This Zappos Product Has Nearly 4,000 Five-Star Ratings

Find out all the reasons why the Birkenstock Mayari is a top-rated seller on Zappos—and why you need to snag a pair for yourself.

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At first glance, these Birkenstock Mayari sandals may look similar to other stylish summer footwear, but the second you slide them on your feet, you’ll instantly feel the difference. In fact, one of the nearly 4,000 happy Zappos reviewers wrote, “These are the best sandals made….I’ve worn this style in August in Disney World, St. Augustine, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Las Vegas, and I can walk forever.” Read on to find out what makes these sandals so darn comfy.

It starts with the footbed

The history of Birkenstock dates all the way back to 1774 when the Birkenstock family were shoemakers in Germany. In 1896, the founder’s great-great-grandson, Konrad Birkenstock, had the idea for creating a flexible footbed, reports the Birkenstock website. “The footbed is based on the cast of a healthy foot in the sand,” and that same soft, comforting support is what makes Birkenstocks so totally wearable, even for hours—or miles—on end. Check out these genius tricks to make your shoes last longer.

The secret of the sole

Alsa Gmbh - Birkenstock Productionspicture alliance/Getty Images

It’s not just the shape of the footbed that makes Birks (as they’re nicknamed) iconic—it’s also what that sole is made of. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Carl Birkenstock, experimenting in his own kitchen, created the first sandal prototype out of latex milk and cork (yep, the same material that’s used as a stopper in wine). Cork is lightweight, offers a soft cushion, breathes, and, importantly, is a natural and sustainable material.

Birkenstock gets its cork from Portugal, where most of the world’s supply is grown and harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. The shoes are made from the remnants of the bark that wasn’t used for wine stoppers and might have otherwise been thrown away.

The features of the footbed

The contoured footbed of the Mayari and other Birkenstock sandals follows the shape of the foot. Its specific benefits include:

  • Plenty of room for your toes. This allows for a correct foot alignment and is better for balance.
  • A raised toe bar that promotes the natural gripping motion of your feet. This stimulates circulation and helps your feet and legs feel more comfortable.
  • Longitudinal arch support that runs along the sides of the footbed. This helps increase your stability as you walk.
  • Deep heel cups that snuggle your foot to keep your natural cushioning right under the heel bone. Find out what really causes cracked heels—and how to get rid of them.

The style of the shoe

ELLE and Birkenstock Launch Exclusive Pop-Up Shop at Nordstrom San Francisco CentreKimberly White/Getty Images

It’s not just fit and comfort that makes Birkenstocks so iconic—after all, the brand has partnered with Proenza Schouler, Rick Owens, and other notable names in fashion, been lauded in the pages of Vogue, and been seen on many an A-listers’ feet. With its slender toe straps, the Mayaris are often considered one of the more feminine Birkenstock styles. On Zappos, it’s available in 17 different leathers, including metallics, jewel tones, and classic oiled hues. Keep your feet looking pretty, too, by learning how to do your own pedicure in 6 easy steps.

BUY NOW: Birkenstock Mayari

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Anne Fritz
Anne L. Fritz is senior digital editor at Reader's Digest where she writes and edits mainly travel and pet content, along with shopping guides. She has worked at Woman's Day, Life & Style, Seventeen, EverydayHealth.com, WhattoExpect.com and more. She earned a BA in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University.