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Once known as the ultimate hippy shoe, Birkenstocks have come a long way. So have Birkenstock look-alike shoes.
From adorning the feet of flower children in the 70s (when they needed a break from barefoot dancing) to liberal college kids in the 90s, Birkenstocks have made their way into the fashion world and have become the sandal of choice for generations fashion lovers all over the world.
Blame it on the rise of normcore and/or athleisure. Perhaps it’s just part of the regular fashion cycle, remember how huge 70s trends were a few seasons ago? But it seems that comfortable shoes are here to stay.
Case in point? Sneakers. Nothing says comfort like a pair of non-constricting sandals with an orthopedic sole. Example? Shoes that look like Birkenstocks (aka Birkenstock look alikes).
Last update on 2020-02-21 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
But really – it was Phoebe Philo who started it all. Birkenstocks essentially became trendy after the Celine spring 2013 fashion show when models strutted down the runway in Birkenstock-esque slides and loosely tailored separates (source).
It didn’t take long for major department stores like Nordstrom to start carrying Birkenstock shoes, and soon the rest of the fashion world followed suit.
We now realize there’s just something effortlessly cool about Birkenstocks. Just like Doc Martens or Converse, these are shoes that have stood the test of time and have come back stronger than ever.
They are not just your eccentric aunt’s favorite sandals anymore. Fashionistas have started contrasting them with feminine sundresses or with a simple tank and wide leg pants for a more minimalist feel.
What’s the catch? A pair of Birkenstock-branded shoe cost a pretty penny. Many will argue that Birkenstocks are a worthy investment their exceptional quality and comfort, but sometimes you just don’t want to pay over $100 for a pair of sandals. And that’s perfectly fine.
Birkenstock look-alike brands are now a common sight.
It all started with the seven Birkenstock Classics, the shoes that portray the Birkenstock spirit. Why do people love these classics?
Well, people gravitate towards these designs because of their unmistaken depiction of sustainability and wellbeing rather than the notion of what is in trend.
Birkenstock Classics: Madrid, Zurich, Arizona, Boston, Gizeh, Yara, and Kairo
The one-strap Madrid shoe is the oldest member of the Birkenstock line of products. Known as the “gymnastics sandal,” the shoes have grip reflex that is activated with walking. The cushioned footbed of Madrid offers the perfect combination of comfort and ergonomics for the owner.
Nothing beats a shoe that molds to your feet. The Birkenstock Zurich is a popular unisex shoe that combines the benefits of closed shoes with its covered sides, and the flexibility of sandals with the open toes and heels. The Zurich sandal will feel so good on that you’ll forget that you’re wearing a pair of shoes (i.e., like a second skin).
Termed the “One for All” Birkenstock, this model is a jack of all trade. Made for work and leisure, outdoor and indoors, and for all gender, this environmentally-friend piece is available in a plethora of colors.
The Arizona sandal is the reason Birkenstock has become a household name even all the way in Nigeria, where I grew up. The iconic design of this unisex Arizona sandal is the epitome of the Birkenstock brand.
As described on the Birkenstock website, “for some it’s a provocation and a calculated break with style, while for others it’s an expression of a life attitude and a symbol of belonging.”
The Class Boston clogs. Slip them on, and you’ll forget that you have them on. As described on the official Birkenstock website, the Boston clogs provide the highest level of comfort. No cramped toes, no uncomfortable pressure points thanks to thanks to its signature cork sole and latex footbed (source).
The Gizeh sandal is the Birkenstock “stylish all-rounder.” It is simple, feminine, elegant, relaxed and cool. At the beginning of 1980, the brand redesigned this style. As luck would have it, the Gizeh became a permanent imprint in shoe stores all around the world shortly after that.
The presence of adjustable buckle, the straps can be adjusted for fit and convenience. The timeless Gizeh sandal is available in a wide range of colors.
The Birkenstock Yara sandals is the ultimate vacation sandals. This sandal features an impressive combination of toe aligner and adjustable straps.
A compelling benefit of Yara is a rear strap that wraps around your ankle in a crosswise pattern for excellent support and perfect fit.
Last but definitely not the least is the Kairo closed ankle sandal. This uber-comfortable sandal features firm support and a design that is easy on the eyes. The individually adjustable instep strap guarantees a perfect fit every single time.
Splurge vs. Save: 25+ Most-Wanted Birkenstock Look Alikes
I’ve rounded up 56 Birkenstock look-alike shoes that will look great on your feet and enticing to your wallet!
1. Arizona Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
The Arizona sandal is the OG of Birkenstock. And it is probably the style that pops into your head when you think of Birkenstock. The chunky cork sole and two thick buckle straps of the Birkenstock Arizona style have remained unchanged since its debut in 1973!
What has changed is the multiple colors and prints you can now available in. These are the best Arizona Birkenstock dupes on the market!
2. Gizeh Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
The Gizeh is the second most famous Birkenstock style. This Birkenstock style is essentially a flip-flop version of the Arizona. Because when it comes to sandals, there are two kinds of people: those who prefer slides and those who prefer flip-flops.
