Everything You Need to Know About Birkenstock Sandals

Birkenstock style inspiration

Birkenstock sandals have become a staple in the world of fashion and comfort footwear, with their signature cork footbed and unique style. Loved by many for their durability and support, Birkenstock sandals have been worn by everyone from fashion enthusiasts to outdoor adventurers. If you’re looking for a comfortable and stylish sandal, Birkenstock may be just what you need. In this guide, we will explore the history of Birkenstock, the benefits of wearing Birkenstock sandals, the different types and styles available, and how to care for and maintain your Birkenstock sandals.

Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the world of Birkenstock, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about these beloved sandals.

Short History of Birkenstock Sandals

birkenstock sandals guide

Birkenstock sandals have been around for over 240 years, with a history that dates back to 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock registered as a shoemaker in the small town of Langen-Bergheim, Germany.

It wasn’t until 1896 that the first contoured footbed was developed by Konrad Birkenstock, the grandson of Johann Adam Birkenstock. This footbed was designed to provide proper support and alignment for the foot, and it became the foundation for all future Birkenstock sandals.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Birkenstock sandals gained popularity in the counterculture movement and became a symbol of the hippie lifestyle. However, they fell out of fashion in the 1980s and 1990s.

In the early 2000s, Birkenstock saw a resurgence in popularity as the “ugly shoe” trend emerged, and the brand began collaborating with designers to create unique and stylish designs.

Today, Birkenstock remains a popular choice for those seeking comfort and quality in their footwear and is worn by celebrities, fashion icons, and everyday people around the world. Birkenstocks are considered one of the most classic brands for sandals and have become synonymous with comfort and style.

Milestones of Birkenstock Sandals

most classic Birkenstock sandals

Here are some of the milestones in the history of Birkenstock sandals:ยด

  • 1774: Johann Adam Birkenstock is listed as a “subject and shoemaker” in a small German village.
  • 1896: Konrad Birkenstock, Johann’s great-great-grandson, develops the first contoured insole for use by shoemakers.
  • 1932: Konrad Birkenstock creates the first Birkenstock sandal, with a contoured footbed designed to support the natural shape of the foot.
  • 1964: Birkenstock sandals become popular in the United States, thanks in part to the efforts of Margot Fraser, who discovered the shoes while on vacation in Germany and began importing them to the U.S.
  • 1973: The first Birkenstock store opens in the United States, in California.
  • 1988: Birkenstock introduces the Soft Footbed, which features an additional layer of foam cushioning for increased comfort.
  • 1990s: Birkenstock becomes associated with the “grunge” fashion trend, with musicians like Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder wearing the sandals.
  • 2010s: Birkenstock experiences a resurgence in popularity, with celebrities and fashion influencers wearing the shoes and collaborations with designers like Rick Owens and Valentino.
  • 2021: Birkenstock is acquired by luxury goods company LVMH, in a deal valued at 4 billion euros.

The Most Popular Models Of Sandals From Birkenstock

Birkenstock sandals are known for their comfortable, high-quality sandals that are designed to promote foot health. Here are some of the most popular models of sandals from Birkenstock:


The Most Popular Models Of Sandals From Birkenstock

The Arizona is perhaps Birkenstock’s most iconic model. It features two adjustable straps across the top of the foot, a cork footbed that conforms to the shape of the wearer’s foot, and a durable rubber sole. The Arizona is available in a wide range of colors and materials, including leather, suede, and Birko-Flor (a synthetic material that mimics the look of leather).


The Most Popular Models Of Sandals From Birkenstock

The Gizeh is a thong-style sandal that features a single, adjustable strap across the top of the foot. It has a cork footbed, like the Arizona, and a slightly more delicate appearance. The Gizeh is a popular choice for those who want a sandal that is a little more dressy than the Arizona.


The Most Popular Models Of Sandals From Birkenstock

The Madrid is a simple, yet stylish, one-strap sandal. It features a single strap that crosses the top of the foot and can be adjusted for a perfect fit. The Madrid has a more minimalist look than the Arizona or Gizeh, making it a great choice for those who prefer a more understated style.


The Most Popular Models Of Sandals From Birkenstock

The Boston is a clog-style sandal that features a closed toe and a single strap across the top of the foot. It has a soft suede upper and a cork footbed for added comfort. The Boston is a great choice for those who want the comfort of a Birkenstock sandal but prefer a closed-toe style.


The Most Popular Models Of Sandals From Birkenstock

The Mayari is a thong-style sandal that features two straps that cross over the top of the foot. It has a slightly more feminine look than the Gizeh, with a thinner, more delicate strap design. The Mayari is a popular choice for those who want a sandal that is both comfortable and stylish.

Famous People Who Wear Birkenstock Sandals

Countless famous people have worn Birkenstock sandals over the years. Here are just a few examples:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio: The actor has been spotted wearing Birkenstock sandals on numerous occasions.
  • Heidi Klum: The supermodel is a fan of the Gizeh sandal.
  • Kate Moss: The fashion icon has been photographed wearing Birkenstock sandals on multiple occasions.
  • The Olsen twins: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are often seen wearing Birkenstock sandals.

