[sgmb id=”1″]Updated Nov 2015
Birkenstock shoes are special, even if they’re sometimes viewed as shoes for hippies. Perceptions aside, Birkenstocks are made from high quality materials, and the craftsmanship of Birkenstock footwear is always top-notch.
It’s only normal to get excited when you receive your first pair of Birkenstocks. After all, you now have in your hands a pair of shoes which you invested a significant amount of money in.
That said, there are some things to remember upon receiving your first pair of Birkenstocks. These shoes are unique, so it only makes sense for you to take an equally unique set of steps to ensure their longevity and a solid return of your investment. You want your investment to be put to good use and last for many years to come right?
Here’s how you can do that.
After you receive your first pair of Birkenstock shoes, it’s time to remove them from the box. If you ordered your shoes online, you’ll want to get a feel of them first. Breaking in your shoes is a gradual process, but you can start at home. Birkenstocks often feel stiff when new, so flex them gently using your hands. This helps soften the shoes.
Now it’s time to wear your shoes. Before placing your feet in the Birkenstocks, make sure to unbuckle all straps. Position your heels so that they make contact with the shoes’ heel cups. This allows the shoe’s footbed to adjust to your foot’s arch. The shoe’s toebar must sit comfortable under your toes as well.
Before you walk around in your shoes, make sure to check if you have enough space for your feet to move around in. You will need a quarter inch of extra space for the toes and the heels, and an eighth of an inch for the sides of your feet. Remember that as you walk around, your feet will eventually swell, so it pays to have a little allowance.
Finally, it’s time to walk around in your Birkenstocks. Pace around in your house to see how comfortable your shoes are. New Birkenstock shoes will always feel stiff at first, that’s because the rubber still has to be broken in. As you start wearing your shoes, they will eventually soften and adjust to your feet.
Take it easy with your new shoes. Breaking them in is a slow process, so don’t do anything out of the ordinary with them, such as running or engaging in sports. Get used to your shoes first and play around with the adjustments. You want your feet to acclimatize due the shoes’ support and feel first. As a rule of thumb, you can wear your shoes 5 to 6 hours a day when they are new.
QUICK HISTORY OF BIRKENSTOCKS
Birkenstocks is company based in Germany which started making shoes in 1774. They are known for ruggedized sandals which contours to wearers feet.It has been in fashion cyclically and expected to make comeback in 2015.
Types of Birkenstocks
Birkenstocks sometimes also called as Birkis or Sandals or misspelled as berkinstocks or berkenstocks generally can be classified few different ways . Honestly I have wore Birkis for years not knowing that I am wearing something good . Birkenstocks are one type of sandals .
- Single Strap or Doubles straps : Its your call , its your shoes , Generally I feel double strap will be more comfortable but single strap would be better looking. Again choice is totally yours , don’t let anyone influence decision
- By Sex : Male, Female or Unisex .
- By Width of Your Feet: Either Narrow or Regular . This article explains width measurements
- By CupHold and design :By soft cuphold for extra comfort or Hard Cuphold also called Birkenstock cuphold.
- By Brand : There is another spin off of Birkenshock called Papillio which is more fun and girly than old boring sturdy birkenstock or furkenstocks ( still on runway )
- By Style : There are main styles for women , Arizona , Gizeh , Adria, Almere, Bali,Florida, Granada, birkenstock Madrid,Milano and Zurich. All are named after European cities or USA State names. Sorry boys or men there are only few choices for you which are : Adria , Arizona, Milano , Riva and Zurich
Manufacturer has provided this link to distinguish between cuphold designs .
Update June 2015 : –>Update :Amazon Now Ships Directly to Most Countries. Use AmazonGlobal Service . Here is more information
Birkenstock Sizing has been pain point for lot of people . Lot of people has mismatched the sizing. I would recommend looking at this link which tells exact sizing details , trying it in a store and then ordering it online. Since original Birkenstock are made in Germany , sizing chart has to be mapped to USA one.
