Birkenstock Gizeh Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Attractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strap
Cons: Stiff, breaking in takes time, expensive
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|Pros||Attractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strap||Very comfortable, grippy footbed, stable||Very comfortable, super lightweight, adjustable, thick straps, slight arch for support||Comfortable, no break-in period, affordable, waterproof||Super comfy, simple, true to size, lightweight, made from yoga mat material|
|Cons||Stiff, breaking in takes time, expensive||Sporty look, runs a bit big||Subpar bottom sole traction, style not versatile||Material doesn't breathe, less durable||No footbed contouring, minimal outsole traction and support|
|Bottom Line||A beautifully unique sandal that provides amazing support and personalized comfort by molding to your feet over time||A durable flip flop that feels amazing, offers good support, and handles water like a pro||These flips offer cloud-like comfort with optimal support and an adjustable strap in a lightweight package||A lightweight and affordable version of the leather original, this flip is fun and functional||This simple flip flop is impossibly comfortable with wide, supportive straps and a squishy, pillow-like footbed made out of real yoga mat material|
|Rating Categories||Birkenstock Gizeh||OluKai Ohana - Women's||Clarks Breeze Sea||Birkenstock Gizeh E...||Sanuk Yoga Mat|
|Specs||Birkenstock Gizeh||OluKai Ohana - Women's||Clarks Breeze Sea||Birkenstock Gizeh E...||Sanuk Yoga Mat|
|Sole Material||EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate)||Non-marking rubber or gum rubber||TPR (thermoplastic rubber)||EVA||Rubber|
|Footbed Material||Cork lined with suede||Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed||Synthetic||EVA||EVA|
|Strap Material||Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece||Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit||Synthetic||EVA||95% synthetic/5% polyester|
|Weight (per pair)||13.5 oz (size 39)||13.7 oz (size 9)||5.0 oz (size 9)||6.5 oz (size 40)||5.0 oz (size 8)|
|Length||10.625" (size 39)||10.75" (size 9)||10.65" (size 9)||11" (size 40)||10.25" (size 8)|
|Length of Toe Box (just above toe post)||1.50"||1.75"||1.50"||1.375"||1.50"|
|Unique Features||Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet||ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed||Adjustable velcro strap||Adjustable straps||Made from real yoga mats|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This award winner was stiff and uncomfortable out of the box but quickly softened, winning us over with its lush materials, comfortable design, and unique style. While it is an investment, if you're searching for an attractive sandal that is built to last, then the Gizeh is a great option.
The Gizeh has the potential to be wildly comfortable but, like many worthwhile things in life, you have to be willing to put in the work. In the beginning, this shoe is stiff and unwelcoming but, if you persevere, the cork footbed lined with suede will soften and mold to your feet, rewarding you with a sandal sculpted perfectly to your unique shape. The fleece-lined adjustable strap and footbed that cups and supports every part of the foot's anatomy make for a very comfortable sandal.
The footbed of the Gizeh becomes soft and welcoming relatively quickly, though you should prepare for some level of discomfort for several days at the very least. The toe post is made of hard rubber, and it takes time and dedication to get used to and fully break in. By far the most common complaint we see in online customer reviews is regarding the toe post, but the majority of people also seem to agree that if you continue to wear them through the uncomfortable and/or painful stage, you will be glad you did. This was our experience too; the very first time we slipped this shoe on the toe post felt shockingly brutal. Activities that caused our feet to slide into it with more pressure (like going up and down stairs or hills) bordered on excruciating. But, with some dedicated wear, this discomfort disappeared.
With all shoes, sizing is important, but for the Gizeh it's crucial. The contoured footbed makes getting the proper size even more important; if you don't, the arch support and toe ridge won't sit in the correct place, and you will not be able to achieve the optimal level of comfort.
The Gizeh has some interesting and unique features that add up to a seriously supportive and stable shoe. The contoured footbed provides a deep heel cup that's meant to hold the heel bone in its most natural position and give almost as much support as wearing a fully enclosed shoe.
The Gizeh also has strategically placed arch supports running down the sides and middle, and a toe grip ridge to help keep the toes in a natural spread-out position. Finally, the footbed edges are raised and extra high in the front to protect the toes when walking. Whether or not these individual features do for you exactly what they are "meant" to do, this is a well-executed sandal that remains comfortable even after hours of being on your feet.
Another aspect that makes the Gizeh feel so secure is the presence of wide, long, adjustable straps. For a flip flop sandal, you end up with quite a lot of your foot covered. Some people may not like this as it can feel constricting and hold in more heat and sweat when it's sweltering outside, but the natural materials can also breathe.
The Gizeh offers both good traction from the bottom sole and excellent internal footbed security. This combination provides the essential balance needed to feel confident when navigating uneven terrain.
In some respects, the Gizeh feels more like a fully enclosed shoe than a sandal. The raised footbed edges are part of what helps create stellar footbed traction.
The bottom treads aren't as aggressive as some other options in our review, but the suede-lined footbed provides impeccable grip and comfort. We felt highly confident navigating all sorts of obstacles and terrain, our only complaint surfacing when heading downhill on steep slopes: the stiffness of the toe post, even after having broken it in, is noticeable.
The comfort, style, and support of the Gizeh give this flip flop some versatility but it was designed with more casual use in mind.
If you want a comfortable shoe that is easy to slip on for a long dog walk, park hangs, or even a flat hike, this is a great option. Once broken in the Gizeh won't give you blisters or hurt your feet, even on long multi-mile walks. It is lightweight and can be dressed up or down, making it a great option for travel. This flip flop can handle a variety of terrain, including water, although it takes a while to dry.
While the Gizeh can handle a variety of terrain, it won't last if you're constantly hiking through water or particularly rough, dirty landscapes. That said, if you plan to travel and only want to take one pair of sandals, this is a stellar option.
When talking to people about the look of this shoe, we received some strong opinions both ways. For the most part, all the folks that we polled loved it, ranking it in their top three. But for some, the unique look of the Gizeh is unappealing. Of course, you will decide for yourself whether you think it's stylish enough to warrant the price, but since the consensus in our research was positive, we rewarded it with a high rating.
If the Gizeh doesn't do it for you, Birkenstock does make other less exotic styles that may be a better fit for your wardrobe, all with the same superb footbed and outsole.
This shoe is an investment for sure, and you should be certain in your decision before committing to dropping so much dough. But it is worth the steep price tag for the right person, and not having to buy a new cheap flip flop every year or two could save you money in the long run. If you take proper care of your Gizeh, it can last you for decades, keeping your feet supported and your style high.
The feature-heaviness and aesthetic of the Birkenstock Gizeh isn't for everyone, but if you're in the market for a well-made, highly supportive, and classically stylish sandal that becomes more comfortable with time, then look no further. This sandal is expensive and takes more time to break in, but if it fits your needs and lifestyle, then we believe both of those small hurdles are worth it for what you get.
— Hayley Thomas & Penney Garrett
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