Birkenstock vs Viking Sandals: Fashion Or Functionality, We Decide

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Last Updated on May 11, 2022

When it comes to footwear, the shoes on your feet need to support your body, keep you comfortable, and last the test of time.

Both Viking Footwear and Birkenstock are known for their impressive construction and long-lasting shoes. While Birkenstock offers more of a fashion focus, Viking Sandals tends to focus on functionality and walking shoes.

Though they both offer great active shoes, it’s important to weigh both brands up to help you make an informed purchase. Keep reading to see the key differences between the brands!

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Key Differences Between Viking Footwear and Birkenstock

Viking Footwear has focused its designs on footwear that keeps your feet warm and safe when hiking or traveling. If you want a shoe for traversing the great outdoors, this is a good option. This brand offers thermo boots, hunting boots, rubber boots, and hiking sandals.

On the other hand, Birkenstock is a German company that offers ergonomically designed sandals. These sandals are very durable and built to support your feet, however, they’re not ideal for long hikes or sports. They are ideal for fashionable shoes, so if you like style opt for these.

Major Differences:

  • Viking Footwear focuses on durable boots, whereas Birkenstock focuses on sandals.
  • You can buy heels, slippers, and other less functional shoes at Birkenstocks.
  • Viking Footwear doesn’t offer fashion/event-inspired shoes.
  • Both brands focus on durability, however, you can’t hike in Birkenstocks.
  • Birkenstocks are usually open-toed or exposed, whereas Viking Footwear are usually sturdy boots.

Check Out: 4 Brands That Give Birkenstock a Run for Their Money

How Do The Shoes Measure Up?

Brand Recognition

– Viking: This Swedish brand is gaining popularity, but they still remain largely unknown outside of the activewear industry.

– Birkenstocks: Even if you’re not a sandal-wearer, you’ll likely know and wear Birkenstocks. This brand has been featured in films, TV, and on major catwalks.

– Winner of this category: Birkenstocks

Try the Birkenstock Gizeh Sandal and read my Birkenstock Gizeh Review.

Range of Footwear

– Viking: Viking Footwear offers a range of footwear for men, women, and kids too. Their range includes boots, specialized walking shoes, trainers, and hiking sandals. However, they do lack casual footwear and fashion items.

– Birkenstocks: The Birkenstock range offers an extensive number of sandals, boots, slippers, heels, and more. This brand has even branched out into active sandals, so there are some hiking sandals available if needed.

– Winner of this category: Birkenstocks

Try the Birkenstock Arizona Sandal.


– Viking: Though Viking shoes are tailored for a functional aesthetic, their design is still sleek and attractive. They do lack trends though, so they won’t be for everyone.

– Birkenstocks: Birkenstocks offer a minimalist style. This is a well-known look and popular in its own right. You can also find different colors, materials, accessories, and silhouettes at the brand as they do focus on trends.

– Winner of this category: Birkenstocks

Try the Birkenstock Madrid.

The Fit and Comfort

– Viking: Viking Footwear is continually trying to improve its fit and feel. This brand offers technical shoes using smart materials. These offer great arch support, comfort, and protection too. When you shop with Viking you can expect high-quality materials such as GORE-TEX, EVA, and more.

– Birkenstocks: The well-known Birkenstock cork footbed is designed to fit your body, provide arch support, and comfort. While this is great for you, many of their leather shoes need to be worked in for a week or so before they’re comfortable.

– Winner of this category: Viking Footwear

Try the Viking Women’s Pavement.


– Viking: This brand makes a wide range of functional shoes, but they all have one thing in common: they’re durable. Due to the materials used and the nature of the design, Viking Footwear is one of the best at protecting your feet for years at a time.

– Birkenstock: Birkenstocks also use long-lasting materials, however, as they are fashion items they won’t last as long as engineered hiking boots. Plus, your feet are more exposed.

– Winner of this category: Viking Footwear

Try the Anaconda 4X4 MID GTX Hiking Boots from Viking Footwear.


– Viking: Viking shoes vary in price. If you’re after a hiking sandal you will be looking at approximately $65, whereas a sturdy hiking boot will cost $200 or more. Though you are paying premium prices for shoes, they will last for decades and you won’t have to buy new boots for years.

– Birkenstock: Birkenstock offers both budget and expensive shoes. Some of their models start at around $40, but some cost $130+. With this brand, the value depends on which shoe you’re buying. Regardless, all sandals should last for years.

Winner of this category: Viking Footwear

Try the Helle Metallic Sandal by Viking Footwear.

Who wins?

Both of these brands offer sophisticated shoes. But, who is the best?

This comparison ultimately comes down to what you want the shoes for. If you’re a keen hiker who wants a pair of new boots that will last years, Viking Footwear is for you. You just need to note that they specialize in form and materials, not fashion.

If you’d rather buy a long-lasting sandal or cute slip-on shoe, your best bet is Birkenstock. Their materials are premium, but their design is fit for day and night occasions. Always remember to try before buying!

What do you think about these two brands? Let us know in the comments.

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