Oiled Leather Vs Suede Birkenstocks

Oiled Leather Vs Suede Birkenstocks

In the quest to find the best footwear for our daily needs, the debate between oiled leather and suede Birkenstocks often emerges. This article aims to explore these two materials, highlighting their distinct advantages to guide your purchase. Oiled leather and suede, each unique in their way, offer different benefits that make selecting the right pair a nuanced decision.

Birkenstocks are not just sandals; they are a statement of comfort and style. Whether it’s the leather’s contoured design or the suede’s molded footbeds, both materials work seamlessly with Birkenstock’s cork and jute structure. They provide not just a great look but also orthopedic solutions for foot problems, making them a conventional yet relaxing choice for every normal foot.

Oiled Leather Vs Suede Birkenstocks

When it comes to Oiled Leather Birkenstocks, their durability and long-lasting nature stand out. The material requires regular maintenance but pays off with its water-resistant qualities. It’s a less popular yet expensive choice that offers comfort, support, and style for a variety of occasions.

In contrast, Suede Birkenstocks offer a soft, occasional breath of fresh air to your feet. They’re more breathable and often less expensive than their oiled leather counterparts. This makes them a popular choice for those seeking footwear that provides comfort and support for various activities and types of wear.Oiled Leather Vs Suede Birkenstocks

Oiled Leather Birkenstocks:

Oiled Leather Birkenstocks exude a sense of high-quality due to their oil-treated leather, which imparts durability and water-resistant qualities. This polished look makes them suitable for a professional setting, and they maintain a distinctive sheen. Their velvety texture and softness come with a slight trade-off in breathability, leading to the possibility of sweaty feet. Additionally, the cushioned footbeds support pressure reduction and provide feet warmth, making them ideal for year-round wear.

The durability of these shoes is commendable, as they are resistant to wear and tear, maintaining their style and comfort over time. However, they present a challenge in terms of cleaning difficulty. The softness and pliability of the leather require careful maintenance to retain their polished and professional appearance.

Suede Birkenstocks:

Suede Birkenstocks are known for their softer material and wide color variety, making them a popular choice for casual wear. The breathable nature of suede keeps your feet cool, enhancing the overall comfort. The comfortable footbed offers excellent support, reducing fatigue and featuring moisture-wicking properties. These attributes contribute to their stylish and classic style, appealing to those who prefer a more relaxed look.

However, suede has its durability concerns. It is less water-resistant than oiled leather, often necessitating the use of a waterproof spray to maintain its condition. Despite this, suede Birkenstocks remain affordable and easy to care for, making them a cost-effective and fashionable option for everyday wear.

Price Comparison:

When comparing the prices of oiled leather and suede Birkenstocks, the former typically stands on the more expensive end of the spectrum. Known for their long-lasting durability, oiled leather options such as Arizonas and Bostons range between $125 and $270. This reflects the investment in a durable, water-resistant shoe that can withstand extensive use.

In contrast, suede Birkenstocks are more affordable, with prices ranging from $90 to $215, depending on the style, like the Kyoto. This cost difference makes suede a more accessible option for those seeking comfort without the higher price tag. Despite being cheaper, they still offer significant durability and comfort, although they may require more frequent care.

Comfort and Support:

Comfort and support are paramount in the comparison of oiled leather and suede Birkenstocks. Oiled leather versions are lauded for their cushioned feel and softness, providing a sense of warmth in cold temperatures. This makes them a viable option for those seeking comfort in a shoe that can be worn throughout the year.

Suede Birkenstocks, conversely, are celebrated for their immediate comfort right out of the box, without a significant break-in period. They conform well to the feet, offering a different kind of comfort and support. This makes them a favored choice for those who prioritize comfort and excellent support in their daily footwear.

Style and Appearance:

In terms of style and appearance, oiled leather Birkenstocks boast a polished and professional look, ideal for situations where a sleek, good-looking shoe is desired. The durability of the leather ensures they remain eye-candy for longer, though they are prone to showing smudges and stains.

Suede Birkenstocks lean towards a more casual, stylish appearance, offering a variety of colors and designs. They don’t show water drops or smudges as readily as oiled leather, making them easier to maintain. This casual yet classic style makes them a versatile choice for various outfits and occasions.


Discussing durability, oiled leather Birkenstocks are notably resistant to wear and tear, making them a long-lasting choice. The footbed and overall construction are designed to endure extensive use, maintaining their best appearance over time.

Suede Birkenstocks, while offering a degree of durability, require more care to keep them looking their best. They may not withstand the same level of wear and tear as oiled leather, but with proper maintenance, they can offer a long-lasting wearing experience.

Water Resistance:

When it comes to water resistance, oiled leather Birkenstocks clearly have the upper hand, being inherently waterproof and more suitable for wet conditions. This makes them a practical choice for those who frequently encounter water in their daily activities.

Suede Birkenstocks require additional waterproofing spray to protect the feet from moisture, which is an extra step in maintenance. However, once treated, they too can offer a reasonable degree of water resistance, making them versatile in various weather conditions.


The variety of styles offered in both suede and leather Birkenstocks is vast. Their official website showcases an array of colors, shapes, and sizes, catering to a wide range of preferences. This personalization in choices allows for a tailored Birkenstock experience, whether one prefers a classic style or something more contemporary.

Both suede and leather options provide ample choices in terms of styles and features, ensuring that there’s a Birkenstock for every taste and need. This variety makes it easier for consumers to find a pair that matches their personal style and functional requirements.

Benefits of Oiled Leather Birkenstocks:

  • Oiled Leather: This material is known for its exceptional Durability. It withstands wear and tear, making it Long-Lasting.
  • Oiling Process: Enhances the leather’s Water-Resistant qualities, protecting your Birkenstocks in damp conditions.
  • Arch Support: Just like their suede counterparts, these Birkenstocks offer excellent Arch Support, crucial for foot health.
  • Style and Variety: Offers a distinct aesthetic, with a variety of designs that blend traditional craftsmanship with modern fashion.

