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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Birkenstock Arizonas



I said I wasn't going to go there with the old ugly fugly shoes. Or so I thought. Until I went to visit my sister at the weekend and she fished out a pair of Birkenstock Arizona lookalikes in lilac(!) and told me to try them on. How could I resist? I needed to see what ugly fugly shoes looked like on little old me.....

.... and they looked alright actually even if they were lilac. Besides, throw enough pictures of ugly shoes at me and eventually I will come round. 

So that got me going on the old Birks hunt then. I saw a few discussions going around and the general consensus is that the black ones are the ones to get. So I got the white.


Because I might be a sheep but I'm not a total sheep. Baaa! Besides, I'm still of the general impression that I don't get on with black shoes unless they're ballet pumps or courts.

They were on offer on ASOS this week and discounted so I put my order in for my regular UK Size 4, Eu 37. They haven't arrived yet but I did have my doubts that they would be too big as I know from previous experience when I've tried Birkenstocks before, they have always seemed too big in my usual size and the UK Size 3, tends to fit better. So I did some extra digging around and then found some on Sports Direct in the size 3 and ordered those the day after the ASOS order. They arrived today. And .... yay! I like them. I almost went so far as to say I love them but I think they need to be worn properly before I can say that. Ask me at the end of the summer to see if these have the been the footwear du jour or they were totally pants.

Now I have to say I got these for a bargain price of £19.99 compared to the £45.99 being asked by most places. These are not the leather ones but the Birko Flor which is their alternative to leather. If you are thinking of buying a pair, have a good look at the composition to see what you are buying. There's usually a £10 difference between the leather and the Birko Flor version - it's up to you - I know some people will only wear leather footwear. I'm not one of them.



Birko Flor upper

Can you see from the picture above that they are a leather look upper? They have a slight sheen - almost pearlescent. Almost. Plus point - they will be wipe clean at least.

I'm expecting it to take a few wears to break these in as it will take a little time to get used to the raised cross arch support. This is the bit which I've never taken to previously and dismissed the sandals as uncomfortable but I guess this is the bit where once you've worn them enough so they mould to your feet, they will turn out to the comfiest things you could hope to wear. Fingers crossed that I will get that far this time.


Another thing to bear in mind - when you're ordering, some places offer two width fittings. The slim/narrow fit is for regular folks including myself despite the fact that I tend to think of myself as having fat feet. I think this is what most stores sell. Their "regular" fitting is for those who are sturdy of foot. Heiffer feet. For all the info you could possibly want on Birkenstock, just head here.

Anyway, here I am commune ready.

Gap sweatshirt, Zara jeans, Birkenstock Arizonas.


Anyone joining me? Or have you already got yours? And if you have - what do you think of them?

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Last Note :

  • ASOS still have the white Arizonas discounted as of 20/03/14. But not the black.
  • Sports Direct have the white ones in a limited number of sizes but no black. Just incase you were getting all excited. Because if they had the black, I would probably also be showing you a pair of black ones if I could get them for £19.99. Just to test them out and just to make sure that black really doesn't suit me.
  • Next are offering lookalikes for £20 which look really nice actually if you want the look but not the financial hit. These are a leather upper but the footbed is manmade (a sueded fabric).





55 comments :

  1. I like them on you, I think they look nicely relaxed and casual and I admire how comfy they look but I just don't think I could go there. I don't think I could pull them off!

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    1. Well that's pretty much what I thought but because I think I went for the white - they are less harsh on the eye and make the whole look a lot lighter. Try a pair of white ones if you're passing by anywhere - it might surprise you!

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  2. They look fab! Got mine in navy last summer - cant wait to wear them again. Hx

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    1. I never even thought about navy - it was (literally) black or white for me but I hope they're going to be good. If not, I have sisters to pass them on to - thankfully, we are all the same size in footwear.

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  3. I personally cannot wear Birkenstock because they are much too wide, so I'm trying to make Mephisto the next ugly shoe trend :-) The shoes look lovely on you though. I'm digging the white.

