Birkenstock footwear comes in two different widths. Most styles come in Narrow and Regular. The Narrow fits Narrow feet. The Regular fits Regular to Wider width feet. About 80% of the population are suited to the Regular fit. A lot of people will choose a narrow fitting because they think it looks better on their foot, this will result in very uncomfortable shoes and defeats the purpose of the anatomically contour footbed.
Why do Birkenstocks look wide?
They look wider than most shoes because the design follows the natural shape of the foot. Many shoe styles feature a narrow toe box, which not only compresses the toes, but throws the foot out of alignment. The shape of Birkenstocks guides the toes and feet into correct alignment so the weight is evenly distributed and good posture is possible.
How long do Birkenstocks last? Are they guaranteed for any period of time?
While there is no guarantee, but with proper care, Birkenstock footwear can be very long lasting. Everything that goes into the shoe is top quality - from the suede, jute and cork of the footbed, to the leather, suede and nubuck used to create the uppers. The result is comfortable and remarkably durable footwear that lasts!
Are Birkenstocks repairable? How do I get them repaired?
Every component of the Classic Birkenstocks can be repaired or replaced to extend the life of the shoes. For more information please see our Repairs page.
Will they mould to my feet?
Yes! The Birkenstock footbed is made of cork and latex that is precisely moulded to create the best possible environment for your feet. As you wear them, they actually mould to your feet-and vice versa-which means that the more time you spend in Birkenstocks the more comfortable they will become.
Why do the straps feel so loose? Shouldn't they be tighter?
Birkenstocks are meant to be worn loosely. Support comes from the footbed - not tightly secured straps. Wearing them loosely allows your feet to move naturally and also improves circulation. Backstraps worn too tightly can push the feet forward, preventing them from resting naturally in the footbeds. Front straps worn too tightly can push your foot out the back of the shoe.
Why do the soles feel so firm? Is there a break in period?
Some people find Birkenstocks immediately comfortable. For others, it takes a few hours a day for a week or two to break them in. The footbed will become more flexible with wear, the uppers will become suppler and the footbeds will mould to your feet. If your feet are unaccustomed to the contour footbed, start gradually. Wear your Birkenstocks no more than 1-2 hours a day for 7-14 days.
Will Birkenstocks make my feet spread?
Birkenstock shoes will not give your feet a new shape! Feet that have been squeezed into traditional shoes may resume their original natural shape, depending on the flexibility of your feet.
What materials are used?
Birkenstock use only high quality materials, whether they are leather or animal free. Please see below for a description of each.
This leather has a fine grain so the surface feels smooth. Leather is durable, easy to clean and will soften with wear.
Natural Leather/Oiled Leather
The leather has a visible grain and naturally occurring colour irregularities meaning each shoe is unique.
Leather with a shiny, metallic finish. These are a fashion finish and will show scratches easily.
This leather has a super glossy finish. To clean, wipe with a dampened cloth.
Nubuck is created by sanding the natural grain of the leather which roughs it up and softens it.
Made with cowhides which are split to produce super soft leather.
Made using 100% natural wool woven to create a warm, breathable fabric.
Cork is a natural, lightweight and shock-absorbent material. Birkenstock uses premium quality, sustainable cork from Portugal to provide the contours feet need for maximum comfort.
A natural polymer. Latex is mixed with the cork to give the footbed added elasticity and flexibility.
A natural, thick fibre which increases the flexibility and durability of the footbed.
Birkenstocks trademark synthetic material. Birko-Flor is an impressive material - its virtually tear resistant, skin friendly, cheaper and easier to care for than leather.
A soft synthetic material woven from micro-fine filaments. Moisture absorbent and breathable.
Polyurethane. A water resistant synthetic material. It's resistant to heat, acid, oil, and grease.
Ethyl vinyl acetate, a non-toxic synthetic compound. Creates lightweight and flexible footwear that is shock absorbent and water resistant. Please note: EVA can shrink at high temperatures.