Tread Labs salinas leather next to Birkenstock Arizona leather

Tread Labs Salinas Leather vs. Birkenstock Arizona Leather

by Mark Paigen 6 minute read

Finding the perfect supportive sandals that blend style and comfort can be a tough task. In this blog, we'll compare two exceptional options for women's leather sandals: Tread Labs' Salinas Leather sandals and the renowned Birkenstock Arizona Leather sandals. Both pairs come from respected brands known for their quality and support. Let's get started on this comprehensive comparison.

The Basics --- TL;DR ---

  • Versatility. Tread Labs' Salinas Leather offers a blend of casual style and adventure readiness, while Birkenstock's Arizona is more suited for relaxed, everyday wear.
  • Fit and Support. Salinas provides immediate comfort with pronounced arch support and no break-in time, contrasting with Arizona's initial stiffness and molding period.
  • Durability. Salinas Leather's polyurethane midsole and rubber outsole provide enhanced durability compared to Arizona's cork midsole and EVA outsole.
  • Maintenance. Salinas requires less upkeep due to its waterproof nubuck leather and antimicrobial footbed, whereas Arizona needs more care, especially for its cork midsole.
  • Value and Style. While both sandals offer unique style elements, Salinas Leather's long-lasting materials and free shipping present a better value proposition over time.


Need To Know ---

Tread Labs' Salinas Leather and Birkenstock's Arizona Leather each offer a distinctive design. Salinas sandals excel in versatility, comfort, and durability. Arizona sandals are better suited for relaxed, casual use. Birkenstocks require a break-in period but mold to the feet for a personalized fit.

Salinas sandals require less maintenance, and are comfortable from day one. The Arizona's classic design appeals to those prioritizing traditional style, while the Salinas Leather combines modern style with athletic function. Ultimately, the choice depends on individual needs and preferences in balancing style, comfort, and durability. 

Shop Women's Salinas Leather

Table of Contents ---

  1. Key Differences
  2. Should I Buy Tread Labs Salinas Leather or Birkenstock Arizona Leather?
    1. Versatility
    2. Fit
    3. Durability
    4. Maintenance
    5. Value
    6. Style
  3. The Bottom Line


What are the differences between Tread Labs Salinas Leather and Birkenstock Arizona Leather?

Tread Labs salinas leather sandals in brown next to birkenstock arizona leather in new beige


This chart shows Tread Labs' Salinas Leather (left) head-to-head with Birkenstock's Arizona Leather (right). It’s based on information taken from each company’s website and our own direct observation.

Tread Labs Salinas
Birkenstock Arizona
Company History

Mark Paigen, founder of Chaco, established Tread Labs in 2015. He applied the same biomechanical principles that made Chaco successful. Initially, Tread Labs focused on two-part insoles. By 2022, they expanded to include supportive sandals, continuing their innovative approach to footwear.

Birkenstock, founded in 1774, initially specialized in arch support insoles. This German brand has expanded its offerings to include sandals and shoes alongside insoles. Birkenstock's distinctive feature is its contoured cork footbeds, crafted from layers of jute, cork, latex, and a leather top layer.

Product Description (from website)

"Turn heads, not your ankles.

While everyone else is slipping and sliding in the mud at the festival, you’re sitting pretty in sandals that support your feet as you walk and dance the day (and night) away. Bold yet versatile, pair the premium waterproof nubuck leather with shorts, skirts, and dresses to mix and match your summer looks."

"An icon of timeless design and legendary comfort, the Arizona sandal has been defining style since 1973. Nubuck leather elevates the classic, two-strap look with a soft yet durable feel. The style is grounded in our original contoured footbed, designed to shape to you for the ultimate in custom support."

Best Use Everyday Wear Casual Wear
Style/Adjustment Dual strap design with 2 adjustable aluminum buckles and a heel strap. Dual strap design with 2 adjustable metal pin buckles and no heel strap.

Arch Support

1 = Flat

5 = High Arch Support


Anatomically precise arch support with a moderate heel cup.


Designed with a deep heel cup, toe bar, and supportive arch contour.

Footbed Surface

Microfiber suede

Suede leather


Ultra-lightweight Polyurethane



Durable rubber, 13% recycled. Rubber generally outlasts EVA. All Tread Labs sandals are resoleable.

EVA. Prioritizes cushion over durability. All Birkenstock sandals are resoleable.


Waterproof nubuck leather

Nubuck leather


Two Aluminum Buckles

Two Metal Pin Buckles



Polyurethane and rubber are durable and long lasting materials.


Cork and EVA are lightweight and less robust.


15.4 oz/pair

14 oz/pair

Break-in Time

Nearly none

2-3 Weeks


Waterproof nubuck leather suitable for light moisture but not prolonged water submersion.

Not designed for water; prolonged exposure may damage the cork footbed and affect the sandal's longevity.


Women's Whole Sizes:


Women's Whole Sizes:


Fit Guarantee

Sandals can be returned for free within 30 days in new condition. Tread Labs pays return shipping.

