Chacos vs. Birkenstocks: Which is Better?

Thinking of buying a cozy summer sandal that is perfect to wear during the warm weather? You have to try narrowing your list and check out the lineups from two prominent footwear brands in the shoe industry: Chacos and Birkenstocks.

The water-resistant Chacos are perfect for your water-related and hiking activities. Chacos have 360-degree adjustable straps, which allow for fit customization. While Birks also have one to three straps with adjustable metal buckles, most models are slip-on. These pairs are better worn when strolling into the city. 

Both Chacos and Birkenstocks offer lineups that are suited for the summer heat. However, worthy no note that they are better suited for certain activities or events. To know when and where to wear them, you must be aware of their material composition and styles.

This article will surely be of great use to your search for the best summer pair. So, carry on reading for you to obtain a well-thought decision. 

What are the differences between Chacos and Birkenstocks?

Chacos are known for being the ultimate outdoor and adventure sandal due to their strappy design, thick footbeds, and grippy soles. On the other hand, Birkenstocks rose as a go-to sandal that offers comfort and convenience to their wearers. 

Generally, the former is built as venturesome footwear while the latter is designed to bring coziness during travels. Apart from these, other aspects such as their materials and styles also vary. These are elaborated on in the following sections. 


Chaco prioritizes customizability, toughness, performance, and comfort. They utilize polyester, which is water-resistant, in creating their straps. These straps are adjustable, allowing you to customize your Chaco’s fitting.

In terms of toughness and comfort, Chaco sandals’ footbeds are made of polyurethane compounds. The brand claims this material does not break down or compress over time. 

Every Chaco pair is highly durable, long-lasting, and comfortable. Chaco is also limitless concerning performance. Their rubber outsoles: Chacogrip and Ecotread, are designed to have an ultimate grip and traction.

On the other hand, Birkenstock is known for its therapeutic and highly comfy footbeds. Moreover, the brand has been committed to producing great arch support pairs. 

They take pride in having created a footbed anatomically molded to the shape of our feet, one of a kind. The materials used for their multi-layered footbeds, such as suede, jute, and cork, made Birks greatly special. 

Also, they use different types of leather and synthetic materials to create their pairs. Like Chaco, Birkenstocks offer many orthopedic, comfy, and durable models.

Features & Styles

Apart from prioritizing durability and comfort, Chacos are also known for its stylish and fashionable straps that are customizable. Their straps are available in many color and pattern combinations. 

Therefore, you need not worry about bumping into someone with the same Chaco design. However, Chacos only have a total of four different sandal styles: toe strap, noe strap, crisscross strap, and double strap. 

Another defining feature of Chacos is their suction-padded soles and elevated heel sole. As mentioned earlier, these have an excellent grip and come with waterproof straps perfect for outdoor water adventures. 

Birkenstocks offer a wider variety of footwear styles: from mules, one to two strap slip-on, sandals, and closed shoes. Undeniably, Birks slip-ons are the brand’s best-sellers. 

One distinct characteristic of Birkenstocks is their roomy style. Birks are built to make space for your toes and not to sandwich them. Just note that too much room is not recommended, and you should find the right size! 

Further, their footbeds also are uniquely made. Their regular footbeds are made of natural materials, which after some time, mold to your foot’s shape. On the other hand, their soft footbeds are invented for shorter break-in periods.

Colors & Availability

Both Chacos and Birkenstocks are available in a wide range of colors. Although, Chacos are best-known for having multi-colored and patterned designs like Aztec or tribal.

On the other hand, Birkenstocks in solid or basic colors are much more in demand than those dual or triple-colored Birks. But there are also eye-catching patterns like Birks in camouflage famously worn by celebrities.

Which is more comfortable between Chacos and Birkenstocks?

Undeniably, Birkenstocks and their footbeds are more comfortable to wear, specifically for long trips like riding a plane. Their natural cork footbeds conform to the shape and size of your foot. This will ensure maximum comfort.

Although the polyester sole of Chacos made of rubber also brings comfort to its wearer, it does not have the same level of arch support Birkenstocks offer. So, if you are more concerned with comfortability and are not a fan of strappy sandals, check out Birkenstock’s lineups. 

Birkenstocks are also the pair for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. Besides the comfort Birkenstocks bring to their wearer, their footbeds are built to be supportive and orthopedic. 

Also, if you are worried that Birks are not waterproof, you must know that they now offer Birks in ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). This synthetic water-resistant material gives off a cushiony and elastic finish. 

Which is the better sandal for summer or travel adventures?

If you want a more comfy pair to wear on outdoor adventures such as hiking, you have to choose Chacos. They are more lightweight than classic Birkenstock models with natural cork footbeds. 

Aside from that, Chacos are also best worn in water sports. Each pair is equipped with soles that have a high level of grip and traction. Crossing a rocky and bumpy lake would become less challenging with Chacos. 

Although, there are Birkenstock models that can be used in light hiking activities. More so, water-resistant Birks can also be worn on beach trips.

Which travel sandal is more fashionable?

Often, Birkenstocks are worn by most of our favorite Hollywood celebrities and Instagram influencers. Apart from their high level of comfort, they are also stylish and look great in street fashion.

Compared to Chacos, Birkenstocks can blend well with any casual outfit you can think of. You can pair them with jeans or shorts, even trousers or square pants. They can also go with tank cropped tops. 

