It’s always good to see a brand turning vegan-friendly or taking vegans into consideration and create a cruelty-free version of their products. Luckily Birkenstock has joined this ever-growing movement and launched a vegan line of sandals and clogs.
The German brand is known for its classic designs and comfortable insoles that mold to the foot’s shape, creating excellent arch support. None of these have been sacrificed in their new vegan line. Actually, the only difference is that these comfortable and extra-durable vegan shoes are ethically-made without the use of animal products.
When it comes to Birks, we can’t resist! We’ve tried these stunning models and rounded up the best vegan Birkenstock footwear to keep you one step ahead of the fashion pack. Continue reading to meet the pair of shoes that will complete your outfit this season.
At a Glance
- Arizona Sandals – Best Overall
- Boston Clogs – Best Slip-on Clogs
- Mayari Sandals – Most Versatile
- Florida Sandals – Most Stylish
- Gizeh Sandals – Budget Choice
The 5 Best Vegan Birkenstock Footwear in 2021
Birkenstock hasn’t created a vegan version of each of their models, so the choices may be a bit limited, but they’re versatile. They’ll match with different pieces in your closet, blend in with many colors, and stay with you a lifetime, so you wouldn’t need to replenish them every season. Let’s take a look at our favorites!
1. Arizona Sandals – Best Overall
Arizona is the flagship model of Birks and the one that jumps into our minds whenever we think about the brand. The sandals boast the classic two straps of Birks that end with sturdy buckles for a snuggly fit. They speak of fashion, persona, and elegance, combining traditional style and modern spirit.
Instead of animal leather, the upper of this vegan version is crafted with birko-flor, which is a super-soft and durable synthetic material that feels like nubuck. The straps are adjustable to allow for a custom fit, and the contoured cork/latex footbed is designed to take the shape of your foot after a couple of days of wear.
It also features arch support and a wide toe box for a proper posture and better foot alignment. The deep heel cup, along with the generous cushioning, will make you feel like the sandal is hugging your foot and cradling your heel. In short, it’ll make you feel like walking on the clouds.
The outsole is made of lightweight EVA to ensure optimum comfort and shock absorption. You can put it on and walk several miles over any type of terrain and still be up for more.
It’s also odor-neutral, which means it’ll never leave a fragrance even after wearing it all day, and the fact that it’s waterproof makes it suitable for outdoor events on the beach and around swimming pools.
Although the model is designed to be roomy, it’s available in both regular and narrow widths so that customers with slimmer feet can find their sizes. It’s suitable for men as well as women and comes in 16 different colors from black and metallic to purple and pink.
It looks best with casual clothes and won’t say no to a pair of socks. However, we don’t think they’ll look bad even with formal work clothes.
If you want to stay classic but add much comfort and functionality to your daily life, then this model is your best pick. It’s affordable, ergonomic, lightweight, and suitable for summer outings as well as formal work conditions.
2. Boston Clogs – Best Slip-on Clogs
Although usually clogs come in and out of fashion quickly, Boston Clogs beg to differ. The moment you obtain a pair of these chunky vegan shoes that hold a bohemian vibe, you won’t trade them for anything.
They’ll make even the simplest jeans and most boring T-shirts seem more stylish and trendy, whatever the season is. And the best thing is that no animals are involved in the manufacturing process.
These slip-on clogs can be worn on various occasions because they are easy to put on and match with anything. You can wear them with a chic summer dress or casual work pants and a T-shirt and still look smart as ever. Not only that, but they go well with socks, so they can be used for a long time from early spring to late autumn.
Crafted with microfiber upper, the model is durable, breathable, and soft to touch. It becomes even more comfortable over time as the cork-latex footbed molds the shape of your feet. Like the previous model, it features arch support, a deep heel cup, and a broad toe box, which means convenience is guaranteed.
As for the outsoles, they are made of lightweight and durable EVA. They’ll protect your feet against anything on the ground and provide you with a good grip so that you can walk on rocks or slippery pavements without falling or tripping.
The clogs are designed for women, but there’s a version for men, and they’re available in a range of colors for both genders. Despite coming in both regular and narrow widths, users with slim feet may find even the narrow versions a bit wide. However, with the help of the adjustable straps, you can secure the clogs around your feet.
If a comfortable closed-toe design is what’s in your mind, then Boston clogs are going to make your day. With a breathable upper, sturdy outsole, a lightweight overall design, this model will be your go-to shoes, whether it’s cold and raining outside or sunny and warm.
3. Mayari Sandals – Most Versatile
Mayari is another sandal from Birkenstock designed for comfort from top to bottom without hurting our furry friends. However, what makes these vegan shoes stand out is that they are stylish and versatile enough to suit early morning events and after-dinner parties at the same time.
