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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)

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.

Classic Footbed - Level 3 support (pronounced)

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 and latex, 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.

High Arch Footbed - Level 4 support (aggressive)

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.

 

PICTURE OF CORK FOOTBED

 

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.

 

 BIRKENSTOCK SIZING AND FIT HEADER

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.