Cork footbeds seemed to have taken the world by storm, and we’re here for it. When offered the choice between high-heels and Birkenstocks, we’d choose Birkenstocks every time – no hesitation. Cork footbeds are cute and comfy, and that’s why we’re talking about the best cork sandals today.
Cork sandals have been around for ages, although we might not have lived to have a love/hate relationship with them the same way we do with Birkenstocks. Chic and timeless, cork sandals date back to Ancient Egyptian times, when pharaohs sported wooden sole sandals that screamed opulence.
Greeks adopted similar silhouettes with cork and made them even more popular – so popular that cork sandals remained a symbol of wealth for the Romans through 17th-century Europe following the French Revolution. Cork sandals were a status symbol at the time, but nowadays, they’re a trend.
We witnessed a resurgence of cork sandals around the ’60s and ’70s, when Birkenstocks and wooden clogs became popular among the hippies. Going in and out of style, Birkenstocks solidified everyone’s adoration for cute and comfy cork footbeds, and now we’re here – we can’t go anywhere without them.
Whether you’re on the hunt for your first pair of Birks or looking for something a little different from the crowd favorite, we created a step-by-step guide to help you discover your next favorite pair of cork sandals. How to pick the right cork sandals? What are the best cork sandals? Read more!
How to pick the best cork sandals for you
Not all sandals are made the same. When shopping for the best cork sandals for you, you need to pay attention to a few features that will guarantee you get through the day pain and pressure-free and make you look like the fashionista that you are. What’s the best way to go about that?
We recommend starting by figuring out which style of cork sandals you’re after. There are plenty of styles to choose between – whether you’re a Birkenstock devotee or after something that can’t be seen on Hailey Bieber or Kendall Jenner. Classic two-strap sandals or clogs? Wedges or flats?
Once you figure that out, you can look at different materials. Cork footbeds are typically combined with leather or suede straps, but there’s a world of different designs out there – it’s up to you to figure out what works best with your style. High-quality, hard-wearing materials are always a good way to go.
Price plays a huge part, too. Birkenstocks are on the pricier end of the spectrum, but they’re far from the most expensive cork sandals on the market. Before you head to the nearest shopping mall, make sure you’re aware of the prices and how much you’re willing to spend. Quality oftentimes costs a little more.
Cork sandals are comfortable, wearable, and versatile, and we’re sure you’re going to absolutely adore them no matter which style you decide to go for. Between Birkenstocks, Steve Maddens, and affordable alternatives over on Amazon, we’re bringing you a few of our favorite picks.
Our top picks for the best cork sandals
1. Birkenstock Arizona
Starting with everyone’s favorite cork footbeds, Birkenstock Arizona sandals are a wardrobe staple during the summer. Celebs adore them, and that might be one of the reasons they’ve gained even more popularity over the past few years. Arizonas are even featured in the new Barbie movie, worn by Barbie herself.
Engineered with rubber soles, contoured, cork footbeds with arch support, and a leather upper, Birkenstock Arizona sandals are simple and sleek. Even though they’re casual, they’re wearable and versatile enough to go with pretty much everything you own.
2. Cushionaire Lane Cork Footbed
Whatever your stance on Birkenstocks might be, there’s no denying that Birkenstock sandals are on the pricier end of the spectrum. They go for anywhere between $100 and $200, depending on the style and whether they’re on sale.
Birks might be the most popular, prominent cork sandals, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the best on the market. Cushionaire Lane Cork Footbed sandals are an affordable alternative available on Amazon that’s been gaining five-star reviews left and right.
According to reviewers, they’re much more cushy and comfortable than Birkenstocks. We don’t know whether that’s the case, but we do know that these sandals are a great option to consider when you’re on a budget.
3. Vionic Bella Toe Post
Cork footbeds are comfortable, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need arch support, ankle support, shock absorption, and other features that work wonderfully with your feet.
Whether you’re looking for sandals to wear to work or want to get away with wearing sandals in and out of the house, we suggest checking out Vionic Bella Toe Post sandals. Vionic produces some of the best cork sandals on the market, and these sandals are a favorite for a reason.
