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The Birkenstock Arizona sandal is arguably the most popular sandal, especially for travel. If you’re considering adding this shoe to your wardrobe, check out our full review of the Birkenstock Arizona sandal!
Birkenstock Arizona Sandal
Written By: Mary Chong
When I was younger (and more willing to suffer for fashion), I turned up my nose to wearing Birkenstock sandals. I felt that only hippies wore these clunky shoes.
But after I purchased my first pair of Birkenstock Arizona sandals on the recommendation of my podiatrist, I fell in love with how they made my feet feel after a long day of travelling. Now I own six pairs of Birkenstock sandals in various styles and colors, and my feet travel in comfort. One of my favorite pairs (and the most popular style) is the Arizona.
Birkenstock Arizona Unisex Suede Sandal
Material: Birkenstock sandals are made mainly with natural and renewable materials. The straps are natural leather, and the buckles are made with metal. The sole is Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) which is an extremely flexible, durable type of plastic.
Color: Birkenstock Arizona sandals come in a variety of leathers (synthetic, patent, nubuck, and suede) and colors, including black, brown, grey, white, and even metallic shades.
Travel Type: Perfect for hiking, city breaks, backpacking, carry-on only travel, and beach vacations.
I regularly travel with my Birkenstock sandals. In fact, I own six pairs of various styles and colors including, one pair made entirely of EVA that is perfect for getting wet at the beach and for wearing poolside.
I’ve had my Birkenstock sandals for awhile and they’re holding well. These shoes are known for lasting years and years. The fabulous thing about Birkenstocks sandals, in general, is that the soles and cork footbeds can be repaired and replaced should they get damaged, extending their lifespan.
To extend their life, I use a protective spray on the leather before I first wear them and after cleaning them, and I use a cork sealant treatment to maintain the cork. Otherwise, the sandals are very easy to care for, but keep them away from direct heat.
Comfort and Mobility
All Birkenstock sandals feature a contoured footbed that is designed to support the shape of your foot naturally. The footbed has eight layers of all natural jute, latex, cork and other shock-absorbing, moisture-absorbing materials for anatomically-shaped insoles that give ultimate support and comfort.
In time, the cork molds to your feet to create a more custom comfort feel. As a result, you need to break them in gradually by wearing them for a few hours initially and extending your wear time slowly. The great thing about this is that the shoes get comfortable the more you wear them. Eventually they feel like custom shoes made specifically for your feet.
While the Arizona doesn’t have a back strap, I find them easy to walk in, without worrying about them slipping off. Yes, they are a little bulky, so they aren’t the slimmest shoes to pack, but because they’re so comfortable, you don’t need to pack as many shoes. Plus, they’re comfy enough that you can wear them during your travels and on the plane.
The Birkenstock Arizona sandal features two straps with adjustable buckles on each strap. When you think of Birkenstock sandals and the idea of their “style” I feel that they have a “love them” or “hate them” style profile. I love them, and wear my sandals in warm weather with everything from shorts to sun dresses.
I love the comfort, practicality, and support that the shoes provide, but to be truthful, my husband hates the way they look on me. They are very utilitarian in style and aren’t sandals that you can wear with every outfit. These are best to wear in casual settings, as you can’t dress them up for formal settings.
For a more stylish and feminine look, I’ll wear my Birkenstock Gizeh sandals since they are thong style while still offering the same comfortable molded-to-me footbed. These are a great alternative if you want a slimmer looking style.
The Birkenstock Arizona sandals are lightweight, super comfortable, and provide lots of support for your feet. Ideal for travel, I throw my shoes in my carry-on to wear with socks on red-eye flights, they can double as slippers once I’m at the hotel, and then I wear them out on adventures with me as I tour my destination.
They work for so many situations and, as they’ve become trendy over the years, you can wear them with everything from shorts to sun dresses for casual settings.
Some people don’t love the utilitarian look of the Arizona style. While I prefer a sleeker and more feminine style, I make an exception for these simply because of its comfort and durability.
You also need to be careful with the cork and leather should you get your sandals wet. If you do get your shoes soaked in a sudden rainstorm, allow your Birkenstocks to dry thoroughly away from direct heat.
Birkenstock sandals are ubiquitous footwear, and they’re great to own for at home and when traveling. The Birkenstock Arizona is lightweight, comfortable, and your feet will love being in them after touring a city all day. Today, I can’t imagine traveling in spring or summer without my Birkenstocks.
What are your thoughts on the Birkenstock Arizona sandal? Please comment below!
For more tips on travel sandals, please read:
- Comfortable and Cute Walking Sandals
- Best Sandals Reinventing Comfort
- Cute Summer Sandals for Women
- Birkenstock Sandals: Master the Trend
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Author Bio: Mary Chong is a Canadian travel writer, food reviewer, and carry-on only traveler. Mary shares travel advice, helpful tips, honest reviews, and travel inspiration for destinations throughout the world on her website Calculated Traveller Magazine.
HI! so I had these as a kid in the 90’s and LOVED them…..now I’m looking for a new pair of Arizona’s and there are a few different materials….leather, suede, birkibic, birki flor……to be honest, its all confusing and I’m going back and forth trying to figure out what material I may have had growing up. Any suggestions here? Also, which specific ones are the ones you posted under your ‘durability’ section?
Hi Sarah, thanks for your question! We’ll share your question here so the author of the article can reply. 🙂