Two of the most popular sandal styles in the shoe industry are Birkenstock and Fitflop. The former had a massive comeback in 2012, while the latter was the game changer of 2008. Everyone knows how trendy they are!
Birkenstock has already established a legacy and has built an empire where its followers became fond of the brand’s footbeds and minimalist designs. Fitflops, on the other hand, are known for their incredibly lightweight biomechanic midsoles. Their footwear design gives the leg muscle all the work instead of the feet.
Birkenstock and Fitflop successfully innovated sandals that can relieve the feet of too much pressure while walking. Birks come with cork footbeds supporting the arch and heels. Fitflops have a micro wobble board that ensures shock resistance.
Curious about what more both brands can offer? Just keep reading to know more about the benefits and drawbacks once you purchase a Birkenstock or Fitflop.
What are the differences between Birkenstocks and Fitflop?
As previously mentioned, Birkenstocks and Fitflops have been highly regarded as trendy sandals in the history of footwear. These two brands took the shoe market by storm in different eras.
Birkenstock, which is already in the shoe industry since 1774, lost its spark in the 1980s but bounced back in the 1990s. It gained more popularity in 2012 when fur-lined Birks were worn by models on the runway, credited to Phoebe Philo.
In 2007, Fitflop entered the competition. Although a newbie, the brand became popular the following year, selling over 12 million pairs globally. This is because of their distinctive midsoles crafted by experts in the field of biomechanics.
Both are high-end and luxurious brands as they manufacture footwear made of premium materials, from leather to synthetic. However, they differ in many aspects, including features, styles, and color availability.
In terms of materials, the two brands have been known for utilizing first-rate materials in manufacturing their sandals. For instance, Birkenstock uses different leather types, including smooth, nubuck, suede, oiled, and Amalfi.
The Birkenstock footbeds are made with four natural materials: cork, leather, suede, and jute. These insoles have two variations known as the regular and soft footbeds.
Birkenstock also uses synthetic materials, most especially in producing their Vegan lineups. They incorporate synthetic leather materials called Birko-Flor, Birkibuc, Birko-Felt, and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).
Fitflop also uses EVA in creating their midsoles processed through biomechanics. The production of Fitflops is purely scientific, making each pair stand out!
The brand also makes use of several leather types, like Birkenstocks. However, they differ in terms of insole composition. Originally, Fitflops’ footbed is referred to as the Microwobbleboard midsole consisting of three cushioning layers.
Now, Fitflops has introduced four more biomechanically engineered midsoles. They are called Duocomff technology, Supercomff, Anatomicush, and IQushion.
Additionally, their upper pieces are also made of different types of leather, such as smooth, suede, and nubuck, among others. They also have water-resistant pairs made of neoprene.
Features & Styles
When you hear Birkenstocks, I am sure you first think about their cork footbeds and straps infused with metal buckles. The brand is known for that look, copied by other brands but never replaced.
A Birks pair comes with either a regular or soft footbed. These are anatomically shaped cork-latex footbeds that ensure equal weight distribution. This is what makes Birkenstock distinct.
After breaking into a newly bought Birkenstocks, the footbed will feel like it’s hugging your feet like a custom fit! Their strap designs (single, double, or crisscrossing) also contribute to securing and supporting your feet.
On the other hand, Fitflop gave us the ever-iconic flip-flop there is. When talking about Fitflops, you will instantly think about how elegant their thong sandals look!
Besides their slippers, Fitflops has also introduced other footwear collections such as loafers, boots, clogs, trainers, and sneakers. However, they are really known for their shining, shimmering flip-flops with triangular vamps.
Fitflops’ overall design features a midsole that is made of a micro wobble board. It also has an anatomically arch-contoured footbed and three layers of cushioning. These are biomechanically engineered to ensure a top-rate comfort experience.
Colors & Availability
Both Birkenstocks and Fitflops are available in a wide range of colors and designs. In this criterion, no one is above the other. The two leading shoe brands have successfully produced many trademark shoes.
Birkenstock, most especially its top-selling models, can be purchased in leather and synthetic materials. More so, they are accessible in different solid colors.
Most celebs and social media influencers go basic and flex their nude, black, or brown-colored Birks. However, check out their multi-pattered or colored sandals if you want some head-turner Birkenstocks.
Fitflop also offers a lot of lineups, but they are famous for their shiny and dazzling leather and triangular-shaped uppers, which are available in many colors, whether vibrant or pastel.
They also have minimalist-looking pairs to counter Birkenstocks’ appeal to people with a minimalist lifestyle. Many Fitflop models can be bought in black, white, brown, and nude colors.
Between Birkenstock and Fittflop, which offer the most comfortable pairs?
A highly comfortable footbed or midsole is the strength of both Birkenstock and Fitflop. Given this, the two brands compete neck-to-neck in terms of comfort level. In selecting between the two, you must first identify what you really need.
For instance, when searching for orthopedic or therapeutic footwear, look for something that will target your problem areas. The right cushioning is the key to having an exceedingly comfy sandal that can relieve too much pressure on your feet.
Birkenstocks have cushioning that supports the heel and arch as they come with a deep heel cup and longitudinal arch assistance. However, you need to break them in first to achieve a high level of comfort. Opt for their soft footbed versions if you want something easier to break in and more cushiony.
