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The ultimate battle

| Monday, August 29, 2016

It’s a rivalry as old as time. Superman versus Batman, The Yankees versus The Red Sox, not even your local mailman and the neighborhood dog could ever compare. No one really knows how it got started, or even why, but since the earth has been spinning around the sun, Chacos and Birkenstocks have been mortal enemies. It also seems that along with the brands, the wearers have been hashing it out whenever the topic comes up. Don’t wear either type of fashion-backward sandal home for Thanksgiving because you never know who in the family wears what. Wearers of both will say their style is superior, so we’re going to break it down and look at the facts.

The Chaco brand sells themselves as a type of footwear for the “outdoor-minded,” but let’s be honest, how many of their wearers are actually using them to hike up anything but their stairs to their room? Durable and waterproof, you can finally toss out your Crocs (which I won’t even get into for the sake of my sanity) and get that sexy z-strap tan line as you sign up for rock climbing classes or shower in the communal bathrooms on campus. With a pair averaged at a steal of $90, you can have multiple pairs of the plastic shoes with different colored straps for every outfit. For many this versatile shoe is the way to go.

In the other corner with over 200 years of history and “Jesus sandal” jokes, the Birkenstock is a preferable option for those who are looking for more of a weird uncle who probably could be deemed a hoarder vibe, or a super cool, western European professor vibe. These strappy leather shoes are the perfect pretentious version of Adidas slide ons, for those who want to pretend to be put together. Make any outfit slightly more hectic by adding old mismatched socks under your “Birks,” you’ll feel instantly cooler as you walk to class. Chaco has some serious competition with their multiple variations of strap width, color, and texture.

For those two college students in the entire world that haven’t picked a side yet, it can be a tough decision. It sets the precedent of who you want to be and how you want to live your life. It is very important to pick which aesthetic you want for the rest of your entire life. You could either be a free spirit who spends all day asking others to hammock and talking about how you’re thinking about going vegan, or you could discuss how the Brexit spiked Japanese inflation while sipping on a fair trade cup of coffee. Both are viable options but you have to remember, you can never switch sides.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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