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Birkenstocks have made a major comeback in recent years. The best Birkenstocks have ascended from hippie uniform to off-duty style staples and beyond, making appearances on magazine covers and on the feet of fashion week elites and normal stylish folks alike.
In hindsight, the recent Birkenstock takeover makes sense: The sandals are at the intersection of classic Seventies style and “ugly-cool” shoe trends — plus, they’re part of everyone’s continuous push towards a more laidback, casual wardrobe. With premium materials and chic color options, Birkenstocks look great with everything from shorts to tailored designer clothing. Plus, stylish people have been bucking the stigma of socks with sandals by wearing their Birks in the winter with pants, a jacket, and a thick pair of socks.
However, anyone who’s owned Birkenstocks knows that the sandals are even more comfortable than they are stylish. Birkenstock uses a contoured, supportive footbed and, in most models, it molds to your foot the more you wear them. Compared to most dress shoes and even casual sneakers, Birkenstocks are far and away the more comfortable option — even if you’re doing some serious walking (say, through an airport or down a beach-side trail).
What Are the Best Birkenstock Sandals?
Whether you’re looking to pick up your first (or third) pair of Birkenstocks, we’ve got you covered. Below are some of the best Birkenstocks to wear right now while grabbing brunch, hitting the bar and everything in-between.
1. Birkenstock Arizona
Boasting a signature cork footbed and dual strap design, the Arizona is Birkenstock’s most iconic model. The sandal’s straps feature buckles for an adjustable fit and the footbed is actually three layers: foam sits between a top layer of suede and cork underneath. Together, these layers are insanely comfortable, and it only gets better as the suede morphs to the shape of your foot. The Arizona comes in a wide range of materials and colorways, but we’re especially big fans of this sophisticated black Amalfi leather option.
2. Birkenstock Boston
For a bit more coverage, check out the Birkenstock Boston. The clog-slash-sandal has recently become one of the brand’s best-sellers, delivering a stylish, toe-concealing alternative to regular sandals. You get Birkenstock’s beloved tri-layer foam footbed, as well as an EVA outsole that can handle real terrain. Offered in a range of leathers, our favorite variant of the Boston is this taupe suede model. The suede brings some natural vibes but, because it’s a premium material, it also keeps things sophisticated. Wear these Bostons in the summertime with hybrid shorts and a tee, or slip them on with socks, chinos, and a hoodie in the winter.
3. Birkenstock Barbados
For a more modern style, try these Barbados slides. The casual sandals are 100 percent EVA, making them waterproof, washable, and very lightweight. Despite their different material, the Barbados still bring Birkenstock-level comfort thanks to a molded, cushioned footbed. We suggest grabbing the Barbados in this eye-catching silver and pairing them with swim trunks and a tee when hitting the pool.
4. Birkenstock Zermatt
After being stuck at home, we all discovered the benefits of a great slipper. If you’re still wanting in this department, pick up a pair of these ultra-comfy Birkenstock Zermatts. With a wool felt upper, thick shearling lining and a supportive cork-latex footbed, you might find it hard to take these off. The Zermatts aren’t quite as good outside the house as other Birkenstocks, but they’ll seriously upgrade any time spent working from home or lounging.
5. Birkenstock Gizeh
These Birkenstock Gizehs are essentially a fancy flip-flop, solving a few common issues with the standard sandal and improving overall quality. First, the Gizehs have an ergonomic, sunken cork and foam footbed. This makes the sandals much more comfortable than regular flip-flops and keeps them snug while walking. Second, you’ll notice a high-quality Birko-Flor nubuck strap, further improving security and giving the sandals a premium feel. Wear these Gizehs with black jeans and a light button-up on the weekends or sweatpants and a tee when hitting the yoga studio.
6. Birkenstock Black Super-Birki Clogs
Technical, minimalist clogs like these Super-Birkis have been popping up all over the streetwear scene recently. We’re all for it, because they’re super comfortable, durable footwear. The Super-Birki clogs are 100% soft polyurethane with an anti-slip treaded sole. The upper is super minimal, save for the shoe name embossed at the vamp and heel counter. Throw the clogs on with baggy sweats, chinos, or jeans next time you want to elevate your errand-running outfit.
7. Birkenstock Milano
If you like the iconic look of the Arizona but want more walkability, check out these kicks. The front is the same as the Arizona, featuring two leather straps with an open-toe design, but in the back you’ll find a heel strap. This keeps the sandal extra secure while hiking, commuting or traveling, but retains all the airiness of a summer sandal. As expected, you also get Birkenstock’s comfortable cork, foam and suede footbed.