I Love Birkenstocks so much that I started this webpage dedicated to all things Birkenstock. So, what I am about to say may shock some of you. It may even anger others, if you disagree with me. Or perhaps, you agree with me. In which case, you might be thrilled that someone finally has the courage to let Birkenstock know what the majority of their loyal customers really think about their white sole sandals.
Before I get all riled up and tell you how I feel about white sole Birkenstocks, I think I need to take a step back. I want all my readers to know that I realize that fashion is very subjective. I am by no means a fashionista. However, when it comes to fashionable Birkenstocks, I know a thing or two about style. After all, I have amassed quite a collection of stylish Birkenstocks over the years.
If you have ever taken a close look at my collection via my Instagram or Facebook accounts, the one thing that you will see very few of in my personal collection, are white sole Birkenstocks. Why? Because I hate white sole Birkenstocks!
Ok….let me back peddle again….that might be a little harsh and shocking….allow me to rephrase. I think that white sole Birkenstocks only look good with white uppers and should never be used on any other Birkenstocks with color — EVER.
There are several reasons that I do not like white sole Birkenstocks. First, white soles can quickly take the “chicness” out of any Birkenstock. Even a beautiful, exquisite, luxurious, limited edition Birkenstock. Second, white sole Birkenstocks can only be worn during Spring and Summer. Third, white soles might look crisp and clean right out of the box, but by golly, they are hard to keep clean as time goes by.
In my opinion, if white soles are placed on Birkenstocks with uppers on any other color besides white, it immediately makes the Birkenstock look less chic. White soles look rubbery and are reminiscent of Crocs. Go ahead and put white soles on Birkenstock EVAs, but, PLEASE keep them off Birkenstocks with cork footbeds! Birkenstocks are high quality shoes and deserve good looking soles. Not white rubbery soles that look like run of the mill flip flops.
In addition to appearing less elegant, white sole Birkenstocks are seasonal. In my opinion, white sole Birks can and should only be worn during spring and summer. Otherwise, it would be like wearing white after Labor Day, pattern mixing anything, or, GOD FORBID….wearing socks with Birkenstocks!! All total FAUX PAS!!
Ok, Ok, I know, I know… it is currently acceptable to wear white after Labor Day (I would not), some people can get by pattern mixing (I cannot), and socks with ‘stocks is now “a thing” (not my thing).
I understand that some people might find white sole Birkenstocks acceptable to wear anytime of year, just as some people enjoy wearing socks with Birkenstocks. I like to remain non-judgmental and neutral when it comes to other peoples’ fashion choices. People should wear Birkenstocks however they feel most comfortable. I, personally, do not feel comfortable wearing white sole Birkenstocks outside of the Spring and Summer seasons.
Let me provide you an example of white soles being seasonal. I purchased the Red Tango Arizonas in the Spring of 2017. Birkenstock only made a limited number of patent Red Tango Arizonas for Spring/Summer 2017. If I passed them up, Birkenstock might never make Arizonas in that perfect red color ever again. I rolled the diced and purchased them, knowing that I could always have them resoled. I happily wore them through the Spring and Summer of 2017, with the white soles.
Once fall arrived, I felt awkward wearing white sole Birkenstocks. To me, Fall screams earth tones, not bright white. During the Christmas Holidays, I thought about wearing my Red Tango Arizonas because they were the perfect red to celebrate the season. However, I opted for a different pair of Birkenstocks with dark soles because the white soles were totally “out of season” for December. It looked as if I was wearing candy canes on my feet.
In my Birkenstock collection, I have four pairs of Birkenstocks with white soles. Most of my white sole Birkenstocks I sold long ago on Poshmark or eBay. I simply could not tolerate the white soles enough to wear them in public. I sold them to purchase a different pair that better suited my style. These days, when I see new releases with white soles, I usually just scroll past the images unless there is an upper that I cannot live without (like the Red Tango Arizonas). Then I have to decide if it is worth the cost of resoling. More on resoling later.
Two pairs of my Birkenstocks with white soles, have white uppers. I have no issues when the uppers and soles match this way. The problem that I have with the white soles is upkeep. They get dingy and dirty very quickly. They have to be cleaned regularly or they look filthy.
I like my Birkenstocks to look pristine. Appearance is everything. You only get to make a first impression once. However, with two kids, I do not always have time to clean my white soles. So, if they look dirty, I don’t wear them until I find time to make them sparkle. And who knows when that will happen with little ones to manage? I wrote a blog about how to clean white soles a few years ago. Here is the link.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate various color Birkenstock soles. ANYTHING, but white. I even like off white. My Bellary Birkenstocks have off white soles and just that little hint of color makes all the difference in the world.
I think that if they had white soles, I would have sold them years ago or they would have sat in my closet unworn. My new favorite soles are the silver ones on the magic snake Mayaris that I found at Sandy's Birkenstock Boutique. These are just stunners and nowhere to be found in regular width in the US. See, Birkenstock, a little color goes a long ways.
The other two pairs in my collection with white soles are my beloved Tango Red Patent Arizonas and Graceful Sea Arizonas. Both of these I found in regular width and reluctantly purchased them with the white soles. These were two color uppers that I simply could not live without. Who knew if Birkenstock would ever make these color uppers again in the Arizona model? I had to add them to my collection.
I turned a blind eye to the white soles for the entire Spring of 2017. I told myself I would “try again” with the white soles. Unfortunately, in my opinion, dark uppers just do not pair well with a pure white sole. They make a nice Birkenstock look like it has a Croc sole. And that is not what Gina Mama wants. Gina Mama wants her Birkenstocks to look stylish and chic, not rubbery and childish. Hence, it was time to resole.
Fortunately, swapping out white soles is an easy and relatively inexpensive fix. Tango Red and Graceful Sea Arizonas are just too beautiful a Birkenstock not to be resoled and worn year round.
I sent these Arizonas to Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks to have them resoled. He recrafted Birkenstocks for me in the past and I trusted him with this request. He resoled both pairs of Arizonas, just as I requested, and had them back to me in a jiffy. A huge thank you to Michelangelo for his attention to detail and his high quality craftsmanship!
The moment I opened the box from Michelangelo, I put the Red Tango Arizonas on my feet and I was dancing with joy. The black soles made all the difference in the world. It was like the red uppers had found their rightful home on a proper color sole. The red and black color combination was perfection.
The Graceful Sea Arizonas also looked amazing with their black soles. After the resoling, both of these Arizonas, not only looked elegant, but they also got an extended shelf life and could be worn throughout all four seasons.
The thing with white sole Birkenstocks is that people think they are fashionable or trendy... momentarily. The problem is that the white soles will eventually get dirty and the trend will fade. Before you know it, white sole Birks will look dated. Dark soles hide the dirt well and never go out of style. After all, dark sole Birkenstocks have been in style since 1774, proving elegance is timeless.