Birkenstock Arizona Review – Regular Leather Sandals


Today, I’m going to give you the Birkenstock Arizona review. The Arizona is an awesome timeless classic. It’s had many different waves of popularity, the 70s, 90s, 2010s, and it’s still going strong.

It’s great for from grandma to grandpa and everybody in between.   

Birkenstocks have been around forever and they are also uber-popular and stylish. In fact, you can see plenty of celebrities putting the Birkenstock Arizona on.

Before you get these, bear in mind they come in two different footbeds. If you’re not sure what that means, make sure you read our comparison of the Birkenstock soft footbed vs regular footbed.


It wasn’t that long ago when I just remember Birkenstocks is kind of that hippy sort of like older gentleman that lives in the forest sort of look.

I don’t really wear that many shoes, to be honest. I have a lot of shoes, but I need something comfortable and something easy that I just don’t even think about.

The Birkenstock Arizona became a little bit more interesting to me and I decided to give it a shot and I am very glad that I did.

This is exactly what I need whenever I go out of the house. When I need to go out to get some quick groceries or just go for a quick walk around the area, it is amazing when you just could put your foot in something and walk out.

You could say that about any sandal, but what became abundantly clear with the Birkenstock Arizona is that sooner or later, I started to feel the comfort of these compared to any other sandal.


Birkenstock Arizona Review

Let me start with my start with my 2-year update wearing the Birkenstock Arizona:

I have been a proud owner of the Birkenstock Arizona sandals for the past two years, and I can confidently say that they have become my absolute favorite piece of footwear.

The comfort level the Arizona offers is unmatched. From the very first day I slipped my feet into them, I experienced no discomfort or soreness, even during long walks.


The contoured cork footbed molds to the shape of my feet, providing exceptional support and cushioning, which is a true blessing, especially during hot summer months when my feet tend to swell.

After two years of regular use, it still looks and feels great. The high-quality materials and craftsmanship have ensured that it stands the test of time, making it a worthwhile investment.

One key piece of advice I’d offer to potential buyers is to consider sizing down because the sandal tends to run large.

Styling-wise, the Birkenstock Arizona is incredibly versatile. Whether I’m wearing shorts, jeans, or even casual summer outfits, these sandals always seem to effortlessly complement my look. They have a timeless appeal that works with a variety of fashion choices.

As for the different variations, it’s important to note that there are soft footbed and regular footbed versions. The soft footbed offers an extra layer of cushioning for those who prefer a more plush feel, whereas the regular footbed provides the classic Birkenstock support.

The choice between narrow and regular Arizona sandals depends on your foot width. If you have narrower feet, opt for the narrow version for a snug fit.


Cork Midsole


The star of the show for Birkenstock is the cork. That’s kind of what set them apart way back when and that’s kind of still what sets them apart now.

The midsole is basically a piece of cork and latex. Cork is really interesting because it’s not the toughest thing out there, but it is really cool.

Cork is fire retardant and it’s almost water impermeable. It’s a great renewable resource because when they strip the bark off, the tree can keep growing and every nine years, they can get more cork.

Cork is squishy and it kind of forms to what’s pushing down on it. So, that’s why it kind of gets comfortable and that’s why Birkenstock kind of have that reputation.

Better than a lot of different materials, cork has the ability to mold and conform to your foot’s unique shape and contours the more you wear your Birkenstock sandals.

The cork knows exactly where your feet are and it kind of defaults to that truly becoming more comfortable over time.  You can kind of tell based on where there’s darker spots and stuff on the footbed.

In short, cork is a great natural material and the more you wear it, it starts to mold to your foot’s unique shape.



Break-in Period

Don’t expect your Arizona to be really comfortable from day one. Actually, out of the box, they’re really uncomfortable and you have to be a little patient until the cork molds to your feet.

The leather straps are also a bit tough to break in.

It generally takes about a couple of weeks to really break the Arizona in, but once you do break it in, softens up a bit and only then, your journey with comfort will truly begin.




Cork is also not the strongest material because it can get soaked and then it crumbles. So, what Birkenstock does is they cover the outside of the cork that’s exposed in cork sealant. That’s why it kind of looks like it’s brown asphalt.

They also sell cork sealant on its own. So, if you want to keep your Birkenstocks up and make sure that cork doesn’t dry out so you can extend the life of them, then you should probably get some cork sealant and apply it when it starts to look dull or it’s not really there.

Longevity isn’t the only thing people look for in Birkenstocks. The footbed is anatomical, it has a deep heel cup, a raised toe bar, and some straps for personalized adjustability.





The other thing I like is the overall construction and materials used. The cork footbed is excellent and the quality of the leathers is excellent.

I’m pretty sure the Birkenstock is just all glued together and I can’t tell if this is excess sealant or glue kind of leaking out of the seams, but there are these little chunks of sealant that look kind of messy.

It’s fine with me and it’s kind of the Birkenstock ethos to not be perfect, which they actually say on their website.

They say that the Birkenstock has selvedges, which is kind of weird and that makes me think of jeans with selvage, which came from self-edge.

But with the leather, I think basically what they’re saying is that the edges of the leather that’s cut for the sandals aren’t sealed with leather edge paint or anything like that. It’s just the raw leather.

The top of my Birkenstocks is leather. They take leather, they buff the top, kind of smooth it out, and get all the grains out and it has this like peach fuzz feeling.

It kind of sacrifices water permeability for that look or correctness. To kind of keep it a little bit more water repellent, they oil the leather so it stays supple and doesn’t dry out as easy.

