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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Iowa chapter.

With it being finals week now, many college students experience ups and downs, but summer vacation, music festivals and warmer weather are in sight! And one thing that really changes this time of the year is fashion- especially for being somewhere in the Midwest, layers keep getting less and less as the sun shines more during the daytime. With the lessening of layers, as comes the change in shoes.

Instead of grabbing their favorite pair of Timberlands or Doc Martins, girls are now digging through the deep layers of their closets for their sandals. For those who may have outgrown their sandals from last year, though, or maybe just never hopped on the sandal train, a decision needs to be made; Chacos or Birkenstocks? Although it seems like a minor decision, this is one that can make a huge impact on your summer. There are pros and cons to both.


Birkenstocks have been around since 1774 surprisingly, and have wavered in and out of style for years. The shoes are made of cork and rubber and are best known for having the feature of keeping your foot imprint. This way, it only knows your foot and molds to all the bumps and humps along the way. The company prides itself on having very high-quality products, but they also advertise how their products are extremely environmentally friendly. They keep energy use down and hardly require any materials to make. 

The only downsides to Birkenstocks are money, because they can be on the pricier side, and that they can sometimes be uncomfortable after wearing them on long walks or if they get wet. They are not water-proof by any means and can leave your feet with a weird feeling if wearing them while wet. Birkenstocks usually range from $70-$130 in price, depending on style, color, etc. They have a variety of different styles and keep coming out with new and hip kinds. They do go with almost any outfit, and can even be considered acceptable in somewhat formal settings. 


Chacos have been around since 1989, and have become extremely popular in the last few years. They have more styles and colors than Birkenstocks and are considered shoes for the outdoors types. They don’t tend to become ruined or different at all if wet, and have an adjustable strap on all of their products to assure the perfect fit. Although it doesn’t have the foot-forming technique that Birkenstocks do, the strap assures good, comfortable feelings. 

One of the cons to Chacos is that some of the styles contain a toe-strap. While some may enjoy this, most think that it rubs against their toes in an uncomfortable way and causes them to dislike their Chacos. They do have some that do not contain this toe-strap. Another con of Chacos is not having the form-fitting feature that makes Birkenstocks so popular. The foot just lays on a rubber, typical sandal material, and it doesn’t form to your exact foot. Chacos are in the same exact price range as Birkenstocks. 

Nevertheless, both of these shoes have great qualities and would make for a perfect summer shoe. 

Image Credit: 1, 2

Chloe Mallon

U Iowa '21

Hi! I am new to Her Campus and am very excited to start!
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