11 Best Canvas Shoes: From Heritage Designs to Modern Classics

Perfect for laid back, casual vibes.

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Canvas shoes are an essential item in most wardrobes. They are comfortable, affordable, and they tend to have a low profile, slimline design that looks great with a whole range of casual outfits.

This list of the best canvas shoes is (perhaps unsurprisingly) filled with classic, instantly recognizable styles. For example, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are among the most recognizable pieces of clothing that exist. And Vans designs like Old Skool or Checkerboard slip-ons aren’t far behind.

But there is more to the world of canvas shoes than these two companies. And in this article, we’ll outline some of our favorite choices.

11 Best Canvas Shoes

1. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star

When talking about the best canvas shoes, you can’t look past Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. The design is an absolute classic and has been for decades. I’m willing bet that a significant proportion of readers will have had a pair of these sneakers at some point in their life. And if that’s not the case, then now’s as good a time as any to add them to the list.

But what makes them great? First is the design—the combination of canvas with a plastic toe is instantly recognizable. Then there’s the variety of colors and styles on offer, it’s easy for anyone to find a pair that they like. The shoe is also relatively affordable, costing far less than higher-tech sneakers. The only question left is: do you go for hi or low top?

2. Vans Old Skool

Vans Old Skool
The Brdwlk

This is the first of two Vans designs on this list—although there could have been more. The first one I chose is Vans Old Skool because the design manages to blend laid-back cool while being instantly recognizable. The stripe is the obvious feature, it takes an otherwise plain canvas design up a notch in a way that isn’t unlike the Nike Swoosh (more on that later).

The contrast stitching and chunky soles are other design features that manage to look great without being showy. I personally love the black and white version, I’ve had more pairs than I care to remember. But like Converse All Stars mentioned above, you can buy the shoes in a large variety of colors and designs.

3. Vans Checkerboard Slip-Ons

Vans Checkerboard slip-ons are the second pair of Vans to make it to this list. While the design of the Old Skool is minimalist, the checkerboard goes the other direction. The shoe’s eyecatching design is guaranteed to be the star of any outfit. I personally like the classic off-white and black colorway, but Vans sells a huge number of styles and colors.

4. Adidas Daily 3.0

The Adidas Daily 3.0 makes this list because it takes all that we love about classic Adidas designs and turns into an easy-to-wear canvas sneaker. It borrows heavily from Stan Smith, the classic white leather shoe, but turns it into a more streamlined package. The classic version of the shoes comes in grey, black, or white. But you can also pick up a pair in bright blue or red for when you want to stand out.

5. Adidas 3MC

Adidas 3MC
The Brdwlk

The Adidas 3MC is another low-profile canvas shoe. It’s super light making it comfortable for wearing all day. It has a minimalist design with the main features being stitching across the toe and on the stripe as well as the contrast sole.

View Adidas 3MC

6. Nike SB Chron

Nike’s entry onto this list of the best canvas shoes comes via the Nike SB Chron sneaker. This shoe has a classic canvas sneaker design meaning its low-profile, minimalist, and streamlined. As you’d expect with a pair of Nike shoes, the Swoosh is a major part of the design and on these shoes, it comes in the form of a small tick towards the ankle. The shoes come in a variety of colors, from standards to brighter colors.

7. Fred Perry Hughes

Back in the U.K the Fred Perry Hughes is a hugely popular canvas shoe. It has a similar toe cap and upper to a low-top Chuck Taylor but the extra chunky, ribbed sole and the distinctive Fred Perry logo ensure they stand out. I love these shoes in black and gold, but you can grab them in several different colorways.

8. Lacoste Lerond

Lacoste has a large range of canvas shoes due to its heritage as a tennis brand. The Lacoste Jump Serve is a great option due its classic canvas sneaker design and offw-white colorway. But the stand-out pair in my opinion is the Lacoste Lerond due to the super slimline profile and all-white colorway. The distinctive crocodile logo adds a unique design element to the shoe.

9. AllSaints Rig

Canvas shoes have a long association with the alternative music scene. The AllSaints Rig leans into this heavily to create a perfectly grungy pair of canvas shoes. The shoes take what we love about high-top Chuck Taylors but slims the design down—making them perfect for skinny jeans—and adds an instantly worn-in look to the shoe. A cool feature of these shoes is the laces, which have a high sheen that reflects the light in a unique way.

10. Toms Alpargata Canvas

The Toms Alpargata Canvas is one of the most unique canvas shoes on this list. It has the classic Toms wrapped espadrille look with the distinctive v-stitch to make getting them on and off easy. It’s also available in a variety of colors so you know you can find one that suits your style. And you get the added benefit of knowing that when you buy a pair of Toms, you’re buying a shoe that actually cares about making the world a better place.

11. Common Projects Tournament

We’re heading to the high end for the final canvas shoes on our list. The Common Project Tournament is a beautiful streamlined minimalist shoe in off-white. There are no design elements or logos on the shoe you get a completely minimalist look. The shoe is expensive, but it’s made in Italy and comes with a 100% leather lining.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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