Test Page

Footbeds & Features  ||  Sizing & Fit  || Upper Materials || Birkenstock History

 

What makes a Birkenstock a Birkenstock?


Outstanding Design - Comfort - Variety - Value

Lots of features set Birkenstocks apart from other shoes. But it really comes down to one simple fact: Birkenstocks were designed specifically to accommodate the human foot. In fact, a Birkenstock is shaped like a healthy footprint. A foot in a Birkenstock is free to function the way a foot was meant to function. That's the key to keeping feet healthy and comfortable. The famous contoured footbed was designed to recreate the experience of walking barefoot on a gently yielding surface. It's no wonder feet are happier in Birkenstocks.

 

Classic Footbed Construction:

EVA - flexible, durable, lightweight and shock-absorbing.

The footbed is shaped like a healthy footprint to guide your foot into its most natural walking position.

The cork footbed is encased in jute. The bottom layer adds strength and makes the shoe easy to resole. The top layer wicks moisture away from your feet.

Raised toe bar encourages the natural gripping motion of your feet, exercising your legs and improving circulation.

When it comes to comfort, feet don't need cushioning, they need support -- backs are the same way. That's why doctors recommend a firm mattress. Our footbed's firm, resilient cork/latex surface gives your feet the support they need to walk farther without fatigue.

Soft, supple suede lines the footbed to keep your feet comfortable and dry.

Deep heel cup cradles and stabilizes your heel and keeps the heel's natural padding directly under the heel bone so it can absorb shock, as nature intended.

The footbed's curves mirror the arch structure of your feet, ensuring proper support and even weight distribution.

Birkenstock offers a variety of footbeds. We group them into what we call "levels" to better describe and compare the differences in arch support.

Classic Soft Footbed
Level 2 support - moderate
Classic Footbed
Level 3 support - pronounced
High Arch Footbed
Level 4 support - very pronounced
Though the regular classic footbed works well for most, some people prefer to have a little softer footbed whether by a medical condition like being diabetic or personal preference. To accommodate that need Birkenstock has a produced an alternate version of the classic footbed which has a layer of foam between the cork and the suede liner. As you can see from the footbed cutaway, the base is a coarse layer of jute for strength and durability. A finer layer of jute is on top. Sandwiched between the layers of jute is a mixture of granulated cork andlatex, atop the finer layer of jute is a suede liner for a comfortable feel. The footbed is molded in to the shape of an ideal healthy footprint. The classic high arch footbed has the most pronounced support. For some it is painfully excessive, for others it is a godsend. It alldepends on the particular characteristics of your foot. It tends to work well for people who have flexible feet, high insteps, and/or have problems with plantar fasciitis. With 20% more cork, it is a beefier footbed and controls your foot more.

Birkenstock Materials:

Birkenstock footwear is assembled from the finest materials available. This means that each pair will provide maximum wear and comfort for years to come.

Cork
Only the lightest, premium-quality cork is used to craft Birkenstock footbeds. Cork is used because it's lightweight, resilient, and shock absorbent. It's also a renewable resource. It comes from the bark of cork oak trees which grow in Spain and Portugal. The bark is peeled by hand. This, by the way, doesn't harm the tree. It simply grows more cork bark, which can be reharvested every 7 years. Most of the harvested bark is cut into corks, bottle stoppers, or ground up and made into Birkenstock contoured footbeds.

Upper Materials
Birkenstock uses the highest quality leather available. They start with 3mm-thick hides, the thickest in the shoe industry, and dye them all the way through for color that lasts.


Birko-Flor™ is Birkenstock's alternative to leather. Soft, flexible and breathable, it requires no break-in time. It's also easier to care for and less expensive than leather.

Smooth


All shoes denoted simply as "leather" have this classic smooth finish.
Waxy, Oiled


A waxy or oiled finish applied to buffed leather results in a fashionably distressed look. 
Suede


This soft, thick, napped leather from select hides is exceptionally comfortable.
Nubuck


Leather is buffed until it's soft and velvety.
Smooth Birko-Flor


Wipes clean with a damp cloth. Notable for the way it takes to intricate textures and patterns.
Birkibuc


A synthetic version of nubuck. Made from soft felt fibers, it has a very convincing texture.

 

 



We want you to be happy with your purchase and enjoy years of wear and comfort with every pair. Here are some tips for determining your Birkenstock size:

If you own a pair, its size and width are stamped on the footbed. The width is indicated by the footprint next to the EU size. An outlined footprint indicates a regular width and a solid footprint indicates a narrow width.

 


39
Regular Width
(outlined footprint)
39
Narrow Width
(solid footprint)

 

The difference between regular and narrow is primarily through the toe area of the footbed. When a regular width footbed is held back to back with a narrow width footbed, the loss of width is most obvious at the little toe. The narrow width footbed is also about 1/8" shorter than the regular width footbed of the same EU size, which is why we sometimes recommend sizing up in the narrow width footbed (see sizing chart below).

If you've ever purchased from us, we may have your size in our records. To inquire about your order history, please call us at (800) 488-8316.

• Please consult the following size charts for comparable U.S. sizes. These sizing charts are only a general guide.

 

 

Birkenstock Regular Width Sizing
Men's U.S.
8
8.5
9
10
11
12
12.5
13
14
Women's U.S.
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Birkenstock
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48

Birkenstock Narrow Width Sizing
Men's U.S.
8
8.5
9
10
11
12
12.5
13
14
Women's U.S.
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Birkenstock
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48

Birkenstock Kids' Sizing (one width)
Kids' U.S.
8.5
9
10
11
12
13
1
2
3
4
Birkenstock
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35

When trying on a pair of Birkenstocks for the first time, unbuckle all straps and place the sandal on the floor. Position your heel comfortably in the heel cup, then buckle the straps, working from toes to ankle. Generally, the strap near the toes will be tightest and the straps higher on the instep will be a bit looser. If your style has a back strap, buckle it with enough room to slide a finger or two between your heel and the strap. The primary function of the heel strap is to prevent one from "walking out" of the shoe; if it is buckled too tightly, it may affect the fit by forcing the foot too far forward in the footbed. Walk around the room to check for proper size. In a good fit there is usually 1/8" to 1/4" of space between the toes and the perimeter of the footbed. This space allows for break-in and provides room for the toes while walking.

If you would like to discuss sizing and fit, we’re happy to help! Feel free to call us at (800) 488-8316.