Best Plimsoll Shoes Reviewed
Plimsoll shoes are just one fancy way to say canvas sneakers, and we all love canvas sneakers! The very first sneaker ever created was a plimsoll shoe, and the reason they’re called this way is thanks to the plimsoll line on boats. If you step into water that reaches over the rubber line, you’re gonna get wet! The same thing with boats happens, hence the name.
There are a million different plimsoll shoes offered by many famous brands since the sneakers simplicity and versatility allows us to wear them to every possible occasion! They all look almost the same though - thick rubber soles, supple uppers, wide laces, and vibrant or solid colors! If you never had the chance to wear plimsoll shoes, then check out our handy guide and find a pair you like!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6 hrs of research
Chunky Striped Outsoles
Top 10 Picks
1. Converse Chuck Taylor
Chunky Striped Outsoles
And now, the shoe that started it all, the Converse Chuck Taylors! These iconic plimsolls have graced the feet of literally every shoe lover on the planet, thanks to their versatility and style. Their canvas upper comes in almost every color imaginable and with detailed patterns and cute designs. They are high rise, just like the original shoe was. They will give you ankle support, and warmth!
The lace-up system features signature white wide laces, or if that’s not your jam, laces in various different hues. The Chuck Taylor circular logo sits on the sides and separates them from the rest of the crowd. We all know that breaking in Chucks is difficult, so in order to make the process easier, all Converse sneakers have Ortholite footbeds. These footbeds are light, spongy and responsive, giving superior cushioning all the time. Medial eyelets promote airflow, and along with the canvas upper, they keep you dry and happy. The chunky white outsoles have the classic blue and red stripes, combined with the helpful pattern to keep you on your feet!
2. Nike Zoom Stefan Janoski
Suede Or Canvas Upper
Perforations At Forefoot
Nike Hyperscreen Overlay
The collaboration of Nike and Stefan Janoski has proven to be very fruitful, and that can be easily seen with the Zoom. These skating low-rise sneakers have a canvas upper, but can be made out of suede, for that full premium feel. Suede is soft and supple and gives off a luxurious tone. Even the logo is suede, os there’s nothing there to ruin the opulent feel.
The sides of the shoes feature a few small perforations, aiding airflow as you skate your heart out. The vamp is separate and reinforced, connected at the heels. This gives the illusion of the sneakers having an extra flap at the heels - instead, this kind of construction gives your ankles extra security and prevents them from rolling. The Nike Hyperscreen overlay at the toes enhances durability, so your Zoom pair can survive your vigorous skating sessions. The molded sock liner has padding at the heels and provides you with excellent board feel, so you always perform gnarly tricks!
3. TOMS Canvas Slip-on
Elastic Vamp Insert
TOMS is a company that creates one of the most well-known laceless slip-ons, great for sprucing up your casual style. If you don’t like to lose time with laces, and prefer the slip-on boat shoes, then this is the pair just right for you. Their upper is canvas, of course, that is colored in many different bold and calm colors.
The upper looks as though it was wrapped up, giving them an interesting detail, while protecting your arches better. The heels, on the other hand, are reinforced, and give you stability, while preventing your heels from tearing holes. The stitches around the opening are protected and colored the same way the counter is. An elastic gore insert stretches as you slide your feet in our out, lowering the amount of time you need to spend putting on your shoes. How convenient! The padded footbed brings new meaning to comfort, while the cushioned rubber outsole immerses you completely into their cozy world.
4. Superga 2750 Cotu
Fully breathable Pure Cotton
Five Or Six Eyelets
Vulcanized Cup Soles
Wrap Around Outsoles
Not True To Size
The Cotu are cute simple plimsolls, great for city dwellers and urban style lovers. Their canvas upper can come in any color you like and features thick decorative stitching that also serves as construction support, improving their longevity. The canvas is made out of fully breathable full cotton, so warm weather beware, the Cotu will conquer you! No more sweat and bad odors left to trouble you.
They feature either 5 or 6 eyelets, depending on how tight you need your fit to be. The eyelets have a silver-tone, blending in perfectly with the uppers. The gum soles are vulcanized, taking after skating shoe styles. Vulcanized outsoles are firm yet bendy, durable and have great grip. There will be no need to break them in once you get them since they will already feel soft and comfy right out of the box!