Of course, this depends on your fashion style. If, for you, a strappy and adventurous pair is more fashionable than jandals, go for Chacos. On the other hand, if you think that Birk’s styles are more compatible with personality, then get a pair.

Both Chacos and Birkenstocks can offer you a stylish and fashionable look. You just have to style them and wear them with confidence!

What are the top-selling Chacos styles?

After knowing their differences, I am guessing you now have an attachment to one of the sandals mentioned. If you think that Chacos are more suited to you and your personality, I have enumerated some of the top-selling Chacos styles which you can choose from. 

Z1 Classic Athletic Sandal

The Z1 sandals are one of Chaco’s classics. They come with adjustable polyester straps and a podiatrist-certified footbed. Considered sportswear, the Z1 Classic Athletic Sandal is a best-selling Chaco footwear.

One reason is that they provide a platform base that is very supportive and has plenty of traction. More so, it is durable and comfortable. 

Zvolv Sandal

If you want a more stylish Chaco pair, this one’s for you! Zvolv sandal is very stylish and versatile. Indeed, this pair is a head-turner, perfect for short hikes involving water or mud. You can also wear them while running some errands at the supermarket!

Zvolv has everything you’re looking for in an adventure or travel sandal. It is durable and dependable. Further, it carries with it the brand’s trademark: good traction.

Zcloud Athletic Sandal

If Birkenstock has soft footbed versions, Chaco has its Zcloud series. Their Zcloud sandals offer breathability and a high level of comfort. What makes Zclouds stand out is their lighter, cloud-like, shock-absorbent, and water-resistant sole.

Zcloud Athletic Sandal is more cushiony compared to other Chaco sandals. They are also more lightweight. Generally, they are suitable for water sports, hiking, and even biking. 

What are the top-selling Birkenstocks styles?

Birkenstocks, on the other hand, also offer comfortable and convenient pairs. Two of which are their slip-on and back-strap designs. Listed below are the most in-demand slip-on and back-strapped Birkenstock styles.

Arizona Birks

If you are thoughtfully prioritizing comfort over anything else, you need to check out Birkenstocks’ Arizona. Although more expensive than other styles and alternative brands, Arizona Birks are definitely worth their price!

Arizona’s are two-strapped Birkenstock classics with anatomically molded footbeds and are available in leather or synthetic material compositions. Arizona Birks can also be purchased in many solid colors. Some are even in dual or tri-colored designs.

Other multi-patterned Arizonas, such as the Arizona Desert Soil Camouflage Green, available in EVA and smooth leather, are also wanted by many as they have seen celebrities wearing these. 

Milano Birks

Milano Birkenstocks have triple adjustable straps. Just like Arizona, Milano comes with two straps at the foot’s top. However, what makes it different is that it has a back strap that adds support to your foot’s heel. 

Just watch out for some break-in hassles. An out-of-the-box Milano, together with its additional straps, can induce friction, causing blisters and pain. For some tips, check out our article on how to break in a Birks pair.

Madrid Birks

One of the comfiest pairs ever produced by Birkenstock is Madrid. This one-strap sandal is also the oldest model of the brand. So, let us bow down to the Birken legend!

Its original version has a not-so-thick strap with a single buckle. Birkenstock has released its latest version, and now, Madrid Birks are available with thicker straps and big buckles. 

Madrid Birkenstocks are less chunky and more casual than other Birks models. They also have a more feminine touch, perfect for summer dresses and skirts. 

How much do Chacos and Birkenstocks cost?

Chacos and Birkenstocks have similar price ranges. Both brands offer footwear that is kind of expensive in comparison to other sandal brands. This is because of the materials used in producing their pairs. 

On average, Chacos are cheaper. They won’t cause you more than $120. You can actually purchase one for as low as $23. Chaco Z1 Classic can be bought at $53, Zvolvs at $60, and Zclouds at $45.  

On the other hand, Birkenstock’s starting price is $40. Arizona’s price range is between $40 and $263. Milano Birks is priced at $60 to $170. While Madrid Big Buckle can be purchased from $80 to $150. 

Of course, the price still depends on the style of the sandal, its material composition, as well as size. You can check out their websites for more pricing information.

Which sandal should you buy?

No one can decide for you, only yourself. So, sit back and think about it properly. Take into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of having Chacos and Birkenstocks.

If you are a traveler who wants hiking, swimming, or mountain climbing, you might want to consider buying one of the Chacos models mentioned above. Chacos are best for these activities because of their excellent traction and durability. 

On the other hand, if you are an outgoing person but the type who just wants to sight-see or walk all over the city’s streets, Birkenstocks may become your companion. These pairs are famous for their high level of comfort and arch support.

Aside from all these, you might as well do some budget checks. If you want a more affordable but comfortable pair, Chacos may have the pair that you’re looking for. However, if you have more than enough, you can try to look for a good Birks pair.

Chacos vs. Birkenstocks, Final Thoughts…

Overall, both brands have something distinct and unique to offer. It really all depends on what you want and where you need to use a pair. What you need to do after reading this article is assess your personality and hobbies.

These factors will be very helpful for you to decide on whether to purchase a Chaco or a Birkenstock. Either way, you’ll take home a premium-quality sandal perfect for everyday use.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply