Sweat-soaked feet are more than just an inconvenience. They compromise your confidence and increase the risk of picking up foot fungus. For that reason, the Original Birkenstock Cork was introduced. It’s a much lighter footwear that allows your feet to breathe naturally.
While the original Birkenstock features cork footbeds, the new EVA range has footbeds crafted from EVA. But is the new range as good as the original version? Does it provide the same level of breathability or does it even conform to the shape of your feet? In this post, we shared the Birkenstock Eva vs. Cork to help see the differences. For Eva, we’ll compare the traditional two-strap Arizona style:
Birkenstock EVA or Cork: Which Is Better?
Picking one above the other can be a tough call. Nonetheless, if you have sweaty feet, the cork with leather straps can be an excellent option. Cork shoes usually weigh a little more but that’s not a substantial problem. Plus, Original Birkenstocks are hard to mistake with cheap-knock offs.
However, the Original Birkenstocks usually cost more than the EVA models. For the budget crowd, the EVA offers a similar comfort level to the original. Plus, it’s ideal for use around the pool while Cork is not.
The difference in the absorbability between the two makes some variance over short distances. If you’re planning for long distances, the cork footbed offers definite advantages. It’s good to state that neither Eva nor Cork is suited for a long hike in the heat. Therefore, if you’re planning to spend a day sightseeing, check that the temperatures are cool and agreeable before setting out.
Arizona Two-Strap Style Materials
More to the buckles, the manufacturer utilizes Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA). The Eva employed in the footbed is of a slightly lower density as it’s meant to mold to the shape of your foot. The footbed is designed in the same way as the original cork beds, but you’ll find patented Birkenstock ridges and low-cupped heels for added comfort.
The company opted for an EVA footbed in this model probably because EVA is flexible and lightweight. That means you will achieve the same comfort level offered by Cork footbeds, but with less weight.
The Arizona two-strap style is waterproof. Although the buckles might show signs of wear and tear eventually, wearers can get these sandals soaked without destroying them. Plus, the shock-absorbing properties make them as good as cork at attenuating the impact of each step.
Birkenstock EVA: Pros
- The EVA footbed is pleasing to the eye
- Durable and waterproof
- Lightweight and flexible
- Offered in several colors
- Easy to clean and less expensive
- The absence of Cork material makes it rather hard to tell if these are real and not Birkenstock replicas.
- Not the best footbed for long distances in the heat
Birkenstock EVA footbed is best suited for someone who likes comfort rather than the Cork’s look. The Eva models are significantly more affordable in comparison to the originals and are huts as durable.
Birkenstock Original Arizona Style: Material
Speaking of Original Arizona, you can choose from various materials including:
Birkibuc: This is a synthetic material that looks like leather and features a soft backing. Although it’s moderately breathable, it’s not as breathable as real leather.
Leather: The original Arizona style is available in different leather finishes: including suede, patent, and nubuck. While these are said to be the best in terms of breathability, they’re the most expensive.
Other Fabrics: This category consists of models crafted from microfiber and textiles.
With original Arizona, the footbed is made from cork and features the Birkenstock contouring that delivers excellent arch support. It also helps at wicking excessive moisture and sweat, thus keeping you comfortable for longer.
Birkenstocks made with Cork footbeds are generally heavier compared to EVA versions. Not so heavy but might be a concern especially for longer distances.
The Originals are not considered waterproof as the footbed and leather straps absorb water. That said, you can easily waterproof your patent or nubuck leather: just treat it with Dubbin regularly. While suede uppers are a different story, you might want to keep them high and dry.
Birkenstock Cork: Shock-Absorbing Properties
You’ll hardly come across something like the Originals when it comes to subsiding shocks on each step. Perhaps the reason why Birks has a cult following is that they’re amazingly comfortable to wear. The Cork footbed also molds to the shape of your feet. This, in addition to the contouring and deep heel area, makes the sandals exceptionally comfortable and reliable.
Birkenstock Cork: Pros
- Cork absorbs sweat and excessive moisture, thereby mini minimizing sliding inside the shoes
- Hard to mistake the Originals for a knock-off
- The Cork features more spring to it naturally
- Very breathable with long-lasting comfort
- Cork is what made Birkenstocks famous
- Birkenstocks made with cork footbeds are significantly expensive than EVA
- Might get uncomfortable when you wear them for too long and the sweat saturates the Cork
- Birkenstock cork is heavier than EVA
- It has a distinctive look, but not a high-fashion one
- The cork footbed can stink if not subjected to air properly between wears
- Leathers generally require more maintenance to keep them in good condition
Birkenstock Cork is best suited for those who have sweaty feet, particularly from a breathability standpoint. You might want to choose leather uppers to help your feet breathe better. So long you won’t mind a little extra work in the maintenance; these shoes will remain perfectly usable and look great for ages.