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Birkenstock Arizona Sandal vs Cheaper Flip Flops

Why we recommend the Birkenstock Arizona as your go-to Flip Flop

We’ve written before about how much we love the Birkenstock Arizona. In a previous blog, we wrote:

For most everyone, when you think of the Birkenstock brand your mind instantly pictures the Birkenstock Arizona. Whether you're aware of this iconic shoe's name or not, the Birkenstock Arizona is probably the most well-known Birkenstock there is. Available in a wide selection of colors and patterns, it's an easy choice to please almost anyone.

Of course, here at Boger's, we're concerned with more than just the style of your shoes but how comfortable they are too. As luck would have it, the Birkenstock Arizona is even more comfortable than it looks.

With summer on its way here, we’re sure we aren’t the only ones looking forward to pulling our flip-flops out from the back of the closet. As soon as that warm summer air really starts, it feels like an invitation to put on your sandals. Here in sunny Jacksonville, Florida, we spend a lot of time in flip-flops throughout the year. Some people don’t have a love for flip flops, which is understandable but there’s a reason most of us do. Flip flops were made to make your feet feel relaxed. When your feet are relaxed, your mind will follow. How exactly do shoes manage to relax your feet? By giving you the feeling of being barefoot which for a lot of people is very relaxing. Not to mention how quick and easy they are to put on.

We don’t consider all flip-flops to be the same though. We are still a store with comfort and support in mind. So we think your favorite summer flip flops should include foot health, support, comfort, and style all in one. Every day flip flops generally don’t have a lot of support for your feet. So let’s take a moment and compare the Birkenstock Arizona to a cheap pair of flip flops.

How Birkenstock Fit/Feels Vs Cheaper Flip Flops

For this fit comparison, let’s assume you purchased a pair of Birkenstock Arizona’s and a pair of Old Navy flip-flops.

Birkenstock’s are of course made with the support and comfort of your feet as their top priority. The footbed found in all Birkenstock shoes also has elements that each “serves a purpose to encourage proper foot wellbeing and health”. This means the Arizona will conform to your foot’s needs and give you the most comfort. The Arizona also features two adjustable straps that add to its ability to fit your foot. The straps, each with an individually adjustable metal pin buckle, are purposefully placed over the top of your foot to aid in fitting while still making them easy to put on. We do have to mention that all Birkenstock footbeds require you to break the shoe in. This may seem like a pain and not worth it to some but we promise it is worth it for the comfort they’ll provide.

Old Navy’s flip flops are a favorite for those who love flip flops. The variety of colors is a big draw. The footbed found in the Old Navy sandal is a firm EVA footbed. EVA or Ethylene-vinyl acetate is a highly versatile plastic that has rubber-like properties and comes in a variety of textures. Birkenstock also uses EVA but only for its outsole. This means the Old Navy flip flop is comfy but the Birkenstop Arizona has an edge up with its added Birko flor upper. Instead of straps, cheaper flips like Old Navy’s have a thong strap. This makes it quick to put on but the strap can also cause pain where it rubs against the foot.


Pros: Two strap adjustment thong-strap Footbed with support

Cons: Requires Breaking in

​Old Navy

Pros: Firm EVA footbed EVA outsole EVA foam outsole

Cons: Thong strap cause pain

How long will Birkenstock Arizona last vs cheaper flip flops

For some, how long their shoes last isn’t a consideration when purchasing new shoes. Why though would you buy a pair of shoes that will break or fall apart faster than you can enjoy them?

The Birkenstock Arizona flip flop is admittedly a more expensive shoe. Some customers may see the price and debate whether it’s worth it. You get what you pay for when it comes to the quality of a shoe. The quality of shoe your paying for with the Arizona means with proper care it’ll last you multiple summers. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time in flip flops during spring and summer not having to purchase new ones every year can be a relaxing feeling.

A pair of Old Navy flip-flops, on the other hand, will cost you under 6 dollars in most cases. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend less money, especially right now. Will you really be spending less though if you are an avid flip flop wearer and your shoes fall apart? We’ve been there when wearing cheaper flip-flops and then falling apart while walking. Even if in most cases it’s an easy fix, it's not something we want you to have to worry about while relaxing. Old Navy flips do tend to be more durable than other cheaper flip flops though.


Pros: Last longer Durable

Cons: More money

​Old Navy

Pros: Cheap Mildly durable

Cons: Wear out quickly with avid use

How Birkenstocks Arizona’s hold up to water vs cheaper flip flops

Since we’re talking about durability, you’ll also want to consider how your flip-flops will do if exposed to water. We don’t think you actually enjoy your shoes getting wet but shoes worn near the pool or at the beach are almost guaranteed to get wet. At the beach, the added sand on your shoes and between your feet makes any shoe uncomfortable. In this case, neither shoe does perfectly when wet.

The Birkenstock Arizona is made of cork and suede leather. The cork footbed and suede lining of Birkenstocks can absorb water and easily get wet if it comes into contact with water. This won’t ruin your shoes though as long as you dry them properly. Also, since the Birkenstock Arizona doesn’t have a thong strap it won’t add extra friction between your toes when wet, which can be very uncomfortable.

As for a cheaper flip flop like Old Navy, we’ve all experienced how slippery they can get when they are wet. Your foot moves around inside the shoe and the shoe doesn’t grip as easily when you’re walking. And again, there’s the thong strap that will cause unwanted friction. The friction from a pair of wet flip flops between your toes can easily cause bad blistering which is never pleasant.

Spring break and then summer vacation are on the way. We all plan on enjoying beach and pool days. We recommend the Birkenstock Arizona and not just because we sell it but our staff wears them and we know how comfortable and versatile they can be. They aren’t just for the beach and pool either.

  • Anatomically shaped cork-latex footbed

  • Upper: Birko-Flor®

  • Footbed lining: suede

  • Sole: EVA

  • Details: two straps, each with an individually adjustable metal pin buckle

  • Made in Germany

Looking for a great deal on all your springtime shoe needs? Shop our Spring Clearance sale a get up to 40% off of select brands & styles.

It’s that time again! Time to nominate who you think is best. We have the best customers and we would love it if you’d take a moment to vote for us. This year you can find us under Best Shoe Store, Best Speciality Shoe Store, and Best Orthopedic Shoe Center. Will you help us go for a three-peat? Nominate us today!


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