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Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandal – Detailed Review

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Rating : 8.2/10
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Performance Breakdown

9
9
9
8
5
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Bottom Line

Featuring extremely lightweight EVA construction and adjustable straps, the Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandal is effortless to use and keeps you comfortable all day long.

Pros

  • Exceptionally lightweight and comfortable
  • Adjustable straps
  • Minimalist, unisex design
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Open-toed design isn’t for wet surroundings

Material

EVA

Weight

0.498lb / 0.226kg / 7.972oz

Waterproof

Yes (but not enclosed)

Outsole

EVA

Sandal Type

Low heel open-toe sandals

Manufacturer

Birkenstock

Price range

$35.99 to $99.00

Summary

I won’t hesitate to say that the Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandal is probably the best sandal out there because it combines remarkable form and function, which I was able to fully maximize for years. The EVA construction is superbly lightweight and almost felt like there was nothing around my foot, greatly enhancing a comfortable walking experience.

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I loved the adjustable straps that made it so easy for me to get the perfect fit without any hassle. The classic Birkenstock sandal silhouette has a lighter structure but still has an anatomically shaped footbed for maximum comfort and support. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the sandal’s components to help us discover its most beneficial features.

When you’re after no-fuss footwear, this sandal can keep up with a wide variety of activities without compromising comfort.

Ideal For

  • People who want sandals with a minimalist design
  • Warm weather conditions – perfect for use during summer or spring
  • Those who are after very lightweight, comfortable sandals that can be worn by men and women

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Performance Analysis

Comfort

I didn’t expect the Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandal to be as comfortable as it actually was, mainly because its easygoing design didn’t look very comfy at first. I was excited to discover just how comfortable it was, from the first time I used it until now – I have already been enjoying it for almost two years. The curved footbed, which is a signature component of Birkenstock sandals, is featured in this model to deliver continuous arch support. It conformed to my foot’s shape and gave it a cradling sensation, as if the sandal was customized according to my unique foot anatomy. This supportive structure prevented the pain that can come from fallen arches, helping me walk comfortably throughout the day even with nonstop movements. I liked how the footbed deepened on the heel because this sustained my foot’s proper alignment, securing the heel in place so it didn’t slip back and forth or sideways when walking hurriedly across a variety of floor conditions. I felt like my foot was supported almost as strongly as if I used a closed shoe because my foot didn’t slide uncontrollably with each step. I especially liked the toe grip that was a part of the footbed’s exclusive design as it encouraged my toes to spread out naturally. This added to my overall comfort and stopped the development of toe cramping, especially with hours of standing in place or walking.

I appreciated the extended height of the footbed’s edge in the front of the shoe because it protected my toes against abrasion and from pushing over the edge along with each step.

The benefits of the ergonomically shaped Birkenstock footbed are magnified, thanks to this sandal’s flexible structure. Walking was made a lot more comfortable as the sole flexed along with my steps, eliminating the unwelcome stiffness that I sometimes encountered when using sandals with cork soles.

The sole gave off a foamy feeling that isn’t common in other sandals, delivering a bit of bounce that brought back energy to my steps.

My foot had the cushioning it needed to ward off the pain that can be caused by walking on hard surfaces – something that can be difficult to prevent when using sandals with thin, flat soles. The shock-absorbing sole distributed the impact of my steps and dissipated them to prevent foot fatigue. The EVA construction made this sandal more enjoyable to wear for hours at a time because the material didn’t rub painfully against my skin.

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Weight

This is a remarkably lightweight sandal that doesn’t cause discomfort in any way. I loved how it weighs about as much as house slippers but functions just as well as – or maybe even better than – bulkier sandals when it comes to aesthetics, performance, and comfort. The EVA material significantly minimized the sandal’s weight and almost made it feel like there was nothing around my foot. This lightweight sandal is a great choice for wearing in summer or spring and in other warm conditions. The reduced weight profile also makes it ideal for bringing on holidays since it won’t add a lot of weight to your luggage; or, you can also wear it all throughout the trip.

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Traction

This sandal’s EVA sole offered the same level of traction that other Birkenstock sandals deliver. It had a decent grip on different surfaces, so I was able to walk without easily losing my balance.

However, this traction level wasn’t powerful enough to take on tricky surfaces, so I won’t recommend this sandal for walking on extremely slick or unstable ground conditions since it may not be able to prevent slipping.

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Fit and Sizing

This sandal is true to its size, so I didn’t need to change my usual size option to get the right fit. It had a relaxed fit that wasn’t too loose, making it very comfortable to wear since my foot and toes were allowed to spread out naturally. The straps across the top worked to ensure that my foot stayed in its proper position while walking. Even with the open-toed design, this sandal still managed to make my foot feel as secure as if it was enclosed inside a shoe. Both of the straps were adjustable, so it took only a small amount of effort to tighten or loosen the sandal until I achieved the perfect fit.