5. Vans Authentic Canvas
Full Lace Up Closure
Breathable Textile Linings
Vans Branding On Tongue
Poor Arch Support
Some of the most popular plimsolls are made by Vans, a company that creates urban footwear, inspired by the skating culture. This low-rise canvas sneaker has a full canvas upper that comes in four universally loved colors. The upper is not clean though - instead, it features stitches around the heels, vamp, and laces, strengthening their construction and improving their durability.
The full lace-up closure features a set of wide white laces pulled through eyelets that sit very close to each other, making them look minimalistic. An extra sits near the tongue, offering you the chance to have a more secure fit. The linings inside are textile, and they are fully breathable, making sweat and bad odors a thing of the past. The signature waffle outsoles give a lot of grip and traction, making them slip-proof and rain safe!
6. SeaVees Hermosa
Jasper And Sage Color
Wrap Around Midsoles
Textured Toe Bumpers
Lack Of Color Choices
The Hermosa plimsolls reminisce the very first skateboard contest held in 1963, on a regular old parking lot, in Hermosa Beach, California - hence the name. This is the classic style reinvented to fit the standards of today’s society, and to bring more comfort and good looks. This retro-inspired sneaker has a clean upper colored in sage or Jasper, two not so regular shades.
They feature a lacing system with six eyelets, offering a secure and adjustable fit. They feel narrow? No problem, just loosen up the laces! They are not completely flat, as they feature a 0.5-inch platform that will surely give you arch support, which will alleviate some of the pain and aching after walking around most of the day. The wrap around midsoles aids the whole plimsoll look, while the textured toe bumper protects your sensitive toes and strengthens the shoes.
7. G-Star Raw Rovulc
Direct Vulcanized Construction
Three Medial Eyelets
White And Black Uppers
If you really love the All Stars esthetic, but want to give a different brand a try, then by all means try the Rovulc! Their textile upper comes in either black or white, so choose whether you belong to the light or the dark. It also has an incredible 9 eyelets, and it’s not a boot! It is a high-top though, so it may shorten your legs a little, but the extra ankle support and warmth are worth it!
The linings are also textile, and the footbed is lightly padded, giving you the cozy comfort you deserve. The super chunky outsoles are vulcanized, giving them softness and durability, but don’t rely on the for board feel! Three medial eyelets sit on a plastic panel, giving some arch support and promoting airflow. The toe cup is reinforced and ribbed, making them look even chunkier!
8. Keds Champion
Champion II Original Canvas
Wedge That Hugs Heels
Comfortable Arch Support
Flared Cushiony Outsoles
Not So Durable
The champions easy-going style will go along with everything ranging from dresses to plain old jeans. The Champion II original canvas is their unique way of creating plimsoll shoes. It’s soft, breathable and easy to break in. They have four eyelets, the fourth one being an extra detail. It’s clear to see that the laces are more of a detail than an actual lace-up system, but that shouldn’t stop you from tightening or loosening them up if you need to!
The heels and the vamp have two lines of stitches, the only details that stand out on the uppers. They match the color of the outsoles perfectly. They’ve got a wedge that hugs the heel, offering an ideal fit and preventing your heels from slipping out. They also have inserts that provide arch support, so you don’t suffer that much from the lack of heel. The outsoles are flared and cushiony, giving grip and safety.
9. Adidas Originals 3 Mc
Stitched Three-line Logo
Flexible Vulcanized Outsole
Textured Midsole Wrap
Cracks When Wet
The super-versatile skating pair is just right to provide you optimal board grip to rule the city! The upper is textile, devoid of any details, save the stitched three lines, a classic Adidas logo. The upper is naturally durable and breathable, giving you supreme airflow that lasts a long time.
The collar and the tongues are both cushioned, saving you from blisters and cramping while you skate, or walk, whatever you prefer to do. The lining is EVA, a foam-like material that breathes well is light, and keeps its shape and level of comfort for a long while. The outsoles are vulcanized and very grippy, so you always have a precise board feel. The outsole design is Geoflex, a tread pattern that offers superior grip and unparalleled flex so you have optimal control over your board!
