I have a favorite pair of casual shoes that I’ll grab 90% of the time I’m not in running shoes (or barefoot). I wear them to work, on airplanes, walking the dog, running errands, road trips…everywhere. Not too long ago, a new contender for my go-to emerged. I’ve been wandering around in The Waldo Knit from People Footwear.
People Footwear is headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. and their primary goal is to make casual footwear with innovative materials and high-tech manufacturing to produce lightweight and comfortable shoes. I was keen to see if they’d done it!
The Waldo Knits are made of a one-piece breathable, stretchy knit mesh upper (read: not waterproof or resistant, but comfortable!) and has reinforced canvas panels on the sides. One thing I didn’t immediately love was that the ‘tongue’ (or lack of one) was part of the entire upper piece and not a separate feature. For looks, this is a pro, but for comfort it wasn’t my favorite. Additionally, the laces sit in the middle on the top of the foot but cross only twice, so the support and ability to tighten the shoe over the tongue is non-existent. The laces are long and stretchy, and are also rubber-dipped on the end, which is a quality upgrade. These shoes also have a shock-absorbing Skylite™ EVA outsole with a durable rubber heel pod. People Footwear’s website describes EVA as follows:
EVA stands for ethylene vinyl acetate — a fancy word for rubberized foam. All of our shoes are made with our custom–engineered SkyLite™ EVA, a super light and shock–absorbent material. Our unique SuperCush™ sock liner (which molds to your foot) is also made of EVA because a lighter, cushier shoe makes for a happier you.
The Waldo Knits feature a memory foam footbed, which is plush and lovely, however they have an obviously large amount of drop from heel-to-toe. I was unable to find exact specs for this, but as someone who runs in 3mm styles and has zero drop casual shoes, it was extremely noticeable. This is solely a matter of personal preference and need, however, so is placed in neither pro nor con column. I know of more than a few Run Oregon bloggers who would be much more comfortable with this. Two things to note about these shoes in addition to the drop – they have a narrow toe box and the sizing does not feature half sizes, so if you’re in between, opt for the larger.
One thing I did love about these shoes is how they looked with jeans. I have been wearing the navy/white versions and they are aesthetically great with dark wash jeans. Another pro of People Footwear is that their shoes are vegan! All of their styles are made from man-made materials.
I am sad to report that these don’t replace my current favorite casual shoes (due to my drop preference), but if you’re looking for a comfortable, lightweight, non-running shoe, they’re a very solid choice at a decent price point. I would say that the way the Waldo Knits are made probably won’t make you get rid of all your other high tech running shoes, but they are an admirable option for going on a casual impromptu run or utilizing as a fashion statement with opportunities for motion.
- The Waldo Knit | $99
- Color Options:
- Neon green
- Geo green
- Smoked blue
- Color Options:
Thank you to People Footwear for providing us with test shoes. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.