First Time Wear


Q1. Why is the cork footbed so stiff?

Just like a spring mattress, too soft means not enough support, too hard means uncomfortable; Birkenstock’s cork footbed is designed with the most appropriate firmness to achieve the best balance.

Q2. Will my feet become larger or wider from wearing Birkenstocks? Can I still wear other shoes?

1. Birkenstock’s cork footbed completely fits your feet’s natural, healthy shape. Our product allows your feet to relax into a natural size and shape, not making them grow larger. 

2. Can you still wear other shoes? Of course! But Birkenstocks are so comfortable, you will be more discerning about wearing other shoes.

Q3. Why are shoes with air cushions so soft and comfortable without an adjustment period, but Birkenstocks are stiff and uncomfortable?

Air cushion shoes feature softness to provide comfort without suitable stability or support. On the other hand Birkenstocks’ use the cork footbed to provide ample support and softness in pursuit of health. Additionally, after a few weeks of wear, the cork footbed will soften from body weight and repeated bending and will mold to your feet’s natural shape allowing you to enjoy an unprecedented sense of support and comfort.

Q4. Why do I feel like leaning backwards the first time I wear my Birkenstocks?

If you often wear heeled shoes, especially high heels, you are likely to feel the tendency to lean backwards the first time you put on the completely flat-soled Birkenstocks. You will regain your sense of balance after a few minutes of wearing the Birkenstocks.

Q5. Why does the arch of my foot feel sore after wearing my new Birkenstocks all day?

The unique arched footbed design of Birkenstocks takes a different amount of time to get used to for each wearer. Some wearers become accustomed immediately, while it takes others a few days. The original German Birkenstock company suggests that you do not wear your Birkenstocks too long the first day and gradually lengthen your wearing time depending on your speed of adjustment. If your arch or heel feels sore you can take off your Birkenstocks and try wearing them again the next day. By increasing the wearing time by one or two hours every day, you will soon find the cork footbed is softening and molding to your foot’s shape. Now you can enjoy your Birkenstocks! 

Q6. If I’ve never worn thong sandals before, will Birkenstock’s thong sandals cause me discomfort?

German Birkenstock’s patented thong sandals are designed with ergonomics in mind and shouldn’t cause discomfort; but if you don’t often wear thong sandals you might need to spend a few days to let you skin grow accustomed to them. You will gradually adjust to the thong sandals; you may want to initially wear toed socks with the sandals to avoid any temporary discomfort.

Q7. I perspire a lot, will my feet smell after wearing Birkenstocks?

Birkenstock’s regular cork footbed is covered by a layer of suede which absorbs sweat and limits odors. Some styles of Birkenstocks use full grain leather, which may not be suitable for individuals whose feet sweat a lot; a solution may be to wear socks with these styles of Birkenstocks.

Q8. Who can wear Birkenstocks? When can you wear them?

1. Except for individuals with specific pediatric illnesses (e.g. diabetes foot, etc.), everyone can wear Birkenstocks! 

2. You can wear Birkenstocks anytime, especially if you will be standing or walking a lot.

Q9. Can flatfooted people wear Birkenstocks?

Birkenstock’s cork footbed’s unique arched support design and shock absorption are beneficial to people with flat feet. After a gradual adjustment period, Birkenstocks can help flatfooted individuals walk more stably without foot pain.

Q10. Can I wear Birkenstocks if I am pregnant?


Because pregnancy causes a woman’s body’s center of gravity to change and may cause her feet to swell, so they should wear completely flat soled, unrestrictive Birkenstocks even more than others.

Q11. If I have hammertoe, can I still wear Birkenstocks? Which style is the most suitable for quick rehabilitation?

Of course you can wear Birkenstocks! Thong sandals are the best choice for rehabilitating hammertoes. Toed socks can increase comfort when beginning to wear thong sandals.

Q12. If I have corns, can I wear Birkenstocks?

Corns usually result from wearing poorly designed and manufactured footwear which cause excessive friction on certain parts of the foot. Changing to Birkenstocks which are designed to fit to individual foot shapes can help eradicate the causes of corns naturally without seeking help from a doctor. Birkenstock’s padded shoe styles are suitable for first time Birkenstocks-wearers with this concern.

Q13. If I have different length legs, can I wear Birkenstocks?

