but these are still noticeably better structured and better cushioned than the Campos/Esplars). The problem is that they’re not as sleek as those two, either. Like so many things in life, we have a trade-off: You can get your cushioning and support, but you’ll have to give up a little bit of the style. You’ll know who you are, depending on whether you’re googling “are veja sneakers extremely cute” and “are veja sneakers comfortable.” If the former, go with the Campos. If the latter, I love the V-10s.
Note: The pair at the top of this page are V-12s. If you’re wondering how about the V-10s vs V-12s, the latter is a little narrower, just like the Esplars relative to the Campos. But they’re super similar.
BUY IT HERE: Madewell
Honestly, I don’t know who these are for: They’re super heavy for a running shoe (which is how they’re marketed), and I don’t find them half as fashionable as the three models above — it’s like someone at Veja saw a Hoka one time and has been trying to recreate it from scratch since then. As a former (two-time!) marathon runner, I literally could not imagine running any serious distance in these. I actually found them less comfortable than V-10s. I think you can make the case for any of the three models above — but these I would skip, unless you just like the look, in which case, have at it.
(DON’T) BUY IT HERE: Madewell
Finally: Are Vejas Worth It?
Yes! That’s the crazy thing. The answer to: Are Veja sneakers comfortable? It’s still no. But I do think they’re worth it. I just wouldn’t rely on them on a 20,000-step day. But a day at a desk, then maybe in an Uber? And you have a new pair of news and want to look cute? Perfection.