Dansko Olisa Review

8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.5)/10

Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Who doesn’t love a good ol’ pair of sneakers? This type of shoe is like our comfort food - but footwear edition. They are what we reach for in the morning when we know it’s going to be a hectic day. They are our first choice for vacation wear, and we take them no matter where we travel to. In fact, they can almost be like a piece of home when you’re out on foreign soil.

Now as we’re heading into Spring, it’s especially important to have a good pair of sneakers to replace our combat boots and ankle booties with when the sun starts shining. Why not pick up a pair of Dansko’s Olisa sneakers? These women’s skater-style sneakers are super versatile and cute for everyday wear, so you can pair them with all kinds of outfits. On top of that, they provide amazing comfort because of the Dansko Natural Arch Technology, which provides long-lasting and reliable arch support.

There’s also the Biodewix technology to prevent moisture, odor, and the growth of nasty bacteria. Not only do you stay comfortable, but your feet also stay healthy. It’s a win-win! With that said, there are still downsides to this pair when it comes to sizing, colorways, and value. But overall, we’d give Olisa a pretty good score. To learn more about their details and determine if they’ll be the right pick for you, read on!

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Long-lasting arch support
  • Odor control lining
  • Feminine skater style
  • Easy to clean
  • Limited size options
  • Plain denim version


Le’ts first discuss the brand before we get into the specifics of this model. The brand behind this model is called Dansko, meaning “Danish.” It was founded in 1990 by Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup when they started selling clogs, which are shoes traditionally made with a wooden sole and are what you might call “barn shoes.” Today, this style of shoe is still worn, most often by people who spend all day standing or walking when working. However, it’s not the most fashionable shoe style. Thankfully, the brand has branched out to make some more stylish options for men and women. Their mission is to “improve the quality of people’s lives through great products, sincere passion and a commitment to a better tomorrow.” Now it’s your job to test out their products and determine whether they’ve achieved that goal.

Arch Support

First and foremost, we’d like to bring up the most useful and virtuous quality of Dansko shoes: arch support. Like many, if not all, other Dansko footwear, Olisa features the Dansko Natural Arch Technology. The footbed is designed to be not flat, but curved to fit the contours of the foot. It hugs the arches, providing support for them at every step. Since the arches of the foot must withstand a lot of pressure just in daily life, this support is crucial for foot health and for comfort. In addition, the technology ensures that the footbed doesn’t wear down, become flat, and start losing their support after a while."A lot of the time with footbeds, you wear them [and] over time with weight and heat you lose a little arch support,” sais Sal Agati, Dansko’s executive vice president of design and global sourcing. “Ours retains the rigidity in the arch area that maintains the support.”


As you can tell from just a glance at the photo, these sneakers have lace-up closure. That shouldn’t be surprising or even out of the ordinary, because laces are a traditional part of the sneaker style (though it’s true that some modern sneakers have begun swapping them out for velcro or slip-on designs). However, what most people don’t realize is the enormous benefit that actually comes with laces. For one, they render the shoes adjustable. If the shoes are just a bit too roomy, you can tighten the laces and make do. Or if you have high arches and they’re a bit tight, you can loosen the laces a bit. They won’t make all your problems magically disappear, but they certainly give you more leniency than, say, slip-on shoes do. In addition, they add to the style. This model comes with interchangeable wide and standard laces so that you get two slightly different looks.


Olisa comes in three different color options, but they vary a bit in their detailing. The three options are black, denim, and sand. All have uppers made of canvas and are fairly neutral tones that can be paired with nearly anything. However, the flower detailing on the sides are most prominent in the black option, where they stand out sharply against the dark upper. The detailing is more of a metallic shimmer in the sand option, where the upper is much lighter; and with the denim option, it’s not there at all. This is a bit strange because it’s not even that the detailing is too dark to see clearly - it’s just not there, even though it’s the same shoe model. Another thing unique about the ‘sand’ model is that there is a darker strip of material running along the sides of the laces and at the heel. The contrast is not as obvious in the other, darker options.

