Size and fit

Canvas sneakers like the Sperry Cloud CVO come in unisex sizes starting from size 4 to 13. In medium width, the shoe is a tad narrow that one should consider a half or full size up to get a better fit. With it medium width, the legacy sneaker is kept secured by traditional flat lacing while the low-top profile allows freedom to move around.

Sperry Cloud CVO Style

The sheer simplicity in design of the Sperry Cloud CVO often makes this heritage classic sneaker underrated. But the reason it has endured such a long time in the public eye is because of this simplicity and minimalist treatment that makes them so wearable, original, and appealing even to the most discerning of shoe critics.

One can merely pair this sneaker with any plain shirt, jeans or shorts and the wearer is already given that preppy look that never ceases to get the admiration of many including sailors who first wore the shoes on the deck. The simple colorways and vulcanized rubber outsole also give this classic deck shoe that edges over flashy and vibrant designs flooding the market today as Sperry Cloud CVP transcends generations from fathers to their sons without literally showing the fashion gap between the two.

Notable Features

It is often hard to precisely point out the best features of this heritage sneaker only because it has been in the spotlight for so long. But setting aside the classic good looks that appeal to several generations, the Sperry Cloud CVO has a comfortable Wave Comfort Foot System with removable polyurethane footbed that cushions impact and gives a lasting comfort to the feet. Also worth noting in the design, is the non-slip, high traction soles that were the main reason why the shoe stood out among the rest in the late 1940s and became the perfect deck companion for many sailors.

Sperry Cloud CVO History

Founded in 1935, Sperry was established by avid sailor and inventor Paul Sperry. Sperry invented the non-slip rubber soles that became the foundation of the famous boat shoe. The idea for the Sperrys or Top-siders as we popularly know them today came after an accident involving the company founder slipping on the deck of his boat that could have cost him his life.

After the incident, Sperry came up with several designs for added traction on the soles of sailor’s shoes. Using siping technology or the process of splitting the sole invented and patented by John Sipe in the 1920s. Several prototypes later, the first Sperry shoe design involved the canvas shoes Circular Vamp Oxford also known as the CVO. The CVO then was a favorite design that many in the sailing community patronized them.

With textured rubber outsoles, the CVO was eventually released into four other designs like the slip-on moccasin and the stitched-on leather iteration including the more popular top-sider model now popularly known as the Authentic Originals that was made out of tanned leather. The CVO design was produced in partnership with Commonwealth Shoe and Leather Co.

The CVO shoes was a favorite product among American sailors until 1939 the US Navy bought the rights to manufacture Sperrys at the United States Naval Academy.Paul Sperry eventually sold ownership of the company to the US Rubber Company in 1940. For several years the company ownership changed hands from various corporate owners like the Stride Rite Corporation, which bought the rights to manufacture the shoes along with another popular sneaker brand Keds.

In 2007, the company was bought by Payless ShoeSource but only after a few years, the company ownership again changed hands this time to Wolverine World Wide and Blum Capital Partners who purchased the company for over $1.2 billion. Wolverine World Wide currently owns other famous brands like Merrell and Hush Puppies. They also manufacture shoes for Caterpillar and Harley-Davidson. Also listed among its subsidiaries include Keds, Saucony, Stride Rite, and Sperry Top-sider.

Despite the change in ownership, the CVO line was among Sperry’s most famous and enduring releases. Since 1935, the Cloud CVO silhouette with its canvas upper and vulcanized high traction sole remains a top seller for the brand.

Additional Info

  • Celebrities spotted wearing the Sperry Cloud CVO include athlete Slater Trout.
  • Other popular and bestselling iterations of the Sperry Cloud CVO is the Death Star Wars model.
  • The sneaker features a vulcanized construction that results in a secure bonding between outsoles and the uppers.
  • Wave siping pattern used for superior traction in the outsole.


The current trend of Sperry Cloud CVO.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.