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- Birkenstock’s EVA foam line is an affordable, waterproof alternative to its leather sandals.
- The shoes are made in three classic styles; the women’s and men’s Arizona two-strap slide ($39.95), the women’s Madrid single-strap slide ($29.95), and the women’s Gizeh toe-post sandal ($34.95).
- I’m a huge fan of Birkenstocks and have been wearing the leather versions forever, but the EVA line is all I buy anymore because they’re comfortable, easy to clean, and relatively cheap.
I identify firmly as a “Birkenstock lover.” I’ve been wearing them since I was a kid, at a time when they were only considered “cool” among my fellow summer camp friends.
Thankfully, Birkenstock’s clout has only grown over time. They’re no longer considered just a “brand for hippies” (or summer camp kids), an obvious result of their runway-worthy, designer collaborations and updated designs. Even Eva Chen, the former editor-in-chief of Lucky and current head of fashion partnerships at Instagram swears by their sandals.
This has been good for both Birkenstock’s brand and for mine – because I no longer have to explain away why I still love them. And though I’ve graduated from my signature look of brown suede clogs with tie-dye socks (thankfully), my loyalty has manifested in the form of the several pairs I still wear, my favorite being their relatively new EVA Arizona sandal.
EVA stands for “ethylene vinyl acetate,” which is a super lightweight material that’s somewhere between foam and rubber. It’s extremely flexible with plenty of cushion, and it’s completely waterproof, making the sandals perfect for poolside wear and summer travel. They even come in tons of fun colors.
Birkenstock makes three of their classic styles as part of the EVA line: the women’s and men’s Arizona two-strap slide ($39.95), the women’s Madrid single-strap slide ($29.95), and the women’s Gizeh toe-post sandal ($39.95).
All the EVA styles still contain Birkenstock’s signature molded footbed, just like the leather pairs. These sandals all feature a deep heel cup, longitudinal and transverse arch support, and a comfortable toe grip. They still mold perfectly to your feet over time, but not quite as distinctly as the leather footbeds do.
Though all the styles are equally as comfortable, my personal favorite is the Arizona – mostly for aesthetic reasons. I have the white pair, which I wear with everything from bathing suits and beach clothes to cutoff jeans and T-shirts. I’ve even worn them for long walks through the city with no chaffing or blistering, and found them super easy to clean with just soap and water (the darker colors don’t need to be cleaned as much, but I’m pretty meticulous about keeping dirt and scuff marks at bay with the bright white ones).
- Nordstrom / Birkenstock
The only con to this material is that it doesn’t age quite as well as their leather versions (which can last through years and years of wear, but cost around $100). At such a low price-point, though, the thought of replacing my EVAs every two years or so doesn’t really bother me.
Whether or not you share my deep affinity for Birkenstocks, there’s no denying that these shoes are a solid deal. If you’re looking for an affordable, lightweight pair of sandals for summer travel or everyday life, I can’t recommend these enough.