Much like I felt about the first pair of Charlie Stone shoes I bought, I was skeptical about having a closed ankle on a shoe like this. I tend to get rubbed bleeding and raw with that style, and vegan "leather" tends to be tough, plastic-y levels of awful. Not so here! Sizing down from my normal size in Grade 2's was the right decision length-wise, which keeps my ankle from rubbing. The toe box is slightly snug on me, but I plan on giving them some quality wear-around-the-house time to break them in properly. The sole is beyond wonderful in its softness, as is the vegan "leather", which could trick me for being the real thing if I didn't know!