birkenstock-united-arrows-arizona-big-buckle-collab (4)

Footwear collaborations are so often the stuff of "stale" simplicity, emphasizing simple colorways over actual design innovation. But, sometimes, that's actually a good thing, like when Birkenstock does literally anything.

I'm such a big fan of Birkenstock that I can't really see the brand doing any wrong, whether it's by staying the course or occasionally flipping the script, as it does through its 1774 collection and high-brow collabs like Manolo Blahnik's Birkenstocks.

There's no reason to mess with success when the base product is just so darn strong.

Look at the lovely BEAMS collabs of past years or even the recent Horween sandals that Birkenstock cooked up — they're the same shoes we all know, just done a tiny bit differently. Even Birkenstock's new Outdoor lineup zhooshes up classic silhouettes.

So, when I see that UNITED ARROWS has collaborated with Birkenstock on a fairly safe sandal style, I have no complaints.

The venerable Japanese retailer opted to issue a pretty stock set of Arizona Big Buckle shoes, executing the sandals in black-on-black shades, topped off with shiny silver buckles, and launching in mid-May via UNITED ARROWS' website and stores.

Technically, you can't get this exact make-up from Birkenstock as-is. The normal Arizona Big Buckle makeups sport the usual brownish cork footbed, dark grey sole unit, and gold buckles, though some variants switch things up.

But therein lies the beauty of the Birk. By applying only some small changes, you've got a totally different look that's just as versatile as anything else bearing the moniker.

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