Birkenstocks have been around for a while. By that, we mean they have been in existence since 1774! You probably have a lot of questions about these shoes that seem to stick around no matter what generation you are a part of. We have assembled some of our most frequently asked questions, so you will soon be an expert on Birks! Keep reading our Birkenstock FAQ for all the info you need to know…
Can Birkenstocks get wet?
Most Birkenstock styles are not made to get wet. Getting such styles wet could compromise the integrity of the leather and cork materials, or the glue bonding them together. See the next section about waterproof Birks!
Are Birkenstocks waterproof?
There are some Birks that you can wear near the water. Any of the Birkenstocks that are made with EVA materials will not fall apart when they get saturated. We love the Birkenstock Arizona EVA sandals (pictured to the left)! These will be your best, and most comfortable, bet for all your water activities during the summer!
What is Birko Flor?
Birko Flor and Birkibuc are both durable, synthetic materials that are unique to Birkenstock. They created these easy to clean materials as alternatives to leather.
Birko Flor consists of polyamide felt fibers and soft acrylic so the result is a smooth almost-leather finish.
Birkibuc looks and feels like buyback leather, but with a slight nap on the surface.
How to clean Birkenstocks:
For all Birks, the most important care tip is this: keep them out of the heat! The cork footbeds and EVA materials can both be compromised when in direct heat. In other words you should be mindful about leaving your shoes outdoors, by radiators, or campfires. Just to be safe!
Help, my cork is dry!
All Birk sandals have a light coating of cork sealant on the exposed cork edge. IF you find that the cork is drying you can apply a thing layer of Birkenstock Cork Sealer to protect the sole.
For stain care on Birko-flor and birkibuc uppers, you can simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth. For stubborn stains, try soap and water.
Are your Birks a little smelly?
Keep them fresh with Birkenstock Cleaner and Refresher. Any excess moisture and dirt can be brushed away with a dry cloth.
Can I make the leather stain resistant?
Birkenstock Water & Stain Repellant will help protect the leather, suede, and Nubuck from water and dirt. It is important to note this won’t make them infallible to water and stains!
Remember: any cleaning or treatments you do to your shoes will change the look and finish of the shoes’ materials.
Are Birkenstocks true to size?
Birkenstocks originated in Germany. Because of this, Birks have European shoe sizes. This means instead of the traditional American numerical sizes like 6-11 for women, in European sizes this is a 35-41. It is important to note there are no half sizes in European footwear! For quick reference, see the conversion chart (pictured to the left).
Birks have two different widths: regular and narrow. The narrow width is designed to accommodate an A-B width for women. It fits more true to a medium than narrow. Because of this, many people fit the narrow width though they technically may not have narrow feet.
Birkenstocks do have different styles of shoes, and each fits just slightly different on the foot than the other. It is important to get the right size in your Birks in order not support the arches in your foot. These shoes are made to form comfortably to your arches and heel.
Why are Birkenstocks so expensive?
Birkenstocks are handmade, using only the highest quality products. This means, all the leather is genuine. They are specifically designed to fit your foot. So much so, that the sole of the shoe will form to your foot with wear. They are specially designed to support the 3 main arches on the bottom of your foot. Thus, every pair of Birks you wear becomes unique. They are frequently recommended by podiatrists. In other words: they’re good quality and good for your feet.