Benefits of Suede Birkenstocks:

  • Suede Material: Known for its supreme Comfort. The softness of suede makes these Birkenstocks a pleasure to wear.
  • Style: Suede offers a unique look, contributing to a diverse range of Style options.
  • Cushioning: Along with Arch Support, the suede provides additional Cushioning, enhancing comfort.
  • Affordability and Care: Generally more affordable and easier to care for compared to oiled leather.
  • Versatility: Suede Birkenstocks are versatile, suitable for various settings from casual to semi-formal.

From personal experience, I’ve found that choosing between oiled leather and suede Birkenstocks largely depends on your lifestyle and fashion preferences. As someone who values both durability and style, I appreciate the robustness of oiled leather. However, for those days when comfort is paramount, my suede Birkenstocks are my go-to choice.

Oiled Leather Vs Suede Birkenstocks Pros & Cons:

Pros of Oiled Leather Birkenstocks:

  • Waterproof: Highly resistant to water, making them suitable for wet conditions.
  • Durable: Built to last and withstand regular wear and tear.
  • Easier to Clean: Can be cleaned with less effort compared to suede.
  • Affordable: Offers good value for their durability and quality.
  • Rigid Structure: Provides firm support and retains shape over time.

Cons of Oiled Leather Birkenstocks:

  • Rigid: May be less flexible, requiring a break-in period.
  • Polished Look: Requires maintenance to keep their polished appearance.
  • Conditioned Regularly: Needs regular conditioning to maintain leather quality.
  • Care-Intensive: Higher maintenance compared to suede for longevity.

Pros of Suede Birkenstocks:

  • Flexible: More pliable and comfortable from the start.
  • Comfortable: Soft material that adapts well to the foot’s shape.
  • Stylish: Offers a luxurious and casual look.
  • Luxurious Feel: Suede material provides a premium feel.
  • Lower Maintenance: Easier day-to-day maintenance than oiled leather.

Cons of Suede Birkenstocks:

  • Not Waterproof: Less resistant to water; requires waterproofing treatments.
  • Less Durable: May wear down faster than oiled leather in harsh conditions.
  • Expensive: Can be more costly than oiled leather variants.
  • Difficult to Clean: Requires more effort to clean and maintain appearance.

Oiled Leather Vs Suede Birkenstocks: Which Is The Better Choice?

Choosing between Oiled Leather and Suede Birkenstocks boils down to personal preference and specific needs. Oiled Leather offers a high-quality, strong, and durable experience, though it can be stiffer than other materials. It’s excellent for those who prioritize longevity and a classic look in their footwear.

Suede Birkenstocks, on the other hand, are known for being softer, lightweight, and comfortable. They blend well with various outfits, offering a stylish touch. While they may not match the durability of Oiled Leather, they are a long-lasting choice for those who value comfort and style in their decision to dress up.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Which Birkenstock material is the Best?

When you’re considering investing in a pair of Birkenstocks, you’re faced with a choice between two distinct materials: oiled leather and suede. From a personal perspective, having navigated the aisles of countless shoe stores, I’ve gathered that the decision boils down to factors like durability, sustainability, and comfort.

Oiled leather Birkenstocks, with their rigid yet tough structure, offer an unparalleled level of durability. This kind of leather, often referred to as pure leather, is known for its breathability and softness. The top layer of the leather, treated with oils, allows for greater flexibility and a unique aesthetic appeal. It’s not just about how your feet feel in them, but also about how these sandals age over time. The footbed and lining, made from this high-quality leather, provide a comfortable nesting for your feet.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have suede Birkenstocks. Suede, known for its softness, is created by buffing the fleshy parts of the leather to produce a breathable and flexible material. The lining of these shoes provides a cozy cushion for your feet, making it feel like you’re walking on clouds.

Are Suede Birkenstocks Comfortable?

When it comes to comfort, suede Birkenstocks certainly have their fan base. Various reviews on the internet praise their immediate comfort. However, this comfort comes with a need for regular maintenance. 

Applying a stain protector is essential to maintain their pristine appearance and longevity. Comparatively, leather Birkenstocks might require less maintenance, making them a more sustainable choice for those who prefer not to invest much time in the care of their sandals.

Do Suede Birkenstocks Stretch Out?

One concern with suede Birkenstocks is their tendency to stretch out over time. Through regular wear, especially in areas where the suede is thinner or more fleshy, you might notice the straps becoming looser. This is where the durability of leather shines, as it tends to hold its shape better over time. 

However, if your suede sandals start to unravel or show tears, a visit to a shoe cobbler could be a good substitute for purchase of a new pair. With proper care, these sandals can last through many seasons.

Can You Wear Suede Birkenstocks in the Summer?

Finally, considering the summer season, suede Birkenstocks can be a double-edged sword. In humid or sweaty weather, suede might not be the best choice due to its longevity concerns. The straps may feel too tight or offer less support as the material stretches. In contrast, leather Birkenstocks might offer better resilience against summer elements, reducing the need for frequent replacement.


Choosing between Oiled Leather and Suede in the world of Birkenstocks is more than just a matter of style; it’s a commitment to comfort and quality that lasts for years. Oiled Leather brings a traditional, robust elegance, embodying a classic, timeless appeal. In contrast, Suede offers a modern, fashion-forward touch, adding a softer, more contemporary flair to your wardrobe. Both materials ensure that every pair of Birkenstocks not only enhances your fashion statement but also supports your feet with unparalleled comfort. This choice is not just about footwear; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that values durability, comfort, and a dash of personal expression.

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