Birkenstock vs Papillio: Differences, Comparison

Papillio vs Birkenstock

Birkenstock is a shoe brand that came from a long line of family history, 1774 to be precise, in Langen-Bergheim, Germany. It was founded by Johann Adam Birkenstock, who worked as a shoemaker.

His great-great-grandson, Konrad Birkenstock, took the legacy to another level and manufactured a flexible insole he named footbed.

With the footbed, he introduced the first contoured arch support that was highly recommended by the health professionals.

The Birkenstock shoe brand continued to grow, and they had produced different styles of footwear and collections. One of their collections is Papillio.

Birkenstock and Papillio are both in the same family. It is common for people to mistake one for the other because they have almost the same form of construction.

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Nevertheless, they are just as different as chalk and cheese, especially in their design and materials used.

We will compare in this article, the two footwear styles, and portray their differences to help you know which to buy at any point in time.

Papillio vs Birkenstock

Birkenstock sandals

Design: The design of Birkenstock is what some fashion elites may call ugly, but it is creative and health-wise. The footbed is designed to anatomically shape the foot in an exact form to ensure stability and comfort.

This footbed is made of cork and latex. It is structured as a deep concave heel cup to maintain cushioning at the heel bones.

The top of the footbed features layers of woven jute and cotton, lined with suede to absorb moisture and give you a soft feeling on your feet.

The arch support helps to align your feet and ensure stability. Right at the toe bars, it was raised to give your foot more traction. And the wide toe box for comfort.

Birkenstock’s upper is made of either natural leather, oiled leather, synthetic fabrics such as the birko-flor straps, or textile materials. The buckles can either be gotten from copper or brass.

Styles: Birkenstock has different styles you can choose from. These styles of footwear are made of different materials, different footbeds, and different colors. They are; Amsterdam, Arizona, Boston, Gizeh, London, Mayari, Profi Birki, Super Birki, Yara, Zermatt, etc.

Versatility: Birkenstock sandals can be rocked with any form of wear, from denim to chinos. It is also comfortable for both genders, although it is more on the men than the women since it doesn’t have much design.


Papillio is a collection from the Birkenstock family. As the name implies, it is the butterfly of the Birkenstock family.

Birkenstock vs Papillio

Papillio and Birkenstock are not all that different. Both of them have the same footbed and construction. Papillio also carries the quality of Birkenstock. But the upper design is very different from Birkenstocks.

Design: The upper is designed with bright colors and patterns. It is made more feminine than Birkenstock. The upper includes different fabrics and textures that have elements of shimmer and shine.

The Papillio creative team chose the latest catwalk trend for flashy women to provide different stylish sandals for any occasion. However, it shares the same components of standard Birkenstock design.

The heel height, fabrics, textures, are all from Birkenstock. But the Papillio relies on trendy styles, metallics, prints, etc.

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Styles: Papillio has over 40 different imaginative and creative styles that are eye-catching. They are;

  • Papillio women’s casual leather flip flop
  • Papillio Cleo women’s gladiator style
  • Papillio Women’s Florida birko-flor floral footbed, etc.

Versatility: With shimmer and shiny elements added to this collection, it makes the footwear more feminine. The new colors, prints, patterns, and latest trends made it versatile for every occasion.

Difference between Birkenstock and Papillio

Although they are from the same family, Birkenstock and Papillio are different. While Birkenstock has a simple and classy design, Papillio is designed with more colors, prints, and styles.

  • Birkenstock could be worn by both men, women, and children. Papillio, on the other hand is only designed for female folks.
  • While Papillio is based on trendy and stylish looks, Birkenstock is only classy and simple.
  • The upper of Papillio features either suede or leather and other embroideries with a buckle, while Birkenstock is only leather with buckles.

Similarities between Birkenstock and Papillio

While they have their differences, they also have something in common, the footbed. Just as it is in Birkenstock, so it is in Papillio. They have similar heights and are shaped in the same cone.

  • They are both used in orthopedics. They help in the longitudinal and transverse arch support. They are versatile and can be rocked to any occasion in any attire.
  • They always have buckles at the top. It is like a signature for them.

Birkenstock Vs Papillio – Which One is Better?

Putting a footwear superior over the other, in this case, to be precise, is not a walk in the park. The both of them serve their purpose in their way.

So, while Birkenstock could be worn by anyone with its classy look, Papillio is worn by women because of its shiny look.

Both of them have the same footbed and so give the same amount of comfort. Therefore, it is best to say that none is better than the other.

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Although some people, especially women might say that Papillio looks fancier than Birkenstock, it can only be worn by women.

While Birkenstock is just classy and has no design, it can be worn by anyone.


Birkenstock and Papillio are footwear from the same family built with the same footbed. Their difference is only based on the design of the upper and their versatility. These two sandals are recommended by health professionals due to their sturdy contoured cork footbed.

It is left for you to decide which one you want to have in your closet especially if you are a woman who has the choice to make.

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