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The Ultimate Shoe Dispute: Birks vs. Chacos?

It’s the footgear dilemma of the year. I get pestered with questions about my Chacos or my Birkenstocks nearly every time I strap them on my feet and wear them out. And the crazy thing is that everyone wants a pair. I’m serious; everyone! They’re popular with both guys and girls. I’m not joking when I say that I had an hour long conversation with my 73-year old boss - a sweet little old lady who values comfort yet wants to be a part of the latest trends - about the benefits of these kinds of shoes. They’ve become a sort of shoe phenomenon across college campuses, and it makes sense; they’re comfy yet durable, stylish yet practical. Perfect for crossing through the grass to get to class. I sport them with my Nike shorts, and I dress them up with a sundress. But, unfortunately, they aren’t the most inexpensive pair of shoes. So when my boss and a lot of my friends asked me which was the better shoe for them to invest in, I had to stop and really think about it because I’m honestly a huge fan of both (I own a pair of each and shamelessly stalk the sales of shoe stores so I can feel better about buying another pair). So I’m here to dole out my two-cents on which $100 pair to splurge on. Will it be Birks or Chacos?

            I bought my first pair of Birkenstocks around 2 years ago, and they are still one of my favorite pairs of sandals. They are the kind of shoe that gets better with wear; they form to your feet so well with time. I’m not a huge fan of my feet (but I mean who is?), but my Birkenstocks definitely make me want to show them off. They come in mostly neutral colors, such as black, white, dark brown, and beige, but every once in a while I see someone wearing ones with a flowery pattern on the straps. Speaking of straps, they come in so many different kinds! It’s hard to choose which ones are the best for you. The most common ones I see around are the flip-flop version with the thick, horizontal straps, but you are certainly not limited to those. They pair best with a flowy casual dress, perfect for exploring downtown. My only qualm would be that they are more difficult to clean than Chacos, so avoid any and all possibly muddy situations.

            To me, Chacos scream outdoors. I took mine hiking in Colorado, and it was the best decision I could have made. They seemed like the better option compared to tennis shoes or sneakers, especially in the summertime when it gets super hot and sweaty. A little airing out of your feet can go a long way, believe me! My favorite thing about Chacos are their arch support; when I walk in them, I feel like I can jump 100 feet in the air (though unfortunately, the feeling doesn’t constitute real results). They come with one, two, or three straps in so many colors and patterns they make your head spin. Personally, I recommend buying ones with the toe loop. The more stability, the better, right? They aren’t quite as versatile as Birkenstocks when it comes to outfits, but you’d be surprised how cute they look with denim shorts as a statement shoe, ideal for a day of hiking and hammocking.

            I hope I’ve been able to sway you one way or the other, or towards whipping out your credit card and buying both! The truth is that whichever shoe you choose, you’ll be getting your money’s worth. So what will it be: Birks or Chacos?

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