Best Birkenstocks Reviewed & Rated for Comfort
Birkenstock is the original inventors of the first contoured footbed that promotes health and well-being. It all started with a print of a healthy foot cast in sand. Since then they have continually updated to premium materials for superior foot health. In the 1930s they introduced the concept of anatomically shaped insoles with incredible support and it is this concept that continues as their platform to this day.
The regular firm contoured footbeds of Birkenstock's are made of cork and jute fibers. The contour contains 4 arches for even weight distribution and proper posture. The cork blend used is a firm yet resilient cork and latex base to ensure maximum support while the jute fibers consist of two layers that wick away moisture and adds strength. To top it off the footbed liner is a soft suede that keeps your feet dry and comfortable. The soft beds are made the same but with an extra layer of foam cushion inserted between the suede footbed liner and the layers of cork and jute.
Birkenstocks feature more toe room to promote better balance and correct foot alignment. The raised toe bar encourages the natural gripping motion of your feet. They also have deep heel cups to cradle the heel and provide natural cushion under the heel bone while the shock absorbing sole is flexible, lightweight, and durable.
The uppers are made of quality leathers and synthetic materials ensuring a premium product. Their natural leather has untreated surface grains, so every piece is unique while the patent leather is coated with either paint or plastic for a glossy shine. Shoes made with suede have been buffed on the inside leaving an unfinished soft surface while nubuck shoes are a top grain leather with a softly buffed surface. Synthetic materials include Birko felt nubuck that is made to look and feel like nubuck leather and Birko-Flor is easy to care for PVC with a soft breathable fleece for comfort.
Birkenstock prides itself on comfort and health for your feet. Their concept behind this is that comfort is based on firm orthopedic correct support. In order to prove maximum comfort and health, your feet require a solid foundation with correct positioning. The footbed of Birkenstocks offers proper arch support, a deep heel cup, and plenty of room for the toes. By doing this your weight is evenly distributed by the entire foot. As a result, you will achieve improved posture and balance for greater comfort while walking.
If you are looking for a shoe that is comfortable, durable and stylish, take a look at our top 10 Birkenstock picks. We’ve scoured the net to identify the top models in the market, weighing thousands of collected opinions from wearers and buyers just like you. You won’t regret spending the next few minutes to find the perfect pair!
- Gizeh Birko-Flor
- Arizona Essentials
- Granada Soft
- Yara Leather
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Birkenstocks
- Ekte Skinn Insole
- Built-in arch support
- Toe grip
- Soft footbed
- Very wide toe box
Birkenstock Florida Sandals have a new revitalized look with the three slim straps that are adjustable for a custom fit. With the addition of the toe grip, they offer optimum grip while walking. The upper is made of durable Birko-Flor, an acrylic and polyamide felt fiber. The Birkenstock Florida Sandals feature the classic cork soft bed with built-in arch support.Read more
An embedded toe grip built into the front of the shoe. It adds support and comfort while wearing it. It will also help to keep the sandal where it belongs while walking allowing your toes to naturally grip the shoe.
Ekte Skinn Insole
The insole is a flexible leather liner that is gentle on your skin. It feels soft and adjusts to your feet. Its breathability creates a comfortable foot climate and is open-pored.
Price and Value
The price is in the mid to high range. Consumers are overall happy with their purchase and highly recommend them. Buyers love the style and feel of the shoe. Some claim that they are wide with a wide toe box while others say they fit perfectly.
- Strappy Design
- May Run Narrow
This cute little Birk rounds out our top ten list with the Salina Sandal; a strappy take to the normal dual banded Birkenstock Arizona design. The colors and styling of this sandal give it a little extra formality so you can pair it with dresses or shorts to warmer affairs in the summertime that require some sophistication. Birko-Flor uppers keep it looking shiny and sharp, and it has the Birkenstock footbed we’ve all come to know and love from the brand.Read more
The Birko-Flor is a trademark of Birkenstock that is a quality synthetic designed material. If you prefer your shoes easy to care for, this feature utilizes PVC which is simple to clean, combined with a soft lining. The lining is quite breathable, but comfortable as it’s made from fleece. No more irritations from wearing strappy sandals due to rubbing against sensitive skin!
