Are Birkenstocks Good For Hiking? (Explained)

You are probably struggling to find something comfortable to go hiking. Indeed, most hiking boots and shoes are not the best looking, and it can be hard to find comfortable ones. That is because hiking boots are designed around quality, performance and durability.

Birkenstocks look like they’d be good to hike with, but are they? There has been a little bit of a debate about whether people should wear Birkenstocks to hike or not. And if you prefer wearing them, we will tell you when you can.

If you consider wearing Birkenstocks sandals to hike, you’ve landed in the right place! We will answer some questions for you and let you know if you should wear them. We will also provide alternatives, so you have all the options laid out in front of you.

Keep on reading, and let’s get into it!

Are Birkenstocks Good For Hiking?

It’s not usually recommended that you wear Birkenstocks to hiking or do certain outdoor activities. They are really good to wear on cobblestone streets and uneven terrains. And it is true that they are very comfortable and allow your feet to breathe. 

However, they might not be good enough to wear while hiking. After prolonged use, Birkenstocks sandals might become uncomfortable. Additionally, you could hurt your feet if you wear Birkenstocks on very rough terrains.

If you don’t often go hiking and enjoy it once in a while for some adventure with your friends, they’d be a good idea. If you’re hiking up to a picnic spot not too far away, then it’s even better!

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There are different types and styles of Birkenstocks to choose from, but we will get into that later. Next, let’s look at some common issues with hiking in Birkenstocks.

Most Common Issues With Hiking In Birkenstocks

Sandals, in general, are not made for hiking and climbing. You will find that mountain rescue services post pictures online to warn people from wearing them.

If you’re hiking for prolonged periods, they do not offer enough insulation for your feet. They might have a great grip, but your feet won’t get to breathe enough. That causes your feet to sweat and cause slipping.

Additionally, your feet can get cold, wet or both, which can be very uncomfortable. It can cause blisters to form that will be painful days after your hike.

You will not get any ankle or toe support – you could be hiking uphill, slip and seriously hurt your feet on some rocks. You also get no arch support, and the leather can get heavy when it gets wet!

If you want to wear Birkenstocks, you should reserve them for easy hikes. They’re best for short distances and relatively smoother terrains.

If You Want To Hike In Birkenstocks, Which Style Is Best?

Luckily, if you want to wear Birkenstocks, the company makes other shoes and vegan sandals. 

Birkenstocks’ Jackson range of boots should be your first option if you want the best fit for hiking. The boots are made of oiled nubuck leather, water-resistant and a removable, anatomical cork-latex footbed. They also have anti-slip rubber soles, which offer a good grip on hiking trails, and they’re pretty comfortable too.

The company offers a few hiking alternatives because it is not good to wear sandals for hiking trips. You could hurt yourself badly, so here is what you should look for in hiking footwear.

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A Better Choice For Hiking Footwear

Your best option is to get appropriate footwear designed for hiking. Some very popular brands make excellent hiking shoes and boots. A few brands worth mentioning are Adidas, Nike, La Sportiva, Lowa, Salomon, and Lowa.

You can look at their hiking boots lines and get endless options to choose from. Their shoes and boots are well built and designed to protect your feet during difficult hikes, running, climbing etc. while offering insulation, breathability, and style.

You can also find water-resistant, vegan and recyclable options. Moreover, hiking boots and shoes are designed to cater to specific needs such as arch support or none for flat feet, ankle support, better grip, sock-like fitting, etc.

You could also find boots and shoes compatible with crampons for rougher hiking trails that require climbing during the winter months. Sandals could never give you the safety factor appropriate hiking footwear could, especially when it’s cold and wet. 


To conclude, Birkenstocks sandals are not ideal for hiking trips – unless you are going on an easy hiking trip for a little while. The leather and lack of support are not good for your feet during hikes.

As mentioned earlier, there is no ankle, arch or toe support. It lacks insulation, protection and security for rougher hikes. Your feet can get really cold and wet, resulting in painful blisters. 

If you happen to slip while hiking uphill or climbing, you can get injured badly and stranded if you are by yourself. You would have to call mountain rescue services, and they’d give you an earful about how you should never hike with sandals again – and honestly, nobody wants that.

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We strongly recommend that you get Birkenstocks hiking boots, or any good quality hiking boots and shoes for that matter. You shouldn’t compromise on your safety just because you like your sandals. 

We hope you found this article helpful!

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