This is made possible by its unique design that differs from all of Birk’s classical styles. They feature a trendy crisscross forming a toe loop around the big toe along with an adjustable strap with buckle closure.
They come in a multitude of colors that’ll make you look elegant when you pair them with a casual outfit by the beach or a colorful sundress on a cruise. They’ll also be your best choice for traveling if you like to move around new cities with an elegant touch and comfortable feel.
The sleek model features Birkenstocks’ signature cork bed and adjustable straps that mold and stretch to fit your foot snuggly. Like all other models, it boasts arch support, a roomy toe box, and a deep heel cup to support you in every step.
The upper is made from a mix of Birkibuc and fleece. Both are cruelty-free materials despite the suspicious name of the latter. They are durable, soft, and allow air to pass through the sandals.
The EVA outsoles provide excellent shock absorption and provide sufficient cushioning for the feet to help reduce injuries. They also provide extra comfort for all-day wear. Whatever the surface you’re walking on, you’ll be able to wear them for extended periods without pain, even if you have flat feet.
Despite its versatility, this model comes in women’s sizes only. However, it offers both regular and narrow fits for different sizes of feet.
These sandals have become trendy in the fashion world lately thanks to their unique and sturdy design that makes them versatile enough to fit in every situation and stand the test of time.
4. Florida Sandals – Most Stylish
Some people would think that by buying a Birkenstock, they’re sacrificing style for comfort. However, with the Florida sandals from Birks, you’re in safe hands.
This is the latest and most stylish vegan model that Birks have come up with for women who value fashion but want to put an end to animal cruelty. The model boasts a lightweight three-strap design that’s adjustable for custom sizing. Unlike Arizona, Birks made the straps thinner to reduce this model’s chunkiness, and they did an excellent job at that.
Besides the chic looks of the model, it comes in a wide range of colors. Honestly, we couldn’t think of a color that we didn’t find. They even added models with beautifully embroidered flowery patterns and vintage illustrations, which is something you can’t find on any other Birks.
Unfortunately, they come in women’s sizes only. However, considering the different styles, the sandals will go well with formal attire, flowy blouses, boyfriend jeans, or even colorful summer dresses.
Apart from the looks, the model is as comfortable as the rest of Birk’s products. It features the same flexible cork bed and arch support, which promote better posture.
The toe box provides an optimum grip, which keeps the sandal in your foot while walking. Yet the best thing about it is the glorious barefoot feeling you’ll experience due to the wide front, which allows for the foot’s natural spread.
As for the materials, the upper is crafted from a mix of Birko-Flor, acrylic, and polyamide, while the outsole is made from EVA. The whole design is durable, breathable, and flexible, making it an ideal choice for summer and spring.
Florida sandals are the best choice for women looking for comfort, style, and stability in one pair of shoes. They’ll make everything you wear look cooler and classier while keeping your feet happy and healthy.
5. Gizeh Sandals – Budget Choice
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to experience the comfortable designs that kept Birkenstock in business for centuries, then you might want to take a look at these Gizeh sandals.
This vegan version of Gizeh is designed to promote your feet’ well-being and save the animals from a life of torture. Despite the lower price, these thong sandals meet Birkenstock’s high standards for promoting foot health sufficiently.
They feature the trademark deep heel cup, which gives you more support than a complete flat. Moreover, The contoured arches match the curves of your feet, warding off aches and pains so you can wear them for long hours. They get even more comfortable the more you wear them.
Also, unlike other thong sandals that give you blisters between your toes, they are smooth to touch and gentle on the skin.
Although it’s made from Birki-for, acrylic, and polyamide upper along with EVA outsole like the previous model, Gizeh seems to hold up more to heavy wear. They are the perfect representation of comfort meets style and durability.
They come in different colors and offer narrow and regular fits for both genders. They’ll look effortlessly cool on any outfit, whether it’s a pair of shorts and a cute top or a flowy sundress.
Overall, Gizeh is a pair of unisex sandals that are as healthy and comfortable as other Birk’s models but with a more practical touch and a price that won’t put a dent in your wallet.
Factors to Consider When Buying Vegan Birkenstock Footwear
If you’re choosing Birkenstocks over any other shoes, then we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with their wide foot area, deep heel cups, and solid footbeds that provide proper arch support. That means comfort won’t be an issue.
However, there are a few factors that you need to pay attention to, whether you’re shopping for your first Birks or you’re familiar with the non-vegan versions.
First of all, you should be aware that Birkenstocks isn’t an all-vegan company. Most of their products are made of animal leather and suede insoles. The problem is that the vegan versions look exactly the same as the animal-derived ones. Therefore, you should double-check before you purchase a pair.
