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Birkenstock vs. Birkis — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Published on February 8, 2024
Birkenstock is a German shoe brand known for comfortable sandals with cork footbeds, while Birkis is a sub-brand offering lighter, more playful designs.
Birkenstock vs. Birkis — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Birkenstock and Birkis


Key Differences

Birkenstock, established in the late 18th century, is renowned for its durable sandals featuring a distinctive cork footbed and leather straps. Birkis, introduced as a sub-brand of Birkenstock in the 1990s, offers a more colorful and whimsical take on the classic design.
The design philosophy of Birkenstock emphasizes foot health, with a deep heel cup and contoured footbed for support. Birkis, while maintaining some ergonomic features, focuses on more fashionable and playful designs, often using synthetic materials.
Birkenstock sandals are known for their longevity and ability to be resoled, appealing to an eco-conscious audience. Birkis, on the other hand, are generally less expensive and cater to a younger, more style-conscious consumer.
The classic Birkenstock sandals have become iconic in fashion for their understated, practical style. Birkis, with their diverse range of patterns and colors, target those looking for a fun, casual twist on the Birkenstock aesthetic.
In terms of market positioning, Birkenstock remains a staple in the footwear industry, known for quality and comfort. Birkis serves as a playful counterpart, offering a more affordable and trend-focused option within the Birkenstock family.

Comparison Chart

Brand History

Established in late 18th century
Introduced in the 1990s as a Birkenstock sub-brand

Design Focus

Foot health, ergonomic features, classic style
Playful, fashionable designs, often synthetic

Price Point

Generally higher, reflecting durability
More affordable, targeting younger consumers


Iconic, understated and practical
Colorful, whimsical, and casual

Consumer Appeal

Eco-conscious, seeking comfort and longevity
Style-conscious, looking for fun designs

Compare with Definitions


Birkenstock sandals are characterized by a cork footbed and leather straps.
His Birkenstock sandals molded to his feet over time, enhancing their comfort.


Birkis is a sub-brand of Birkenstock, offering playful and light designs.
She loved her colorful Birkis for their fun style and comfort.


Birkenstock represents durability and eco-friendliness in footwear.
Choosing Birkenstock was her way of supporting sustainable fashion.


Birkis caters to a younger, style-conscious demographic.
The new Birkis collection caught the attention of teenagers with its vibrant patterns.


Birkenstock is known for its health-focused footbed design.
Her podiatrist recommended Birkenstock shoes for better arch support.


Birkis focuses on more affordable and fashionable footwear options.
For a beach vacation, he chose Birkis for their trendy look and affordability.


Birkenstock has become a cultural icon in comfortable footwear.
Birkenstock sandals are often seen at outdoor festivals, favored for their comfort.


Birkis often utilizes synthetic materials in its designs.
Her Birkis were made of waterproof materials, perfect for poolside wear.


Birkenstock is a German shoe brand famous for its comfortable sandals.
She wore her Birkenstock sandals on her walking tour for maximum comfort.


Birkis are known for their variety in colors and patterns.
She loved collecting Birkis in different designs to match her summer outfits.

Common Curiosities

Are Birkis as durable as Birkenstock sandals?

Birkis are generally less focused on longevity compared to Birkenstock's high-quality materials.

What distinguishes Birkenstock from Birkis?

Birkenstock focuses on classic, durable designs, while Birkis offers more playful and affordable options.

Is the price point different between Birkenstock and Birkis?

Yes, Birkis are typically more affordable than Birkenstock sandals.

Are Birkis available in as many styles as Birkenstock?

Birkis offer a wider range of playful and colorful styles compared to the more classic Birkenstock designs.

Do Birkenstock and Birkis cater to the same audience?

While there is some overlap, Birkenstock targets comfort and quality seekers, and Birkis appeal to a younger, fashion-forward crowd.

Is the material quality the same in both Birkenstock and Birkis?

Birkenstock typically uses higher-quality materials like leather, while Birkis often use synthetic materials.

Is there a difference in the warranty or return policy between the two brands?

Warranty and return policies may vary, but generally, Birkenstock offers more extensive customer service due to its higher price point.

Do Birkenstock and Birkis offer vegan options?

Both brands provide vegan options, using synthetic materials instead of leather.

Can I get the same foot support from Birkis as Birkenstocks?

While Birkis are comfortable, they may not offer the same level of ergonomic support as Birkenstock.

Can Birkis be considered a budget-friendly alternative to Birkenstock?

Yes, Birkis are a more affordable option while still offering some of the comfort features of Birkenstock.

Are both brands eco-friendly?

Birkenstock is known for its eco-friendly practices; Birkis also follows sustainable practices, but the focus is more on style and affordability.

Can Birkis be resoled like Birkenstock sandals?

Birkis are generally not designed to be resoled, unlike Birkenstock sandals.

Are Birkenstock and Birkis sandals water-resistant?

Some Birkenstock and Birkis models are water-resistant, but it varies by design and material.

Are Birkenstock sandals suitable for long walks?

Yes, Birkenstock sandals are designed for comfort and support, making them suitable for prolonged wear.

Can both Birkenstock and Birkis be worn for casual and semi-formal occasions?

Birkenstock sandals are more versatile for different occasions, while Birkis are primarily designed for casual wear.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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