Vivaia vs Rothy’s – Which Wins Out?

Vivaia vs rothys sustainable shoe review

If you’re here, you’re already intrigued by the beauty of Vivaia and Rothy’s shoes. Who doesn’t love the thought of insanely comfortable (and stylish) shoes you can toss in the washing machine? Certainly, these two brands have a lot of similarities. We’re going to dig into the pros and cons of each. However, in the battle of Vivaia vs Rothy’s, this style blogger prefers Vivaia — and not just because of the lower price point!

Let’s start with what these two sustainable shoe brands have in common…

Obviously, they look quite similar. In fact, some people think there’s no difference at all, asking… Is Vivaia the same as Rothys? The answer to that is no. These are two different companies. Additionally, while some Vivaia reviews have called the company a “dupe” for San-Francisco-based Rothy’s, I don’t necessarily agree with that characterization. Though Rothy’s did come first (launching in 2016 vs Vivaia’s 2020 start), the brands have chosen different areas of focus.

rothys vs vivaia side by side comparisonRothy’s “The Point” Flat | Vivaia’s “Avis” Flat

Vivaia caters to fashionistas hungry for a wider range of styles. Think heels, mules, boots, loafers and sneakers. In contrast, Rothy’s is singularly focused on signature products – flats and sneakers. As a petite, I favor shoes with a bit of a heel (like this new arrival) and greatly appreciate Vivaia’s broader offerings. Forbes does too, as it included Vivaia’s pointed-toe knot mules on its list of “sustainable summer staples perfect for a minimalist wardrobe.” This is the first of several reasons I prefer Vivaia.

vivaia shoes review knotted mule with pleated skirtYaffa Knotted Toe Mules  – c/o VIVAIA | Bow Top | Pleated Skirt (similar) | Coral Sunglasses

In fact, the company seems to add swoon-worthy styles each season. This summer, I fell for the knotted mules. They’ve been such a popular style, VIVAIA now offers them in a range of new colors and patterns including mustard yellow, ruby red, and hot pink among others. You can even snag them in stripes!

I also added the super elegant pointed-toe bow loafers pictured below and have a few more styles in my cart. Update: These were sold out, but VIVAIA just re-launched its bow loafers! Here’s the Michelle 2.0, which comes in a host of new colors. I’m loving the chic black and white as well as that punchy orange hue. 

My point? If you gravitate toward feminine details and classic elegance, you’ll find Vivaia a perfect fit!

sustainable shoes neutral loafers vivaiaBow Top Loafer

Which is the better sustainable shoe? Vivaia vs Rothy’s

Both companies craft their shoes from recycled plastic bottles, spinning the plastic into thread for their signature knit fabrics. Each claims its eco-friendly processes help carve out a new use for single-use plastic, ultimately diverting plastic from our oceans and landfills. In Vivaia’s case, each shoe is made from six water bottles. Rothy’s says its footwear uses 11 bottles each.

I love the idea of making more sustainable, eco-friendly choices and have truly enjoyed the sustainable footwear I’ve purchased. I mean, how gorgeous are these mules?! They pair perfectly with the neutral work styles I favor and are compact enough that they slip easily into the Bostanten briefcase/laptop bag I carry for work. [I like to have a change of shoes on hand when I work out before teaching].

Bostanten reviews stylish ladies laptop bags

Bostanten reviews stylish womens briefcases

However, if your sole focus is the environment, you need take eco-friendly marketing claims with a grain of salt. Are you helping the environment if you buy a durable (and washable) shoe you will keep for years? Certainly!

The best way to be eco-friendly is to reduce our consumption and use what we have longer.

But we also need to keep in mind that when a plastic bottle becomes a fashion item it can’t be recycled again. That means if we get rid of it, it ends up in a landfill despite our good intentions and efforts to be sustainable. A blogger friend of mine, Lindsey of Have Clothes Will Travel, recently shared an enlightening article from Harvard Business Review on the “myth of sustainable fashion.” It’s worth a read if you want to develop a deeper understanding of fashion’s impact on the environment.

Vivaia vs rothys comparison chart

Now, let’s dig into the differences between Vivaia vs Rothy’s


Vivaia is the clear winner in this category, as its footwear starts at $97 (scratch that I just found a pair for $79). The entry price point for cult-favorite Rothy’s is $129. While I’d consider both worth the investment, Rothy’s is much less accessible to fashionistas on a budget. Moreover, when you consider how similar the shoes are, that added expense just doesn’t make sense to me.

Price is particularly important for me, as I turn to Vivaia a lot for my work shoes. As a college lecturer who teaches video broadcasting, I am on my feet all day and often take my shoes where dress shoes don’t belong (e.g. grass, rocky terrain) to help students get the footage they are looking for out in the field. This means my shoes need to take a beating and be affordable enough to replace if the worst happens.

Vivaia’s price point is in that sweet spot!

vivaia vs rothys and honest vivaia review

vivaia shoes review



This is a critical one for those comparing Vivaia vs Rothy’s. We’re conditioned to believe that if you pay more for something it must be better or more comfortable. However, after trying both, Vivaia also comes out ahead in this category. Let me preface my thoughts by saying every foot is different. Consequently, what feels amazing on mine might not work for yours. However, I’ll share as much details as possible in the hopes that insight helps you determine which is best for you.

My experience with Vivaia vs Rothy’s comfort…

Both Vivaia and Rothy’s are made with flexible and breathable knit fabric. It’s especially delightful in the summer! I found Rothy’s tougher to break in (i.e. heel blisters) and wanted more arch and heel support. Honestly, they made my feet ache a bit at the end of the day.