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    1. Just been to have a nosey at Mephisto and they do have some in their range which is not dissimilar to the Birkenstocks. It's just a matter of seeing what's comfortable and what works for you and if Mephisto is your ugly shoe - so be it :o)

      And the white is quite uplifting isn't it?

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  4. I've decided the birkenstock isn't for me, although I'm ALLLLL for slides, just of the more delicate variety. That being said, the birks are horrendously comfortable, and from memory, didn't need to be broken in at all. So that's a bonus ;)

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    1. I used to only wear sandals of the slide variety - always very feminine shoes but as time has gone on, I've been more swayed by comfort than anything. Yes, I still like lovely shoes but they really have to work on me. I'm definitely not of the pain no gain persuasion. So - have you purchased your slides already or are we thinking autumnal footwear instead for you now?

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  5. I am in on the 'fugly' shoes bandwagon too Sue! If anyone is after the black Arizona's I managed to bag a pair of the slim fit style (they had both) for £33.75 with free P&P and free returns! I sized down as well after trying them on a couple of times in Office! I can't wait to where mine either.....so comfy! xx

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    1. So not just me who's had to size down? There's a lot of mixed messages out there about sizing, I think you've just got to try to see what's the best fit for you.

      Have yours arrived? I don't think I can justify a pair of black - I'm just going to work on the white and see how they work out for me this summer.

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  6. I really can't decide about Birkenstocks. I bought a pair a few years ago but they were ridiculously wide, I have quite narrow feet. I think if I do get a pair they will be the papillio ones with the narrower straps.

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    1. I was pretty much on the fence with them and I've tried so many pairs in previous years but I never found them to work for me but I have high hopes for these. I think if you do have narrow feet, you might struggle a bit. I have wide feet but still have room in the straps to release them more if need be.

      The Papillio ones are more delicate if you can ever call Birkenstocks delicate - they might be better for people who want to try the fugly trend but not go full on.

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  7. I think they look great on you but wouldn't suit my wide trotters! I have to know, what is that nail polish on your toenails? It's divine.

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    1. Are you sure? They accommodate my wide feet really well and there is so much of the band covering my feet to make it a little more flattering. The sandals which really don't suit my feet are the single thong ones where is hardly any foot coverage at all.

      And the nail polish is Collection 2000 in All That Jazz. It's my regular go to polish which goes on really well and is that nice steely charcoal colour for all those who can't do an EMO black.

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    2. Right, off to Superdrug tomorrow!

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  8. I got a pair on Amazon for £23.00 ish. They have the white sole but still, not a bad deal. Am very glad to see them endorsed here! Beautiful nails are a must but I think by Summer I'll like them.

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    1. That's a good price - about the same as for me as I had to factor p&p in but at the end of the day, they still came in at under half the recommended retail price. I've not spotted the ones with a white sole at all.

      And yes, neatly painted toes are a must. The sandals can be ugly, but the toes can not.

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  9. Wow you got those at a great price Sue. I'm still undecided so along with trainer & slip ons I'm sat on the fence for these as well. Love them on you & others just not sure they're me. Also loving your toe polish as well!!
    Jane xx
    My Midlife Fashion

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    1. I usually can picture what will suit people but for once, I don't think you're a Birkenstock girl. Maybe the one strap one at a push probably in leopard print or a metallic leather but not the Arizonas - they're a bit chunky monkey for you I think. You're far more ladylike than me Jane.

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  10. Oh God I am going to start thinking about these now. I don't really think they are me, however, I said that about the trainer and the skater. I am completely Ovine when it comes to shoes, boots and everything fashion come to think of it. I must say the white suits you (you have great skin tone/colour.) I, too, am loving that polish colour on your' tootsies. H x

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    1. Now Helen, I can see you in a pair actually teamed with some blue jeans and your nice white shirt. In an ever so casual way. I'll give it a month and I expect to see a pair on your blog.