The other defining feature is the large, often contrasting toe divider that pops out like a cute button on the t-strap. Perfect for pairing with your summer dresses or denim cutoffs. And if you’re wondering, the Gizeh was named after an Egyptian city because the foundation of this footwear dates back to Egypt, right around 1400 BC.
I still remember borrowing my sister’s Birkenstock lookalike sandals 10+ years ago. This cut never goes out of style!
3. Madrid Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
The Madrid is a sleeker version of the Arizona with only one buckle strap instead of two. Same comfortable sole but easier to slide into! Launched in 1963, the Madrid slides is the oldest model of the Birkenstock brand (source). This is the sandal for you if you prefer a minimalist design.
The one-strap design makes this Birkenstock the perfect pairing with jeans, dresses, and shorts. Though stylish, your comfort is guaranteed with this Birkenstock sandals. I even found a few white Birkenstock dupes!
4. Boston Clog Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
Birkenstocks are famous for their sandals, but they make other types of shoes too! Clogs being one of them, the sandal’s more secure cousin. The Boston clog retains the distinctive Birkenstock look with the cork sole and buckle strap.
They’re essentially slippers that are socially acceptable to wear outside. If that’s not heaven for your feet, then I don’t know what is. Next to each Boston Clog are a few Birkenstock look-alikes that cost a lot less.
5. Yara Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
Next up is the Birkenstock Yara crisscross sandals. This shoe is, for lack of better words, Birkenstock’s take on the gladiator sandal. The wraparound leather straps; one over the toes and one around the ankles, and signature contoured footbed add a touch of femininity to these sandals.
Dubbed the ultimate vacation sandals, you can expect unrivaled comfort, quality, and durability from the timeless Birkenstock Yara.
For a trendy everyday look, pair them with your favorite flowy maxi, and you’ll instantly feel like a goddess! And yup, I got some look-alike brands for you 🙂
6. Kairo Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
The Kairo flats are the sandal version of the Gizeh with adjustable instep straps. The Kairo sandals come with an extra ankle strap so you’ll never have to worry about putting the flop in flip-flop.
Admittedly, while flip-flops are comfy and convenient, they’re not the most practical style. But the Kairo is the best of both worlds.
Also part of this Splurge vs. Save Series:
- The Ultimate Valentino Rockstud Dupes
- The Best Gucci Handbag Dupes
- 15+ Christian Louboutin Shoe Dupes
- The Most-Wanted Chanel Look-Alike Bags
- Top 10 Hottest Chloe Bag Dupes
7. Mayari Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
The Mayari is like a hybrid of the Arizona and the Gizeh with two straps and a toe loop. The straps are slightly thinner, giving it a more modern and sleek feel.
These are a great style if you’ve previously thought Birkenstocks are too big/chunky. And yes, we found a few Birkenstock Gizeh-inspired shoes that look like Birkenstocks!
8. Milano Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
If you’re not a fan of the flop in flip-flops or the edge of your heel slipping out of slides, you might love the Birkenstock Milano! It features an additional ankle strap for a secure fit and ultimate comfort.
9. Florida Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
Calling lovers of all things strappy! The Florida takes the Arizona silhouette up an extra notch with a third strap. The straps are thinner, so there’s no extra bulk on your feet.
10. Salina Birkenstock Look Alike Shoes
The Salina is a refreshing, modern take on the classic slide. It comes with two slim buckle straps and one interconnecting curved strap. It’s a small detail that dramatically alters the look.
I’d like to make a little disclaimer. These affordable Birkenstock look-alike shoes featured in this post are not knockoffs. They are simply dupes that were inspired by Birkenstock.
Difference between a Designer Knockoff & Designer Dupe
A knockoff is a blatant copy, branding and all, of a designer product. These types of imitation products are illegal and can get you in serious trouble.
On the other hand, a look-alike, also known as a dupe, is a product that merely draws inspiration from another design. If imitation is indeed the best form of flattery, the best legal way to get that designer look is to opt for a dupe.
It’s no wonder that designer dupes are found in chain and online clothing stores. You might even unknowingly have a few dupes in your closet right now!
Dupes like these Birkenstock look-alike shoes allow you to obtain the look you want for a fraction of the price.
Affordable Birkenstock Dupes on Amazon
FUN FACT ABOUT BIRKENSTOCK: DID YOU KNOW?
Though Birkenstocks gained worldwide popularity during the hippy/flower child era of the 60s and 70s, the brand traces all the way back to 1774! It was founded by Johann Adam Birkenstock, a shoemaker for church archives in the German village of Langen-Bergheim.
The brand’s famous orthopedic insole was invented in 1896 by Johan’s great-great-grandson, Konrad, and the first two Birkenstock stores opened in Frankfurt.
In the 1900s Birkenstock saw the development of new orthopedic sole prototypes (the same ones they use today). Their shoes were popular post-World War II with veterans who desired practicality and comfort.
The first Birkenstock sandal was designed in 1964, and it quickly gained popularity, especially with athletes. By 1966 Birkenstocks were introduced internationally and quickly became a household name. The rest is history!
If you enjoyed reading this epic roundup post featuring over 25 best Birkenstock look alike shoes, you would love this post about 15+ Valentino Rockstud dupes and the best Christian Louboutin inspired shoes, and perhaps this epic roundup of the hottest designer dupes available right now. As always, thank you for stopping by.
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