Hey Dude vs Sanuk: Which is Better?

The major difference between Hey dude and Sanuk is the heel area. Sanuk shoes are designed to have the outsole of sandals with the comfortable, lightweight cloth-like cover of a pair of shoes. Hey dude, on the other hand, is a high top that covers and holds your ankles.

The heel area of Sanuk shoes is not covered with any strong comfortable material thereby causing scraping on the heel and the ankles because it is a low-top.

Hey Dude vs Sanuk: Which is better?

Hey Dude vs Sanuk

If I were to choose which is better between Sanuk and Hey dude, I am going for Hey dude unrepentant and unapologetically. Now hear me out, hear me out, all you Sanuk enthusiasts, and let me defend my choice.

Hey Dude shoes are much more comfortable than Sanuk because it doesn’t scrape the heel or feet. It has an elastic lace closure that Sanuk doesn’t have.

Now that that’s done, here are a few reasons Hey dude is better than Sanuk:

  • Sturdy soles
  • Laces for fitting
  • Better support
  • Better design

Sturdy Soles

Hey dude has a more sturdy sole and insole than is durable and flexible. The insole is joined together with the midsole so that it is just one material topped with a thin layer of EVA foam but no mesh material.

If your feet sweat a lot, you will need a foot rag (if that’s a thing) because there is no mesh material to soak up moisture. Hey dude comes with removable insoles that are made of memory foam.

They are called Wally Classic insoles. For the sole, it is made of synthetic leather material. This is better than rubber because it can over time break and take the mold and shape of your feet, something rubber can never pull off.

Also, Sanuk soles are really thin because they were created for surfers and walking on the beach. They offer next to no support for the heel. Hey dude however has insoles and support that are good for everyday use

Laces for fitting

Hey Dude vs Sanuk
Hey Dude
Hey Dude vs Sanuk

While Sanuk can boast that they make up for lace-up closure with elastic at the tongue, there is nothing like the traditional lace-up closure type. The elastic for Sanuk is to keep it from slipping off your foot but what of fitting?

The lace-up for Hey dude has just two pairs of eyelets and the laces have a thick stopper to prevent them from slipping through the eyelets. They can be tied for fitting. This is just above the tongue of the shoes too.


Hey dude also gives the foot support and overall support that Sanuk lacks. Like I mentioned earlier, Sanuk shoes taper at the ankles, and because they have no inner structure or any sort of padding in the whole shoe so the heels and ankles are badly scraped.

In the long run that will lead to chafing and maybe even blisters. Hey dude is however lined with cotton and linens that make it more comfortable than Sanuk and prevent scraping of the feet.

They also go up a bit, like high tops, and then they hug the ankle and give it warmth and care. Still, Sanuk shoes are not that bad. The structure is the footbed and sole over a few orthopedic properties.


Hey dude is a very trendy brand. Their style and designs really up their game and they reel people in with their eye-catching designs.

After all the interiors and the intricacies of the shoes, you will get the comfort and the value of your money but it is the style that will give you that look and get your compliments right? Well, Hey dude has your back on that one.


Sanuk Shoes: Brief History

Hey Dude vs Sanuk

Sanuk began in 1997 with the sole intention (see what I did there?) of putting a smile on people’s faces. In fact the word, Sanuk is a Thai word for fun.

Under Deckers Brands, their parent company, Sanuk began in Southern California producing everything: flip-flops, yoga slings, sidewalk surfers, sandals, shoes, basically anything that gives comfort and ease.

Now a big hit, they have always produced their footwear from hemp, the most durable and sustainable fiber from cannabis and an alternative to cotton, and other eco-friendly textile materials.

Still, in the shoe production business, they manufacture in the US and sell online and to over 30 countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Singapore, and the UK.

Hey dude shoes: Brief History

Hey Dude vs Sanuk
Hey Dude

Don’t dismiss them for the carefree name. These shoes have been in the business since 2008.

When Alessandro Rosano started making shoes in the Tuscan region of Italy in 2008, his goal was to make shoes that were comfortable, lightweight, and stylish at affordable prices that were of standard. And that’s what he did.

In 2009, another branch was opened in the US. Their shoes, made from recycled plastic turned into soft durable PET fiber, are popular and unique for their craftsmanship and beautiful designs.

Today they have sold over 10 million pairs in 20 different countries and 5000 stores. They also sell online making it easy to get a pair.


Differences between Sanuk and Hey dude

Let’s look into them, shall we? Some differences are not much of a big deal but are worthy to take note of.

  • Material used in production
  • Different design
  • Stitching
  • Sizing

Material used in production

Sanuk and Hey dude doesn’t use the same material for their shoes. Sanuk uses hemp material. This almighty hemp material is among the species of cannabis and very similar to cotton. As for Hey dude, they are made from recycled junk and plastic. 

You might as well be wearing three water bottles you drank from 5 years ago and discarded improperly (shame on you!).

The recycled plastic is used to make Hey dude shoes that are very soft, and so cloth-like. Without this, I am pretty sure you wouldn’t have a clue that trash equals Hey dude shoes

Different design

Hey Dude vs Sanuk
Hey Dude
Hey Dude vs Sanuk

This is a major visible difference. While Sanuk has elastic at the tongue area to keep it from flying off your foot, Hey dude has laces. The elastic is good if you do not want to deal with doing and undoing laces.

