If you’re looking for a new pair of sandals for this summer, two popular brands are Teva and Birkenstock, both of which are known for their comfort, support, and durability.
In this article, we’ll compare the two brands to help you decide which one is best for you.
We’ll take a look at the history of each brand, the materials and manufacturing processes they use, their popular products, and prices.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of whether Teva or Birkenstock sandals are the right choice for your needs. So, let’s get started!
- Teva was established in 1984 by Mark Thatcher in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.
- Teva sandals use quick-dry webbing made from recycled plastic, rubber outsoles, and molded EVA midsoles.
- Tevas are made mainly in Vietnam, China, and El Salvador.
- Teva offers more affordable sandals.
- Birkenstock was founded in 1774 by Johann Adam Birkenstock in Langen-Bergheim, Germany.
- Birkenstocks are made with various layers of natural materials such as cork and latex, jute, suede lining, and foam inserts.
- Birkenstock makes its sandals in Germany at its own production facilities.
- Classic Birkenstock sandals are expensive.
- We’d choose Teva for more eco-friendly, affordable options, and Birkenstock for more comfort, durability, and high-quality natural materials.
History of the Brand
Teva official website
Teva, a renowned American footwear company, was established in 1984. However, the history of the company dates back to 1982 when Mark Thatcher, a geophysicist, observed the absence of suitable footwear for river activities.
He created the first sports sandal by incorporating a Nylon ankle strap to a thong-style sandal. Thatcher sold 200 pairs in the first year with the assistance of the shoemaker California Pacific.
In 1984, the product gained sudden popularity among young Americans, leading to a surge in demand. California Pacific claimed rights over the Teva name, arguing that Thatcher was just an employee. Thatcher took legal action, won the case, and founded Teva in Flagstaff, Arizona.
From 1985, Deckers Corporation manufactured and distributed Teva sandals following an agreement with Thatcher. In 2002, Thatcher sold the Teva patents and trademarks to Deckers Outdoor Cooperation (known as Deckers Brands), which now produces most of the sandals in Vietnam, China, or El Salvador.
Materials and Manufacture
Teva sandals use quick-dry webbing made from recycled plastic using traceable, verifiable REPREVE® polyester yarn by Unifi®. Many designs are vegan, recyclable, and made with recycled materials.
The rubber outsoles provide durability and traction, while the molded EVA midsoles offer added support. Some sandals are also treated with a peppermint-based antimicrobial to fight odor-causing bacteria.
Teva has made sustainability a priority by using recycled plastic for its iconic straps, which has prevented 40 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfills. They use a cleaning, shredding, and pelletizing process to turn the plastic into yarn for their footwear.
They have saved over 1,510,000 pounds of plastic from polluting the ocean and produce vegan, recyclable, and eco-friendly products. Teva’s sustainability initiatives aim to transform waste into something that helps people explore the planet.
Where Are Teva Sandals Made?
Teva sandals are produced mainly in Vietnam, China, or El Salvador.
Here are two popular sandal designs by Teva:
Teva Original Universal Women’s Sandal
Check it out at Teva.com
The Teva Original Universal sandal for women is a comfortable and durable sandal that has been around since 1984. It is made with quick-dry webbing from recycled plastic using REPREVE® polyester yarn and is vegan and recyclable.
It features a Universal Strapping System™ for adjustability, a molded EVA midsole for support, and a rubber outsole for durability and traction. The sandal is versatile and suitable for various activities, including all-day casual wear, city strolls, and water activities.
Teva Hurricane XLT2 All-Gender Sandal
Check it out at Teva.com
The Teva Hurricane XLT2 sandal is suitable for outdoor activities and rough terrain. It has a nylon shank that stabilizes the foot, a durable and sturdy outsole that offers better traction, and fast-drying straps made from REPREVE® recycled polyester.
The sandal has a comfortable EVA footbed that provides support throughout the day. The hook-and-loop closure is easy to use and ensures a perfect fit.
Teva offers reasonably priced and affordable sandals that are of high quality. The average cost of sandals ranges from $45 to $130.
Are Teva sandals worth the price?
In our opinion, Tevas are worth it due to the comfort, support, and stability they provide. Few products can match the level of comfort and support that Teva offers.
History of the Brand
Birkenstock official website
Johann Adam Birkenstock, a shoemaker from the German village of Langen-Bergheim, founded Birkenstock in 1774. The company initially provided shoes for the local population, but it wasn’t until 1896 that the first contoured footbed was developed. The footbed aimed to offer foot support and comfort, and it quickly gained popularity among the locals.