All Day Wear
As many Birkenstocks have, the Salina comes with a 3D profiled footbed to conform and shape to your individual foot over time. Soft suede adorns the footbed lining and helps to keep breathability in the foot. An EVA sole helps support and give added cushion as you break in these new sandals. With a toe strap that covers on top the foot, and a split strap that originates from the instep into two straps across to the midfoot and start of the ankle, you’ll be safely secure in these.
Cost and Value
Similar to other Birkenstocks, pricing can vary depending on which color you choose. Their Birko-Flor uppers help add a pinch of sophistication for more formal events in the summer, such as BBQs or concerts, but they keep the comfort and cushion Birkenstocks are known for. A great investment for all lovers of the brand, and strappy sandals alike!
- Adjustable buckled Straps
- Classic footbed
- Birkibuc synthetic leather
- Lightweight EVA Sole
- Leather is synthetic
Birkenstock's Mayari Sandal has an elegant crisscross forming a loop around the big toe. It has the classic support with adjustability with the buckle straps. Using Birkibuc, a durable synthetic material for the upper has the look of nubuck leather with a soft backing. The footbed is the classic contoured cork with pronounced arch support, a roomy toe box, and a deep heel. The EVA outsole is lightweight and adds the perfect amount of cushioning and shock absorption.Read more
The birko-flor nubuck upper is made to look at feel like nubuck leather, while it is actually a hygienic PVC that is lined on the inside with a layer of breathable fleece. This material is gentle on your skin and easy to care for.
Birkenstocks uses an EVA material that is a lightweight high-quality elastic material that provides superior cushioning. The sandal will smooth out small irregularities on the ground while walking ensuring cushioning for every step.
Price and Value
The price of the Birkenstock Mayari Sandal is the mid-range for the brand. Reviewers absolutely love this scandal with claims of how comfortable and durable they are. Many are return customers buying on other colors and styles.
4. Gizeh Birko-Flor
- Modern thong sandal
- Leather-like finish
- Contoured cork footbed
- Lightweight EVA sole
- Synthetic upper material
The Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor is a modern thong sandal. Made with a Birko-Flor containing a mixture of unique materials, acrylic and polyamide felt fibers. It has a soft fabric with a leather-like finish. It features the tradition contoured cork footbed. It's flexible to take the shape of your foot with adequate arch support. The Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor comes in multiple colors and sizes.Read more
Lightweight EVA Sole
The lightweight EVA sole is flexible and has ample cushioning for great shock absorption. The EVA sole will absorb minor flaws on flat terrain so you do not notice the small fluctuations on the ground.
Roomy Toe Box
The toe box on the Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor is roomy enough to keep your toes comfortable without worrying your feet will not fit in the shoe. The thong is comfortable and soft so that it will not rub on your toes.
Price and Value
The price is in the mid-range. Reviewers are very happy with their purchases. Many are repeat buyers trying new colors or models. Reviewers state that these are a soft sandal that you can walk miles in.
Deep Heel Cup
May Need to be Broken In
The Birkenstock Milano Slingback sandal delivers the Birkenstock comfort that everyone has grown to love. The classic cork and latex footbed conforms to your feet for unsurpassed comfort and distributes your body weight evenly across the sandal for undefined support. The adjustable straps wrap over the foot and behind the heel for a secure fit.Read more
Birkenstock's Milano Slingback sandal is a great sandal for those that need the extra security for their heel. They are adjustable for the perfect fit with the over the foot straps and the additional heel strap.
Comfortable For Standing Long Periods
The Milano Slingback is the perfect solution who spends a long period of time on their feet. The upper is full length and slightly compact on the sides. The firm adjustable grip keeps your feet stable with every step.
Price and Value
The price is in the mid-range for the brand, Birkenstock. According to consumer reviews, they are durable and last a long time. Buyers are happy with their purchases, loving the heel strap. The biggest complaint is the break-in period.