Take a look at Amazon birkenstock reviews where lot of people of complained about sizing
Why I Wear Birkenstock
When I first saw Birkenstocks I thought they were quite hideous , but over time my perception changed as I looked at other good looking Birkenstocks. Here are few amazing things about Birkenstocks that you would have never thought about.
- Birkenstock are best for pain relief such foot pain,ankle injury, flat arch and even back ache specially if you are pregnant.It can take the heavy load and distribute it evenly.
- Birkenstocks are very comfy and you can wear all day or just sleep with it. 🙂 , For lazy people like me who don’t mind sleeping with Birkenstock sandals on. They don’t smell even after many years
- It used to be that Birkenstocks were ugly and hideous and things have changed, Now they looks very pretty from outside but sturdy from inside.You can get any possible color to match any kind of jeans, skirts, sundresses, skirts etc
- Once you find right fit , they will last forever .You will have to throw them out someday when they start stinking so bad , you yourself cannot tolerate it 🙂 . There sturdiness and leather craftsmanship is world class.
- There are many true fans of Birkenstocks and they will tell you how sturdy they are , Some people have been wearing it for years.I saw a Amazon Review where this guy has been wearing Birkenstock Arizona since 1970s, Thats way before we were born, Must be hard core fan . Check out his review .
- If you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis which is stabbing pain in the fool , Many readers I have surveyed reported Birkenstock Birkibuc to be best in class to save their feet. Birkibuc is faux leader which means its soft than traditional leather and not weathered by rain.
Few Reasons I Might NOT Wear Birkenstock
- There is phenomenon called breaking in to birkenstock shoes which means it takes time for shoes to expand and be comfortable. At first you will have pain and discomfort but then the leather will adjust to your feet . Do not try to get one size bigger to combat this .Its a process and if you don’t enjoy this you might as well not get a Birkenstock.
- Some of Birkenstock workhorses such as Arizona are plain hideous , Comfortable – Yes, Sturdy- Yes , Good Looks –NO . There are newer ones such as Birkenstock Gizeh or Birkenstock Thong Kairo which are prettier .
- They are expensive . Each pair might cost you more than 70 to 75$ but again they last so long that they are worth the price
MOST POPULAR BIRKENSTOCK MODELS FOR MENS
I am not rocket scientist or have sales data of Birkenstock sales but these sandals have most reviews on Amazon which makes them very popular .
Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Sandal : Come in Normal and Flatbed . Most popular by far .
Birkenstock Arizona Birkibuc Two Strap Sandal
Birkenstock Unisex Boston Slip-On Clog:
MOST POPULAR BIRKENSTOCK MODELS FOR WOMENS
Birkenstock Women’s Gizeh Thong Sandal
Birkenstock Granada Sandal
Birkenstock Women’s Gizeh Cork Footbed Thong Sandal
BIRKENSTOCK SANDAL BUYING RECOMMENDATIONS
- If you have wide feet, be sure to buy the wide shoe. The regular will be too narrow
- If you have wide foot with high arches and a high instep -Choose Mayari
- It takes time to break in but if you wet them for sometime, breaking in time can be shortened
- Narrow is a USA equivalent of normal , your width is normal order the narrow .
- If unsure of which size to order – which should be very clear from ordering chart , order the smaller one than one you think you will need
- Use softbed if you have any aching problems
- Its the most used sandals with people with foot problems (plantar fasciitis)
WHERE TO GET IT
There are many places you can get ,As recommended , Make sure you try to shoe size in Nordstrom before buying online .
Nobody buys shoes on Ebay anymore but surprisingly they have good collection of Birkenstock. and some of them are selling them for cheap since they did not like it ( 32847 to be exact , Wow.) . Beware of fake ones though.Unfortunately Birkenstock does not any kind of seal or number associated with the sale which will prove that is real. So only real way to differentiate fake vs real one is to buy from authorized dealers or Birkenstock outlets. Here is link to Birkenstock Store Locator . There are several stores carrying Birkenstock, More than 100 in New York City alone.
There are also many local stores which have Birkenstock on sale or clearances time to time as new models come out .
Wendy Jones is a freelance writer who writes about many things including birkenstocks. This post was edited by hergeeklife editor to include more information on Birkenstocks.