Birkenstock vs. Crocs, who would’ve thought we would ever argue over which one of these summer must-haves deserves more attention? Who would’ve thought we would ever go from being Croc-shamed and Birkenstock-shamed to being bombarded with celebs wearing them on a regular on Instagram, TikTok, and pretty much everywhere else?
But, here we are. Because we’ve been taught to view Birkenstocks and Crocs as ugly footwear that can only be worn as a challenge or a way for fashionistas to practice matching the unmatchable and styling the unstylable (yes, those are English words).
Slippers that are as iconic as Birkenstocks and Crocs bank on the fact that everyone hates them and talks down on them. Slippers aren’t trying too hard to be cool, they’re subtly subversive – and that’s what made them go from drab to fab before our own eyes.
Actually, even Crocs’ VP of global trends, design, and product stated that the company’s motto happens to be to feed on controversy because that’s what’s driving the Crocs craze.
Crocs have been dancing between love and hate for quite some time, and they aren’t even trying to shield themselves from that. Quite the contrary, they’re leaning toward the love-and-hate drama to ensure they keep the conversation going.
Birkenstocks aren’t any different, though we would argue they haven’t witnessed a fraction of the amount of hate Crocs have been getting for years. Whether or not you’re already leaning towards one of them, we’re here to offer our wisdom regarding the Birkenstock vs. Crocs battle. Read more down below!
What are Birkenstocks?
When you’re wondering which of these summer must-haves would win the Birkenstock vs. Crocs battle, you need to consider a few things. What are Birkenstocks, for example? What makes Birkenstocks one of the most popular slippers out there? And, where does the name Birkenstock come from?
Nowadays, Birkenstocks are worn by celebrities and praised by fashion designers and labels. They started as a family business but managed to become one of the best-known and sought-after brand names across the world.
Birkenstocks were created around 1774 by Johann Birkenstock and know for the wrap-around cork soles that were reserved for the medical field. Johann’s grandson, Konrad, was one of the world’s first shoemakers to experiment with soles that were molded to the shape of the foot rather than the traditional flat footbeds.
Now, even though they were extremely comfortable and wearable, Birkenstocks didn’t become known across the world for a long time. But, around 1970, some cool kids brought them to the United States and the rest was history. Birkenstocks started experimenting with color combinations and patterns while keeping the OG designs.
Soon, Birkenstocks witnessed huge fashion houses and brands fighting to create their variants to rival Birkenstocks. Valentino came up with a camouflage print version, while Proenza Schouler came up with a New York-esque minimalistic version. Who’s winning the battle thus far?
What are Crocs?
Of course, our Birkenstock vs. Crocs battle can’t be done without the history behind the most recognizable foam footwear.
We know Louboutins by the red bottoms (and by the fact that rappers can’t seem to stop writing verses about them) and Nikes by the surefire swoosh. But, we would go as far as to argue that neither of them are as recognizable as Crocs.
Whether you love them or hate them, Crocs have an astonishing, awe-inspiring history, with the company building a footwear empire over the past twenty (or so) years. Now, Crocs were created around 2001 by a couple of Colorado natives, Scott Seamans, Lyndon “Duke” Hanson, and George Boedecker.
Scott, Lyndon, and George remade the already-existing foam clog by a Canadian brand Foam Creations (which they later acquired). Crocs were originally designed for boaters, and that’s the reason why these three wanted to create a slipper or a sandal that featured grip-focused soles, waterproof materials, and foot protection.
Also, Crocs were (and still are) made of a patented foam called Croslite. Oh and, they were named after crocodiles because they were designed to perform great on both land and in the water – like crocodiles. Crocs might not have the extensive history to back them up, but they’ve managed to make quite a name for themselves.
What are the similarities between Birkenstocks and Crocs?
Now, the Birkenstock vs. Crocs battle wouldn’t be complete without the similarities. One of the biggest reasons why everyone’s having a hard time choosing between the two happens to be the fact that they’re quite similar to one another.
Birkenstocks and Crocs might have different aesthetics, but they have the same mottos – comfort above everything else.
First, both Birkenstocks and Crocs are deemed ugly by everyday wearers. Both brands favor comfort over appearance, function over form, and happiness of the everyday wearer rather than the acceptance of huge fashion houses and brands.