6. Arizona Essentials
- Ultra lightweight
- One piece sandal
- Budget sandals
Birkenstock Arizona Essentials EVA Sandals are a spin-off of their original cork sandal. It is made in one piece with a high-quality ultra light EVA material. The vinyl has been tested and proven to be odor neutral and provides positive attributes. They are a waterproof, ultra lightweight, and washable sandal that is easy to care for. They are unisex and are available in different colors.Read more
Waterproof and Washable
The Birkenstock Arizona essentials sandals are made with a high quality lightweight elastic material called EVA. The vinyl material makes these sandals waterproof, washable, and easy to care for.
A one-piece design is used for the Birkenstock Arizona Essentials EVA Sandals. The shoe from the sole to the upper has been constructed together for a slim sleek look. The one-piece design contributes to the extreme lightweight feel.
Price and Value
The price for the Birkenstock Arizona Essentials EVA Sandals is in the low range. Essential they are a budget sandal with the Birkenstock name. The majority of consumer reviews show that people are happy with their purchase. Most reviewers say that they are extremely comfortable but may have a slight break in period.
- Slip on
- Contoured cork footbed
- Strap may be too short
Birkenstock Boston slip-on clog is a signature design. It comes in oiled leather, natural leather, and suede. It features the classically contoured cork footbed with an adjustable strap and a sturdy metal buckle for a snug fit. The pronounced arch support, large toe box, and classic comfort are all carried over to this casual wear clog.Read more
The Birkenstock Boston Slip-On Clog is available in natural leather, oiled leather, and suede leather. The natural and oiled leather can be recognized by the purposely left untreated leather to show the leathers characteristic features. The suede leather features a soft and flexible feeling with a light surface nap.
The Birkenstock slip-on clog is easily adjustable for the perfect fit. There is a strap on the upper edge of the clog and an adjustable sturdy metal buckle.
Price and Value
The price of the Boston clog is on the high end. Consumer reviews show that buyers are happy with their purchase. Many have stated that they have lasted years, one reviewer claims that they have had theirs for 10 years. Reviewers are overall happy with their purchase stating that they are also very comfortable.
8. Granada Soft
- Two strap slide sandal
- Oiled leather
- Soft footbed
- Lightweight EVA sole
- Can not be adjusted
Birkenstock Granada sandal is a two strap soft bed slide sandal made with oiled leather. The oiled leather upper is both soft and comfortable on your skin. It provides moderate arch support and features the infamous foam layered soft footbed. The Granada features the classic EVA lightweight outsole that is both flexible and shock absorbing.Read more
Birkenstock's Granada Soft Footbed Sandal is made with an oiled leather. You will recognize this by the untreated surface to show the natural surface grains. The leather has a thickness of 2.8 to 3.2 mm on the upper part of the sandal.
Molds To Your feet
The longer you wear Birkenstocks the more comfortable they get including the Birkenstock Granada sandal. As you wear them they begin to take on the contour of your foot. Eventually conforming to you for ultimate comfort.
Price and Value
The price of the Birkenstock Granada Soft Footbed Sandal is on the high end due to the genuine leather. Customers love the style of these saying they are fashionable and comfortable with the soft footbed. Many are repeat buyers that will buy again.
- Slip on sandal
- Adjustable strap
- Available in EVA or synthetic
- May Run Narrow
Birkenstock Madrid comes in the Birko-flor and EVA. The EVA sandals are made entirely of vinyl. They are a one piece single adjustable strap sandal. The birko-flor Madrid is made of a synthetic leather and features a single adjustable strap. Multiple colors of each are available.Read more
Birkenstock Madrid EVA sandals are waterproof, lightweight, and easy to clean. Simply get them damp and wipe them down. They are great for days at the beach or around the pool.
Birkenstock Madrid Birko-Flor
The Birkenstock Madrid Birko-Flor sandal has a synthetic leather upper, the classic cork midsole, and a rubber sole. They are durable and offer good traction. These are not waterproof.
