Why Are Sanuk Shoes So Expensive? (Explained)

In short: Sanuk shoes are expensive because they are made with responsibly certified and sustainable materials, which are not cheap. The shoes are also comfortable and durable.

Sanuk shoes are beloved by surfers, campers, and young people in general thanks to their relaxed styles and comfortable footwear. But why are Sanuk shoes so expensive?

3 reasons why Sanuk shoes are so expensive

Sanuk is an unconventional cult brand on a fun quest to make your feet smile and put a grin on your chin. Here are 3 reasons why Sanuks shoes are so expensive:

1. Responsibly certified and sustainable materials

Sanuk strives to incorporate more responsibly certified and sustainable materials in its products. Unfortunately, taking the sustainable route for production does not come cheap.

Sanuk clearly understands what its products are made of and where they come from, including preferred, recycled, renewable, regenerate, and natural materials.

To be able to make better sourcing decisions and guide its brands toward more sustainable material selections, Sanuk has to spend more money on research and development.

Some of Sanuk’s responsibly certified and sustainable materials include:

Responsible cotton

Sanuk promises to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2025. To date, Sanuk has already saved 59 million gallons of water, 147,000 MJ of energy, and 38,900 lbs. of CO2.


Hemp is an incredibly sustainable and eco-friendly fiber. According to Sanuk, it is the cool cousin of cannabis that is extremely gentle on Mother Earth.

Using hemp instead of cotton lets farmers save water, naturally replenish the soil, replant multiple times per year and harvest more often—all without pesticides or herbicides.

Vegan product

Sanuk wants to cater to different people with different needs. Sanuk’s vegan shoes, sandals, and boots are carefully made with absolutely no animal products or byproducts.

Recycled materials

Sanuk is always exploring innovative ways to source even more responsibly. They use recycled materials like recycled polyester, recycled cotton, recycled EVA, and other foams.

Responsible leather

Sanuk doesn’t use leather often, but when they do, it’s responsibly sourced from Leather Working Group tanneries. They encourage best practices and continual industry improvement.

2. Extremely comfortable and durable

It’s rare to find footwear that is both super comfortable and extremely durable. Fortunately, there is Sanuk. Their selection of shoes, sandals, and boots is simply some of the best.

A friend of mine has been selling Sanuks for more than 10 years. He claims that the shoes are not only comfortable but durable as well. Some pairs have lasted over 8 years.

While some people might find Sanuk shoes expensive (between $30 to $125), a lot of his customers love the variety of styles and the fact that they are machine washable.

There are a lot of cheaper knockoffs, but the difference in quality is too obvious. Fake Sanuks will break down in less than a year, while genuine Sanuks can last well over a decade.

Sanuk shoes are designed to allow your feet to feel like you are walking barefoot, but have protection for the soles. Their products definitely live up to this claim in my opinion.

They are so comfortable that I wear them not only when I walk the dogs, but also wear them around the house and when I go out to run errands or somewhere casual.

Think about it, for a $65 pair of slip-on Sanuk shoes, you can enjoy them for almost 10 years. Many would agree that the price is completely justified and worth it.

3. Sanuk ambassadors

When it comes to consumer products, branding is key. To ensure that Sanuk is thriving as a brand, they work together with influential people in the industry to market their products.

The good vibe tribe, also known as the Sanuk ambassadors aren’t on your everyday list of surfers, yogis, boardriders, and artists. They’re all-around fun human beings who personify the brand.

Sanuk ambassadors include surfers Paige Alms, Brett Bartley, Lauren Hill, Hunter Jones, Torrey Meister, and Matt Meola, as well as yogi Jaysea Devoe and musician Donavon Frankenreiter. 

To be able to work with an amazing group of people, it’s obvious that Sanuk has to pay more in advertising costs, which in turn, raises the prices of their products.

Final words

Now you know why Sanuk shoes are so expensive. Their shoes are extremely comfortable, super durable, and use sustainable materials. Sanuk also works with ambassadors too.