Canvas vs Leather Shoes: What’s best in 2023?


The endless argument over footwear choices often centers on canvas vs leather shoesBoth shoes have distinctive qualities and advantages to offer. So it can be tricky for you to choose from these shoes.


To help make this decision easier, we have collected some useful information so you can compare leather shoes vs canvas. 

Join us as we evaluate each shoe to decide the best footwear option!

What are Canvas Shoes?

Canvas shoes are comfortable, long-lasting shoes made from strong, plain-woven fabric. It is usually made from cotton or hemp fibers or sometimes a mixture of both.


Usually, the fabric is colored before being used to make the shoe. These shoes have been worn worldwide for centuries and have withstood the test of time due to their durability. 

Although canvas shoes are casual and simple, naturally. You can dress up with accessories like laces or sequins if you want. This unique and versatile style makes canvas shoes perfect for everyday use.

What are Leather Shoes?

Leather shoes are a type of footwear that provides exceptional comfort and durability due to its natural material. For centuries, leather has been utilized to create fashionable items and is made from the hides of animals.


Nowadays, leather shoes come in many styles and designs. Some of the leather shoes are loafers, brogues, Oxfords, wingtips, and sneakers. 

Cowhide, calfskin, deerskin, and suede are some of the most popular types of leather used in shoe manufacturing. 

These types of leather have their own unmatched quality and craftsmanship.

Your shoe leather shoes can last very long with proper care and maintenance.

Difference Between Canvas and Leather Shoes

Canvas shoes vs Leather shoes have their pros and cons. These shoes are one of the most popular shoes.

So, let’s look at what makes leather shoes and leather shoes unique.

Materials Difference 

The primary difference between canvas and leather shoes is the material they are made from. 

Canvas shoes are typically made from cotton or linen woven into a single layer. This makes them lightweight and flexible while still providing good structure and support. 

Conversely, leather shoes are often produced from the skins of animals like cowhide or pigskin. 

The hide undergoes a chemical treatment to boost its durability and wear resistance. That’s why leather shoes are heavier than canvas ones. However, the treatment also enhances their ability to shield against the elements.

Styles and Colors

Canvas and leather shoes both come in a wide range of styles and colors.


Canvas shoes typically have a more casual and laid-back look, making them perfect for relaxed occasions. They are available in various colors, from bright and bold to muted tones. Popular canvas shoe styles include slip-ons, sneakers, and espadrilles.

On the other hand, leather shoes offer a more elegant and sophisticated appearance that makes them ideal for formal events. They are also available in different colors, including black, brown, and tan. Leather shoes come in various styles, such as loafers, oxfords, and brogues.

Canvas shoes are an excellent option as they can be worn depending on the occasion. They can be paired with casual outfits such as jeans, shorts, and t-shirts, but they can also be worn with a summer dress or skirt for a more feminine look.

Leather shoes, on the other hand, pair well with formal attire such as suits or dress pants. They can also be worn with jeans and a blazer for a smart casual look.

Ultimately, canvas and leather shoes have unique styles and color options, making them versatile footwear choices suitable for different occasions and outfits.


Regarding comfort, both canvas and leather shoes offer certain advantages over the other. Canvas shoes tend to be more lightweight and flexible, which makes them ideal for walking or running activities where you need a lot of freedom of movement. 

Nevertheless, leather shoes tend to be more supportive due to their weight, making them better suited for activities like hiking or climbing. If you need extra stability, then go for leather shoes.


In terms of breathability, canvas tends to be much better than leather. Since Canvas fabric offers better airflow that helps keep your feet cool even in summer.

Leather only offers a little breathability since its thicker material doesn’t allow much airflow. This means your feet can get quite hot in hot environments if you wear leather shoes for too long without taking breaks. 


Leather shoes are generally more durable than canvas shoes because they are made from a thicker material that can tackle roughness better than canvas. 

Canvas is a lightweight fabric that is great for everyday use but can be easily damaged by weather or heavy usage. 

However, taking good care of shoes is necessary because leather is at risk of drying out and brittleness with time. 


The support provided by both types of shoes depends largely on the design and construction of the shoe itself.

Leather tends to offer more arch support because of its stiffness. While canvas is more flexible and provides less support in cushioning your feet while you walk or run.

Both offer similar levels of ankle support depending on how tightly they fit around your ankles.

Daily Life Usages 

Canvas shoes are often used as casual shoes due to their lightweight design, which makes them comfortable for everyday activities such as walking, shopping, or going out with friends. 

They also look great with various outfits, so you can dress up depending on the occasion. 

