Birkenstocks sandals are the epitome of comfort and fashion, with a cult following worldwide. Their contoured footbed, plush lining, and natural cork construction make them the perfect choice for everyday wear.

But the question remains: can you hike in Birkenstocks sandals? Many people would answer with a resounding “no,” but others beg to differ.

In recent years, some hikers have embraced the brand for its sturdy build and durability on the trails.

However, the debate continues to rage on, with both sides presenting valid arguments for and against hiking in Birkenstocks sandals. So, what’s the verdict? Let’s find out in this article.

Pros of Hiking in Birkenstocks

Pros of Hiking in Birkenstocks

Birkenstock sandals offer a unique combination of comfort and durability that makes them an excellent choice for people who love going out for hikes.

Despite being widely known as a casual footwear option, Birkenstocks can be great for hiking due to their supportive design and ability to keep your feet cool on hot days.

Here are all the pros you need to know about hiking in Birkenstock sandals:

Comfortable and Supportive

One of the most significant advantages of Birkenstocks for hiking is their comfort and support.

These hiking sandals are designed with a contoured footbed that molds to the shape of your feet, providing adequate support throughout your hike.

The footbed is made of cork and latex, which provides a cushioning effect, making the sandals comfortable to wear for long hours.

Additionally, Birkenstocks usually have adjustable straps, which allow you to adjust the fit to your feet, ensuring a snug fit.

The adjustable straps also help prevent the sandals from rubbing against your skin, leading to blisters and other foot injuries.


Birkenstocks are incredibly lightweight, which makes them an excellent choice for hiking.

The sandals are made of high-quality materials like cork, leather, and synthetic materials, which are relatively lightweight compared to hiking shoes or boots.

The lightweight nature of Birkenstocks ensures that your feet do not get weighed down during the hike, making it easier to walk for longer durations without getting fatigued.


Hiking can be a sweaty affair, especially during hot weather. Birkenstocks come in handy for hikers who would like their feet to remain cool and dry during the hike.

The sandals feature an open design, which allows for air circulation, ensuring that your feet remain fresh throughout the hike.

Hiking in sandals also allows you to go sockless, which increases the breathability aspect as the air can circulate all around your feet.

Adaptable to Various Terrains

Birkenstocks are adaptable to various terrains, including trails, rocky paths, and muddy roads. The sandals offer a firm grip on the ground, reducing the likelihood of slipping and falling during the hike.

Additionally, the sandals’ sturdy materials provide excellent protection for your feet against sharp rocks and thorns that you may find on the hiking trail.

Versatile in Style

Birkenstock sandals come in a variety of styles and designs, making them versatile for outdoor activities like hiking.

You can choose from classic Birkenstock Arizona styles to the more modern two ankle strap sandals, depending on your hiking preferences.

The various styles available also mean that you don’t have to sacrifice style for practicality, as you can choose a style that suits your personality while still providing the required support and comfort.


Birkenstocks are a cost-effective footwear option for hikers. Compared to hiking boots or shoes, Birkenstocks are relatively affordable, and they also last longer, making them a worthy investment for your hiking needs.

The Chaco sandals’ durability means that you can save money by not having to replace them often, making them a smart purchase in the long run.


Birkenstocks are eco-friendly shoes promoting sustainable living for hikers who would like to reduce their carbon footprint.

The sandals’ footbed is made from cork, which is a renewable resource, and the leather used to make the sandals is sourced from tanneries that adhere to environmental standards.

Cons of Hiking in Birkenstocks

Cons of Hiking in Birkenstocks

While these sandals can be great for casual wear and walking around town, they may not be the best option for hiking.

Let’s explore some of the cons of hiking in Birkenstocks and why you may want to consider alternative footwear options for your next hiking adventure.

Lack of Ankle Support

One of the main drawbacks of Birkenstocks is their lack of ankle support. Hiking involves walking on uneven terrain, and your ankles are at risk of twisting or spraining due to constant movement.

Birkenstock sandals do not provide the required ankle support needed for hiking, increasing the likelihood of injury, especially if you’re hiking on rough terrain.

Limited Protection from the Elements

Another disadvantage of Birkenstocks for hiking is their limited protection from the elements.

Hiking involves walking on various surfaces, including rocky, muddy, and wet terrain, making it necessary to have waterproof and sturdy shoes.

Birkenstocks are not designed for hiking in wet conditions, and they may not provide the required level of protection for your feet.

Comfort Issues on Long Hikes

While Birkenstock sandals are comfortable for short walks or running errands around town, they may not be great for long hikes.

The sandals’ thin sole does not offer adequate cushioning, leading to foot fatigue and discomfort.

Additionally, the open design may lead to your feet being exposed to the elements, which can cause an uncomfortable hike.

Traction Issues

Birkenstocks are not designed for hiking, and as such, they do not offer the same level of traction as hiking shoes or boots.

Hiking requires shoes that can provide traction and grip on slippery, rocky trails, and Birkenstocks may not be able to provide that.

The sandals’ smooth soles may lead to slips and fall, especially when hiking on wet surfaces.

Durability Issues

Birkenstocks are known for their durability, but they may not be able to withstand the wear and tear of hiking.

The sandals’ materials are not designed for rugged outdoor environments, and they may wear out quickly when exposed to hiking conditions.

The footbed is made from cork, which is sensitive to water, and it may warp or lose its shape when exposed to wet conditions.