You really have to work on not drying your Birkenstocks out. You don’t want to dry out the cork, and you don’t want to dry out the leather.


Arizona Leather vs Water

Even though I said that cork is impermeable to water, there’s sealant and this leather is treated for a little bit more water resistance and stuff like.

Birks are really not meant to get wet that much or if at all. If it’s raining and you’re walking with them, that’s fine, but don’t go hopping in puddles if it is raining just because they’re not water shoes first and foremost.

If you want that style and you want it to be able to get wet, I suggest the Birkenstock EVA Arizona instead. The EVA version is cheaper, comfortable, and as stylish as the leather version.

The EVA Arizonas look cool and they’re basically made out of the same thing as Crocs, which is EVA that Crocs call Croslite. The EVA Arizonas are a lot better for the water.

Read our Birkenstock Arizona EVA review.


However, if you really want the real magic and benefits of the Birkenstock footbed, you have to have the regular leather and cork Arizona.



The Birkenstock Zermatt is one of these really comfortable house shoes. Make sure you check them out.



I also like the leather upper. There’s a couple of types of upper materials from Birkenstock that you have to be careful with before you hit the buy button. There’s the oiled leather upper, the nubuck, and the birko-flor.

So, the combination of leather and the cork in the Birkenstock Arizona seems like it’s going to last a long time.



The truth is Birkenstock shoes have been out for a bazillion years and so I do know these last a long time especially when you hear people saying ‘oh my god I’ve had my Birks for 10 years or 8 years…’ That’s a lot longer than you would normally wear a pair of shoes.

I don’t think all Birkenstocks look good, but the Arizona is the most classic and this is what I think most people that are into Birkenstocks get.


Not sure about pairing socks with your Birkenstocks? This article is your go-to source for valuable insights and style tips to guide your decision!


If you’re in the market for one of these, I would try to get as classy a color as possible. They have various colors out there, so try to get a black or a brown.

I really do like the version that has kind of that mid-brown color that ages super well. It looks kind of dark in certain spots as you wear them, which looks cool.

You can really wear the Arizona as many different ways as you want. You could dress it up or dress it down. It’s a simple design that many people can wear a lot.


Into outdoor adventures? Check out our Keen Whisper sandals review!


The Arizona comes in two different widths, narrow and regular. Birkenstock got so big because obviously, they’re wide and comfortable.

Birkenstock Arizona Sizing

Everybody always asks about Birkenstock sizing. I’m a size 8 in the US and I get a size 40 Birkenstock and it fits fine.

The women’s Birkenstocks are basically the same, but they’re a little narrower and a little shorter.


The Birkenstock Arizona is one of these handpicked sandals for walking.

Arizona vs Foot Issues

As far as Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, and bad knees, the Arizona does provide the comfort and arch support your heels and knees would probably need while walking.


Birkenstock shoes are not cheap, but people live in them and the Birkenstock sandals pay for themselves in a couple of years. Just think of how many shoes you can go through in that time period.

But you can always some great styles on sale.

Where to buy (not affiliate)


I should also briefly mention that Birkenstock use sustainable products and they seem to be eco-conscious.

How It All Started

In the 1770s in Germany, there was Johan Birkenstock who was a vessel and shoemaker. Then, in 1864, I believe, his great-great-grandson was the first to make a contoured footbed, which was super important.

They’re one of the first original creators of the over-the-counter footbed.

Then in 1964, we have the first invention of the Birkenstock sandal, which was when Birkenstock actually combined their footbeds with a shoe. The first design had three straps and you can still buy it today.

That’s kind of when everything blew up. Birkenstock started off with young men and then it really kind of took charge in the flower child hippie movement and everybody was wearing Birkenstocks and that’s still kind of a thing today.

As shoemakers, they realized that products were made with pretty much flat soles. When they looked at the foot, they saw the foot wasn’t flat and so, they created an over-the-counter insert that really hits all the right spots creating great weight-distribution and comfort.

All in all…

  • Birks are simple and they’re good for your feet.
  • The brand seems really cool.
  • They last a really long time even without care. If you care for them, I bet they’ll last even longer.
  • They look great with all your outfits.
  • They look better with jeans.
  • They break in really nicely.
  • They stick true to size.

The Birkenstock Arizona is the one that is the go-to sandal for me and I think you’ll thank me for it once you realize that it can be your go-to as well.

So, there you have it, this was the Birkenstock Arizona review. If you feel I’ve left out any important details, please let us know in the comments below.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

3 thoughts on “Birkenstock Arizona Review – Regular Leather Sandals”

  1. Arizona Birko white plattafotrm “ waste of money , the material breaks like hard plastic , not worth the price, I have Five pairs of leather and they are just fine , I am a Birkenstock user since I was 17 years of age , now I am 49 .. I am very disappointed . I order the Platform black leather Arizona a $220 to receive a damaged pair , now is not available in my size .. incredible .

  2. I just bought a pair of oiled leather black Giseh with a big buckle and a leather footbed. I’m trying to get information about this type of footbed because it’s kinda slippery and im wondering if that will go away after I wear them for a while. Also wondering what people think about this type of footbed after wearing them for a while like does the black wear off and make them not look nice anymore. Thank you 😊

    • Thanks for the comment, Cathy. It’s going to be slippery because the cork platform is kind of flat at first. Just be patient as the cork will mold to your foot and you’d be able to grip the shoe better. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘black’. Is it the color of the leather or the footbed?


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