Fitflops make your leg work instead of your feet. They have a multi-layered soft cushion that makes every pair exceptionally comfortable. However, some say that Fitflops don’t comfortably fit with wide feet. More so, others complain that they have experienced pain in their knees and ankles after a long time of wearing Fitflops.
Which is the better footwear for travel adventures?
Birkenstocks and Fitflops are suitable to wear during vacations. Just make sure to select a waterproof version if your travel adventures highly include water activities. Do not worry because both brands have water-resistant and waterproof lineups.
Both brands have been manufacturing pairs that allow your toes to move freely. Birkenstock ensures its sandals have enough space for your toes, like Fitflop.
In terms of being lightweight, Fitflops are designed to feel like you’re walking barefoot and wearing nothing. Their midsoles are made with EVA, which makes them lightweight and shock-absorbent.
On the other hand, leather Birkenstocks may feel heavy and wider-fitting than other variations. Opt for a soft footbed or synthetic Birks if you’re eyeing that Birkenstock style but like to take home a lightweight pair.
Which is more fashionable?
Some would argue that Fitflops are the more fashionable pairs compared to Birkenstock. Fitflop did not just appear out of nowhere and become famous. They were elegantly styled and look visually pleasing when worn.
As previously mentioned, Fitflops now have loafers, wedge heels, and sneakers.
Almost all Fitflop models are now seen to be compatible with any outfit ensembles, from casual to dressier ones.
Others are not fond of the Fitflop design and will definitely choose Birkenstocks. Even though branded as the “ugly sandals” before, Birks has now become greatly fashionable and stylish. Wear them like Kendall Jenner and the Olsen twins!
If you think that what you need to bring home is a pair of Birkenstocks, this section is for you. I have enumerated below the top-selling Birks model so that things will get easier for you!
Arizona Birkenstocks come with two adjustable straps with metal or plastic buckles, depending on the overall material. The overall design of this model is unisex. Moreover, Arizona is also known to fit best with normal to wider-sized feet.
This Birkenstock model is a popular casual sandal worn by many in walking long distances or running everyday errands. If you’re eyeing one, check out the Arizona EVA and Birkibuc. These are the most in-demand Arizona variations.
Gizeh is a thong-styled sandal that is very popular with women. Available in both leather and synthetic materials, Gizeh is considered a “stylish all-rounder.
It comes with long straps that are also adjustable. This Birkenstock model feels super secure and offers superior traction recommended for adventurous people who course through uneven terrains or surfaces.
Some reviews state that Gizeh runs narrower than Arizona and most Birks models. Therefore, if you have a slimmer than average feet width, Gizeh may be the one that best fits you.
Boston Clogs are a Birkenstock classic available in both regular and soft footbed versions. This model is protective of the feet because of its closed-toe design. It also boasts an excellent grip, good durability, and a high comfort level.
Boston is best paired with a smart-casual outfit. Also, its design is very suited to be worn during the cold season. However, they can still be worn in any type of weather, except during rainy days when they should not be left too much exposed to water.
For almost fifteen years, Fitflop has been producing fashionable and stylish footwear. If you are looking for the best among the rest of the Fitflop lineups, you can check out the list I specially made for you!
Lulu Toe-Post Sandals
The minimalist look is now trending, and so are Fitflop’s Lulu Toe-Post Sandals. This model comes with the classic triangular vamp and multi-layered cushioning. Lulu also has soft and hugging leather uppers as well as toe-post.
Lulu Toe-Post Sandals are available in leather, suede, and crystal versions. Art-Denim Lulu also sells fast, so you should check them out instantly!
Who says Fitflops are only for women? For a more tough-looking and masculine Fitflop option, opt for the Trak II. The overall look of this Fitflop model is sporty and clean. You can choose between leather or water-resistant versions.
In addition, Trak II is available in three colors: black, brown, and blue. Fitflops take pride in this model as it is one of their most comfortable, biomechanically engineered pairs.
Fitflop’s Shuv is not your typical clog, as it comes in different styles. Two of the classics are the Shuv Felt Clogs, Canvas Clogs, and Buckle Strap Leather Clogs. The former can match any casual attire, while the latter is best paired with smart-casual outfit ensembles.
Generally, Shuv is notable for its single-piece upper and micro wobble board midsoles. You can wear them with or without socks. Either way, they are greatly cozy to wear!
How much do Birkenstock and Fittflop cost?
Both Birkenstocks and Fitflop are considered luxurious or high-end. They produce shoes that are purchased at a higher price rate in comparison to other brands. This may be a disadvantage to some but not to others.
Birkenstocks Arizona and Gizeh have a similar price range. They can be bought for $50 up to $260. Boston Clogs can be purchased at $120.
On the other hand, Fitflop’s Lulu Toe-Post Sandals have a price range of $85 to $90. Trak II can be bought from $80 to $100, while Shuv Clogs are between $48 to $160.
Indeed, Birks and Fitflops are pricy. However, they are worth the hype and the price because they stay faithful to what they have promised since day one: high-quality, comfortable, and durable sandals.
Birkenstocks vs. Flipflots, Final Thoughts…
And now, this article’s end is near. I am hoping that the sections included above have imparted adequate information to help you decide. Choosing between two luxurious and prominent brands is tough.
However, suppose you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of Birkenstocks and Fitflop carefully. In that case, I bet you’ll be able to make a well-thought decision. Just contemplate about what you truly need and want!