Not Ideal for Backpacking

Hiking with a backpack requires a lot of support and comfort, especially on the feet. Birkenstocks may not offer the required support and protection for your feet when backpacking.

The sandals’ lack of ankle support, limited protection, and traction issues may lead to discomfort, increasing the likelihood of foot injuries during the hike.

3 Best Birkenstock Sandals for Hiking

Despite some of the drawbacks mentioned earlier, you can still find Birkenstock sandals suitable for hiking if you prefer wearing sandals on a hike.

Here are three great options to consider:

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal – Unisex

Summer is finally here, and it’s time to put away those sneakers and boots and break out a good pair of sandals. If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect pair, you might want to consider the Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal – Unisex.

These sandals have a suede upper that comes in a variety of colors to match almost any outfit. But what really sets them apart is the soft footbed. It has an integrated latex foam cushion that provides a comfortable and supportive fit. You can wear these sandals for hours on end without your feet feeling tired or sore.

The slide-style sandal has two adjustable buckle closure straps that ensure a perfect fit for your feet. And while sandals aren’t always known for their breathability, the leather-lined insole helps keep your feet fresh and dry.

One thing to note is that the Birkenstock Narrow width accommodates both traditional narrow and medium widths. Regular accommodates Regular to Wide. So make sure to measure your feet before ordering to get the right fit.


  • The soft footbed provides comfort and support.
  • Adjustable buckle closure straps ensure a perfect fit.
  • Leather lined insole helps keep feet fresh and dry.


  • The style of the shoe may not be for everyone.

Birkenstock Betula Licensed Leo Soft

The Betula Licensed by Birkenstock Leo Soft sandal is a must-have for anyone looking to add some comfort and style to their summer wardrobe.

The Birko-Flor upper is made of acrylic, and polyamide felt fibers, giving it a sleek and leather-like finish.

These sandals also feature three adjustable straps with buckle closures, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit.

One of the standout features of this sandal is the leather-lined, contoured footbed. It molds to the shape of your foot, providing a custom fit that supports and cradles your foot with every step. The suede sole adds even more comfort and durability to the design.

Overall, the Birkenstock Betula Licensed Leo Soft sandal is a great addition to anyone’s footwear collection. It offers both comfort and style in a versatile design that can be dressed up or down.


  • Comfortable, contoured footbed.
  • Adjustable straps for a custom fit.
  • Durable suede sole.
  • Stylish design that can be dressed up or down.


  • It may not be suitable for those with wider feet.

Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Sandal

The Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Sandal is a comfortable and stylish shoe option for anyone in need of supportive footwear.

These sandals are made of 100% synthetic materials, with a Birko-Flor upper that has a smooth leather-like finish and is lined with a soft fabric for added comfort.

The cork sole is anatomically correct, helping to promote foot health and provide a comfortable walking experience.

One of the standout features of these sandals is their adjustable buckles, which make it easy to customize the fit to your foot. This is particularly helpful if you have wider or narrower feet than average, as the medium width may not be an exact fit.

In terms of style, the Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Sandal has a classic look that pairs well with a variety of outfits. The sandal’s neutral colors and simple design make it a versatile addition to your summer wardrobe.


  • Made of high-quality synthetic materials.
  • An anatomically correct cork footbed promotes foot health.
  • Adjustable buckles customize the fit to your foot.
  • Classic design pairs well with a variety of outfits.
  • Soft fabric lining adds extra comfort.


  • Medium width may not fit perfectly for those with wider or narrower feet.

Can You Hike in Birkenstocks Sandals? – FAQs

Is it possible to hike in Birkenstock sandals?

Yes, it is possible to hike in Birkenstock sandals. However, they are not specifically designed for hiking and may not provide as much support or protection as hiking shoes or boots. It is important to choose a trail that is appropriate for the shoe’s level of support.

What types of hikes are Birkenstocks good for?

Birkenstock sandals are suitable for short hikes on relatively flat terrain. They can also be appropriate for hiking in hot weather, as they allow for better ventilation and breathability than most hiking shoes.

What are some disadvantages of wearing Birkenstocks sandals for hiking?

Birkenstock sandals may not provide enough support for rugged terrain or steep inclines, and they may not protect your feet from rocks and debris on the trail. They can be slippery when wet, increasing the risk of falls and injuries.

How do I know if my Birkenstock sandals are suitable for hiking?

Look for Birkenstock sandals with a sturdy sole and good arch support. It is also important to choose a sandal with a snug fit so that your feet do not slip around inside the shoe. Look for sandals with straps that can be adjusted for a secure and comfortable fit.

Can Birkenstock sandals replace hiking boots or shoes for long hikes?

No, Birkenstock sandals are not a suitable replacement for hiking boots or shoes on longer or more challenging hikes. Hiking boots provide more support, protection, and traction for a safer and more comfortable hiking experience.


Birkenstock sandals are a great option for short hikes on relatively flat terrain in hot weather. They provide the comfort and breathability of sandals while offering some support, though they may not provide enough protection or traction for more difficult hikes.

It is important to choose a pair with good arch support, adjustable straps, and a snug fit to ensure a comfortable and secure fit, especially for those with wider feet. With the right pair of Birkenstocks, you can enjoy the outdoors in comfort and style.

In general, you can wear sandals on short hikes, but it is recommended to wear a pair of a proper hiking boot.