How to wear canvas shoes

Looking for a staple shoe to carry you through warmer months? Canvas shoes are bound to provide the solution to all your hot weather woes. Whether you need a sleek pair to take your outfit from day to night, or you’re after a slip-on style to kick back and relax in, we’ve got style tips on how to wear canvas shoes. We don’t skimp on the basics either; keep reading to find out the most favourable qualities of canvas, along with how to clean it and keep it in top condition!

What are canvas shoes?

It may seem fairly obvious, but canvas shoes are actually made from (you guessed it) canvas! This wide umbrella term typically encompasses any footwear style made from this durable fabric, which is often paired with a rubber, leather or fibre sole.
In around 1892, the U.S. Rubber Company utilised the benefits of the material by creating a rubber-soled ‘sneaker’ with a canvas top – nicknamed “sneakers” due to their quiet nature which would allow their stealthy wearer to “sneak up” on someone with ease. This was the birth of the summery shoe we know and love today.
But, what makes canvas such a functional fabric for those hot and humid days? One of its most favourable properties is its breathable and lightweight nature, due to the fact that it’s usually woven from natural materials such as cotton or linen. This will provide some much-appreciated freshness to your feet – definitely a bonus when the mercury rises!

How to wear canvas shoes

When it comes to the assortment of silhouettes and designs available, it can often be tricky to figure out your perfect pairing. We’ve collected some of the most versatile styles and given some of our advice so you don’t have to struggle when summer rocks around.

Canvas trainers

We think these are the most popular footwear type of the canvas realm – and for good reason.
They’re a shoe-rack staple if you rock a casual style on a daily basis; choose between low-tops or high-tops for a streetwear vibe, and ensure you stay looking fresh in top comfort.
If your wardrobe currently consists of mainly dark or neutral colours, a bold shade or printed design will add a pop of colour to an otherwise monochromatic look (plus, summer is all about celebrating those bright colours!). Of course, what makes these kicks such a winning option, is that you can throw them on with some slouchy jeans and a tee and look effortlessly cool.

Canvas slip-ons

If a sleek and simple look is your cup of tea, slip-ons are the choice for you. The timeless design of these laceless shoes has been a favourite among men, women and kids throughout the decades with their comfortable feel and unisex appeal.
With a classic round toe and elasticated panel, you can wear this versatile style with just about any outfit – smart or casual – and still look great. Whether you’re after a neutral pair to slip on with some shorts or a delicate design with subtle details, you’re bound to never want to take them off!
They’re perfect for holiday wear too; lightweight and compact, you’ll be reaching for your canvas slip-ons on those all-important beach days.

Canvas wedges
Find yourself having to choose between fashion and practicality? You can choose both with a pair of canvas wedges. Often thought of as the essential summer shoe, a wedge is more wearable than skyscraper stilettos during the warmer summer months, as they won’t hurt your feet nearly as much – bonus! Style with some rolled-up jeans and a flowy top for smart-casual daytime sophistication; then take your look from day to night with a colourful maxi dress and plenty of accessories.

How to clean canvas shoes: the right way
Still looking for reasons why canvas shoes should be in pride of place on your shoe rack? Although they may be susceptible to small scuffs and general dirt, they are surprisingly easy to clean.
It may seem like the quick and hassle-free route to cleaning your dirty footwear, but machine-washing your canvas shoes can weaken the glue that holds them together – we’d recommend hand-washing to keep your kicks in good condition.

  1. If your shoes have laces, remove them first and wash them with your usual laundry (if they’re still looking a bit worse for wear after, replace them with a new pair instead)
  2. Using a scrubbing brush, gently brush off any mud or dust before preparing a bucket with some warm water and a few tablespoons of mild laundry detergent
  3. Dip the brush into the solution and scrub the outside of your shoes, using a sponge around the sole/rubber parts
  4. Rinse off any remaining dirt or soap suds with clean warm water before leaving your shoes to air dry completely (stuff them with newspaper to absorb any moisture and help keep their shape)
    What about white?
    Crisp, white footwear may be on-trend, but how do you clean white canvas shoes – and keep them that way?
    If you ever created a fizzing volcano in science class and wondered how the experience would aid you in life, the time has finally come! Combine a tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of vinegar, dilute with a cup of warm water and use a toothbrush to scrub any stains or discoloured parts with this paste.
    Simply brush off the quick-drying mixture and let them air-dry for a box-fresh finish.

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