In contrast, my Vivaia shoes fit like a second skin the minute slipped my toes inside. They have heel and arch support built into the shoe liner. Additionally, there’s extra padding on the insoles. They are cushiony and provide all the shock-absorbency I need. I wear my Aria’s (a bow-detail flat) while teaching and dashing around campus with photo and video equipment. Above all, they stand up to the challenge!

Want to try VIVAIA? Use code LINDSAY15 for 15 percent off!

is vivaia legit - honest look at sustainable shoe brandvivaia pointed toe bow loafers in neutral shadeBow Loafer

Sizing – Vivaia vs Rothy’s

The winner in this category will depend on your feet. Vivaia shoes run true to size and slightly roomy, in contrast to Rothy’s which lean smaller with less stretch. If you have wider feet, like me, you’ll prefer Vivaia. When I say “wider,” I don’t specifically need to buy wide shoes. However, my feet are not exactly what I’d call slender, so I appreciate a bit of extra room in the toe area. Vivaia also has styles designed with a broader toe box. For example, its knit flats (the Aria 5°) will have you saying “bye bye” to cramped and painful toes! Have tiny and slender feet? Rothy’s is the better bet.

Here’s a peek at VIVAIA shoes in motion!

Color/Pattern Variety

Rothy’s takes this one. The sustainable shoe brand offers so many vibrant and cheerful colors, patterns too. For instance, its signature style – The Point (a Meghan Markle favorite) – comes in 32 colorways, if you consider seasonal offerings! There are so many bright and cheerful colors. The patterns are super fun too. Vivaia tends to offer each style in 3-10 colorways.

vivaia slingback black heel with gingham dress

black sustainable block heelLeah Slingback Heel

Final thoughts – Vivaia vs Rothy’s

To wrap up this Vivaia shoes review and comparison to Rothy’s, I would encourage you to explore either brand. There’s a reason both are growing in popularity, particularly Vivaia. According to Footwear News, Vivaia was the fastest growing direct to consumer shoe brand in Q3 of 2021, seeing a staggering 138.7% increase in traffic! As a shopper, I’m not surprised. These shoes are beautiful and distinctive. They also hold up to the elements.

I recently took my beautiful ivory Vivaias to the park on a rainy, muddy day (What was I thinking?). They were completely filthy when I got home.  I thought they were a lost cause. However, with a bit of dish soap and a quick scrub in the sink, they emerged pristine. That’s why this brand is a good value! It’s practically indestructible.

Are they on Amazon? 

If you’re itching to try one of these sustainable shoe brands but still on the fence, Vivaia has an Amazon store. This is typically how I try a brand for the first time, since it ensures quick and easy returns – plus free shipping. Many Vivaia styles are available on Prime. Unfortunately, Rothy’s does not offer that option.



  1. Paige Lombardy | 13th Aug 22

    Very helpful review.

    • laveremis | 14th Aug 22

      So glad it helped! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. jodie filogomo | 16th Sep 22

    I have quite a few Vivaia and I love how they have so many stylish selections.

  3. Cathie | 9th Oct 22

    So right that it’s ultimately not sustainable once it’s outlived its life as a garment/footwear!

    I’m also thinking about the microplastics that will wash out to sea unless one has a filter. The search for truly sustainable shoes continues.

    • laveremis | 5th Nov 22

      Hi Cathie,
      Yes, it’s so difficult to truly find a solution. But it is heartening to see more consumers taking the time to consider the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment. I know personally I’m a work in progress. It’s on my radar and I’m making an effort to improve. Have a wonderful November! ~ Lindsay

  4. Jane | 12th Dec 22

    When they first started Viviana’s were definitely a direct copy of Rothys. If they can be that unethical about stealing an idea I feel uneasy trusting their sustainability claims. I’m just mad because Rothys store no longer offers international delivery, they’ve been squeezed out of the market by cheap copies. 🙁

    • laveremis | 20th Dec 22

      Hi Jane, Thanks for popping by and offering your take on Vivaia vs Rothys debate. I’m not sold on the sustainability claims either (lifelong advertising skeptic). However, I know the durability (washability) and how often I wear them makes them more sustainable for my personal use – as they have held up really well. Appreciate you weighing in and stopping by!

  5. Joanna | 7th Jan 23

    I’ve been lusting for the Vivaia pointy-toe bow flats in grey, but wanted to see what other options might be out there. This is by far the most helpful comparison post I’ve found. I really appreciate your comment about how your foot is wide-ish, but not enough to need actual wide sizes. That’s not a detail many would think to note. My feet are also a little bit on the wider side. Thank you!! Off to buy those flats! 🙂

  6. Heather Dedduang | 15th Jan 23

    I’ve only purchased Rothy’s but I think it’s time to switch. I have purchased 5 pairs and when I reached out to see if they could give me a discount code (of Amy sorts) they said that I could use their referral program. Just made me feel like I wasn’t a valued customer. Sometimes a small gesture can go a long way. I would love to stick with Rothy’s but disappointed with the whole experience.
    The heel of my shoe is flat and looks odd, I’m actually embarrassing to wear them now. Regardless of everything, I’m glad there are more companies catching on to sustainable solutions.
    I really appreciate the time you took writing this, it was very helpful.

  7. Renee | 17th Jan 23

    That was an excellent review. Very thorough and helpful and now I’ve made my decision. Thank you!

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