Made with EVA midsoles that reduce unnecessary stress on your knees and ankles and Orthaheel’s signature biomechanical orthotic footbed and deep heel cup for stability and balance, these sandals are worth your attention.
4. Mephisto Helen
Mephisto Helen sandals are super similar to Birkenstocks, but there’s much more to them than meets the eye. Starting with the outward appearance, these sandals are made with a leather upper that wraps around your feet and makes you feel supported and protected.
Made with adjustable straps and toe loops, these sandals are a sight for sore eyes – especially if you’re a fan of the thong-style sandal. Mephisto sandals are equipped with arch support, padding for comfort, and rubber outsoles that prevent you from slipping and falling.
5. Steve Madden Brenda
When you’re on the hunt for something to wear to the office, you might not be too happy with the classic two-strap sandal style. Cork sandals are casual, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress them up or down, depending on where you’re wearing them. Steve Madden Brenda sandals are perfect for you.
Embellished with a cork wedge perfect for the summer, these sandals are a great way to spice up your structured suit sets or play with your flowy, floral dresses. Even though they’re not casual enough to be worn with workout sets or loungewear sets, they’re versatile enough to serve you on numerous occasions.
6. Birkenstock Madrid Vegan
We can’t get enough of Birks, but we’re not sorry for that. Birkenstock offers a myriad of styles to choose from, whether you’re drawn to the classic two-strap style or the fashion-forward shearling clog style.
One-strap Birkenstocks are pretty popular, too, and that’s why we’re more than happy to recommend these Madrid vegan sandals.
On one hand, they’re a little more polished and put-together than the classic Arizona sandals. On the other, they’re equally cushy, comfortable, and wearable – made with Birkenstock’s signature molding footbed and an elegant one-strap upper.
7. Skechers Beverlee – High Tea Wedge
Skechers sneakers are some of the most comfortable, supportive, and protective sneakers on the market, but what’s the tea on Skechers sandals? Simple and sleek, these Beverlee – High Tea Wedge sandals are what dreams are made of.
Whether you combine them with a denim skirt and a simple tee for a casual and chic outfit, or with tailored trousers and a structured blouse for a back-to-the-office look, we’re sure you’ll attract attention and turn heads.
Summery and fun, these sandals are made with a strappy, stretchy upper that wraps around the foot, a cork wedge, and a synthetic sole with a textured pattern for stability and safety.
8. Northside Anya
Northside Anya sandals are reminiscent of Birkenstock thong-style sandals, and if that’s something you’re into, they’ll become your summer BFFs. Breathable and lightweight, these sandals feature everything you need to get through the day without swollen and sweaty feet dragging you down.
Made with a cushioned and contoured footbed, adjustable straps that form a loop around the toe, metal buckles that add an edge to the rest of the sandal, and lightweight, shock-absorbent, long-lasting EVA outsoles, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth with these sandals.
9. Minnetonka York Wedge
Minnetonka York Wedge sandals are a wild card. While these chunky, funky sandals might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they’re unique – and that’s what makes them worth your while. Minnetonka sandals are perfect for a Sunday brunch or weekend getaway with your significant other.
With a denim upper featuring frayed edges, these sandals are a statement piece. Bold and beautiful, these sandals are engineered with a platform and a wedge-style heel that allow you to walk without breaking one or both of your ankles. What’s not to love?
10. Clarks Annadel Eirwyn Wedge
We’ve arrived at the end of the list with another wedge – Clarks Annadel Eirwyn Wedge sandals are a great alternative to stilettos.
Constructed with a nubuck leather upper, these wedges are made to elevate whatever ‘fit you’re wearing. Combine them with a denim-on-denim ensemble; a pleated skirt and a lightweight, knitted tee; or a structured dress that shows off your waist. They’re designed to go with everything.
With a cushy Ortholite footbed and buckled ankle closure for easy adjustments, these wedges are easy to slip on and off, too.