Birkenstock Sydney vs. Arizona: Which is Better?

Birkenstock Arizona has always been the crowd favorite. Its dual strap design and wide fit have been so popular that the brand decided to make a modern version of it: Sydney. Getting confused about what to get is totally acceptable!

Both Sydney and Arizona are comfy and fashionable. They just differ in certain aspects. Sydney is considered an improved and more stylish variety of Arizona. It comes with sleek straps and small buckles, contributing to a more feminine look. On the other hand, wide-fitting Arizona displays bulky straps and bigger buckles.

These are just some of their similarities and differences. Although they sure look similar, Sydney and Arizona have something distinct to offer. These are discussed below.

If you have extra time to read this article, do so. Included are sections that will help you identify the right sole sister. Also, go over the list of top-selling Sydney and Arizona variations for easier sole hunting!

What are the differences between Birkenstock Sydney and Arizona?

Sydney and Arizona have many similarities; this is obvious because they are both models produced by Birkenstocks, the sandal brand famous for its innovative footbed and durable upper leathers. The two models just differ in certain aspects.

I have explained every likeness and contrast between Sydney and Arizona. Read the next sections below to keep confusion away!


Arizona, Sydney’s parent Birks, is available in many variations. There are Arizona Birkenstocks made of genuine leather types such as oiled, nubuck, suede, and Amalfi, among others.

Synthetic Arizona have also been introduced. The synthetic versions are made of materials named by Birkenstock as Birko-Flor, Birkibuc, and Birko-Felt. The brand also produces Arizona made of ethyl vinyl acetate or EVA.

On the other hand, Sydney can only be obtained in three synthetic variations: Birko-Flor, Vegan Birkibuc, and Vegan Birko-Flor. Sydney Birko-Flor exhibits upper straps made of a smooth leather alternative with a silky sheen finish. More so, its soles are made of EVA while its footbed lining is made of suede.

The Vegan Birkibuc and Vegan Birko-Flor version also has an EVA sole, but their lining is made from micro-fiber. In addition, these vegan versions differ from each other because the former uses Birko-Flor nubuck, while the latter just comes with regular Birko-Flor upper straps.

Features & Styles

Sydney and Arizona Birkenstocks have a similar style. They both have two upper straps, metal buckles, and contoured footbeds. They just differ in appearance. For instance, Arizona has wider and bulkier straps than Sydney.

Apart from that, Sydney’s metal buckles are smaller, compared to Arizona’s. This makes Sydney Birks look more feminine and polished, perfect for ladies. Based on their official website, Sydney is just available in women’s sizes.   

Most wearers, particularly women, complain that their Arizonas feel big upon wearing. If you have a slimmer fit and similar thoughts, then you should opt for the sleeker Sydney pair.

Arizona Birkenstocks may feel big for others but know they are available in regular and narrow sizes. So, if you’re into the Arizona style more, just make sure to take your measurements accurately and choose the best size for you.  

Both leather and synthetic Arizona Birks are the brand’s pride and are similarly marketable. People just love them because of their anatomically contoured footbeds and pleasantly appealing upper straps made of premium quality materials.

These features are also present in Sydney, making both models orthopedic. Both of their footbeds have elevated toe bars and deep heel cups which are helpful in ensuring good foot health.

Colors & Availability

One major difference between Arizona and Sydney is that the former is available in regular and soft footbed versions, while the latter is only accessible in regular footbeds. Sydney is a newer version, that’s why!

In terms of colors, the parent Birkenstock is offering the most options. Some bestsellers even have dual or tri-color designs. Arizona is available in many solid colors as well as multi-printed uppers.

Sydney Birkenstock is only obtainable in limited colors such as taupe, coral pink, and old rose. Its Vegan Birkibuc version is available in khaki and navy colors. If you want colorful and summer-ready upper straps, Sydney Vegan Birko-Flor offers some floral prints.

Which Birkenstock model is more comfortable to wear?

When worn out of the box, Sydney feels more comfortable compared to a pair of leather Arizona. This is because Sydney is made of synthetic materials. This model’s material composition contributes to its high comfort level.

Birko-Flor and Birkibuc resemble smooth and nubuck leather but are softer because they are made of polyamide felt fibers and acrylic. Therefore, they are less challenging to break in.

