Once upon a time, I trotted around the city with footwear flatter than Britney Spears' abs in the 90s, but as I age, I'm looking for comfort. When I heard about the collaboration between French sustainable sneaker brand Veja and Reformation, a sustainably made line of women’s clothing and accessories, I knew I had to slip into a pair.
I put the sneakers through their paces everywhere, from (gentle) hikes and walking trails in and around Toronto to weekend wandering at the farmers' markets. And, since I'm always on the lookout for packing hacks and ways to maximize space in my case, it was nice to find a shoe that could carry me from city exploring to an evening out barhopping.
Here's a closer look at the full features and my overall verdict on the Veja X Reformation Venturi Sneakers.
Veja X Reformation Venturi Sneakers: The Features
The sneakers arrived in pristine condition in the Juta colourway: a beige, almost pinkish hue. The shoes also come in Walnut, a brown and cream palette, which — to my mind at least — marks them more firmly in the outdoorsy, active camp. Juta, by contrast, provides a more neutral aesthetic that makes them more transitional and pairable with both casual and more city-appropriate outfits.
My box came with two laces: plain white (still in the box) and a super snazzy orange with purple accents, which I absolutely adore. The sneakers are suede and J-mesh, a fabric made of 33 per cent jute and 67 per cent cotton.
With the 'V' on the side and the colourful shoelaces, the Veja X Reformation Venturi Sneakers instantly remind me of a certain popular athletic footwear brand (cough, New Balance). Unlike said brand, I didn't see anyone else on the street with the same shoes or a version of mine, which made me feel like a little trendsetter.
While I appreciate the current trend toward comfort, the thick soles I see on the street tend to give me flashbacks to Buffalo sneakers circa the Spice Girls (and not the good kind). I like that this shoe is well-cushioned and supportive without being too awkwardly clunky. I have worn the sneakers with everything from loose-fitting pants and a blazer to Princess Diana-style biker shorts and a sweater while walking my dog.
Another nice bonus is that Reformation just launched its RefRecycling program, a textile-to-textile recycling initiative that keeps your clothes around and prevents them from ending up in landfills. If I ever tire of them (or when I've worn them to death), it's nice to know I can bring them to a Reformation store, where they'll break them down into fibres to be reused and transformed into shiny new products.
Veja X Reformation Venturi Sneakers: The Verdict
I was instantly drawn in by the understated look of these sneakers, and the obsession hasn't worn off yet. At $270, the Veja X Reformation Venturi Sneakers aren't cheap. However, having worn them almost constantly for the past month and a half, the attention to detail and commitment to quality materials is clear.
Admittedly, I didn't try these shoes in strenuous physical activity (or in the rain), but they stood up to all of my extended urban galavanting. If, like me, you're used to wearing unwisely flat tennis shoes or Converse for long periods of time, your feet may take a while to adjust to all that foam cushioning and thick-soled support, but around the three-day mark, your feet will thank you.
As a carry-on crusader, forever low on space, I loved that they could work as a day shoe for schlepping around the city, but equally when dressed up for casual drinks. Wear them to the airport for a comfy breeze through customs, then go straight through from sightseeing to drinks in style.
Veja X Reformation Venturi Sneakers, $270, thereformation.com