Odor Control

Besides arch support technology, other technologies are used in this model for odor control. The footbed is lined with microfiber that has been treated with Aegis Microbe Shield in order to prevent odor. It also features something called Biodewix, which has moisture-wicking properties. When you’re wearing the sneakers and your feet sweat, the moisture won’t stay on your foot but would instead be wicked away by the fabric so that it can evaporate. As a result, you won’t have that warm, moist environment in the inside of your shoe, which are the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and for odor to accumulate.


These sneakers offer pretty good stability, though we wouldn’t call it the best. First off, their approximately 1.4-inch heel classifies as “low” according to the manufacturer. This keeps you nice and close to the ground, giving you a lot of balance and stability. In addition, there is a tread pattern on the rubber outsole that provides a bit of grip. However, the pattern doesn’t seem to well thought-out in terms of practicality, because the squiggly lines are more artistic than practical. A more effective tread pattern would include hexagonal or triangular shapes. Nonetheless, what’s provided in Olisa should be enough for you to get around so long as you don’t try walking on ice or newly-mopped floors.


When it comes to style, we place this pair pretty high up in the ranks. Olisa has the silhouette of a laid-back sneaker in a feminine skater style - the kind of shoe that is your go-to for a busy and casual day. They are made for comfort and effortless style. What adds a more feminine accent to their appearance is the floral detail on the side of the shoe. Slightly metallic, it catches the eyes of the passers-by and makes Olisa stand out from similar sneakers, but it’s still subtle enough to be compatible with all kinds of styles, colors, and outfits. For an even more neutral look, you can always pick the denim version, which has no detailing. Wear these sneakers out with jeans or leggings for a cute, laid-back street style.


There are a couple of sizing downfalls when it comes to Olisa. First and foremost, there are no half sizes offered. The size guide on Dansko’s website groups all half sizes with their respective rounded-up full size (for example, 4.5-5), but there are no two separate shoes designed for the half size and the full size. If you come in between sizes, theoretically the pair would risk being half a size too large for you. However, the other sizing flaw with Olisa is that it doesn’t actually run true to size. Its sizing is a bit confusing, in fact, because some customers say they are a bit too roomy while others claim they have a tight fit. On top of that, there is only one width option: medium. If you have especially wide or narrow feet, there would be no other options for you to ensure the shoe can accommodate you.


In terms of cost, this pair is reasonably priced. They aren’t the cheapest for sneakers, and indeed, because of their low-profile, laid-back style, they seem a bit overpriced. They look like everyone’s go-to, worn-down pair that they can always count on for comfort - they may be well-loved, but are they really worth paying a lot for? On top of that, the uppers of these sneakers are made of canvas, which is just plain ol’ fabric. Leather or suede sneakers are understandably costly because their materials are pricey. But with the same price as this pair, you could probably get yourself some okay leather sneakers instead, so that’s something to consider. At the end of the day, it’s all about what your budget is and how much you’re willing to spend on a pair of kicks.


Last but not least, once you’ve got your pair, you have to make sure they last. The good thing about canvas compared to leather or suede is that it’s much easier to take care of. Whereas with the latter two, you can google for care products and get list upon list of product recommendations for cleaning, polishing, shining, whatever, with canvas it’s so much simpler. To get rid of spots of mud or dirt on the uppers, just use some mild soap and water. To get rid of dust, you can use a clean damp cloth to gently wipe the uppers.

Bottom Line

Overall, these sneakers are great for laid-back everyday streetwear. Because of their convenient yet adjustable lace-up design and their neutral look, they can be worn for all types of casual occasions. The floral detailing on the sides adds a subtlely feminine touch to the overall appearance and makes them stand out just a little from the typical sneaker. In terms of comfort, they provide arch support that won’t wear out through time and is moisture-wicking to prevent the accumulation of sweat and odor. By consequence, they keep the feet healthy as well as comfortable.

With that said, there are still a couple of downsides. Their sizing is inaccurate, with some customers saying they run small while others say they run large. They also don’t come in half sizes or different width options. In addition, the denim version for some reason doesn’t have the floral detailing on the side, and they cost around the same as some sneakers made of pricier, higher-quality upper material. But on the whole, we’d say that the benefit of their comfort and versatile style make them a great pick. This spring, why not make them your new go-to sneakers?