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Expert Shopper Fashion

Why are Cariuma shoes suddenly so popular?

What started the curiosity about Cariuma shoes?

Nothing seems to influence fashion more than a member of the paparazzi capturing a celebrity casually wearing a particular product or sporting a particular hairstyle. In the 70s, Dorothy Hamill’s wedge haircut became popular; in the 80s, MC Hammer made harem pants famous and, in the 90s, everyone wanted “the Rachel.” 

Just over a month ago, FOX31 ran a story on comfortable but stylish sneakers, and Cariuma shoes weren’t even included on the list. Pete Davidson, Chris Martin, Jon Hamm, Robert Downey Jr. and Dame Helen Mirren are all wearing these shoes, and it has caused a tipping point in societal awareness. They are making everyone curious why these shoes have suddenly become so popular.

What are Cariuma shoes?

At a glance, Cariuma seems to have a similar origin story to Vans shoes. Both tales involve two guys, skateboarding, and an innovative approach to doing business. But upon closer look, it becomes clear that Cariuma is a revolutionary company that could have only come into existence during these modern times.

Cariuma is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was co-founded by David and Fernando, two men who had a passion for board sports and saving the planet. Both were familiar with the wasteful practices of fast fashion and the uncomfortable fit of sneakers that were deemed to be “cool.” To combat these inherent problems, David and Fernando decided to reinvent the sneaker from the ground up, focusing on sustainability and comfort.

What does Cariuma mean?

According to a company spokesperson, “Cariuma” does not have a precise meaning. “It comes from different words from the native Brazilian language and stands for diversity and inclusion.” The names of the sneaker styles, however, are all words from the native Brazilian language called Tupi: OCA means "home," CATIBA means "a natural area full of green and trees" and IBI means “earth.” The Cariuma spokesperson also commented that “Naming something is no small task. We definitely took our time and decided carefully—choosing words that meant a great deal to us and what we believe in.”

What type of earth-friendly materials does Cariuma use in manufacturing?

Cariuma goes above and beyond to make sustainability a viable business model. Besides pledging to plant two trees for every pair of sneakers sold, Cariuma uses several bio-based components in its manufacturing process. For example, the IBI sneaker’s lining, laces, threads and the company logo labels are made from recycled plastic bottles. Additionally, the upper is made with bamboo, the outsole is made with Green EVA from sugarcane and Cariuma’s signature memory foam insole is made with recyclable cork and organic mamona oil.

Why are Cariuma shoes so popular?

Cariuma shoes were founded just a few short years ago, in 2018. The brand has successfully addressed four key elements that have led to the shoes’ meteoric rise to popularity.


Cariuma shoes are immediately comfortable. There is no breaking-in period required. They fit as expected and are kind to your feet from day one.

Available in an expansive range of styles and colors

The company makes three types of shoes: OCA, CATIBA and IBI. Each of these shoes can be a low or high-top. Some styles are also available as slip-on shoes. Every combination is available in a variety of colors. When all of these elements are combined, that gives the consumer a choice of well over 100 options, making it possible to find a shoe that feels like it was designed just for you.

Friendly to the environment

Cariuma is trying to do everything right. The company uses recycled, organic and vegan materials and bio-based components in its manufacturing process. Cariuma sources all materials responsibly and strives to maintain an ethical factory. Plus, the company is committing to reforest the Brazilian rainforest by planting over 120 tree species to help ensure the biodiversity the region needs to flourish.

Celebrities are wearing them

The clean and simple styling and the earth-friendly manufacturing of Cariuma’s shoes have made them a favorite among celebrities. This has elevated the public’s awareness and helped the shoes achieve a highly desirable status.

The best Cariuma shoes for earth-friendly consumers

OCA High All Camel Suede

This signature shoe for men has an old-school look, but it is manufactured using modern ethics. The upper is made of suede, while the insole is made of lightweight removable memory foam with vegetable-tanned leather. Available in women’s sizes too.


IBI Slip-On Leopard Print Knit

The company touts these stylish and comfortable women’s leopard print shoes as “one of the lowest carbon footprint sneakers ever made.” They are made with bamboo knit and green EVA that was manufactured using sugarcane. Available in men’s sizes too.


CATIBA Pro High Blue Contrast/Ivory

The eye-catching blue on these men’s high-tops will stand out wherever you go to work or play. They are designed to allow for maximum movement while providing impressive traction. Available in women’s sizes too.


IBI Rose Knit

These women’s shoes are delightfully lightweight and comfortable. They are made with recycled plastic, bamboo and sugarcane, so you leave behind a smaller carbon footprint. Available in men’s sizes too.


OCA Low Yellow Canvas

The soles on these men’s shoes are made with natural rubber, while the lining, laces, threads and labels are manufactured using recycled plastic bottles. The durable upper is made from GOTS-certified cotton that has been grown without pesticides or the use of harmful chemicals. The best part of these sneakers, however, is their vintage yellow color. Available in women’s sizes, too.



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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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