Price and Value
The price for the EVA is low range while the price for the birko-flor is mid to high range. Reviewers like the fit and say they are comfortable as well as durable. There are several colors and sizes to choose from.
10. Yara Leather
- Adjustable ankle strap with toe loop
- Oiled leather upper
- Moldable Footbed
- EVA foot sole
- Ankle strap may run a little small
The Birkenstock Yara leather sandal is fashionable, flirty, fun Bohemia style sandal. It features an ankle strap and cross over toe loop. It has the firm cork footbed and shock absorbing outsole. The oiled leather upper provides a comfortable feel with the durability expected from Birkenstock.Read more
The ankle strap provides an elegant and stylish look to these sandals. The back strap wraps up and over your ankle while the front strap crosses over and loops the big toe. They remind some users of a more bohemian, urban style sandal.
No Dye Leather
Birkenstock Yara Leather sandals feature a no dye leather that is a thick yet supple leather to keep the leather breathable, durable and comfortable.
Price and Value
The price of the Birkenstock Yara Leather sandal is on the high end. Reviewers love the stylish look of this sandal. Consumers say they are true to size with a very fashionable and elegant feel. Like some of the other best Birkenstocks out there you may have to wear them a few times to break them in.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
You can feel good wearing Birks as well since most of their cork used to make the footbed comes from overages in wine bottle cork production. So, instead of this material simply being thrown away, Birkenstock uses it to make their iconic, comfortable shoes. The cork used for this is only the outer hull of the tree, which re-grows after 7-10 years, so you don’t have to worry about any needless and wasteful production from Birkenstock that may affect the environment. It’s responsible sourcing at it’s best!
Classic Contoured Footbed
One of the greatest features from Birkenstock is the contoured footbed. The footbed is shaped to mimic that of a healthy foot. It is made of a resilient cork and latex that is shaped and contoured to create a healthy walking environment for your feet.
By using a special blend of cork and latex, the footbed is flexible and reacts to your body temperature. So, over time the footbed conforms to the characteristics of your feet. Because of this, they do require a break in period. The longer you wear them the more comfortable they will be for you.
Just as the classic footbed is designed to help maximize the contours of your foot’s unique, natural shape, the soft footbed design from Birkenstock is similarly designed. The only difference is an additional layer of soft beds, made from a cushioned foam, which is inserted between the footbed liner suede, and the below layer of cork and jute. This allows for some extra cushioning in the sandal or shoe to help you stay on your feet longer, or for those whose feet could use a little extra comfort.
Most of the Birkenstocks closed toed shoes consist of a Blue Footbed. Cushioning under the heel helps cradle and keep impact minimal, while molded cups have been constructed with precision to help support the arch and promote natural gait and foot roll. Stability and support are also found under the ball of the foot, lateral sides, and arch from the Blue Footbed’s thin, yet flexible design.
Birkenstock prides the longevity of their shoes due to the well-constructed, and quality produced uppers combined with their footbeds. Leather and synthetics make most of their sandals uppers but vary slightly to tailor to your level of comfort or style.
Untreated leather, which is durable and breathable. Each piece used to create Birkenstock shoes are as unique as the surface grains remain intact.
Leather which has been coated with a shiny paint or plastic to give some added luster and shine to the uppers.
Leather that has a softer, unfinished surface which has been buffed to give a rough appearance
This kind of top-grain leather needs a little extra attention when it comes to moisture and maintaining its color. Surface treatments to protect Nubuck will extend the life of your Birkenstocks.
Wool Felt or Regular Felt
Regular felt is a synthetic material, soft and thick to the touch, but breathable and durable as well. Wool Felt differs slightly as it’s an all-natural material made from merino wool.
Birko Felt and Nubuck:
Birko Felt is a synthetic fiber and rayon blend which is soft, but washable, while Birko Nubuk resembles Nubuk leather, but is made from synthetic materials.
Combined fleece inners keep your feet feeling soft against the uppers, and an easy to clean PVC outer synthetic gives a little texture and appeal to the upper.