10. Tretorn Nylite Plus
Classic Sneaker Style
Thick Reinforcement Strip
Cushioned Collar And Tongue
Super Chunky Outsoles
Not Enough Room
The Nylite Plus looks just like your standard run of the mill sneaker - and that’s just what it is! If you need a simple style with curvy lines, then the Nylite is just right for you. The upper is made out of textile, and features a long thick strip acting as the detail and as reinforcement. The logo is attached to the strip, perfectly matching the rest of the sneakers.
The collar and tongue are cushioned, saving your ankles from blisters and your arches from cramping up. There are six eyelets, steadily narrowing down as they reach the toes. This allows for a very adjustable fit, both for wide and narrow feet. The medial eyelets promote airflow, and cool you down as you strut down the city. The chunky white outsoles have a striped pattern that gives you grip and traction, saving you from slipping and hurting yourself!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Every Plimsoll shoe is going to be made out of canvas, and that’s a fact. Canvas is a natural material that is coarse, made out of hemp. It’s used to make many things besides shoes, like sails, tents, painting boards and so on. Canvas sneakers are the most basic form of sneakers since they were the first to be made, after all. They can be high tops or low tops and are consisted out of a simple canvas upper and rubber soles. One of the biggest advantages of the canvas is that it’s so easy to take care of. First things first, you should protect your plimsoll shoes with a cloth spray or starch.
When canvas shoes get dirty, you can just throw them in the washing machine and be done with it! But before you do so, make sure you remove speckles of dirt and other things that can be made worse by the washing process. If you somehow managed to cake your canvas sneakers in mud, then give them a gentle scrub with a soft brush and warm water first. You can leave the laces on, but you’ll remove more of the dirt and mud if you take them out and wash them separately. They also dry pretty fast, so they’ll be ready for wearing in no time once you wash them.
If you decide to be daring and wear canvas shoes during winter (you will be cold, just so you know), you will probably end up with white lines all over the upper. These lines are salt, meant to melt off snow, but instead, they created wavy lines on your shoes this time. You have to remove them as fast as you can! Salt will cause the canvas to harden, and then it can crack, and most of the stitching will probably rot. Get rid of this problem by washing the shoes with a fabric shampoo, and then leave them somewhere to dry. Do not dry them near radiators or any other source of heat, since high heat can destroy the shoes too!
One more thing you should know about canvas is that it doesn’t tend to keep its shape. No one has the same stride, and depending on how you walk you will strain the upper differently, resulting in stretching. You can avoid this by using shoe trees, or simply pack the sneakers with paper when you’re not wearing them to help them retain their shape!
Sneakers are widely regarded as some of the most comfortable, if not the comfiest, footwear found today. They are great for walking or standing around all day since they are all properly padded and soft enough to not cause you any trouble. But, they can still cause some degree of trouble, thanks to that chunky rubber soles and their narrow construction. The break-in period can be painful and can put you off. But there are always tricks to help you survive the initial period, and we will let you in on the secret.
Even if you did get the right size of shoe, chances are the insides squeeze your feet and squish your toes together rubbing them raw. So before you actually get to wear them, break them in properly and you’ll be good in no time. First things first, follow the example of ballerinas, and what they do before they put on their pointe shoes. Take each shoe into your hands and slowly bend them back and forth, then side to side. Don’t do this too fast or not gentle enough, because you can create creases and wrinkles right at the start. If you flex them slowly, you will relax the material, and it won’t hug you so tightly.
You can also do what you would usually do to break in footwear, and that is the sock method. Grab a pair of thick socks and put them on, and try to put on your shoes. If you have enough room, you can even try wearing one more pair to break them in even faster. Once you have your sneakers on, start walking around your house. You can stand on your toes, on your heels, lean forward and backward and do every kind of motion you can think of, as long as it doesn’t hurt too much. Don’t use heat though, since canvas is heat sensitive.
