this thing's incredible

Tokio Super Grips Are Actually the Best Birkenstock Clogs

Photo: Liza Corsillo

If you’ve been trying to get your hands on a pair of suede Birkenstock Boston clogs, you know that they’ve recently become wildly popular among Gen-Z influencers and are frequently out of stock online. Previously, the low-profile slip-ons had mostly been seen on the type of menswear enthusiasts who listen to Throwing Fits and endlessly debate the nuances of Dickies versus Stan Ray painter pants. We wrote about them in 2019, naming them the best men’s clogs with recs from GQ editor Chris Gayomali and artist Ty Williams. And at the beginning of the pandemic, Emilia Petrarca, a senior fashion writer at the Cut, wrote about her newfound devotion to the black shearling-lined Bostons that “feel like slippers but don’t look like them.” Now, according to Strategist junior writer Brenley Goertzen, the shoes have been dubbed the official cool-girl shoe of fall, both by retailers like Free People and Urban Outfitters and by self-proclaimed cool girls on TikTok — the platform is full of videos declaring as much while suede-shoed feet twist and pivot for the camera. (If you have your heart set on a pair but haven’t been able to find them, we’ve noticed that they’re most consistently available at Dillard’s, of all places.)

It’s not surprising that a pair of genuinely good shoes are so popular. They are orthopedic but stylish, easy to slip on, they look good over chunky socks or bare feet, and the nubby texture is unfussy and comforting, like a well-worn hoodie. But as far as calling them the cool-girl shoe of fall, I have to disagree. That title should belong to a different Birkenstock clog: the Tokio Super Grip. These professional-grade Birks also deserve the title of best winter clogs thanks to their extra grippy rubber outsole and adjustable ankle strap. I have long been a fan of occupational fashion like Calzuros, the Italian clogs made popular by surgeons, cheesemakers, and ceramicists, and the Park Slope Food Coop’s freezer coats from the workwear brand RefrigiWear. My newest obsession, the Tokios in black, are also worn in large part by medical professionals and food-service folks, and they are the kitchen shoe that both Carmy and Sydney wear on FX’s hit The Bear. (Sydney has them in white.)

Like the Bostons, the Tokios look good with a chunky sock and are easy to slide on and off. They are designed for people who spend hours on their feet with a cushy EVA midsole, making them even more supportive and comfortable than a regular pair of (non-professional) Birks. Plus, the smooth black leather is a far better all-weather material than the most popular taupe suede Bostons. Suede is more high-maintenance and doesn’t play nice with precipitation, but much to my delight, I’ve noticed how rain — and there’s been a lot of it recently — beads up instead of soaking into the leather of my Tokios.

Best of all, the Tokios handle puddles and wet subway platforms just as well as a pair of Blundstones, my other favorite fall and winter footwear. Traction is currently more important to me than ever before because I am six months pregnant and increasingly less sure on my feet. Granted, I am an elder millennial, so I may have different criteria than much of the TikTok crowd. But caring about practicality and comfort does not mean I have given up on style. Whether you get them in black or white, Birkenstock’s Tokio Super Grips are a sleeker, less expected shoe and therefore a less basic, more statusy choice. Not to mention they’re widely available online in multiple sizes.

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These Are Actually the Best Birkenstock Clogs