Eco-Friendly and Environmentally Responsible
In addition to their upcycling of production overage cork in the soles of their shoes, Birkenstock has made several advances to become an Eco-friendlier company.
Water Based Adhesives
Did you know that nearly 98% of the adhesives used to create your Birkenstocks are water based? This lessens the number of chemicals used during the manufacturing process, and they were one of the first companies to incorporate water-based adhesives during the process!
Jute is an annual plant, grown in tropical regions of the world. Plants are harvested at four months to undergo processing for plant fiber used in the soles of Birkenstocks. Another way renewable material is used by the company!
This is used as a binding agent for footbed production. Resin is harvest from rubber trees, which is part of the tree’s natural protection against fungi and bacteria and is collected in small buckets from scores, similar to maple syrup harvests. Compare this to synthetic latex, which is made from crude oil, a non-renewable resource.
Birkenstock Repair Service
Did you know that you can have certain aspects of your favorite pair replaced or repaired? And, although you’ll need to pay for the repair, they’ll pay the cost to ship them back to you once they’re good as new!
Finding a perfectly-fitting pair of shoes can be like finding the holy grail; there are so many brands, styles, models and makes of shoes that it seems like it’s next to impossible, especially when you are shopping online! Fear not, as we’ve ranked each product on our list for their fit and trueness-to-size to help guide you in finding the perfect match for you.
To come up with a score for fit of a shoe, we considered several factors, like the ones mentioned above, in addition to real customer reviews, to help boil down everything into one simple score. For example, Nike tends to make shoes that are true-to-size, meaning that you can buy a pair of 11s one year, and another pair of 11s next year in a different model, and they will usually still fit (unless your feet grown or shrank). A brand like Nike will most likely have a high score when it comes to fit, but the other variables in play, such as make, model and purpose, will also affect the overall score.
At the end of the day, however, a higher score for the “fit” criterion will tend to mean that the shoe experiences a better trueness-to-size than a competing product; just don’t forget all the underlying factors that are baked into arriving at that single score! Finally, if you are looking for tips on how to identify your shoe size, check out this guide by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society.
The outsole, or more simply, the sole of the shoe, makes direct contact with the ground and therefore supports the entire foot and body when in motion. Needless to say, a poorly-constructed outsole will lead to discomfort, slipping and foot or other bodily injury. For this reason, many manufacturers use materials that are water-, weather-, heat-, and impact-resistant. Depending on the type of footwear, one will often see outsoles made from natural or synthetic materials, such as PVC, EVA, rubber and leather. Each of these has their advantages, depending on the shoe’s purpose; however, as a general rule, they each are resistant to the aforementioned factors. They are also flexible enough to support a proper foot cycle when in motion, but they are not so flexible that they feel like a pair of socks. A sole made of the materials above tend to score higher on our product evaluations, as they are not only comfortable, but also support other criteria, such as “support” and “durability”.
The midsole is designed to provide cushioning and shock absorption to the shoe, nestling the foot in comfort. Whereas running shoes tend to have thick midsoles, flats and thinner shoes not designed for high-impact activities often have thinner midsoles. The reason for this is simple: you need more shock absorption and vibration dampening during high-intensity movements or activities to maintain comfort and prevent foot injury then you otherwise would with a regular shoe, flat or sandal. Midsoles are often made from EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), a synthetic plastic also used to make insertable orthotics. A firmer type of EVA for the midsole will make the shoe heavier, but more durable; whereas a softer type of EVA, like those found in running shoes, improve shock absorption, but wear much quickly. Podiatrists tend to prefer firmer midsoles for those suffering with orthopedic conditions, such as plantar fasciitis.
The insole is the proverbial foundation of the entire shoe. The sock liner lays on top of the insole, which is then fused to the midsole, and finally the outsole. A firm insole will give good structure to a shoe and increase its stability and durability, but it will also increase the weight of the overall product and be less comfortable. A softer insole might be more comfortable, but that comes at the expense of stability and durability. We tried to balance these weights when evaluating our products, but each reader and wearer is different, so be aware of this trade-off.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Despite popular belief, you can most certainly find fashionable and easy ways to wear your Birkenstocks year round. For summertime, the sky is the limit with your Birkenstocks! But what to do in cooler weather or climates?
