Birkenstock has seen its share of fashion cycles since its founding in 1774. Though the brand took a very clinical approach to footwear at its outset, it has gone on to produce some of the world’s most stylish shoes. The Arizona sandal is among its most popular models, cemented in the annals of fashion annals for decades. It was first introduced in the 1970s (Birkenstock is so old that we have to distinguish which century we’re talking about), and remains basically unchanged to this day. It features two adjustable leather straps atop Birkenstock’s famous cork footbed — a term they actually coined — and the signature rubber sole.
It’s simple, comfortable, well-made and comes in a million iterations. There’s no knocking the dual-strap goodness of the Arizona. But there are some fine-looking alternatives on the market, too. Just as appropriate as the Arizona’s are for summertime activities, countless brands have used it as a springboard for their own takes. If you’re looking to slide into a pair that’s like the fashion faves, but not exactly, here are some great alternatives.
These lightweight renditions are made from a molded plastic upper and rubber soles, making them totally waterproof (i.e. perfect for the pool). Aside from the near-identical silhouette of the classic Arizona, these come with a textured footbed for grip as well as a fun paisley print and, no joke, a milk and honey scent.
Chaco Lowdown Slide
Another beloved brand of outdoor enthusiasts, Chaco makes a comfy sandal ready for light hikes. It features a contoured EVA footbed with ample arch support, jacquard webbing straps and vegan materials all around.
Japan-based brand Suicoke is responsible for reinvigorating the sandal category and has churned out its share of fashion-forward footwear with a distinctly tech aesthetic. These are a clear callback to the Arizona, but are made of EVA and include velcro straps, a molded footbed and a thick, thick sole.
Dr. Martens Chilton
Yes, Dr. Martens also makes sandals with its signature welted construction, yellow stitching and AirWair sole. If a British mod were to go on a tropical vacation, these would be in the suitcase.
Naot Santa Barbara
If you want something kinda, sorta, exactly like the Birkenstock Arizona, with its leather straps, suede-wrapped molded footbed, cork midsole and rubber soles, then Naot’s Santa Barbara sandal is the shoe for you.
Grenson Chadwick Two-Strap Leather Slides
Grenson’s best-known for its very English brogues and boots. But this take on the sandal also deserves attention. They’re crafted with premium leather uppers and leather-wrapped footbed for supreme comfort, and they come with a zigzag rubber sole.
Neighborhood x Shaka NHSK. Chill Out / PE Sandal
Shaka was originally a brand from South Africa before it was shuttered in 2000. However, its popularity in Japan pushed for its resurrection. Though, it’s now based in Japan, Shaka is still making stylish sandals like it used to. This collaborative pair features woven nylon and neoprene uppers, an EVA midsole and rubber outsoles.
By Walid Yves Vintage Beadwork Sandals
By Walid’s upcycled M.O. isn’t reserved to just clothes, but extends to shoes as well. These are made from repurposed vintage fabric uppers with intricate stitching and hand-applied beading. As such, no two pairs are exactly alike.
Buttero El Fuso 2 Strap Sandal
Buttero’s rendition of the Arizona combines a slim profile with lush suede uppers and footbed lining with clean nylon webbing straps and Vibram outsoles.
Isabel Marant Lekson Embroidered Suede Sandals
This luxe take from Isabel Marant features western-inspired stitch embroidery on its supple suede uppers. Though the cowboy-inspiration doesn’t mean these are meant for horseback riding. Rather, with soft leather lining, a premium leather-wrapped footbed and suede midsoles, these are purely for getting fits off.
Officine Creative Toscano Agora 2 Sandals
Italy-based brand Officine Creative offers up a pair of strappy sandals that’s at once minimalist and badass. These strip away the eyelets and roller buckle in favor of belt-style elastic straps, wrapped in premium leather.
Yuketen Arizonian Leather Sandals
Yuketen’s homage to the Arizona is obvious but has its own unique twist. They’re made with super soft, high-quality leather for the uppers and the footbed, brass hardware as well as jute and crepe outsoles for an espadrille-inspired look.
Brunello Cucinelli Suede Sandals
Crafted in Brunello Cucinelli’s family-run atelier in Italy, these are a superfluous riff on the original. Featuring a comfy, contoured footbed, wrapped in luscious suede and tonal rubber soles, these are at once high-end and low-key.