When asking a shoe enthusiast which brand is best in producing orthopedic and therapeutic footwear, two options will surely be brought up: Birkenstocks and Naot. The two come neck and neck into the number one spot in producing premium-quality sandals.
Generally, Birkenstocks offer roomy space for the toes, best for wide feet. Birks are known for their deep heel cup and weeks of break-in period. Naot, on the other hand, has a narrower fit. The brand became popular because its footbeds are embedded with hallux support and are less challenging to break in than Birks.
The details mentioned above are just some similarities and differences between Birkenstock and Naot. If you want to know more, just carry on reading as this article got every information that will be helpful in your decision-making.
I have included sections where I differentiate the two brands in terms of comfort level, fashion sense, and cost. Further, I have also listed down the all-time Birkenstock and Naot favorites.
What are the differences between Birkenstock and Naot?
Established in 1774, Birkenstock has always had a place in the shoe industry. It is the pioneer in producing anatomically shaped footbeds that are known to be remarkably comfortable and therapeutic to the foot.
Birkenstock is known for manufacturing premium-quality shoes ranging from slip-on to clogs. These are made manually and using industrial methods, the same as Naot. In 1942, it launched its campaign of producing comfortable and beautiful pairs.
Several Birkenstock models have a Naot counterpart: similar material composition and footbed design. Although, there are a few significant differences that you must be aware of between the German and Israeli-made sandals. In this section, I have discussed them in detail.
Similarly, Birkenstock and Naot have a footbed design that incorporates the following materials: natural cork, latex, jute, and suede. Also, their footbeds are anatomically shaped following the contours of the feet.
Both Birkenstock and Naot make use of premium-quality leather. Birkenstock has been utilizing different types of leather, such as smooth, nubuck, Amalfi, and oiled. It has also introduced the use of synthetic materials for its vegan collection.
While Naot boasts that collaborating artisans with diverse cultural backgrounds make their pairs from different cultures using fine Italian leather and exceptionally sustainable materials. Therefore, it has labeled its products as “shoes of peace.”
Features & Styles
Birkenstocks are prominent for being supportive of the arch and heel as they feature longitudinal arch support and concave heel cup. Their footbed, made of natural materials, assists the arch and heel to ensure equal weight distribution.
On the other hand, Naot pairs are commonly known for aiding the big toe. This is because they come with hallux support and an elevated footbed center. Generally, the features of both brands’ footbeds look very similar, making them podiatrist-approved.
In terms of style, most Birkenstock models have a Naot match. However, there are Naot pairs that have a unique look, like their wedge-heeled sandals. Birkenstocks counter them with their platforms.
Colors & Availability
Both Birkenstocks and Naot are available in a wide range of colors and designs. In these criteria, no one is above the other. You have many options to choose from in the lineups of the said brands.
However, what’s notable is that the top-selling Naot models are only accessible in limited basic colors. The most common are black, taupe, and midnight blue.
These colors can match any outfit ensemble. They just scream versatility.
If you want a more attention-grabbing and colorful pair, both brands have something good to offer. However, Birkenstocks classic can bring more color to your life as their bestsellers are available in many dual-colored or multi-patterned designs.
Birkenstocks run true to size. Some might say that they run big, so you have to size down. However, that’s not the case at most times because Birks are just made to be roomy and spacious.
The brand also has a pretty accurate size chart, following the European sizing scheme. You just need to get your measurements right and convert them using the Birkenstock chart. For more sizing information, you can check out this article.
Naot fits narrower than Birkenstocks, ideal for people with slim feet. This is the reason why there are a few who claims that Naots are not true to size. Sizing up is greatly recommended when buying a Naot pair.
Which is the more comfortable pair?
Birkenstocks and Naot make use of similar natural materials in producing their footbeds. They also have a nearly identical insole design. There are just slight differences in terms of their strong points.
Although very much alike, many reviews have pointed out that Birkenstocks are more challenging to break in. A Birks pair would require a break-in period that will last between two to three weeks.
On the contrary, many wearers claim that Naot only takes a couple of days to be broken into. This makes Naots more comfortable than Birkenstocks when worn out of the box.
However, without a doubt, Birkenstocks are very comfortable to wear once you have successfully conquered the break-in process. If you’re still leaning towards purchasing a pair, you have to come equipped with some wearing-in tips!
Between Birkenstock and Naot, which is the better travel sandal?
Birkenstock and Naot are comfortable and durable as they are made with the finest materials. Thus, they are two of the best options you have if you are looking for a travel companion. Additionally, they are exceptionally lightweight and supportive, perfect for long-distance walking.
As previously stated, Birkenstocks must be worn first before you feel its maximum level of comfort. Given this, do not expect a newly bought Birkenstock leather pair to fit comfortably instantly.
If you want a Birkenstock pair that is already cozy when worn out of the box, you can opt for a soft footbed or synthetic Birkenstock. They are less challenging to break in. Some variations do not even need a break-in period.
When you have no time to deal with the break-in hassles, you can change your preference and shift to Naot! Many Naots and Birks wearers say that the former is easier to break-in than the latter.
Which is the more trendy sandal?
