Birkenstock Arizona SandalsA classic sandal in a huge variety of colors that is not only super comfortable and supportive but will also last you so long you will forget when you bought them. View Latest Deal
If you live in Europe like me, you are going to see the Birkenstock Arizona everywhere. It is the classic, old-school Birkenstock sandal that has been made in Germany for over 200 years!
It has come and gone in terms of fashion, but for me this model is timeless. You can wear it casually around the house like me, or out and about on a warm summer’s day. You can go barefoot, and they rarely sweat, or you can wear socks like the “real Germans” do, when things get a little cooler, but you still want to wear comfy sandals.
The Birkenstock Arizona is a great all-rounder, and will certainly last you for years. My last past I wore for over a decade (you can see my old vs new further down in the review) and I only replaced them reluctantly because they were just so comfy!
My wife Anna, has 3 or 4 pairs, both the Arizona for around the house, and some other models for more fashion-worth occasions! She was the one who convinced me I would love a pair!
The thing about Birkenstocks is that they are built to match the curve of your arch, and the placement of your toes. This means that if you like sandals that provide the perfect amount of support (as I do) then there are almost no sandals like them. Sure, others have tried, like Keens with their sandals (and I own and love those too) but none have surpassed Birkenstock in my humble opinion.
I mean take a look at the image above and you will see that the cork footbed on the Arizona sandal perfectly cradles your foot from front to back, with decent arch support along the way. I have also taken a photo below to try to show you along the footbed of mine. As you can see they are well loved (aka worn) but you get the picture.
You can also order your Birkenstocks in two widths, so this helps fit your foot even better!
Now, this means that if they work well for you then you are going to love them. However, there is another downside.
The leather uppers. The use of leather (or nubuck if you like that softer look) is great, but it means they are not super comfortable right out of the box. They are a little stiff, and even after adjusting the buckles, seem like they are “not quite right”.
But, after owning and bedding-in two pairs now – I can tell you it is just a matter of days, or a week at most. At first, when I replaced mine, I yearned for my old “comfy” ones. But after a week, I forgot all about that.
Above you can see a closeup of my sandals and the materials used on the Birkenstock Arizona. My pair is pure leather, but you can also get softer Nubuck or plastic for you vegans out there.
This material is quite stiff at first, but adapts to your feet quite quickly. It will also last the lifetime of the sandal, and in my (and Anna’s) experience, it never detaches from the sandal. These babies are built to last.
The buckles are a copper colored metal, and also nearly bulletproof.
The comfy, anatomic footbed is cork. Over time it will fray a little around the edges, and take on some of the dirt and oil from your foot (which is why mine are darker). But overall, mine only started to really deteriorate when the sole did. And it was nigh time to replace them anyway!
The sole is an EVA plastic material. It is not as grippy as say a Teva, Chaco or Keen sandal, but it’s not meant to be worn kayaking! I sometimes wear mine outside, and run around the house in the all day, almost every day. And I have never had a grip issue.
And just to show you what a pair of Arizona’s looks like after 6-12 months versus 10+ years, you can see my two pairs side by side. The sole on the older one is worn at the heel, and so is the cork footbed a bit. But considering how much I have worn them (to death) they have stood the test of time!
The Birkenstock Arizona is a classic sandal style, often seen in dark colors (like in the image above). However, don’t let that put you off and think it’s not for summer too!
The classic leather model that I wear and is shown here comes in Brown, Black, Blue, Silver and White.
And, they are more classy looking than a plastic sandal or flip flop, so are great for wearing out on the town, with a pair of pants/jeans or even a skirt.
Anna has quite a few models and styles, and wears them in a huge range of situations.
Birkenstock also has quite a few one-off and unusual model colors and patterns, so have a hunt around if you want something unique, because they have lots of options – including wide buckles and crazy patterns.
Birkenstock Arizonas are super comfortable, once they are bedded in, and insanely long lasting. They are a little more expensive than many cheap sandals on the market, but considering the materials, the support and comfort, as well as the longevity, you almost can’t go wrong.
Plus, they have a wide range of options (narrow and regular) as well as other styles in the Arizona and many others (single strap, triple strap, toe piece and more).
Give them a try for a week, and you will never look back. Especially if you love or need great foot/arch support!