When you think of footwear brand Birkenstock, a few staple styles likely come to mind, namely classic silhouettes like the two-strapped Arizona, the no-frills Madrid, or the thong-style Gizeh. Considering the German shoe brand dates as far back as the late 1700s, it only makes sense that its time-tested pieces are what’s most associated with it. But despite a centuries-long long history in the footwear and fashion industry, don’t think Birkenstock is stuck in the past. In the last few decades, they’ve only continued to update their lineup by creating cool new silhouettes or collaborating with both established and up-and-coming brands. In case you’re unfamiliar with just how many styles they’ve got to offer, we list some lesser-known Birkenstock sandals below. Though these pairs present a more modern take on the brand’s form-meets-function look, they still have that same distinctly Birkenstock flair, complete with the brand’s signature footprint-in-the-sand footbed.
These lesser-known Birkenstock sandals are totally underrated:
Based on their OG styles, you probably wouldn’t peg Birkenstock as the type of brand to create a strappy sandal that twists all the way up to the ankle, but the Yara proves that they can totally incorporate the silhouette to fit into their classic design philosophy. With slim black straps criss-crossed around the ankle, slashing below the toes, and finishing with an X around the big toes, the pair looks like a more chic take on trekking sandals.
The Granada takes its design cues from the classic Arizona with the same two-strap silhouette, but this time around, adding some texture to the bands with three horizontal cut-outs across each and smaller buckles compared to its predecessor. Look closely and you’ll see each metallic clasp has the word "Birk" carved into it in place of the usual "Birkenstock."
Those of you with a fairly wide knowledge of Birkenstock’s assortment of styles know that the brand has a fair share of sandals that loop around the back of the heel—the Milano is a popular example—but where the Tulum stands out is in the emphasis it puts on its thoughtfully designed layering. Over the top of the foot is a criss-cross silhouette made of two thick, overlapping bands and right by the outer side of the ankle, the straps taper into a slimmer size and are finished off with metal buckles.
Similar to the Yara, the Daloa sports a slim strap criss-crossing around the top of the ankle bone with a small buckle that lets you adjust the tightness. Instead of a crossed design around the toes, the pair sports just one narrow strap across. The result is a sandal that’s totally gladiator-chic, without compromising Birkenstock’s normcore aesthetic.
Where Birkenstock’s most popular styles keep it pretty simple when it comes to their silhouettes, the Yao goes for a more adventurous look with an asymmetric strap setup up top. What you get is a no-frills Birk, with a little more distinction than similar slip-on styles like the Madrid.
The Franca gets its design cues from one of Birkenstock’s more well-known styles with a slim band up top that sits close to the ankle and two overlapping straps near the toes, bringing to mind the Mayari sandal. Where the latter crosses its top strap around the big toe, this pair goes for a symmetrical build, finished off with two metallic buckles for a more utilitarian look.
Birkenstock sandals are already known for having pretty thick soles thanks to their signature cork footbed, but the Gabriela boosts the shoe’s base to an extreme degree, resulting in a style that’s perfect for the vertically challenged. Where the two thick straps up top are reminiscent of the Arizona’s classic look, the sole gives the shoe a somewhat vintage feel, bringing to mind '70s-era clogs or even '90s-style platform sandals.
These chic sandals remind us of the Sydney, which are a more delicate version of the Arizona thanks to its thinner straps. The Salina sports a similar look—albeit with even narrower bands across the toes and near the ankles—but with an added third strap between the former two. While the top and bottom bands are both laid out horizontally from end to end, the middle goes for a curved, diagonal placement, giving the shoe an overall more unconventional look and a more distinct silhouette.
If you love the simplicity and no-frills look of the Madrid sandal, the Siena would be right up your alley. In place of the single strap up top, this pair rocks two criss-cross bands just below the toes, complete with a chunky buckle on the outer side for that unmistakable Birkenstock look.
The Glenda is perhaps the closest you can get to finding a pair of Birks that looks most like a basic black sandal. Where most Birkenstock styles opt for buckles up top, this shoe goes for a thick, but no-frills strap right by the toes. Despite the more minimalist design, the thick cork footbed underneath ensures that the style still fits effortlessly into the brand’s lineup.
* This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.
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