Everyone’s Favorite ‘Ugly’ Sandals Just Got a Cozy Makeover, so You Can Wear Them Straight Out of the Box (And in Colder Temps, Too)

Photo: Birkenstock
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For as long as I can remember, all of the women in my family have been huge fans of Birkenstock sandals. My sister, my mom, my aunt, my grandma—they’ve all been head over heels for the cork-and-leather sandals for literal decades. Up until this summer, I never understood why. Sure, I’d seen some colors and prints that I liked over the years, but every time I tried a pair on at the store, I was immediately turned off by the stiff, contoured footbed and rigid leather straps. As someone with super sensitive, blister-prone feet, the idea of having to break in a pair of shoes over a few weeks seemed like anything but a good time to me. After all, comfort is a top priority for all my shoe purchases these days.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I saw that the fan-favorite Arizona Big Buckle Sandal ($210) was released in a shearling style for fall, making it automatically plush and wearable straight out of the box. A cute sandal that was cool-weather friendly *and* didn't require breaking in?! Sounded like a dream come true.

Birkenstock, Arizona Big Buckle Shearling Sandals — $210.00

Available sizes: 4-12

Colors: 4


  • Highly rated
  • Adjustable straps
  • Plush shearling lining that requires no breaking in
  • Anatomically designed footbed


  • Pricey
  • Only available in a narrow/medium width

All About Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle Shearling Sandals

I wish I didn’t wait so long to give Birkenstocks a true try. These feature the original cork footbed but since it’s layered with plush shearling, it doesn’t feel like it. Instead, the Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle Shearling sandals feel like the most supportive slippers I’ve ever set foot in. That’s the whole premise of Birks: They’re anatomically designed to offer optimal arch support and a spacious toe box to let your feet exist and move naturally. The addition of super soft shearling simply makes them even more heavenly to wear. And, if you have sensitive feet like me, rest assured, the fur cushions against friction, so blisters aren’t a concern in these Birks, either. (Granted, I’ve only worn them around the house, to run errands, and on slow-paced mile-long walks with my pup, Cash. I imagine if you tried to, I don’t know, trek in them—that might not be the best.)

Photo: Author

One thing to keep in mind is that buying your proper size is key for enjoying Birks. For basically ever, I’ve been a size 10. In the past couple of years, I’ve edged into 10.5 territory for some brands. Because of this, I got professionally measured at a Birk store near me (they have a super cool foot scan that shows you your pronation and other sole stats). Lo and behold, I’m a size 10.5, and knowing that is a huge reason why I now adore the contours of Arizona sandals rather than cringe at them. That said, if you buy the wrong size, the arch support will hit the wrong spot, which can lead to friction, blisters, and overall discomfort; ordering your proper size will introduce you to what’s sure to become your new favorite footwear.

Are the Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle Shearling Sandals Worth It?

Unequivocally, yes. The Arizona Big Buckle Shearling sandals are supremely comfortable, unquestionably chic, and go with practically everything. You can wear them as house slippers or out and about to the farmer’s market, brunch, and everywhere in between.

To be quite honest, I’m shocked that they haven’t sold out yet. The Arizona Big Buckle Sandals are wildly popular—worn by A-listers like Lucy Hale, Reese Witherspoon, and Margot Robbie—and new colors are snatched up in record time (I seriously considered buying the Big Buckle Sandals in Tomato, despite not having a soft footbed, but they flew off shelves before I could.)

Tl;dr: If you’re in the market for a pair of wildly cozy sandals that double as slippers, run to Birkenstock stat. And if you're not sold on this particular sandal, scroll to get your feet in these other snuggly styles that don't require any breaking in either.

Other Cozy Birkenstocks to Shop

Birkenstock, Arizona Shearling Comfort Sandals — $160.00

Available sizes: 5-11

Offering a cloud-like sensation with every step, the Birkenstock Arizona Shearling Sandals are your go-to option for an opulent yet versatile footwear experience. They have a smaller buckle the their big-buckle counterparts, making them a bit more subtle, without skimping on any of the snuggliness.

Colors: 3

Zermatt Shearling Slipper — $100.00

Available sizes: 5-11

Whether you’re unwinding after a long day or simply lounging around on a laid-back weekend, the Zermatt slippers effortlessly blend comfort with an effortlessly chic aesthetic. They swap the open-toe style for a clog design that’ll keep your toes extra warm from the chill. And true to the Birkenstock brand, the more you wear them, the more comfy they get.

Colors: 9

Clothing, Footwear, Sandal, Clothing, Footwear, Sandal r1025541 n1025564.ARIZONA SPLIT TEDDY PARTS RIVET LOGO.MINK .SUEDE LEATHER/FUR
Arizona Teddy Split — $170.00

Available sizes: 4-12.5

These sandals are practically little teddy bears for your feet. They’re lined with a toasty teddy sherpa instead of traditional shearling to give them extra warmth. And they come in the cutest colors (if you can get them): matcha and lilac.

Colors: 3

But wait, there's more!
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