In defense of leather Birkenstocks, their comfort level is unparalleled when the break-in period has already lapsed. This is because the leather material and the footbed will mold into the shape of your feet and will soon hug them perfectly.

However, if you’re really into Arizona’s built but want an instantly comfy pair, check out the Arizona Essentials EVA. This variation is available in many colors and designs.

Between Sydney and Arizona, which fits true to size?

Both Birkenstock models fit true to size. Although Arizona may feel a little bit chunky and big due to its straps, Birkenstock’s sizing is pretty accurate. For a comprehensive sizing guide, you can check out this article.

One advantage of unisex Arizona is that it is available both in narrow and regular sizes. If you have medium to large width sizes, ask for a regular Arizona. On the contrary, if you have a slim foot, opt for a narrow-sized one.

Sydney only offers regular women’s sizes. Sydney’s overall style and size are best for females with narrow or slim feet. In addition, it is only available in the regular footbed version.

Also, note that the type of footbeds can also affect the fit of both models. Soft footbed is only available under the Arizona lineups. Some claims that soft footbed Arizona fits narrower than the original footbed. For more footbed information, check out this article.

Which is the better travel sandal?

In the long run, leather Arizonas are more reliable. Without a doubt, the types of leather used by the brand are premium-quality: they’re exceptionally durable and comfy.

Thus, if you’re looking for a long-term sole relationship, classic leathers are the better option. However, if you’re looking for low-maintenance and comfy upon first wearing Birks, Sydney Birko-Flor, Vegan Birkibuc, and Vegan Birko-Flor are the best choices.

Unlike leather Arizona, the synthetic materials used in creating both Sydney variations are not too moisture sensitive and do not require too much maintenance. They are also great for your on-the-go travel adventures!

What are the top-selling Sydney variations?

Birkenstocks Sydney is only available in three variations: the Birko-Flor, Vegan Birkibuc, and Vegan Birko-Flor. Although you only have a limited option under the Sydney lineup, these attractive and elegant-looking models are still worth purchasing.

The Sydney Birko-Flor and Birkibuc come with upper straps made of synthetic materials that are skin-friendly, low maintenance, and durable. Their outsoles are both made using EVA.

Birko-Flor has a suede lining and an insole made of natural leather. On the other hand, Sydney’s vegan version displays a footbed lining and insole made of microfiber, cruelty-free!

What are the top-selling Arizona variations?

Now we have the crowd pleaser: Arizona. It’s as if all of its variations are topping the charts because its design is really versatile and fashionable. As the parent Birk, it’s truly a classic!

Three of Arizona’s best-selling variations are the Oiled Leather in Soft Footbed, Birkibuc, and Suede Leather. Arizona Essentials EVA is also desired by many travelers due to it being lightweight and water-resistant.

If you’re searching for an easier-to-wear in Arizona, opt for the oiled leather in the soft footbed version. Its footbed has an additional cushion layer which adds great comfort even when the pair is newly purchased.

For velvet-textured upper straps, you can select between Arizona Birkibuc and Suede Leather. The former is made of synthetic materials while the latter is made of genuine leather.

Which is more expensive?

Most Arizona variations are more expensive than Sydney. The most expensive Arizona model is priced at $270. On the other hand, the cheapest, which is Arizona Essentials EVA, can be bought at $50.

Arizona’s oiled leather in the soft footbed version can be purchased at $145, the Birkibuc at $110, and Suede Leather at $125. If you can’t afford these luxurious items, you can browse over the Sydney lineups.

A Sydney Birko-Flor can be obtained for only $100. Moreover, a Vegan Birkibuc is priced at $75 while Vegan Birko-Flor’s price range is between $83 and $110. Sydney variations are cheaper than Arizona’s!

Final Thoughts

Now that you have reached the last part of this article, I expect you’ve already made up your mind. Just remember to select something that will provide for your needs and wants. Regardless of what you choose, both are amazing sandals!

If you think that both models do not satisfy your sole cravings, then do not worry because Birkenstock has other models which you can check out. Apart from the classic double-strapped Birks, different strap designs may suit your taste. You just have limitless options with Birkenstocks.

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