When Rothy’s recently re-released their loafer style, I immediately purchased a pair to try them out. I wanted to compare them to another popular brand – the Birdies slipper, most famously worn by (soon to be princess) Meghan Markle.
Overall, both pairs have the classic loafer silhouette with no frills – though Birdies does offer a cute tassled version. They’re comfortable in very different ways, which I’ll go through in the rest of the post.
Birdies are marketed as “a slipper stylish enough to wear outside.” Personally, I would never wear shoes into the house, so I reviewed these as an outdoor shoe only. San Francisco streets are pretty dirty (we’re talking urine and feces dirty), so I would never want to track that into my apartment!
2020 Update Note: These are the original Blackbird style, which was discontinued for a bit and more recently revived with their updated quilted insole.
The most notable difference between Birdies and Rothys loafers are the insoles. Birdies come with a faux shearling or quilted cushioned insole. This is the most “slippers”-y part of the shoe, and makes them very comfortable to wear all day. Unlike Rothy’s, Birdies’ insoles are not removable or washable.
The Rothy’s loafers come with the same thin insole as their flats – not necessarily a bad thing, as the shoe moves better with your feet. I purchased these Pedag cotton insoles for my Rothy’s point flats, and they fit perfectly in my loafers as well (and help reduce any smells).
The outer material of Birdies slippers are much stiffer with more structure than Rothys. They are still comfortable, but definitely run on the wider side since they can’t stretch to accommodate different feet widths.
Rothys loafers almost feel like socks – the material is form hugging yet stretchy. In the photo below, you can see the bumps of my toes outlined in the Rothys silhouette, since the material is quite thin. This doesn’t bother me at all, but I know it can be an issue for some.
Again – both are very similar from the top view down. The biggest difference is in how the sole is structured. Birdies have a rubber sole like Rothy’s, but it’s much thinner. In the photo below, you can see the height difference between the two. I think the Rothy’s will last longer in terms of wear & tear – I can see the Birdies getting pretty scuffed up after a short period of time.
Overall, both are an excellent choice for work & play-friendly loafers. I decided to keep the Birdies over the Rothys simply because of the pattern, and will update this post with a wear and tear report after a few months!
Update – New Soles (May 2019)
After over a year my Rothy’s loafers are still going strong; however, I sadly had to retire my Birdies leopard loafers when the back heel was looking a bit too raggedy.
Since then, Birdies has updated their line to have more substantial soles, which is fantastic. I now have the Phoebe Slides in Jacquard Floral and am excited for them to last longer than their predecessors! You can see them styled in this post with a glimpse of the new and improved heel/sole.
Update – Leather! (October 2019)
I was excited for the latest addition to the Birdies line-up and swung by their San Francisco store immediately. These feel so luxurious, and have the same comfortable quilted insole which is also made of leather. I daresay they’re even more pillowy and comfortable than their fabric counterparts.
I teeter between 7 and 7.5 in Birdies, and was advised by the sales associate to size up as these stretch less than their suede counterparts. In person, they look and feel like a premium shoe – more than pictures can convey. If you’re looking for a neutral fall staple, I highly recommend checking out their latest leather flats!
Update – Still Going Strong (December 2020)
Honestly, I don’t have too much to update here, as both my Rothy’s loafers and my Birdies are still going strong.
I haven’t had any *ahem* smell issues with my first pair of Birdies leather flats, which was my biggest initial concern. I’ve since added one more pair of from the limited edition VOTE collection, which was a great collaboration.
If you’re interested in trying out a pair yourself (they just came out with some very cute slides), you can get $20 off your first pair of Birdies with this link: http://fbuy.me/iDwO7
Interested in Rothy’s? Head on over to this post to grab a discount for both new and existing buyers alike and for links to all of my Rothy’s style reviews.
Partnership Disclosure: This blog post was not sponsored by any of the brands listed above. As always, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, in which I earn a commission on purchases.