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Sandals for summer isn’t groundbreaking, but as the summer of quarantine rolls on, many of us might be sliding on our sandals more and turning less to the other shoes in the back of our closet.
The comfortable build of footbed-style sandals means they can be worn every day, whether you’re taking conference calls in the kitchen, wearing them to the grocery store, or going for a quick walk down the street.
For many of us searching for optimal comfort, we look no further than Birkenstocks, the O.G. of footbed sandals since 1774. Their sandals have a comfortable cork bottom that molds to your foot the more you wear them, and the shoes are renewable and sustainable.
But are they the only waterproof footbed sandals that are worth it?
Our shopping editors recently discovered Freedom Moses — a Tel Aviv-based sandal company —while researching alternatives to Birks, and found them to be a comparable and more colorful alternative to Birkenstocks Arizona slides.
They retail for about $40, but are available in an overwhelming selection of colors and even more prints and patterns (including glitter, rainbow tie-dye, leopard print and snakeskin) — something you won’t find in the Arizona slides.
But, are Freedom Moses sandals actually worth it? Two of our shopping editors recently tried out these Birkenstock lookalikes for themselves to see how they look and feel IRL.
“I wear them to work from home a few times a week because they’re super comfortable and support my feet, even during the long commute from my bedroom to the kitchen,” Gonzalez said. “They’re the only sandal I wear to the pool now because the citrus color pairs perfectly with my swimsuits and the rubbery material makes them splash-friendly and easy to wipe down.”
“They’re super comfortable and support my feet, even during the long commute from my bedroom to the kitchen.”
One notable difference between Birkenstocks and Freedom Moses? The footbeds themselves. “The Freedom Moses sandals have a textured footbed for extra grip, unlike Arizona Birkenstocks, which are smooth. The textured footbed is great if you plan on wearing them as pool slides,” Gonzalez said.
“I own a pair of the Birkenstocks Arizona slides, but they were looking a little worse for wear after a few years, and I wanted to see what else was out there that was similar. There are tons of affordable Birkenstocks dupes, but the thing that put me over the edge was the sheer variety of colors and patterns from Freedom Moses,” Nims said.
“I even bought my open-toed-shoe-averse boyfriend a pair, and they’re now his most-worn shoe this summer.””
“I’m not the kind of person who likes to be barefoot like, ever, but especially not while working. I bought these to wear almost like house shoes during my 9-to-5. I even bought my open-toed-shoe-averse boyfriend a pair, and they’re now his most-worn shoe this summer.”
Nims does caution that Freedom Moses sandals might not be a good option for those with wider feet or who prefer width-adjustment buckles. Unlike Birkenstocks, Freedom Moses sandals do not have an adjustable buckle — it’s decorative.