You can also try wearing the shoes (without thick socks) around the house for a few days before taking them for a walk outside. This makes the breaking in process simpler because once they start to hurt you can just simply take them off and take a break. Something you can’t do once you head outside! Once you feel relaxed and comfortable when wearing them around your house, then you can try wearing them outside. But don’t wear them the whole day right away, slowly build up the hours instead.
One more interesting way you can stretch out plimsoll shoes is with jars! Take two jars that fit snugly inside the footwear, strap them in and leave them overnight. This will gently stretch out the material, offering your feet more room to move around. If none of these methods work, lucky for you cobblers exist, and they can always give you a hand!
One of the best things about plimsoll shoes is that they look great with any outfit! They work best when the weather is warmer since they are light and breathable. They’re fit for traveling, walking around the park, or even going out! They match dresses, shorts, and jeans equally, and if you get the color scheme right you will be the star of the show. They are a great choice for adults, but they are also a great option for kids. Many kid canvas shoes have cute designs and patterns in the shape of their favorite cartoon heroes.
These multi-purpose shoes do look great with everything, but what about socks? That all depends on what kind of look you want to create. You can wear them with or without socks, but they will pinch your skin and rub you, so if you want your socks to be invisible, ankle socks are great for that. But, you can wear a skirt or shorts with crew or even knee-high socks, if you want to embrace the socks trend! Just be mindful about the patterns and clashing colors, don’t overdo your outfit!
One of the best things about plimsolls is that if you get white ones or any other light color, you can easily dye them and express your creativity. You simply need package dye, a few brushes, and an idea to make your unique statement shoe. Decide whether you want pastels or bright colors. Pastels will show up nicely on a white canvas, but won’t do well with darker colors. Sometimes the color that is on the sneaker won’t be the same as it’s shown, and you should be prepared for different results. In order to get the best results, find dyes meant for textiles, since they will last the longest and remain the brightest. You also need something, like rubber cement, to protect your soles from the dye, gloves to protect your hands, and a plastic sheet to protect the surface you’ll be resting your shoes on. If you never tried to dye shoes before, maybe it’s better to find the cheapest pair you can in order to experiment, and when you’re confident in the results you can then buy a proper pair to color. Make sure you’ve got a clean surface to paint on because even the smallest dust particle can mess up the process. There is no need to dry them off though since you need to wet them in order to paint on them anyway. Consider doing this outside, so you can save your house and furniture from stains. Then, you can either dip your shoes in the prepared paint (protect the outsoles first) section by section or as a whole, or you can grab a brush and get to work! After you’re done, rinse out the paint to remove the excess. Once the shoes are dry and the paint is set, you can show off your unique style to the world!
The sole purpose of canvas shoes is walking, and going about your daily business, so it’s imperative that they last longer. Sometimes, canvas shoes are made with a purpose, like skating or even running, and those shoes will not last as long as your regular everyday shoes. They must endure much more stress and stretch, and they soon sprout holes. Canvas is also a type of material that is not so durable by itself and can tear quite quickly. If however, the sneakers have stitching that helps support their construction or extra panels made out of leather for an example, then they will last longer than 6-7 months or so.
You can make the plimsolls last just a little bit longer with the help of duck tape or eve shoe glue. If you see a hole being created, put a strip of tape on the inside and protect them for just a little bit longer. You can put shoe goo on before they start to wear down, in order to stave off the creation of holes. Or dab a little bit on holes already formed, and you can pull them off for just a little bit longer. All in all, canvas sneakers are not one of the most durable types of footwear out there, and you should know that they won’t last that long before you need to replace them!
Plimsoll shoes are quite versatile, and not only because they have such an adaptable style. They are sports shoes and can be worn on many different occasions. You can try wearing plimsolls to the gym. They are lightweight and have a fitted style, and they have a sturdy outsole. Thanks to this, they are great for deadlifting and squats, because the flat soles allow your feet to dig into the floor. The rubber soles are non-slip so they also provide good support.
They’ve been used for different varieties of sports too. One of the most famous canvas sneakers is Converse Chuck Taylors, made famous thanks to basketball. Thanks to the combination of the rubber outsole and the canvas upper, they allow the wearer absolute control over their movements, so you can move to the sides, stand perfectly still, jump, run and everything else in between. They’re also a great partner for skateboarders, thanks to the excellent grip of the outsoles.