Contrary to others who claim that Birkenstocks have now become trendy, many shoe enthusiasts assert that they are a style staple. Naot is also getting enough attention and recognition as they are now considered as the modern comfy shoes.
You can also see comments that the Birks pairs did not become popular because they are purely stylish, but because their designs just deviate from what’s traditionally pleasant looking. They are even considered ugly sandals!
In the case of Naot, they are viewed as very Birkenstock-looking before. However, things have already changed as the brand successfully introduced styles that are also out of the ordinary.
Both brands produce very similar-looking pairs suited for casual to smart-casual looks. As of today, Birkenstocks and Naots are highly regarded as fashionable footwear.
What are the top-selling Birkenstocks models?
If you think that Birkenstock is the better choice for you, this section will be helpful in your hunt as I have rounded up the top-selling Birkenstock models you can check out. Just keep on reading to reach a well-thought decision!
Known for its comfort and versatility, the two-strapped Arizona has been the leading Birkenstock model of all times. You can have an Arizona in both leather and synthetic materials, although the leather ones are more expensive.
Arizona Birks are available in many colors and designs. Many have been fans of Arizona in solid or neutral colors such as brown, nude or black. The most trending ones are the Arizona Oiled Leather and Birko-Flor.
Also, try to check out the Arizona Desert Soil Camouflage in green for a more unique-looking pair. This is an ultimate celeb fave!
Additionally, one of Arizona’s most sought-after cheaper variations is the Arizona EVA Essential. This model is made of ethylene vinyl acetate, making it water-resistant and instantly comfortable during first wear.
If you have a slimmer than usual foot size, opt for a Mayari pair. Mayari Birks has a narrow-fitting style that is best for narrow-sized feet. They are also more lightweight than Arizonas!
Mayari is available in both leather and synthetic materials. Two of its in-demand variations are the Birkibuc and Birko-Flor, both made of synthetic materials.
Overall, Mayari embodies pure elegance and femininity with its stylish crisscrossing strap and two buckles. The design of Mayari Birks is just compatible with any outfit combo.
For a closed-toe option, try Boston Clogs! These are absolutely compatible with smart-casual attires. Besides being stylish, they are also exceptionally comfortable and protective of the feet.
Boston Clogs are also obtainable in leather and synthetic materials. Whatever the season is, you will experience an outstanding level of versatility and comfort with Boston Clogs.
What are the top-selling Naot models?
If you think that a pair of Naot will suffice your sandal craving, then you are at the right place! In this section, I have enumerated some of the Naot best-sellers to narrow down your choices.
Naot Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara model greatly resembles Arizona Birks. It has two straps that secure the top of the feet and adjustable metal buckles. Santa Barbara can be bought in vegan and leather variations.
Browsing through their websites, Naot Santa Barbara is only accessible in limited solid colors such as taupe, black, pink, and yellow, among others. There are also metallic colors. However, no dual-colored or multi-patterned design is available, unlike in Arizona.
Naot Spring is the Boston Clogs counterpart. It is a classic slip-on clog that looks very similar to Birkenstock’s Boston. The Classic Naot Spring collection integrates an EVA sole with the anatomically contoured footbed.
It also comes with a small metal buckle. Naot spring is only available in solid colors and particular leather types such as saddle brown leather, midnight blue oiled, and taupe suede leather.
For a more feminine touch, Naot Fresno includes a toe-loop, similar to Mayari Birkenstock. What makes Naot different is that it blends leather and suede straps into one look. More so, it comes with only one oversized buckle.
Naot Fresno is available in four dual-colored leather and suede designs: soft ink leather and antique brown suede, white pearl leather and sandstone suede, and soft black leather and taupe gray suede. Opt for the beige and marigold leather combination for a pure leather option!
How much do Birkenstocks and Naot cost?
Generally, Naot’s sandal lineups are more expensive than Birkenstocks, although both are considered luxury brands that produce podiatrist-approved footwear. Naot Santa Barbara can be purchased at $98 to $140, Spring at $160, and Fresno at $145.
On the other hand, the price range for Birkenstock’s top sellers is more affordable than Fresno’s. For instance, you can already buy an Arizona Birks EVA for as low as $50, Mayari for $100, and Boston for $120. Note that a model’s price may vary depending on the variation.
If you have a tight budget for buying an orthopedic and therapeutic sandal, I suggest getting a pair of Birks. The chart-topping Naot pairs have cheaper alternatives in Birkenstocks.
On the other hand, if you think that you can afford a Naot pair, then go for it. The brand takes pride in having been accepted for promoting food foot health by the American Podiatric Medical Association or APMA.
Birkenstocks vs. Naot, Final Thoughts
Now that I have already cited the main advantages and disadvantages of buying either a pair of Birkenstocks or Naot, the decision is yours to make! I understand that picking only one between the two brands is indeed challenging.
Although most best-selling Birkenstock and Naot models are very much alike in terms of appearance, they still have unique elements to offer. Given this, I highly suggest that you think it through.
Make a choice depending on your personality, foot size, financial capacity, and fashion sense. These aspects will be helpful in your quest to find the right sole partner!