Leather shoes are heavier than canvas. Therefore, it is unsuitable for everyday use but can still be worn in certain situations. For example, a professional appearance is expected when attending formal events or business meetings.  


Due to their low maintenance cost, canvas shoes are normally more affordable and require less maintenance. Canvas shoes do not require polishing or extra care like leather does. So keeping them clean is much easier. 

If you’re looking for shoes that are easy to clean and maintain, canvas shoes are a great choice. They can be machine washed, which adds to their convenience factor.

Moreover, canvas material is durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear, making them an affordable option for those on a budget.

Environmental Impact

Compared to leather shoes, canvas shoes tend to have a smaller environmental impact. 

This is because they are made from sustainable materials, use less energy and water during production, and are biodegradable.

The production of leather shoes is associated with environmental concerns such as deforestation, water pollution, and the use of chemicals in the tanning process. 

However, if leather shoes are ethically sourced, maintained properly, and have a longer lifespan, their environmental footprint can be reduced.

It’s critical to adopt consuming practices that are sensitive to the environment and look into environmentally friendly alternatives.

Both canvas and leather shoes present sustainability challenges, and it’s important to consider the materials used, production processes, and disposal methods when making purchasing decisions.

Pros and Cons of Leather and Canvas Shoes

One of the biggest decisions you can make is selecting between canvas vs leather shoes. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages, which can be difficult to decide. 

Let’s break down the pros and cons of canvas and leather shoes to decide what type of shoe would best fit your lifestyle.

The Benefits of Canvas Shoes


  • Canvas shoes are popular due to their lightweight design, affordability, and breathability. 
  • Canvas shoes are easy to clean since they are made from a durable material that doesn’t stain easily. 
  • Canvas shoes also tend to provide better traction on various surfaces due to their rubber outsole, which helps keep your feet secure and well-protected throughout the day.
  • Canvas also offers arch support, making it more supportive and comfortable when standing or walking for long periods. 
  • On top of all this, canvas shoes come in various colors and styles, so you can find something that fits your style. 

The Disadvantages of Canvas Shoes 

However, some things could be improved when it comes to canvas shoes.

  • For example, leather shoes are less durable than they are. 
  • They may become torn out more quickly than leather shoes if you wear them frequently or on hard surfaces. 
  • Furthermore, Canvas shoes are not waterproof like leather shoes. Therefore they won’t keep your feet dry when it’s raining. 

The Benefits of Leather Shoes



Leather shoes offer many advantages over canvas, making them a great investment.

  • Leather is also very durable compared to canvas shoes. If you take care of these shoes, it will last long.
  • It also offers better arch support than canvas, which is more supportive and comfortable when standing or walking for long periods. 
  • Finally, the leather shoe is more classy and professional than canvas. 

So if you’re looking for something more dressed up that still looks good with casual clothes, try out leather shoes.

The Disadvantages of Leather Shoes  

While there are several benefits to wearing leather shoes over canvas ones, there are also some downsides you should consider before purchasing. 

  • Leather may not afford the same breathability as other fabrics, so wearing leather shoes in warm climates or during intense physical activity can cause discomfort and overheating.
  • Leather is more expensive than canvas since it requires more specialized processing during manufacturing and is usually sourced from animals (like cows).

Finally, leather is an animal product that makes non-leather alternatives more attractive for those who prefer a vegan lifestyle.

How Do You Know Which Type of Shoe to Buy for Your Needs?

Choose a shoe style that offers the support, comfort, and usefulness required for the specific needs and activities you intend to engage in. You can also speak with footwear specialists or read reviews to gain knowledge and make an informed choice.

Canvas shoes are known for being lightweight and more breathable, whereas leather is often more supportive and harder to wear. 

Depending on where you’ll be wearing the shoes and what activities you’ll be doing in them, this can help determine which material would best suit your needs. 

For instance, canvas shoes are a suitable choice for wearing to the beach because of their lightweight nature. However, they may not be ideal for wet conditions as they can easily become damp or stained.

Leather shoes provide greater stability and protection against the elements due to their durability. Still, they might not be suitable for aerobic activities due to their weight. 

Ultimately, choosing canvas vs leather shoes depends on what best fits your situation. 


When comparing canvas and leather shoes, ultimately, it comes down to personal choice and specific needs.

While canvas offers breathability, lightweight feel, and versatility, leather provides durability, timeless style, and enhanced water resistance. 

Consider your lifestyle, comfort requirements, and aesthetic preferences to make the best choice for your footwear.

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