Birkenstock has always been a reliable brand as its producers listen to the demands of its consumers. They have introduced a variety of sandal materials to cater to particular requests and suggestions. Two of which are leather and the Birko-Flor.
Birko-Flor is a synthetic material used by Birkenstock as an alternative to leather. The upper skin of a Birko-Flor resembles leather, but it is easier to maintain and break in. In comparison, leather pairs have surfaces that develop creases and patina. They are breathable and highly comfy after the break-in period.
Classic leather Birkenstocks are considered staple wear by many. However, if you are practicing a vegan lifestyle but want to experience Birkenstock’s coziness, Birko-Flor can become your sole partner.
If you are still hesitating on what to choose between Birko-Flor and leather Birkenstocks, this article got you! Just continue your reading spree to determine which material best suits you.
What is the main difference between Birko-Flor and leather Birkenstocks?
One of the main differences between Birko-Flor and leather Birkenstocks is the material used in producing them. Birko-Flor is synthetic, while leather is a natural material.
Birko-Flor is a patented synthetic material specially designed by Birkenstock to serve as an alternative to smooth leather. Although Birko-Flor can’t absolutely beat leather Birks’ high level of comfort and breathability, it still offers a list of advantages.
Birko-Flor Birkenstocks do not require a week-long break-in period, unlike pairs that come with leather uppers. Also, their colors do not fade and stay just as vibrant as you first took them home.
Additionally, they are also tear-resistant and low-maintenance. You will only need a wet cloth to remove visible minimal stains on Birko-Flor uppers. Leather Birks need more than that.
On the other hand, leather Birkenstocks will require two to three weeks of break-in period. Although they may feel uncomfortable initially, rest assured that they will hug your fit comfortably after successfully wearing them in.
Leather Birks also come with imperfect patterns. As time passes, its leather uppers will appear creasy and wrinkly, which many Birks wearers love because they add sophistication to a leather pair’s classic look
Yes, the leather models may be high-maintenance, but no other material can match the breathability and comfort level they can bring. Apart from these, they are also heat and fire-resistant.
As previously mentioned, Birko-Flor is made of synthetic materials such as acrylic and polyamide felt fibers. These materials are the reason why Birko-Flor is so easy to maintain.
Birko-Flor’s top surface is made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC, and its interior composition consists of fleece lining. Generally, a Birko-Flor design has an upper layer that is leather-like. Moreover, its lower portion is processed with soft felt.
Birko-Flor is also not like leather Birks which can improve and improve after ages. This is because it is made of synthetic materials that do not stretch and shrink naturally. They would typically look and feel the same way you first had them.
Birkenstock also uses the Birko-Flor material in its vegan collection. Some Birko-Flor designs are not entirely vegan as their footbed may still contain suede. Read the model description first if you want to take home a vegan pair.
Birkenstock Leather Materials
Leather has always had the best properties and features in creating shoes. Naturally, this material is easily pliable and stretchable. Its properties also ensure security and breathability.
Birkenstock uses different types of leather to produce their comfy and stylish pairs. One of the most sought-after leather types is natural leather which is commonly used as upper material. It comes with an untreated surface and a grainy look.
Apart from smooth leather, Birkenstock also uses nubuck, suede, and oiled leather for variation. Nubuck and suede are velvety and sensitive to moisture, while oiled leather is waxy and moist-resistant.
You can check out this article for more detailed information about the different types of leather uppers used by the brand.
Between Birko-Flor and leather Birks, which is more comfy and durable?
Birkenstock has been known for producing the most comfortable sandals in the shoe industry. This is because of their unique design footbed, which is anatomically shaped based on the contours of the feet.
Leather Birkenstocks will not fit comfortably when worn straight out of the box. They need to be worn in first to become comfy and hugging. For breaking-in tips, try reading this article.
Consumers complained about how their newly bought leather Birkenstocks hurt their feet, and voila! The brand has introduced the easy-to-wear Birko-Flor, among other synthetic Birks.
Birko-Flor fits comfortably even when worn right away, as it has a fleece lining on the underside. This makes a Birko-Flor pair exceptionally comfortable and soft.
In terms of durability, everyone knows that leather is greatly durable and can last a lifetime, except when not maintained and cared for. Therefore, leather Birkenstock’s durability is unparalleled.
However, synthetic Birks such as Birko-Flor is also fairly durable. Their durability relies on their water-resistant properties. Also, if you are looking for a completely waterproof Birko-Flor, check out the Birko-Flor Patent.
What are the top-selling Birko-Flor and leather models?
Arizona, Gizeh, and Mayari are three of the best-selling models under the Birko-Flor and leather Birkenstock lineups. Besides being classy and elegant slip-ons, their designs are the most versatile.
Arizona is the most in-demand leather model. It has two straps and an anatomically shaped footbed made of natural cork and latex. More so, this Birks style is one of the staple footwear in town.
The Birko-Flor counterpart of Arizona is also breaking records, but aside from it, Salina-Birko-Flor is also leading the Birkenstock charts. If you don’t want to have the same design that many people already have, opt for Salina.
How much do they cost?
The prices of synthetic Birkenstocks such as Birko-Flor are more accommodating than leather Birks. For instance, Arizona Birko-Flor can be bought between $100 and $120, while the leather one’s cost ranges from $125 to $270.
Gizeh and Mayari are cheaper than Arizona. Gizeh Birko-Flor’s price range is from $83 to $110, while Mayari Birko-Flor is between $75 and $100. On the other hand, Salani Birko-Flor can be bought for as low as $75.
Lastly, leather Gizehs and Mayaris can be purchased from $130 to $190. Natural and nubuck leathers are the most expensive ones.
Birko-Flor vs Leather Birkenstocks, Final Thoughts…
Birko-Flor and leather models have similar designs but are built with different materials. Therefore, when deciding, you must determine their properties’ strengths and weaknesses.
Knowing what you truly need and want is the key to identifying the best sole partner. Afterward, carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of getting a pair of Birko-Flor or leather Birkenstocks. Also, take into consideration other vital factors such as financial capacity.