As long as you provide information about the difference in length as measured by a doctor, store assistants can help you elevate the sole of your Birkenstocks.

Q14. If one of my toes touches the rim of the footbed do I need a larger size?

No, if you feel uncomfortable we can use a wooden mallet to soften the rim.

PS: If you are wearing clogs, you may just have to wait for them to soften over time.

Q15. Will water damage my Birkenstocks? How do I care for my Birkenstocks after a trip to the beach?

Don’t worry about occasionally getting your Birkenstocks wet. If they get wet from saltwater, just unbuckle the strap and rinse the salt away with fresh water before drying them in a well-ventilated location (using a fan is suggested).

Q16. After wearing my Birkenstocks for a long time, the suede layer turns black. What can I do? Can it be replaced?

You can clean the suede layer yourself by unbuckling the strap and rinsing it with fresh water. You can use a brush for washing clothes and some powdered laundry detergent to wash it. After washing, dry the shoes in a well-ventilated location. Unless the suede layer is broken, replacement is not recommended to prevent unnecessary waste.

Q17. How do I adjust the straps of my Birkenstocks? How tight or loose should they be?

In principle when buckling the straps, it’s just right if you can wiggle one finger between the strap and your ankle, the back of your foot or the highest point of your heel. Other straps should be comfortably snug but not tight.

Q18. Why does the EVA sole wear out faster at the heel?

It’s normal. When most people walk, their posture causes extra friction along the rim of the heel. You might need to replace part of the sole for the first time and the full sole later on.

Q19. Why should I gradually increase the time I wear my new Birkenstocks?

Every person has a unique foot shape, even their left and right feet are different. Birkenstocks arched cork footbed may not completely fit your footshape initially. But after wearing them for a period of time, they will fit better. This is why you should gradually increase the time you wear your new Birkenstocks to let your feet adjust to them more easily.

Q20. Why do I have to leave so much extra space in the front and back of my Birkenstocks? Why can’t I buy a snugly fitting pair?

Leaving 1-2 mm of extra space gives you enough length after the footbed is bent to avoid discomfort that may result from compressed toes when walking.

Q21. I have low heels and when I wear handmade shoes or rain boots, although the size is fit, the shoes feel loose, what should I do?

The feeling can be improved by adding a layer of EVA padding under the cork footbed to adjust the shoe space.

Q22. Will the Boston style Birkenstocks make me feel hot in the summer?

Of course they won’t be as cool as sandals, but Birkenstock clogs have breathable pores and a comfortable, spacious fit making them cooler compared to conventional sports shoes.

Q23. The shop assistant suggested I wear a wider shoe, but I think narrow shoes are more stylish. Should I purchase narrower shoes?

We suggest that you select shoe styles according to your natural foot size to maximize the original functions of Birkenstocks.

Q24. Will Birkstocks change shape with wear?


The shoes will change their shape to fit your feet’s shape. Wearing Birkenstocks that are too small will change the shape of the shoe because your feet will rub against the leather uppers; although the formed shoe will fit your foot as time goes on, the shape of the shoe will already be damaged. Other than this case, Birkenstocks should completely fit your feet’s shape over time without changing the shape of the shoe.

Q25. Why does the suede and cork footbed separate easily? Should I return my shoes for repairs?

The suede is specially affixed to the cork footbed to easily disengage protecting the cork footbed from damage. If in the course of normal activity, a small section of suede becomes separated from the footbed you may choose to wait to repair it. When you bring in your Birkenstocks to have another section repaired, the suede can also easily be replaced. 

Q26. Which is better, the original cork footbed or the soft footbed?


Basically either footbed will be comfortable after adjusting to your feet’s shape, however, the soft footbed can reduce the adjustment period for certain wearers.

Q27. The skin on my heel seems to thicken after wearing Birkenstocks, how should I deal with this?

The friction caused by your heel rubbing against your shoe will cause your skin to thicken. You can scrub off the hardened skin with a foot stone in the shower. Wearing socks can improve the situation. 

Q28. The top of my handmade leather shoes scratches my ankle causing discomfort. What should I do?

We can add a piece of EVA sole under the heel to raise your heel.

Q29. My feet get damp and stifled from wearing PU rubber shoes. It feels uncomfortable. What should I do?

Please wear socks to improve the situation.

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