- Suavs are stylish, packable shoes made from 3D-printed knit material.
- They’re lightweight, breathable, and can be bent into compact, travel-friendly shapes.
- Prices range from $50 – $110, putting them on par with other slip-ons like Allbirds and Vivobarefoot.
- We tested out the company’s $95 Zilker and $110 Legacy and were impressed. Find our full thoughts below.
In the dreamscape of breathable, comfortable, (actually) good-looking sneakers, there are some noteworthy new players.
The cult-favorite startup Allbirds makes comfortable sneakers and loungers from proprietary merino wool and tree leaves respectively, Vivobarefoot makes barefoot-like shoes that roll up to the size of a pair of socks, and Suavs – a name you likely recognize from targeted ads on Facebook or Instagram – is the latest addition to the scene. And it’s a rather great one at that.
Suavs are essentially flexible sneakers made from a soft, breathable 3D-printed knit. They have lightweight, non-slip rubber soles and removable, washable insoles so you don’t have to wear socks. The ventilated uppers and sweat-wicking technology keep feet dry, and the flexible materials like rubber and knit make the shoes feel responsive and seamless to move in. They’ve been designed specifically to prevent blisters, and are sustainably manufactured to reduce material waste. For traveling, they can be bent into virtually any shape (ie. balled up to fit into a carry-on).
All in all, Suavs are shoes primed for either traveling or everyday life: compact, lightweight, and low-maintenance. In terms of cost, they’re pretty much on par with other breathable slip-ons, ranging from $50 – $110.
Like many popular online startups, Suavs launched on Kickstarter. Its founders proposed creating one go-to pair of shoes for the office, happy hour, and your next trip. They raised over $150,000 altogether.
Suavs shoes can be worn by anyone of any gender, but the site categorizes them by typical men’s and women’s sizing. In the men’s section, the shoe options are the classic $95 Zilker (shown above), the $95 Zilker Gum, and the $110 Legacy (a high-top). For women, it’s the same selection. Colors range from deep plum and olive green to neutrals, with emphasis on the latter.
The Suavs site and option range is limited, but don’t be fooled: the product is surprisingly good. The company sent us pairs to test, and we were impressed by how much we liked them. You can find our full thoughts below, but the consensus is that Suavs are one of the better options out there for travel-friendly and style-friendly shoes. The sizing can be off (read below for our tips), but they’re generally comfortable, versatile, and worth the $90+ if their claims appeal to you.
Find our personal experiences with the Suavs shoes below:
Mara Leighton, Insider Reviews senior reporter: Suavs Zilker, Charcoal, $95
These shoes will sneak up on you. You’ll realize on Friday that you’ve already worn them three times to work this week. You’re pulling them on to grab groceries and when you wake up knowing it’s going to be a four-cups-of-coffee kind of day. Or, at least, that’s how they’ve been for me.
The Zilkers surprised me because they’re just your average, un-offending sneaker in style. This makes them versatile, but I prefer my Allbirds Runners ($95) in terms of looks alone. What makes them so easy to default to, though, is how totally lightweight, packable, versatile, and comfy they are to wear. They go with jeans at the grocery store, leggings at the airport, and work pants at the office. They’re generally breathable, have never given me blisters, and have a slender, flexible composition that makes them ideal for stuffing into a carry-on. The machine-washable insoles are also a big hygienic and low-maintenance plus.
My one piece of advice is to size up if you’re considering it and/or wear a half size. They only come in full sizes, and the shoes run on the snug end of the spectrum.
Connie Chen, Insider Reviews senior reporter: Suavs Zilker, Heathered Grey, $95
The Suavs Zilker is one of the few pairs of shoes I can honestly say requires zero break-in time. As much as I love my Allbirds Runners and Skippers ($95), even those admittedly rubbed up against my heel when I first wore them. The soft, knitted Suavs shoes, however, were ready to go from the moment I slipped my feet in. They’re light and very flexible, and even in the midst of a late summer heat wave, breathable. I got them in the versatile Heathered Grey, and plan on wearing them often, especially while traveling.
Sally Kaplan, Insider Reviews senior editor: Suavs Zilker, Heathered Grey, $95
I found the Suavs to be almost exactly as comfortable as my Allbirds, albeit slightly less supportive. But that doesn’t matter to me so much when I’m just out running errands or hanging out in my neighborhood, which is exactly what I’ll continue using these shoes for. I wouldn’t think twice about wearing these while walking around the city, but it’s worth mentioning that they’re not extremely cushioned, and the arch support isn’t quite as significant as some other people might require on long walks. In terms of sizing, I’m a 7.5, but I ordered an 8 because they say to go up a half size. I can definitely confirm that advice.
David Slotnick, senior transportation reporter: Suavs Zilker, Heathered Grey, $95
When I travel I always fight the impulse to bring an extra pair of sneakers or shoes, since they tend to take up so much room in my luggage. Suavs work perfectly as an exception – they pack flat and can even be folded or rolled up, so they’re easy to shove in the corner of your bag. They’re comfortable, too. I might not wear them as my primary shoe when I’m on a trip and know I’m going to do a lot of walking on paved city streets, but if my main pair gets soaked or ruined, they’ll definitely do the trick. You can wear them with socks, but they’ll look a bit weird – these shoes are definitely meant to be worn sockless or with no-shows.
Owen Burke, Insider Reviews senior reporter: Suavs Legacy, Jet Black, $110
I love how lightweight and flexible Suavs are. They’re simplistic, comfortable, and supportive. If I have any bones to pick, they’d be that it’s not as breathable as I had hoped, and I’ll probably put mine away until the summer humidity lifts. As far as sizing goes, I have trouble fitting into a size 12 in these shoes, though I’m usually no more than an 11 (though the company does recommend going up one size). Otherwise, they seem like they’ll last a while, and compress almost flat and are great for packing.