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    2. Am I that predictable. LOL xx

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  11. Personally I love them and now I'm so glad I never parted with my old Arizona's, just need a two strap pair now! I think they look great on you xx

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    1. Thank you Sharron. I wasn't sure if I would be jumping on board with this "trend" but I was quite pleasantly surprised that they didn't look as horrid on me as I expected. I have to say, I had very low expectations of them suiting me.

      So you'll be digging out yours in the next month or so?

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  12. Really liking this Sue. The white Birks seem a lot lighter on the feet than a black version would and it goes well with the gray/blue here.

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    1. Thank you Kristina. I really like the black ones but I don't think they're very me but then again, never say never - stranger things have happened like me buying Birkenstocks albeit white ones. Have you tried them?

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    2. Last time I tried Birks on was in the late '90s. In Asia at the time the dark brown, kind of suede-y leather ones were on trend (definitely more hippie than the '00s minimalist vibe.) I didn't like the tough foot bed so I opted for Rockport sandals that I loved to shreds. A friend of mine did stick with hers and she said it did mold to her, but my feet are pretty small/narrow all over so the sandals just felt like they were too big.

      Good luck with these and hope we see them more later this spring/summer :)

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  13. Well I never thought they would be back in fashion again....... They say you shouldn't throw stuff out...... Not that I had a pair to throw out. You suit them and they go perfect with your relaxed cool style...... Not girly enough for me personally but then I am always a good 9 months to a year behind on these trends! ( who would of thought I would be wearing trainers each day! ) ..... So I will never say never. Xx

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    1. I think you are better with your lovely Russell & Bromley ones. Once upon a time, I would have never have dreamed of wearing something like Birkenstocks but these days, my style has become more and more relaxed and so they seem to suit my lifestyle too. Besides, they're a little cooler than a pair of Crocs!

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  14. I've have 2 pairs that are well loved. You will definitely get used to the high arch. I even persuaded my hubby to buy some and he loves his. I have a pair of Madrids (my favourites) and a pair of Gizehs. I think they're fab. Perfect, laid back, chilled out look. I love them with rolled up jeans in the summer. I do appreciate they're not to everyone's tastes though! Lynne x

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    1. I showed a pair to the hubs the other night and he said a very firm "NO" to them so I don't think he will be donning a pair any time soon. The Madrids are the ones I always try but the arch has always got me each time so I'm quite surprised that they don't seem as bad on the Arizonas this time round or maybe I'm willing myself to get on with them. And I understand that they are a bit "earthy" for some tastes but I guess it depends on how they're worn.

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  15. I honestly can't decide if I love or loathe them. I know they're really comfortable and the older I get, the more important that becomes. I think I'm going to sit on the fence for a while longer. But I'd definitely get the white over the black (if I were getting them, that is!) as it's a much better colour for summer.

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    1. I know what you mean - I thought I didn't like them but like I said, throw enough images of cool people wearing them and I'm sold. Baaa!

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  16. I wore the Arizonas in brown in my backpacking years. I simply can't wear them now. They remind me of my incredible albeit crazy adventures.

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    1. You backpacked in them? Well that must say something for how good they are!

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  17. You go Sue, I am truly impressed. You are rocking those fugly shoes! My mom wore borks back in the day and Ispent endless hours (years?) making fun of her. When they started 'happening' fashion-wise last year I could just picture her smirking at me. And honestly, I think I would have jumped on the wagon too (and probably gone with white as well, such a good choice) but I was sort of convinced they would only work on super skinny super tall supermodels. And here you are, lovely, of course, but not exactly 6ft tall, right? And they totally work on you. I actually love them. Once again, you have given me some food for thought here...

    www.nomadicd.com

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    1. I certainly am no Gisele Bundchen! Not at 5ft 2 at a push but they're not as bad as I first thought they were going to be. The white shade definitely makes it slightly softer to take in. And yes, all the years I spent avoiding them thinking I looked too tree huggy in them? Well now I have to eat my words! This fashion thing has a lot to answer for!

