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If there’s one type of shoe I can never have enough of, it’s a comfy, casual-yet-elevated sneaker. I love that I can wear the same pair of shoes to run errands, take a long walk, or style with a dress for a dinner date.
But looks can be deceiving, and the cutest sneakers are not always the most comfortable. A top-notch everyday sneaker should gently hug your foot, providing support without stiffness or squeezing. It shouldn’t slip or slide as you walk around, and it’s even better if there’s no break-in period.
In my latest endeavor for the perfect pair, I took a deep dive into reviewing Rothy’s sneaker collection. There were some sizing discrepancies, and I wish there were more color options. But overall, I was impressed with how comfortable Rothy’s sneakers felt from the first time I put them on. Plus, the fact that they’re lightweight and machine washable makes them ideal for traveling and adventures.
The Original Slip On
Sizing: True to size
Comfort: Mostly comfortable but I felt a bit of rubbing on my heel
Material: The knit was flexible and the sole felt sturdy
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been much of a slip-on sneaker gal, usually preferring the real deal with laces or slides. For my Rothy’s sneaker review, however, I learned the right pair of slip-on could make me change my mind. Lightweight and breathable, these shoes were comfy even without socks. They were a perfect choice for a summer outing when I didn’t want to go full-on with sneakers and socks, but also didn’t want to wear sandals.
The only slight negative was that I felt a bit of rub at the back top of my heel where the shoe ended. That could be because I wore them sockless, or maybe my feet just needed to get used to them. Still, I appreciate that the sole felt sturdy despite being lightweight, and the knit top hugged my foot without feeling constricting.
At first, I was a bit averse to the look of the shoe because they reminded me of those slip-on Vans sneakers that everyone wore when I was in high school… many years ago. But the latte color gave a bit of a modern feel to the vintage style, and I could see myself wearing them again with a pair of jeans and a chunky fall sweater.
The Lace Up Sneaker
Sizing: Run small
Comfort: Besides being a bit snug, the stretchy material was very comfortable
Material: The knit fabric was super comfortable and had a lot of give due to the laces
A low-top lace-up sneaker in a neutral hue has pretty much become my go-to look daily (regardless of whether I’m dressing up or down), so I had a lot of options in my closet to compare these to. Rothy’s Lace Ups stood above the rest for their lack of break-in period. They were cushy and stretchy from minute one, whereas many similarly styled sneakers I own require a bit of getting used to.
That said, the shoes ran a bit small, and they felt quite snug at the toe even though I have fairly narrow feet. This made it difficult to fully assess the overall comfort level since I think I’d size up if I had to do it again.
Looking at Rothy’s sneakers dead-on, I thought they were pretty cute. Nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing brash either. The blonde colorway gave me a nice bit of subtle contrast at the heel.
When I looked down at my feet from up above, however, the shoes gave off an appearance similar to bowling shoes since the tongue seemed to extend down to the toe. I had to remind myself throughout my Rothy’s sneakers review to look at them from the side as another person would see me, rather than looking down at my feet.
The High Top Sneaker
Sizing: Run large
Comfort: Roomy and comfortable, didn’t rub despite the high tops
Material: The knit was perfectly stretchy, and the laces had a nice give
I appreciate a pair of classic high-top sneakers since they offer a bit more support than low tops for when you’re walking or standing for long periods. Rothy’s version was exceptionally comfortable thanks to the knit upper and stretchy laces. These hugged my feet but weren’t too tight, even at the top.
The overall look was cute, clean, and classic — although I do wish there were a few more color options to match my fall outfits. I didn’t have the opportunity for this Rothy’s sneakers review to wear them with a pair of thick wool socks, but I look forward to it when the weather cools off.
These did run a bit large, as I felt the toe area was much too roomy. I was disappointed in the sizing mostly because it was inconsistent between pairs, with some running large and others running small.
If you can find the right size for you, I think Rothy’s high-tops could be a great, versatile, comfortable wardrobe staple.
About Rothy’s materials
Rothy’s was founded in 2016 by Stephen “Hawthy” Hawthornwaite and Roth Martin with a mission to create footwear that provides all-day comfort and style while maintaining an eco-friendly construction.
Recognizable by their signature blue stitching on the heel, Rothy’s footwear utilizes a knit material that’s crafted from recycled plastic water bottles. Plus, the insoles contain recycled foam, the rubber soles are carbon-free, the adhesives are non-toxic and vegan, and the brand uses biodegradable post-consumer recycled materials for its packaging. Since its launch, the company has repurposed 12 million water bottles (and counting).
Read our full Rothy’s Flats review.
The bottom line
Rothy’s shoes don’t come cheap. If I’m spending $120-$190 on a simple sneaker, I want to know that it’ll be top-notch. And in terms of comfort, these were. The fact that they’re machine washable also helps justify the price, since you can easily return them to a good-as-new state.
Thanks to their lightweight, sock-like feel, I see a good opportunity for Rothy’s to become my go-to travel sneakers, since they won’t weigh down my suitcase much and don’t constrict my feet.
Still, the sizing proved to be quite tricky when certain pairs ran small while others ran large. Luckily, Rothy’s doesn’t charge for exchanges, so if you get it wrong the first time you can swap for another size.
All this, coupled with the eco-friendly mission, leads me to categorize Rothy’s sneakers as an overall solid choice.