To be able to tell the difference, the non-vegan models have yellow or blue prints on the insole and hold a tag that says “Brand Sohle Leder,” which means “Leather Insole” in German. Vegan Birks doesn’t hold these tags.
Make sure they are manufactured with either Birko-Flor or Birkibuc, which are ethical alternatives to animal leather.
The former is a type of durable and smooth PVC (polyvinyl chloride) fabric that’s easy to care for and clean, while the latter is a synthetic fabric that looks and feels like nubuck with its slight nap and buttery touch.
Moreover, the cruelty-free versions are made with EVA insoles and cork or latex footbeds, which are also animal-friendly materials.
Size and Fit
Generally, Birks sandals and clogs possess a style that suits both women and men. That’s why most of their models are unisex such as Arizona. However, note that some styles like Florida and Mayari are designed as women’s sandals that have substitutes for men. So make sure you’re searching in the right category to find your best fit.
Moreover, because people’s feet differ in shape and size, even the unisex styles come in two different widths: M and N.
The letter M means “medium” and indicates a regular fit with a wide toe area while the N indicates a slim fit for petite feet. Both letters don’t signify that the model is suitable for a specific gender but rather for particular foot shapes.
Since all Birks have a roomy design, whether they’re M or N-sized, it’s essential to choose the right fit. A common mistake is that people choose a wider fit, thinking that it’d be more comfortable or a larger size because their size is out of stock.
Nevertheless, wearing a size bigger than yours will make your feet move around in the sandals when you walk, causing you blisters and chafing. On the other hand, a too-narrow fit will be uncomfortable and cause your toes to hang off the sandals.
When choosing a pair of sandals or flip flops, it’s important to consider the type of activities or events to which you’re going to wear them. Although all Birkenstocks boast a classic design, there are many styles that fit different purposes, from business meetings to spring and summer outings. Just make sure you’re putting your hands on the right pair for the occasion.
With Birkenstock being an important player in the vegan footwear sector now, it attracted a new segment of customers that may not be familiar with the brand. If you still have questions, you might find your answer here.
Are Birkenstocks Good for my Feet?
Yes! In fact, all Birkenstocks are equipped with orthopedic insoles that provide reliable support and correct positioning for maximum comfort and improved posture when walking. Some podiatrists even recommend them for foot problems such as calluses, ingrown toenails, and foot pain. They also help reduce stress on your legs, ankle, and feet.
Do Some Birkenstocks Run Narrower Than Others?
Yes! Although you can find both the narrow and regular width in all models, some models like Gizeh and Mayari tend to run narrower. Some customers with small feet find the slim fit size in wider sandals like Arizona more comfortable. However, they find their best fit in the regular width range in the Mayari and Gizeh style.
Are Birkenstocks Good for Flat Feet?
Yes! Actually, Birkenstocks are a perfect option for people with flat feet since their cork/latex footbeds are pliable. This means they mold to your feet, improving your balance, and providing excellent arch support. You may find them stiff and uncomfortable when you first try them on, but the longer you wear them, the more comfortable they’ll feel.
Are Birkenstocks Supposed to Look Big?
No! They may not offer a hug-like fit, but they’re supposed to fit your feet without extra space in front of the toes and behind the heel. To make sure you’re wearing them correctly, make sure that your heel sits appropriately in the heel cup and that your toes sit near the front lips without touching them. If you want to make them roomier, adjust the straps but don’t order a larger size.
Are Vegan Birkenstocks Worth the Money?
At first, they may seem a bit expensive for a pair of sandals. However, for cruelty-free footwear that are chic, super-comfortable, and durable enough to last you a lifetime, they’re definitely worth every penny. And the fact that you can wear them with almost every kind of clothes and in all seasons makes them even more worth the money.
Gone are the days when searching for a pair of chic and comfortable shoes that are kind to our furry friends was a nightmare. Birkenstock has blessed us with a new vegan collection that holds its traditional looks and reflects the spirit of the times in both style and color.
We hope the company will continue to expand its cruelty-free line in the near future. As for now, our choice for the best vegan Birkenstock footwear is Arizona. These classical sandals will always have a place in our hearts with their never-dying style that brings to life any outfit.
Besides being lightweight and flexible, they boast comfortable uppers and sturdy outsoles that give freedom in every move and offer excellent traction around water. In short, they’ll make every step more comfortable and elegant.
Next on our final recommendation list is Boston clogs. These will be your ideal choice if you’re looking for equally comfortable Birks but with a closed-toe design for summer and winter.
The clogs boast these soft footbeds that allow you to wear them immediately without the horrible first times’ pain. They go well with or without socks and will look elegant with formal clothes as well as casual outfits.