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    2. Yup, tree-hugger granola-cruncher pseudo hippie, that's pretty much how I've thought of them all these years. But inundate us with enough images and we will come around, eh? Ha. I am with you. In fact, so with you that I just headed over to asks to check them out. Not on sale. And about 80 euros. Which is not impulse-buy material for me just now. So I'll just have to hope that I come across some in real life here to try them on and contemplate them on my own stubby gams, though chafes of that happening here in Spain seems slim. Zara does have some similar sandals right now (surprise surprise), but if you're going to go fugly you might as well get the comfort, right? Anyway, definitely going to file this away int he back of my mind for further contemplation.

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    3. Now look what I've dug up for you and I can't read a jot of Spanish but on Amazon.es you can get these http://www.amazon.es/Birkenstock-Arizona-051791-Zapatos-hebilla/dp/B000MSYTU2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395663712&sr=8-1&keywords=birkenstock+arizona for reasonable euros - around 35 euros? Not to be sniffed at.

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  18. PERFECT - I love the white!!! I might need these too! But I have the white Gizehs....mmmm...what nail polish are you wearing - seriously gorgeous color!

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    1. Joanna, you're going to need more feet to get through your assortment of footwear!

      Any my polish is my ever faithful cheap and cheerful Collection 2000 in All That Jazz. I think it costs about £2! Goes on a tonne better than all my similar coloured Chanel ones (yes I'm talking about you Black Pearl!).

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  19. I've just commented on Joanna's pair, guess what - I B well sold mine last year at the car boot, arrrrrgh! They had sat looking all ugly and lilac in my wardrobe un-worn for too many years so I got rid. How frustrating! TK Maxx usually always sell them but I got mine from Costco, they were the leather ones and were around £20 so worth a look there too x

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    1. Natalie, it's always the way, isn't it? You get rid of something and it comes back in fashion. Gah!

      I do see them in Costco and I've toyed with them so many times in there. They always do the Madrid versions there - I've never seen the Arizonas yet. I must pay them a visit to see what's on offer currently.

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  20. These look really really good on you...it helps that you have such pretty feet!

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    1. Thanks Gina! Are you getting some?

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  21. i had a pair of madrids ages ago and didn't like them as they only had the one strap so they kept sliding off. arizonas are great tho! haha u know i love my birks! actually really wanted the white pair as well so i had both to pick from but shopping guilt got me in the end so i ended up with the black ones. didn't realise there were two versions! i got my leather ones off asos when there was a 30% sitewide discount. and omg for 20 quid i'm so tempted to get the white as well...uhoh! they are stupidly comfy though, seriously, and i don't think they look that fugly..honest!

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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    1. The Madrids don't hold your feet in as well as the Arizonas which is the whole point of the top band coming so high up on the foot. I would have you down as going for the black pair anyway - an outfit isn't an outfit for you without a touch of black creeping in somewhere.

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  22. Very tempted to! I have very flat ugly feet though (and far too many pairs of Birkinstocks gathered over the years) so I should probably resist (for a while!)

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    1. sorry - meant this as a reply to your comment! Not a standalone one.

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    2. Ah you may have Birkenstocks but do you have any Arizonas? And if you're worried about what your feet look like - the double straps do a good job of hiding a substantial amount of your foot. I think you'd totally rock them in the summer with some of your dresses and summer casual looks.

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  23. I love them & had a pair years ago when pregnant with my son! I lived in the bloody things! The high arch aways blisters me silly but once you wear them in they are the most comfy yet sturdy footwear ever! I need me some new ones! Ax

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  24. So I've revisited this post now I'm a member of the birkie club. I bought the basalt grey at the weekend after struggling with the black..it seemed really too heavy on the foot. The white didn't work for me either but I think that's because my poor little Irish feet were all white and pasty. If I had gorgeous feet like yours, I would have bought them. Looking forward to seeing you style them over the summer Sue - I need your inspiration! x

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  25. Replies
    1. No - the white Birkoflor is pretty wipe clean. The corkbed might stain as you would expect from your feet but the actual upper is fine.

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  26. For all the info you could possibly want on Birkenstock, just head here. ... birkenstockmadrid.blogspot.com

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