In the 1920s, Birkenstock expanded its range of products and began producing sandals equipped with the contoured footbed. The sandals were designed to provide the same level of comfort and support as the footbed, and they became a hit among people seeking comfortable footwear.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Birkenstock sandals became a symbol of the hippie movement, and they were widely worn by young people who desired practical footwear. The company later expanded its range of products and started producing shoes and boots that also featured a contoured footbed.
Today, Birkenstock is a globally recognized brand known for its high-quality, comfortable, and supportive footwear. The company continues to innovate and develop new products to meet its customers’ needs while maintaining its commitment to quality and tradition. Birkenstock’s values and principles are deeply rooted in its history and heritage.
The brand’s global headquarters, production, and logistics are based in Germany, and its footwear is sold in about 90 countries worldwide. The company’s US headquarters are in Novato, California.
Materials and Manufacture
Birkenstock is dedicated to sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. They utilize high-quality materials to craft their footwear, and their sandals, which feature their iconic footbed, are made with various layers of natural materials such as cork and latex, jute, suede lining, and foam inserts (in select versions).
The footbed is designed to conform to your feet, providing both support and comfort. Also, Birkenstock employs other natural materials like leather and wool felt.
In terms of synthetic materials, the brand uses Birko-Flor® and Birkibuc.
The company is committed to meeting standards for a better future and has integrated sustainable practices throughout its manufacturing process. They aim to reduce their environmental impact by utilizing renewable energy sources, minimizing waste, and implementing responsible sourcing practices.
Where Are Birkenstock Sandals Made?
Birkenstock produces its sandals in Germany at its own production facilities. The manufacturing process involves a substantial amount of manual labor, with some models requiring up to 17 steps.
In Portugal, the brand creates its closed-toe shoes. The company takes pride in achieving the highest quality standards in the shoe industry, regardless of whether the products are crafted by hand or manufactured industrially. (source)
Now let’s see two popular sandals by this brand:
Birkenstock Arizona Suede Leather Sandals
Check it out at Birkenstock.com
Since 1973, the Birkenstock Arizona sandal has been a timeless design that has remained a fashionable choice. It is made of soft suede, providing a relaxed appearance that complements any outfit.
The sandal features the iconic Birkenstock design, which includes a contoured cork-latex footbed that conforms to your feet for optimal support. The footbed is also lined with suede.
The sandal is lightweight and flexible, thanks to its EVA sole, which delivers good cushioning. The Arizona sandal has two adjustable straps with metal pin buckles, for a personalized fit.
It is produced in Germany using top-quality materials and expert craftsmanship, and it has the “Made in Germany” quality stamp on the footbed.
Birkenstock Mayari Birkibuc Sandals
Check it out at Birkenstock.com
Birkenstock’s Mayari sandal is a stylish and very comfortable thong sandal that showcases graceful crisscross straps and a single-toe loop. It is constructed with Birkibuc synthetic leather, which offers a brushed, nubuck-like texture.
The Mayari also has adjustable buckle closures and a contoured cork-latex footbed that conforms to your feet for great support. Also, the footbed is lined with suede for optimal comfort, and the sandal features a lightweight EVA sole for cushioning.
It is manufactured in Germany using only premium materials and expert craftsmanship.
Birkenstock’s classic sandals are pretty expensive, with prices starting at approximately $70 and exceeding $200 for certain designs.
However, the German brand occasionally offers discounts, and it also produces sandals made entirely of EVA material, which cost about $35 per pair.
Are Birkenstock sandals worth it?
Although Birkenstocks are pricey, they are made with high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship, resulting in a product that lasts for years. So, we believe they are worth the cost, as long as you like their style.
3. Which Brand is Better?
At this point, both Teva and Birkenstock sandals have their unique features and benefits.
Tevas are made with recycled materials and are reasonably priced, while Birkenstocks are made with high-quality natural materials, are more expensive, and are known for their comfort and durability.
Of course, the decision between the two brands comes down to personal preference and individual needs.
But to help you choose, we’d pick Tevas if you prioritize eco-friendliness, as they are made with recycled materials and have a focus on sustainability. Also, Teva sandals are more affordable compared to Birkenstocks, making them a good choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option.
On the other hand, if you prefer comfort and durability we think Birkenstock sandals are a good choice, as they are known for their high-quality natural materials and iconic footbed design that provides excellent support. They may need a break-in period of a few days though.
Birkenstocks are also made in Germany, which may appeal to customers who value expert craftsmanship and quality.