Items may be returned in original purchase condition and packaging within 30 days of delivery. Shipping charges are not refunded.





USPS First Class Shipping (2-3 days) = Free $5.95 for UPS Ground (5-7 days) or free with email/SMS signup.


Tread Labs Salinas Leather

Birkenstock Arizona Leather


Tread Labs salinas leather next to Birkenstock Arizona leather

Should I buy Tread Labs Salinas Leather or Birkenstock Arizona Leather?

Both Tread Labs and Birkenstock sandals have contoured footbeds for arch support, but they differ in material choices and aesthetic design. Your specific activity needs and sense of style will likely direct your decision. Let's dive deeper.


The Arizona Leather is a good choice for relaxed, casual wear. While these sandals are popular around town, they are not designed for longer adventures. The sandal's EVA outsoles offer cushioning, but do not provide the traction and slip resistance necessary for more demanding outdoor activities.

The Salinas Leather sandals combine casual comfort with the capability for longer adventures, featuring a running shoe-inspired midsole for a comfortable, contoured fit. Their waterproof leather straps and robust rubber outsoles offer versatility and traction, making them perfect for travel and everyday wear.


The Salinas Leather and Arizona Leather sandals have notable differences in their fit and arch support. The footbeds on the Arizona sandals feel stiff at first and will require a break-in period. Over time the cork footbeds will mold to the shape of your foot, creating a more personalized fit. The arch support on the Arizona is not as high as the arch support on the Salinas and it starts further forward.  The Arizona footbeds also have toes bars which may not suit everyone, depending on toe length.

The Salinas Leather sandals from Tread Labs boast a pronounced arch support, designed after their innovative insoles. The Salinas Leather also feature pronounced toe and heel spring similar to that found in running shoes. This design promotes a fluid walking motion, facilitating a smooth transition from heel to toe with each step. The ultra-light polyurethane footbeds offer immediate comfort and require no break-in period.


Analyzing the durability of Birkenstock Arizona Leather and Tread Labs Salinas Leather sandals reveals key differences in materials and construction:

Birkenstock Arizona Leather

  • Cork midsole is lightweight but may need maintenance to prevent drying.
  • EVA outsole offers cushioning but is prone to quicker wear.
  • Nubuck straps are durable but may need additional treatment after water exposure.
  • Suede footbed is robust and long-lasting but has a rough texture.

Tread Labs Salinas Leather

  • Polyurethane midsole combines EVA's comfort with enhanced durability.
  • Rubber outsole is slip-resistant and
  • Waterproof nubuck leather straps are oiled for durability and comfort.
  • Microsuede footbed is smooth, antimicrobial, and maintains freshness.

In conclusion, while both sandals offer quality features, Tread Labs Salinas Leather sandals emerge as the more durable choice due to their polyurethane midsoles and robust rubber outsoles.


For Birkenstock Arizona Leather sandals, regular cork sealant application can help prevent drying and cracking. The nubuck straps and suede footbeds should be brushed clean with a soft brush and wiped with a damp cloth when necessary.  Avoid excess water use.  Regularly checking the outsoles is advised, as EVA tends to wear out with prolonged use.

Tread Labs Salinas Leather sandals offer simpler maintenance, with their polyurethane midsoles and rubber outsoles providing long-lasting durability. Waterproof nubuck leather straps can be easily wiped clean, and the antimicrobial treatment on the microsuede footbeds helps keep the sandals fresh with minimal care.


These two sandal models only differ in price by $10, but when considering the value of Tread Labs' Salinas Leather sandals compared to Birkenstock's Arizona Leather sandals, it's essential to look beyond the initial price point. The Salinas Leather's durable polyurethane midsole and robust rubber outsole offer long-term durability, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Although the Arizona's cork midsole provides a unique comfort, it requires more maintenance and is less durable over time. Considering these aspects, the Salinas Leather sandals present a better value proposition, particularly for those seeking a long-lasting, supportive, and versatile footwear option.  Tread Labs also offers free shipping which offsets some of the $10 price difference.



The Birkenstock Arizona features a classic design that fits a range of settings. Its two-strap style has a timeless appeal. Tread Labs' Salinas Leather sandals offer a more modern, athletic look with a contoured midsole and functional waterproof nubuck leather straps. These sandals are versatile, suitable for outdoor activities and urban wear. Ultimately, choosing between these two models comes down to personal preference, as both offer distinct aesthetic qualities that cater to different tastes.

The Bottom Line

Birkenstock Arizona Leather sandals and Tread Labs' Salinas Leather are two of the highest quality leather sandals for women. The choice between them depends on individual preferences for style, durability, and maintenance. Birkenstock offers classic comfort with a traditional design, while Tread Labs brings a modern twist with enhanced durability and support. Each has its unique features. For those prioritizing long-term durability and versatile style, Tread Labs' Salinas Leather may have the edge. Ultimately, the best sandal is one that meets your specific needs and complements your lifestyle.



Shop Women's Salinas Leather

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