They are around the midfoot and are not too tight or uncomfortable in any way. Hey dude has elasticated laces that are not more than two eyelets. With big aglets so you don’t have to remove the laces.

The Sanuk elastic makes it similar to Skechers while Hey dude laces remind you of sneakers. Hey dude has very beautiful designs on it. They come in different styles and colors so you can pick something to match your taste.

Sanuk isn’t bothered. They come in many colors but that’s plain. The most beautiful Sanuk shoes are the ones with earthly colors. They are perfect for the summer.

They are ideal if like me you want something simple that goes with everything you wear.


Sanuk has double-reinforced stitching around the upper that stops at the tongue of the shoes. This means that they are stronger and tighter.

The stitches are even and although they look slightly bunched up and not very neat, I guarantee you that those stitches will keep your shoes around longer.

It is interesting to note that the stitching performs a double function of design as well as holding the materials together thereby increasing durability.

Hey dudes don’t have that stitching and the one thing we get from that is that it just looks neater and more professional than Sanuk in that area. Still, they have that stitched part of the upper kind of dominantly sticking up so they look very similar.


And speaking of fitting and running wide, what about sizing. Well, Hey dude runs large and they come in half sizes. Sanuk shoes run true to size. For wide feet, they tend to be small so you should size up. Sanuk doesn’t come in half sizes.

No matter the type of feet you have, you are asked to size up for Hey Dudes because it is large in terms of tie box not that they are comically large.

Size up by a half. If for example, you are using 8 go for an 8.5. They are meant to be free and loose.

Are there any similarities between Sanuk and Hey dude?

Why yes there are! Aside from the fact that they look similar, are affordable, and are not high end or luxury brands, here are some:

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Washable
  • Ezo-friendly materials
  • They both run wide
  • Slip-on
  • Break-in period and fitting
  • Waterproof
  • Customizable

Lightweight and breathable

These two shoes are lightweight. The most they weigh is only a few grams which are even lighter than some phones.

Also, the canvas of each shoe is breathable allowing ventilation. Sanuk has a few perforations at the side making them windows for air.


Both Sanuk and Hey dude shoes can be washed on a cold setting in a washing machine. However, for Sanuk shoes, you should not wash them with a washing machine if the upper or any other part is made of leather.

Excess exposure to moisture ruins leather. You can clean leather Sanuk shoes with a slightly damp rag. For other Sanuk and Hey dude shoes, after washing, you can rinse and air dry.

Eco-friendly materials

They are both vegan shoes that make their shoes through eco-friendly means. While Hey dude cleans up trash and recycles junk into shoes, Sanuk uses hemp, biodegradable, natural, and cruelty-free, to produce theirs.

They both run wide

Or large, whatever you want to say. This doesn’t mean that they start their sizing from a really large size, no. The toe box and the whole interior is roomy for the feet.

Even the heel is free allowing your feet to move flexibly in the shoe. Unless you have really large feet and go for a small size, there is no way you will find them uncomfortable.


The two brands make their shoes an easy slip-on. Sanuk has no padding in the shoe so you can even fold in the heel counter and wear it like a kind of night slipper. Hey dude is padded so wearing it like a slipper will ruin them with time.

Break-in period and fitting

They pretty much have no break-in period. They are so free and comfortable that the only thing you will need to actually break-in is the upper.

See the shoes are not designed with a lot of space between the insole and upper, so if you want a great fit you will have to get a size down and wear them for a few days. That’s great for Sanuk.

For Hey dude, you will pick your size and tighten the laces for that fit. Aside from that, both fit snug when you first wear them.


Both shoes are waterproof because of the reasons they are made. Sanuk shoes are made for surfers to be worn at the beach and maybe around the house so most Sanuk shoes are waterproof except those made of leather and suede.

They should not be exposed to moisture to avoid damage. The same applies to Hey dude shoes. They are waterproof and the ones made of leather and suede should be kept away from moisture.


Both Hey dude and Sanuk shoes can be customized to your taste. Now you can put anything, inscription, picture, color, anything that screams you.

For Sanuk, this is a great idea because they are mostly produced plain and the styles that are available may not suit you. If I want to fix up my Sanuk, I am thinking of some old-school embroidery if possible.

All this may not be necessary for Hey dude that is very concerned with precise details and varieties of designs.

Why would you choose Sanuk over Hey dude?

They are really good shoes with durable shoes. Yes, leather conforms to your foot but rubber is much more durable because it won’t wear as fast leather.

They also run true to size, helping you find your size easier. They stretch out eventually to fit your foot. They are great for people with flat feet because the footbed is wide and not shoes like a foot as other shoes.

Why would you choose Hey dude over Sanuk?

While Sanuk wins the round of durability anytime any day, Hey dude is known for its comfort and well heel support. Remember when I said Hey dude shoes take after sneakers, yea? The sole and midsole of Hey dude are also similar to sneakers.

They have great cushioning and an insole, and all of it gives arch support. You won’t find this in Sanuk shoes.


That’s all we have for today guys. Thanks for reading. As usual, I will advise that you read through and understand the pros and cons of these shoes so that you won’t end up unsatisfied.

Till the next article, cheers.


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