Sanuk is known for making shoes and sandals for men, women, and kids. Their full lineup of footwear includes everything from the award-wining men’s surfer shoe to vegan-friendly sandals made of recyclable materials. Much of the Sanuk’s apparel is made with the outdoors in mind.
Since they have little to no heels and even toe-drops, many styles are ideal for those with fallen arches, and really do provide good support.
However, no footwear is perfect.
While they are nice and comfy, one complaint that some buyers have about these shoes is that their lack of durability almost makes them not worth buying. The price for Sanuk sandals/shoes is higher than what some people think they are worth, and the money-back guarantee is only good for 30 days.
There are some decent alternatives available at either a lower cost or a more justifiable cost, where the level of durability is met.
So without furrther adue, here are the
Our Top Recommended Cheaper Shoes Similar to Sanuk
- Hey Dude Women’s Wendy Shoes (Multiple Colors)
- Crocs Men’s Santa Cruz Loafers
- OLUKAI Men’s Moloa
- BEARPAW Men’s Moc II
- Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe
- Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe
- CASMAG Men’s Casual Cloth Shoes
- Sebago Men’s Clovehitch Ii Oxford
Top 8 Cheaper Alternatives To Sanuk in 2021 – Full Reviews & Buying tips
1. Hey Dude Women’s Wendy Shoes (Multiple Colors) – View On Amazon
Women may find Hey Dude’s Wendy shoes to be a good alternative, as they are similar in design and comfort to some of Sanuk’s women’s sneakers. While they might or might not be less expensive, depending on when or where you purchase them, the Wendy Shoes still seem to be more durable overall. They are lightweight and manufactured with an elastic material that helps provide more flex to the foot.
Also, the Wendy shoes come in literally dozens of different colors; some more simplistic in style and some with embellishments, such as corduroy faux-fur lining. One unique feature is an anatomical memory foam insole, which allows for breathability and maximum support.
- Casual, comfortable – easy to slip on
- Designed to look great with any outfit
- EVA sole and ultra-light outsole
- Offer good traction
- So many different colors available, including neutral and colorful
- A bit pricey for some
- Tend to run wide / not true to size
- Some complaints that they don’t offer enough support
2. Crocs Men’s Santa Cruz Loafers – View On Amazon
These loafers have a similar lightweight design to traditional crocs, but appear a bit more casual in the style, and feature a layer of canvas fabric. They come in warm tones like Espresso Brown and Khaki, as well as cool tones like Navy Blue. There is also a design featuring a neat Realtree Camo pattern. The material is 100% textile (cotton).
Like with the women’s Wendy’s shoes, these Santa Cruz Loafers for men run a size up. The heel measures approximately 1-inch.
- Easy to slip on and off
- Insole and outsole are removable, making it easy to secure the right fit
- Innovative dual Croslite Comfort technology
- Feel great with or without socks
- Reasonably priced
- Even with the “breathable” design, there are still complaints of sweat accumulating too much
- Require regular washing and drying
- Some “scratchiness” around the heel area
3. OLUKAI Men’s Moloa – View On Amazon
Men who want something more durable and versatile may find the slip-on leather shoes from OLUKAI to be appealing. Available in various shades of brown, the Moloa shoe looks can be worn casually for a daily walk or semi-formally at the office.
They feature the patented Drop-in heel design, which allows for the heel to be folded so that the shoe can easily slip on. This means they can be worn either as slippers (with the heel down) or shoes (heel up). The outsole is tough and comfortable, with its non-marking gum rubber construction, wrapped in premium full-grain leather with pads.
The OLUKAI Men’s Moloa shoes are available in men’s sizes 7 – 16. They do run a bit large, like many of the other shoes on this list.
- Made with genuine leather in the USA
- Stylish versatility – they look great with khakis, jeans, shorts, and even semi-formal outfits
- Short break-in time
- Long-lasting – can last for years if taken care of
- While they last for a long time, they are still on the expensive side
- There are some complaints about the difficulty of figuring out the right size
4. BEARPAW Men’s Moc II – View On Amazon
This is a gorgeous pair of men’s moccasins that look and feels like slippers. Visually, they are more eye-catching than other shoes on this list.
There is added durability to make the BEARPAW Moc IIs wearable outside, thanks to design elements like a classic cupsole and molded TPR rubber outsole.
However, they are not for everybody – especially those who want vegan-friendly footwear. The lining and footbed are made with full sheepskin. The sheepskin does do a great job of regulating body temperature to keep the feet warm, and the footbed is very, very soft and helps decrease foot fatigue.
- Warm and comfortable – do not get hot
- The design and hickory color are very attractive
- Well-made and longer-lasting than other moccasins
- Quality sole design
- Good traction
- The sheepskin may be a turn-off for many buyers
- Insufficient arch support
- Can be hard to break-in
5. Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe – View On Amazon
Fishing is pretty popular with the outdoorsy type. Any kind of boating activity will require a good, comfortable pair of water-resistant shoe, and that’s what the Bahama Vent PFG boat shoe offers. Made with leather and canvas both, they have a laid-back style and come in several color combinations.
The non-marking outsole has an Omni-Grip / Wet Grip design, which includes razor siping. These features really help prevent wet-surface slippage. Built-in ventilation facilitates airflow and keeps the feet dry. The vent holes on the sides are a similar design element as the Sanuk design, except that the Bahama Vent PFG Boat Shoe is less costly.
The price is fair considering these are quality pairs of boat shoes that offer a lot of reliability.