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Waterproofing

The EVA material that was used to build this sandal is waterproof, so when I walked on surfaces with liquids, they didn’t seep into the sandal from the bottom. However, the sandal’s open-toed design doesn’t provide protection against water and other liquids that can be spilled from the top and on the sides. I won’t recommend this sandal for those who want to keep their foot completely dry when walking in wet conditions and outside when it’s raining.

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Breathability

The sandal’s design allows air to circulate without interruption, so I didn’t have any issues with breathability. The open-toed style kept my foot feeling fresh for the entire time that I wore the sandal. I took advantage of this sandal in summer and spring, with the structure providing unrestricted comfort to my foot so it felt naturally cool even in hot or humid settings.

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Quality and Durability

The Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandal took the best features of the classic Birkenstock sandals and produced a more comfortable footwear option. The EVA material made this version exceptionally lightweight, so I almost felt like I had nothing on my foot while wearing the sandal. The minimized weight makes this a great choice for doing errands and other activities that may involve staying upright for long periods. I appreciated the minimalist design because it was a breeze to match with a lot of my outfits, making it my favorite footwear choice when I want to go for an easygoing look without compromising comfort and style. This sandal is available in a wide range of colors, so you won’t have a hard time finding one that matches your personal preference and other aesthetic requirements.

The waterproof EVA material didn’t let liquids seep in from the bottom, so my foot didn’t get soaked when I stepped on wet floors.

However, it should be noted that with the sandal’s open-toed design, it won’t be able to provide a lot of protection against liquid substances in extremely wet settings. The flagship Birkenstock footbed had a curved structure that supported my foot’s natural curves, helping maintain the proper alignment that was necessary for comfortable and stable walking. The strong arch support prevented my arches from falling even when I was on my feet for extended periods. I appreciated the deepness of the heel cup because it cradled my heel in position, ensuring that it would stay secured and stopping it from sliding uncontrollably inside the sandal with every step. The toe grip encouraged my toes to spread out naturally to prevent painful cramping after hours of standing or walking.

The EVA construction made this sandal a lot more flexible compared to other Birkenstock sandals that were made with leather and cork footbeds.

The EVA material also lent a foamy softness to the footbed, making it a lot more comfortable as it cushioned the foot from the impact of walking on unforgiving surfaces. The straps on top offered straightforward fitting adjustments so I was able to quickly loosen or tighten the sandal until I got a fit that was perfectly comfortable but still felt secure. The sole didn’t feel as thin or as flat as other sandals, supporting my foot throughout the day and absorbing the shock to promote pain-free walking. The well-built profile of this sandal is designed to provide long-term benefits – I’ve been using this shoe for two years and they’re still in great condition. Throughout that time, the only signs of years of use are the brand fading off a bit on the footbed and a few tiny wrinkles – which aren’t obvious – on the side of the upper. I especially liked the sandal’s low-maintenance design as it was very easy to clean and wash, so it wasn’t hard to prevent it from becoming smelly and dirty even with heavy use.  It also comes at a reasonable price that I consider to be a steal, given the top-quality comfort and durability that the sandal delivers.

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Other Versions

The Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandal is available in a wide variety of colors. It’s offered in other versions that use different materials, such as oiled leather and an exclusive synthetic material called Birko-Flor.

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The Challengers

Crocs Unisex Classic Sandal

The Crocs Unisex Classic Sandal is built with the signature Croslite material, showcasing a lightweight structure that won’t weigh the foot down and will provide maximum comfort all day long. The same material is used on the footbed to keep the foot cushioned against the impact of walking on hard surfaces, preventing pain from setting in while adding a bit of bounce for energy return. The two upper straps keep the foot secured in place, ensuring a stable walking experience without compromising comfort. The sandal is designed to move along with your steps, promoting superior comfort and unhampered mobility, so your foot can enjoy a wider range of motion. The perforations on the straps make it easier for you to customize the sandal’s look by using the Jibbitz charms that you prefer. This sandal offers hassle-free maintenance as it’s very easy to clean and dries just as fast, so you won’t need to spend a lot of time keeping it clean for long. The upper straps aren’t adjustable, however, so personalizing the sandal’s fit won’t be possible.