Utilizing fun colorful socks paired with a neutral colored Birk is a casual yet fun way to stay warm in cooler weather. If you need something more formal, pick a sock color that is the same tone or hue of your Birkenstocks, and pair with similar colored slacks. It creates a clean, simple look, and keeps you comfortable in you Birks.
Birkenstock has been in the business long enough to make a staple model of sandal for their name (such as the Arizona), but they also evolve with fashion to create newer, sleeker models of footwear with the same comfort and quality you'd expect from the brand.
If you're looking for a new pair of Birkenstocks, explore some of the newer options where strappy designs upgrade the classic models, and buckles or color options add some sophisticated fun and flair to your styling options.
Other Factors to Consider
Birkenstock has been dated back to 1777 with their first shoe being invented for the church. Ever since then they have handed down the fine art of making premium quality shoes from one generation to the next. Today they sell in over 90 countries and have sold their shoes in the US for over 50 years.
The Birkenstock sandals featured are the best Birkenstocks according to consumers. If you are looking for a unisex sandal then the Arizona, Milano Slingback, and the Boston clogs are great choices. Great slip on sandal choices would be the Arizona, Boston, Madrid, or the Salina.
If you are looking for an adjustable strap for the perfect fit then any of the above will do the trick. They all have some kind of adjustable strap for the perfect fit. If you are looking for a heel or ankle strap to help hold the sandal on your foot then try the Milano Slingback or the Yara, as both are excellent choices.
At the end of the day, you can't really go wrong with any of the choices on our list. Each one is made with Birkenstock quality and technology, all culminating in an incredible wear from start to finish. Find the ones you like best, read some reviews on Amazon to make sure it works for you, and click "buy"!
Frequently Asked Questions
Birkibuc is a synthetic leather material that is durable. It has a nubuck leather-like texture with a soft backing.
Birkenstocks come with a light coating of cork sealer on the cork edge of the sandal and clogs. The oil prevents the cork from drying out. If at any time it looks like it is drying out apply a small amount of Birkenstock cork sealer for protection.
To keep your Birkenstock sandal or clog fresh you can spray the footbed with Birkenstock cleaner and refresher. Wipe away any dirt and excess moisture with a dry clean cloth. For suede and nubuck footbeds brush with a nubuck/suede brush to restore.
To protect the upper leather, Suede, and Nubuck from water and dirt, apply Birkenstock water and stain repellent on a regular basis.
For Birkubuc and Birko-flor all you have to do is wipe down with a clean damp cloth. To remove stubborn stains, try soap and water.
Keep in mind that any cleaning or treatment or Birkenstocks can change the look and finish of the materials.
No not all of them. Some are specific to women. However, check on the product page it will tell you if they are deemed unisex or women’s.
On the Birkenstock shoe you already own is a footprint. If the footprint is shaded in it is narrow(N). If the footprint is not shaded in it is the regular width (M).
The soft and regular firm footbed is exactly the same size and shape. The difference is that the soft footbed has more cushion and can allow your foot to expand more than the regular firm footbed. So, if you are just fitting in your regular firm sandal or clog you want to go up a size for the soft footbed Birki. Birki’s soft footbed soles also offer an extra layer of cushioning between the footbed and the sole for comfort. In doing this it softens the impact of walking on hard surfaces while maintaining support for the natural flex of your foot.
In short no, you should not get them wet. However, things happen and you might end up caught in the rain or something could get spilled on them. In this case, DO NOT dry with heat. They will shrink. Dry them in a shaded dry space. If you have clogs you can insert waded up newspaper inside them to soak up the moisture.
Birkenstock prides itself on using the best most beautiful leathers for their shoes. They use great care in processing the leather in a manner to uphold the values of the original shoemakers. The leather is tanned with vegetable dyes, to ensure that no synthetic irritants are near your skin. By doing this it allows the leather pores to stay open and actively breathe.
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