- Tend to do well against seawater
- Make good beach shoes for those who don’t like sandals
- Columbia soles are known for their durability
- One of the better alternatives to Sanuk
- Removable insole
- Might be uncomfortable and cut around the ankle
- Not enough padding
6. Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe – View On Amazon
For over three decades, Merrell has been creating shoes with backpackers, hikers, and other outdoor lovers in mind. Decades of innovative craftsmanship and design have led to the creation of the Jungle Moc shoe. This particular shoe looks attractive with its 100% suede leather design – especially with the Taupe color.
Another reason why it stands out is because of the Merrell M Select FIT.ECO blended EVA feature with the contoured (Ortholite footbed), which also has organic odor control.
In addition to the Ortholite footbed, the pigskin lining gives comfort to these slip-ons. There is good shock absorption with the Merrell air cushion design.
While the Jungle Moc shoes might not cost less than Sanuks, they seem to hold up longer.
- Good cushioning and stability
- Attractive color and design
- Seems to be true to width for most users
- Versatile – can be worn indoors, outdoors, at work, etc…
- The toe box is a bit tight and uncomfortable for some
- Not ideal for those looking for cruelty-free footwear
- Arch is a bit too high
7. CASMAG Men’s Casual Cloth Shoes – View On Amazon
How about a pair of denim-looking shoes? Made with an additional layer of “canvas fabric”, this is a casual and trendy pair of boat shoes. While the CASMAG Casual Cloth Shoes are lightweight and offer a relaxed fit, they still have a durable rubble outsole with anti-slip capabilities. Also, high-quality fabric is used to create a superior texture.
These are definitely a comfortable, affordable alternative to Sanuk slip-on shoes. The stitching quality in the CASMAG cloth shoes is next-to-none. To ensure the strength integrity of the body structure, the stitching is very close and tight.
Available colors include various shades of denim blue, khaki, gray, and black.
- A decent selection of stylish colors to choose from
- Comfortable to wear, with or without socks
- Very soft and quiet when walking
- Pretty durable for daily walks or beach outings
- Seem to be true to size, overall
- Don’t provide the best support
- Noticeable fraying around the seams in a short period of time
- Maybe a bit narrow for people with wide feet
8. Sebago Men’s Clovehitch Ii Oxford – View On Amazon
These Oxfords, which come in navy blue, black, and multiple shades of brown, are premium boat shoes that are partially made by hand, with features like a manmade sole and hand-sewn premium leather uppers. The “Sidewall-stitched Sebago” sole has razor-sipped rubber with slip-resistant properties for impressive grip and support. The outsole design has excellent traction.
This pair of Clovehitch II men’s boat shoes have a Strobel / Cement upper construction to help provide lightweight durability and flexibility.
While Sebago Oxford shoes are not the most affordable on this list, their durability and craftsmanship are of the highest quality possible. They are especially good for those who have to do routine walking every day.
- Made to promote all-day comfort
- Good arch support for those who need it
- Good for casual wear; look good with shorts or pants
- Lightweight EVA midsole offers decent shock-absorption
- Some wearers find their comfort to be inadequate
- Break-in period may cause blisters
What should you look for when buying alternatives to Sanuk?
The best alternative for you will depend on which type of Sanuk shoe you are interested in, as the brand offers several different styles and designs.
Here are some things you need to know:
- In general, Sanuk shoes and sandals tend to come in earthy colors with a low arch or zero heel-to-toe drop. If this is a design you find appealing, avoid footwear with mid to high arches. In particular, look for zero drop shoes.
- Sanuks are intended for those who like to take long walks, but not necessarily for athletes. They are categorized by the type of activity for which they are ideal: Beach, Water-Friendly, Around Town, Travel, and “Cozy Chillin’”. Look over the characteristics of the type of footwear you want for that particular activity and begin comparing with alternatives.
- Sanuks are typically made of a textile fabric that is soft and flexible, yet are firm enough to offer decent support. While the fabric stretches, it still might not feel “breathable” for some wearers. If you need ventilation, look for features such as eyelets along the sides.
- Once again, Sanuk is a very sustainable, vegan-friendly brand. Products feature recycled materials. Even the brand’s leather shoes are made responsibly. There are also a variety of sustainable hemp sandals and loafers available. Other brands might not have this dedication to creating cruelty-free footwear. If this is important to you, OLUKAI is a brand to start with when looking for alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sanuk and Alternatives
Do Sanuk shoes and their knockoffs make good walking shoes?
Yes – the main reason for people to purchase these kinds of shoes is that they want something comfortable and lightweight on their feet while they do a lot of walking.
What if I have a foot condition and need extra support when walking?
If your foot condition requires you to have decent arch support and/or extra padding, then the type of footwear offered by Sanuk and some of the alternative brands might not be right for your needs. However, if your foot condition is plantar fasciitis, the zero drop sandals might be perfect for you.
How can I determine which size to order?
While many of these shoes do stretch, the fabric can only stretch so much. It’s usually recommended to order a size up if you have wide feet and/or want to wear socks.
Are Sanuk shoes really expensive?
Price is always going to vary depending on factors like the exact model of shoe, the kind of activity a particular pair is made for, materials used, and how often they should be worn. One of the biggest complaints about Sanuk footwear is that it begins to fall apart sooner than it should. Either look for an alternative that costs less, or one that is praised for its long-term use in reviews – regardless of price.
Are these shoes easy to clean and care for?
Considering Sanuk advertises many of their shoes to be machine washable, then they are easy to clean. Whether you want to buy a pair from this brand or from another brand, be sure and look for ones featuring water-resistant material.
If the material is leather, however, it’s better to use a good spot cleaner. Leather shoe cleaning products can be found in many department stores.
Hopefully, this guide will help you find your ideal soft, durable walking shoe or sandal, or at least provide you with the information you need for doing research. Always read reviews and complaints on any Sanuk alternative shoe you are interested in.