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Birkenstock Gizeh Review

A beautifully unique sandal that provides amazing support and personalized comfort by molding to your feet over time
Birkenstock Gizeh
Photo: Birkenstock
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $100 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Attractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strap
Cons:  Stiff, breaking in takes time, expensive
Manufacturer:   Birkenstock
By Hayley Thomas & Penney Garrett  ⋅  Jun 11, 2021
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84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 9
  • Support - 20% 10
  • Traction - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 6
  • Style - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Birkenstock Gizeh surprised us at every turn, regularly outperforming the other flip flops in our lineup while cradling our feet in comfort. It molds to the foot, offers exceptional support, and provides surprisingly excellent traction. While the break-in period can be a bit rough, if you stick with it, you will be rewarded in kind. This stylish sandal probably isn't the one to pick if you plan to get wet and dirty every day, but rest assured if the Gizeh does end up in a mud pit or a river it can handle it — we know because we put it through all that and more. This is a superbly well-made shoe that, while expensive, will last for years if properly cared for.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Birkenstock Gizeh
This Product
Birkenstock Gizeh
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$70.00 at Amazon$44.95 at Amazon$27.58 at Amazon
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Pros Attractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strapVery comfortable, grippy footbed, stableRemovable ankle strap, water-resistant, durable, lightweightComfortable, no break-in period, affordable, waterproofSuper comfy, simple, true to size, lightweight, made from yoga mat material
Cons Stiff, breaking in takes time, expensiveSporty look, runs a bit bigContouring by toes is oddly placed, ankle strap can slipMaterial doesn't breathe, less durableNo 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 timeA durable flip flop that feels amazing, offers good support, and handles water like a proA fantastic choice for anyone that loves both flip flops and sandals and wants everything combined in one shoeA lightweight and affordable version of the leather original, this flip is fun and functionalThis 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 Astral Rosa Birkenstock Gizeh E... Sanuk Yoga Mat
Comfort (30%)
9.0
10.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
Support (20%)
10.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Style (15%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Birkenstock Gizeh OluKai Ohana - Women's Astral Rosa Birkenstock Gizeh E... Sanuk Yoga Mat
Sole Material EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) Non-marking rubber or gum rubber Granite Grip rubber EVA Rubber
Footbed Material Cork lined with suede Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed Dual-density EVA EVA EVA
Strap Material Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit Cushioned synthetic leather with knit liner, ankle strap: polyester webbing EVA 95% synthetic/5% polyester
Weight (per pair) 13.5 oz (size 39) 13.7 oz (size 9) 12.7 oz (11.8 oz w/o ankle straps, size 9) 6.5 oz (size 40) 5 oz (size 8)
Length 10.625" (size 39) 10.75" (size 9) 10.5" (size 9) 11" (size 40) 10.25" (size 8)
Length of Toe Box (just above toe post) 1.50" 1.75" 1.75" 1.375" 1.50"
Unique Features Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed Extra strap converts flip flop into a hikable sandal Adjustable straps Made from real yoga mats
Animal Products? Yes No No No No

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.

Performance Comparison


Whether dressed up for a night on the town or scouting out flowers...
Whether dressed up for a night on the town or scouting out flowers in mountain meadows, the Gizeh is a comfortable and stylish friend.
Photo: Hayley Thomas

Comfort


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.

The toe post on this sandal feels terrible at first and we worried...
The toe post on this sandal feels terrible at first and we worried that the shoe could never be comfortable. But with a bit of perseverance, the issue resolves itself.
Photo: Matthew Blake

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.

Support


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.

The raised footbed edges help keep your foot in place, no matter...
The raised footbed edges help keep your foot in place, no matter what you're walking on.
Photo: Matthew Blake

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.

Well designed contouring and wide straps make the Gizeh our top...
Well designed contouring and wide straps make the Gizeh our top performer for support and stability.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Traction


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 raised footbed edges not only affect support, but they also help...
The raised footbed edges not only affect support, but they also help with footbed traction too.
Photo: Matthew Blake

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.

Despite its urban look, the Gizeh holds its own in the traction...
Despite its urban look, the Gizeh holds its own in the traction department when put to the test out on dirt and rock.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Versatility


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.

The Gizeh is a well constructed and highly durable sandal that...
The Gizeh is a well constructed and highly durable sandal that, while performing outstandingly in all our crazy tests, probably isn't the best choice if you are going to get wet and dirty every time you go out.
Photo: Matthew Blake

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.

While the Gizeh was built with more casual use in mind, it fare...
While the Gizeh was built with more casual use in mind, it fare quite well out in the elements.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Style


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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Value


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 durable Gizeh is made with quality material and, if treated...
The durable Gizeh is made with quality material and, if treated right, will surely outlive your average flip flop.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Conclusion


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.

Breaking in the Gizeh takes a bit of work, but you will be rewarded...
Breaking in the Gizeh takes a bit of work, but you will be rewarded with a cozy supportive sandal that you won't want to take off.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Hayley Thomas & Penney Garrett