They also work great when you go on holidays. Holidays usually happen during summertime, when the weather is hot and humid, and there’s no better way to treat your feet than to wear plimsolls. The air can easily enter the shoes thanks to their perforated upper and will cool you down and save you from smelly feet. They are also quite comfy, perfect for walking around cities all day long!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
We all know Plimsolls as canvas sneakers, and how the name Plimsolls originated. But where did the name sneakers actually come from? Earlier in history, we didn’t exactly have shoes with rubber outsoles. Every shoe had wood, metal or something of that sorts as their soles, and they made a lot of noise when you walked.
Once the rubber outsole was created, it was given to the plimsolls, and the reason why they are called sneakers is that they make no noise while you walk, and you can easily sneak up on someone!
Other Factors to Consider
Whether you like it or not, it’s never a good idea to wear canvas when it’s wet or snowy outside. Canvas is porous, and it will let water seep in without any struggle. Water also stains canvas, so not only will you end up with sticky and wet feet, but you’ll also have a ruined shoe. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any preventive measures you can take in order to save your shoes. You can always buy protective sprays and coat your sneakers not too heavily in order to waterproof them and save them from moisture. You can also try your best to avoid water, but at least you know you can afford to step into puddles to at least some degree. Not above the plimsoll line! If rain catches you by surprise, you won’t suffer because you’ve already protected them with spray! If it does catch you unprepared, just run home as fast as you can and dry your shoes and your feet of.
We all probably had at least one pair of plimsoll shoes at least once in our life, since it’s completely impossible to resist their charm. They were possibly one of the first pairs we ever owned, thanks to their cute colors and patterns, and their flexible construction. Every renowned brand has at least a few models of plimsoll shoes ready to be worn, and even designer can’t keep their hands off of them. It’s for a reason they became so popular, and remain so even after being centuries old! We hope you have managed to discover new styles that suit your liking, and that our guide was helpful!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do plimsoll shoes shrink?
If you ever washed your plimsoll and discovered that they appear smaller than they were, it’s not an illusion. Canvas shrinks when it’s wet, just like cotton. It will relax once it is dry, but in order to avoid shrinkage do not dry them in a drier or near heat. Heat won’t let the fibers relax, and will lock them in place, leaving your shoes smaller. They will stretch in time, of course, but you’ll struggle a bit every time you put them on before they do. You can avoid this by using a gentle detergent and by washing them in lukewarm or cold water!
q: Can I run in plimsolls?
Since plimsolls are sneakers, it’s only logical to think about running in them. You can do this, of course, no one is preventing you from doing so. But they won’t have the amount of support and shock absorption regular sneakers have, so you’ll probably get tired much faster, and you can even hurt your joints and feet. In order to have the best experience, run in shoes made for the sport!
q: Why do white plimsolls turn yellow?
White plimsolls are one of the most popular varieties, but their look can quickly be ruined by the appearance of yellow stains. These stains appear because of dirt, bleach, harsh detergents and even sweat. You can keep these stains at bay by washing them regularly. Put them in a pillow case, and remove the laces beforehand. Washing them with diluted white vinegar will make them white again, and will remove any lingering odors!
q: Can I clean my plimsolls with baking soda?
If you were ever disappointed by seeing your just washed plimsoll still looking dirty, you should know that you are not the only one with this problem. Dirt is persistent, and tends to hide in the deepest fibers. Combining white vinegar with baking soda will result in the sneakers looking almost brand new again, and this is a surefire way to revive them quickly! Just combine these two with water and work them in your shoes with a toothbrush you don’t need. Work in circular motions, and clean the residue. Dry them off and voila, squeaky clean plimsolls!
q: Are plimsolls expensive?
One might think that plimsolls are quite expensive, given their universal popularity. But, plimsoll footwear is made out of natural materials that are actually quite cheap, and so your new pair doesn’t even cost that much! The price will rise if the brand making them is super famous, if they were made by designers, or if they have any details that are more expensive. But all in all, plimsolls are quite cheap!