Michelle Welling

VEJA Trainers: the V-10 vs V-12 Review

most popular veja shoes

Sustainable, transparent and committed to Fair Trade practices, VEJA launched onto the sneaker scene in 2004, proving trainer manufacturing doesn’t have to be a dirty business. 

Created by friends Sébastien Kopp  and François-Ghislain Morillion, these French trainers certainly have that ‘je ne sais quois’ - and it’s not just because they cost 5 times more to produce than other major trainer brands and harness fairtrade, organic raw materials. 

Worn by a hoard of celebs (more on that later) and featuring a minimalist aesthetic, VEJA has become wildly-popular. But which style is right for you? Here, we’ll be reviewing VEJA’s V-10 and V-12 trainers. Discover more about the V-10 and V-12s’ distinctive style, fit and fabrication, so you can pick the perfect pair for you.

WHY ARE VEJA SHOES SO POPULAR?

Having been spotted on the likes of Emma Watson, Katie Holmes, Emily Ratajkowski and notoriously, Megan Markle, VEJA have amassed a loyal celebrity following. Most recently, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was spotted in the white and metallic Esplar trainers, further cementing VEJA as the cult-favourite brand of the moment. 

Celebrity-approval aside, VEJA’s contemporary styles have enduring appeal. Modern, clean and with pops of colour in the form of an iconic ‘V’ logo, these distinctive trainers spend longer in the design process than other big brand trainers – so they won’t be pushed to the back of the closet after one season. 

Perhaps the biggest appeal of slipping on a pair of VEJA trainers, however, is their eco-credentials. From sourcing through to production and distribution, VEJA pays close attention to its factories’ working conditions, the chemicals used in production and its impact on the environment. Meanwhile, rubber and cotton are sourced directly from the producers for a fair price, while plastic bottles and cotton are upcycled into innovative materials and given a second life.

guide to veja shoes

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VEJA V-10 AND V-12?

Both of VEJA’s V-10 and V-12 models put the focus on ecological and sustainable materials. As a result, you’ll find both styles available in a choice of leather or B-Mesh, giving you the freedom to choose the look and feel that suits your taste.

There are other parallels, too. Both feature an organic cotton-blend lining to promote breathability, as well as a wild Amazonian rubber sole, although the V-12 includes other innovative ingredients in its soles, like rice waste. 

Spot them on the street and you may be forgiven for confusing the V-10 and V-12 – they’re that similar. But one of the biggest distinguishing factors is their width. The V-12 is noticeably narrower, giving you a more locked-in feel around the midfoot. However, both styles offer different colour combinations. While the majority of V-10 and V-12 models have a signature white upper, you’ll find that each trainer has its own distinct colour combination on the V logos and heel tabs. 

about veja v10

ABOUT VEJA V-10

Created as a celebration of the brand’s 10th anniversary, VEJA’s V-10 trainers have a chunky, low-profile shape, sporty aesthetic and signature V-logo. 

Crafted from sustainable materials, the V-10s feature a leather upper and panels which are sourced from farms in Rio Grande do Sul. The leather is then tanned in factories that have been certified L.W.G. Gold by the Leather Working Group (which encourages sustainable practices). If you prefer to forgo leather, some V-10 styles are also available in the brand’s breathable B-Mesh upper - made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and recycled polyester. 

With great arch support provided by a wild Amazonian rubber sole and a soft organic cotton and recycled polyester lining, the VEJA V-10s are comfortable right out of the box. They’re also available in a range of colours, decorated with classic rubber or suede V logos. 

Durable, distinctive and luxurious, these trainers are ideal for a long day exploring, with a chunky, elevated sole providing increased support for your natural stride and a classic lace-up closure.

How to style the VEJA V-10

Seen on the feet of fashion’s most influential, the V-10s are some of the most versatile trainers around. Whether you’re heading to the studio or for a picnic in the park, the clean and contemporary V-10 style works with a wide range of outfits.

For an active day out, we suggest teaming your V-10s with your favourite leggings and a longline crop bra. Alternatively, they also look great with floaty sun dresses or a classic jeans and tee ensemble, with the elevated heel creating the illusion of longer legs. Don't miss our complete guide on how to style VEJA trainers here.

Are VEJA V-10 shoes true to size?

Generally true to size, we’d recommend buying the V-10s in your normal size. If you’re between sizes, it’s best to size down. Due to their wider width, they’re great for those who prefer a more roomy fit.

You’ll also find the VEJA V-10 has a slightly longer tongue than other styles. If this hits the front of your ankle, you can tuck this to one side until it’s softened up to avoid any rubbing. Check out more sizing tips here.

about veja v12 shoes

ABOUT VEJA V-12

Launched in 2017, the VEJA V-12 trainers are another low-profile style similar to the iconic V-10s. With a choice of upper, crafted from either a sleek leather or breathable B-mesh option, the V-12 trainers are another classic tennis-inspired style made in Brazil’s Porto Alegre region. 

Environmentally-friendly and luxurious, the V-12 model features panels made from leather or suede, with a soft inner lining that’s engineered from recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton. Much like the V-10s, the V-12s’ sole is a stand-out feature, harnessing an innovative mix of wild Amazonian rubber, rice waste and recycled rubber. This chunky sole not only gives you an additional boost in the height department, but provides extra cushioning for a comfortable walking experience.  

How to style VEJA V-12

Just like all VEJA trainers, the V-12 are another style that are easy to throw on with whatever you’re wearing. Slip them on with leggings and an oversized jumper for the school run or pair with your favourite floaty maxi dress for easy summer vibes. Read up on our full VEJA style guide for how-to-wear tips.

Are the VEJA V-12 shoes true to size?

This trainer runs large, but has a narrower fit than the V-10. If you’re between sizes, we recommend sizing down in the V-12 trainer. 

If you’ve chosen a pair of leather V-12 trainers, most people find this style comfortable from the first wear. However, some people prefer to wear them around the house so they start moulding to your unique foot shape before heading out. Take a look at our VEJA Trainers Size Guide & FAQ for more insights on these and other styles.

how to style veja trainers

WHICH VEJA TRAINERS SHOULD YOU BUY?

If you love the style of classic tennis shoes like adidas’ iconic Stan Smiths and Reebok’s Club C 85, VEJA’s V-10 and V-12 models will be in continuous rotation in your closet. The V-10s may be wider but they’re perfectly balanced, offering a modern and contemporary aesthetic. However, those who prefer a more sleek look and narrow fit may prefer the V-12s slimmer profile, which feels lighter underfoot.

THE VERDICT

Anytime you purchase a pair of VEJA trainers you’re making a choice to back sustainability, fair trade practices and safe working standards. You’re also making an investment that will outlast a single season (or year). Although similar, the V-10 and V-12 trainers have subtle differences that make them covetable in their own right.