Oofos OOahh Slide Sandal

The Oofos OOahh Slide Sandal is constructed using the exclusive OOfoam that’s developed to absorb a significantly higher amount of impact compared to other materials that are used for footwear. This strong shock absorption helps prevent foot pain as the force is dispersed throughout the sandal instead of being concentrated only on the heel area. It stops foot fatigue from developing, making it easier for you to keep walking comfortably even with long hours of sandal use. The exclusive footbed structure is designed to ease the stress on joints, protecting them from pain with extended periods of walking or standing on unyielding surfaces. It’s also shaped to provide continuous arch support, preventing the pain that can come from fallen arches, which can develop after long hours on your feet. This super comfortable sandal is also lightweight, making it an ideal choice for prolonged walking as it won’t drag uncomfortably on the foot like bulky sandals. It’s also machine washable, so you won’t need to exert a lot of effort to keep it clean and well-maintained for a long time. The material is designed to resist odor development to ensure a fresh foot environment even with nonstop use. However, this sandal has a narrow fit, so it may not be the best option for those with wide feet.

Nike Benassi JDI Slide

The Nike Benassi JDI Slide has a lightweight profile that fits active lifestyles without compromising form and function. It can be worn for hours, and it still won’t drag uncomfortably on the foot. The cushioned footbed cradles the foot and protects it from pressing painfully into hard surfaces. The injected Phylon midsole adds another layer of cushioning for superior comfort and support, enabling you to walk with enhanced stability even on inclined or unstable surfaces.  The outsole is built with flex grooves that allow effortless mobility by flexing along with your foot’s motion. This promotes increased comfort without any underfoot rigidity that can restrict your agility. The synthetic leather strap secures the foot in place so you can enjoy a stable walking experience. The strap has a jersey lining that gives a soothing softness to prevent painful chafing for all-day comfort. The textured footbed delivers a massaging motion that helps with blood circulation and provides a soothing sensation. However, this footbed is almost completely flat, so this sandal isn’t recommended for people who need strong arch support.

Fila Disruptor Sandal

The Fila Disruptor Sandal has a bold silhouette that can seriously boost the stylishness of different outfits, especially if you’re after the laidback yet chic look. The upper is constructed with leather and mesh, delivering an interesting contrast of textures that add to the sandal’s rugged appeal.  The back strap keeps the heel in place and protects it from sliding out the sandal while walking. This strap proudly showcases the brand’s logo and is designed to comfortably fit over the heel. The Velcro closure on the top three straps offer a convenient way of loosening or tightening the sandal, so you can easily get a customized fit. The thick EVA-rubber outsole is surprisingly lightweight, with the aggressive treads offering good traction without the unwelcome bulkiness. This sandal runs large, however, so it may be best to go down half a size or even a full size.

Adidas Alphabounce Slide Sandal

The Adidas Alphabounce Slide Sandal is designed to soothe your foot and keep it comfortable after an intense ball game or workout session. The proprietary BOUNCE footbed delivers a bouncy feel that brings the energy back to your steps, promoting superior comfort as the shock is absorbed and dissipated throughout the footwear. This footbed has a contoured structure that gently supports the foot’s arch for pain-free use. It also works to secure the foot in place, preventing it from sliding back and forth so you’ll enjoy enhanced stability while walking. The foam lining gives the footbed a welcoming softness that cradles your foot in the most comfortable way and prevents painful chafing even with extended sandal use. The strap showcasing the iconic 3-striped logo can be adjusted so you’ll be able to customize the sandal’s fit. The EVA outsole delivers all-day support and cushioning while maintaining a lightweight structure for minimized bulk. This flexible outsole makes walking more comfortable as it doesn’t get in the way of your agility. The material isn’t waterproof, though, so it’s not suitable for exceptionally wet conditions.

Conclusion & Verdict

After enjoying its remarkable features for years, I can say that the Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandal is perhaps the best sandal out there. It’s superbly comfortable and lightweight, so it’s a great choice for wearing during non-vigorous activities for prolonged periods, especially in warm weather conditions. The minimalist design can be paired with a wide variety of casual attire for an effortlessly laidback look and can be used by both men and women. After several years of use, this sandal only showed minimal signs of wear – a sign that I’ve maximized my purchase and truly gotten my money’s worth with this product. However, the open-toed design won’t keep liquids out in extremely wet settings, so this isn’t the best footwear for those who want to ensure complete foot dryness in moisture-filled environments.

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What we like

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Adjustable
  • Minimalist
  • Great value for money

What we don’t like

  • Open-toed design that isn’t fully waterproof

Professions These Are Ideal For

Office jobs without formal dress codes, Retail sales, Housekeeping, Cleaning duties, Light gardening tasks

Luke Davis

Luke is the lead author on WorkWear.org. He has a vast experience in construction engineering and project management in California and Texas, where he had the chance to put to test a wide range of safety boots and PPE. Outside work, Luke is an avid hiker and not surprisingly a DIY fanatic!