However, both brands have been gaining traction for a few seasons already, considering the fact they’ve somehow managed to go from drab to fab and become celebs’ favorite summer footwear. Secondly, both Birkenstocks and Crocs mold to the shape of your feet over time which means they become even more comfortable with time.
Thirdly, both Birkenstocks and Crocs correspond with the needs of people recovering from foot surgeries and other foot problems because they’re soft, comfortable, and wearable.
Finally, both Birkenstocks and Crocs can turn smelly fast. We wouldn’t consider that an advantage, but both are easily cleaned and refreshed with a sprinkle of baking soda.
What are the differences between Birkenstocks and Crocs?
Birkenstock and Crocs are sisters, not twins, though! Before you get even more confused regarding your take on the Birkenstocks vs. Crocs battle, know that these two footwear must-haves have more differences than similarities.
First off, they’re made with different fabrics, patterns, and color combinations. Crocs are made with Croslite foam, which happens to be a foam formula nobody knows anything about. Birkenstocks are made with four fabrics – a suede upper with, an added layer of jute, a cork core, and leather strappings.
Other than that, we can’t forget about the insoles. Crocs, depending on the style you go with, are made with removable, odor-resistant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal insoles that feature Crocs RX Silver technology.
Birkenstocks, also depending on the style, are made with three types of insoles ranging from soft support and active support insoles to everyday classic support insoles.
Of course, we have to mention the outsoles, too. Crocs feature grippy outsoles enforced with the traction that comes with Croslite foam.
Birkenstocks feature EVA foam outsoles which aren’t as grippy as the Crocs ones. Oh and, both Crocs and Birkenstocks feature different types of heels, heel support, and arch support depending on the style you go with. Need we pronounce the winner already?!
What are the key advantages and drawbacks to keep an eye on?
Because we have to overthink and overanalyze everything, we’ve decided to offer you a rundown on some of the key advantages and drawbacks to keep an eye on when deciding on the winner of the Birkenstock vs. Crocs battle. Here’s what we’ve managed to come up with!
Birkenstocks are much more muted and sophisticated with shade names such as Taupe, Stone, and Mocha (which means they go with pretty much everything you own). Birkenstocks are probably a higher quality than Crocs because they’re made with leather, and leather beats rubber.
And, they’re made with sturdier bottoms which are guaranteed to stand the test of wear better than the easily-dented and damaged Crocs. Oh and, Birkenstocks aren’t as hated by the fashion police as Crocs.
On the other hand, Birkenstocks might make you break the bank considering they go for anywhere between $100 and $135. And, even though you’re paying that much for them, you aren’t getting waterproof slippers because Birkenstocks aren’t beach-friendly.
Actually, don’t even get me started on the fact that Birkenstocks don’t even cover your toes (pedicures are expensive, too!).
Crocs are much, much cheaper than Birkenstocks which means there’s nothing stopping you from buying more than one style and wearing the year-round. Now, Crocs might not be as sophisticated as Birkenstocks, but for a modest $35 you can rock blue, pink, green, and rainbow Crocs.
Also, Crocs cover your toes which means you can even wear them wherever you’re going – not to mention that they’re waterproof, too.
But, but, but… Crocs are ugly. Everyone hates Crocs because they stick out like a sore thumb. Everyone comments on Crocs because they can’t go unnoticed which means you can’t go unnoticed.
And, everyone knows you’re not wearing Crocs because they tie your outfit together, you’re wearing them because they’re comfortable and convenient.
Birkenstock vs. Crocs: Which ones are better?
Both Birkenstocks and Crocs managed to exceed our expectations – these two styles of slippers and sandals are comfortable, fashionable, and wearable to the same extent.
Sure, they’re beaming with advantages and drawbacks attesting to the fact that they managed to become footwear must-haves and even fashion statements over the past few seasons.
So, when you’re searching for slippers you can wear while running errands or grabbing lunch, go with Birkenstocks. But, when you’re searching for an affordable alternative, don’t shy away from experimenting with Crocs.
Whatever you decide to do, we’re keeping our fingers crossed you’re happy with your decision!
Check this out: How To Wear Crocs With Socks? 7 Amazing Ideas