How To Dress With Birkenstock Sandals

Birkenstock sandals are a versatile and comfortable footwear option that can be styled in various ways for both men and women. Whether you’re going for a casual look or dressing up for a special occasion, here are some tips on how to combine clothes with Birkenstock sandals:

For Women

birkenstock outfit ideas women 2023

Maxi Dresses

A flowing maxi dress paired with Birkenstock sandals creates an effortless bohemian look. Choose a brightly colored dress for a bold statement or a neutral hue for a more subdued look.

how to dress with birkenstock women 2023

Cropped Jeans

Pair Birkenstock sandals with cropped jeans to show off the sandals and create a casual and relaxed look. Add a simple t-shirt and a crossbody bag for an easygoing outfit.

Birkenstocks style ideas women summer 2023


Shorts are a classic summer staple that can be elevated with Birkenstock sandals. Opt for high-waisted denim shorts and a cropped top for a fun and flirty look.

how to dress with birkenstock sandals women summer 2023


Whether it’s a midi or mini skirt, Birkenstock sandals pair well with a variety of skirt lengths. Choose a flowy maxi skirt for a boho vibe or a fitted mini skirt for a more polished look.

For Men

how to dress with birkenstock sandals men 2023


Pair Birkenstock sandals with chinos and a polo shirt for a classic and stylish look. This outfit is perfect for a casual day out or a brunch with friends.

how to dress with Birkenstocks men with shorts 2023


For a laid-back summer look, pair Birkenstock sandals with shorts and a t-shirt. Choose a neutral colored short for a more polished look or go bold with a colorful print.

Birkenstocks with jeans


Denim is a versatile fabric that can be dressed up or down. Pair Birkenstock sandals with a denim shirt and jeans for a comfortable and stylish outfit.

outfit ideas birkenstock sandals 2023

Linen Shirts

Linen shirts are a lightweight option that’s perfect for hot summer days. Pair them with Birkenstock sandals and chinos for a polished and sophisticated look.

Overall, Birkenstock sandals can be styled in various ways for both men and women. They are a comfortable and versatile option that can elevate any outfit. Experiment with different clothing items and accessories to find the perfect look that suits your personal style.

Birkenstock Sandals FAQs

How should Birkenstock sandals fit?

Birkenstock sandals should fit snugly with your toes and heel close to the edges of the footbed. The arch should be in the right place for your foot, and the straps should be tight enough to keep your foot in place but not too tight to cause discomfort.

How are Birkenstocks made?

Birkenstock sandals are made using high-quality materials such as cork, jute, and natural latex. The footbed is molded to fit the shape of your foot and provide proper support and cushioning.

What to do when Birkenstock sandals get wet?

If Birkenstock sandals get wet, you should dry them off with a towel and let them air dry. Do not put them in direct sunlight or use heat to dry them, as this can cause damage to the materials.

Will Birkenstocks get ruined in water?

While Birkenstock sandals are designed to withstand water and moisture, excessive exposure to water can cause damage to the cork footbed and cause the sandals to lose their shape and support.

Where are Birkenstocks made?

Birkenstocks are made in Germany, but they also have production facilities in other countries such as Portugal and China.

Which Birkenstock material is best?

The best Birkenstock material depends on your individual preferences and needs. Birkenstock offers sandals with cork, EVA, and leather footbeds, each with their own unique benefits.

Are Birkenstock true to size?

Birkenstock sizing can vary depending on the style and materials used, but many people find that they run true to size.

Which are the best Birkenstocks with backstrap?

The best Birkenstocks with a backstrap depend on your individual needs and preferences. Popular options include the Arizona Soft Footbed, Mayari, and Gizeh.

Birkenstock vs Crocs – which is better?

Birkenstock and Crocs are both popular footwear brands, but they have different features and benefits. Birkenstocks offer superior arch support and are more versatile in terms of style, while Crocs are known for their comfort and durability.

Birkenstock vs Teva – which is better?

Birkenstocks offer superior arch support and are more versatile in terms of style, while Tevas are known for their durability and water resistance.

Which Birkenstock footbed is best for plantar fasciitis?

The best Birkenstock footbed for plantar fasciitis is the cork footbed. It provides excellent support and cushioning to help alleviate pain and discomfort.

Which Birkenstock sandals are most comfortable?

The most comfortable Birkenstock sandals depend on your individual needs and preferences. Popular options include the Arizona Soft Footbed, Mayari, and Gizeh.

Why are Birkenstocks so expensive?

Birkenstocks can be expensive due to the high-quality materials used in their construction, the attention to detail in their design, and the fact that they most often are made in Germany, which has higher labor costs.

What are the benefits of wearing Birkenstock sandals?

Birkenstock sandals provide excellent arch support, help alleviate foot pain, and promote proper alignment of the feet, knees, and hips. They are also made with high quality materials that provide durability and comfort.

How do I clean my Birkenstock sandals?

To clean your Birkenstock sandals, use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub away any dirt or debris. You can also use mild soap and water to clean the footbed. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the sandals.

Can I wear Birkenstock sandals in the water?

Birkenstock sandals are not recommended for use in water as the cork footbed can be damaged, and the straps can become slippery.

Are Birkenstock sandals vegan-friendly?

Yes, Birkenstock offers a range of vegan-friendly sandals that are made with synthetic materials instead of leather.

How long do Birkenstock sandals last?

Birkenstock sandals are known for their durability and can last for several years with proper care and maintenance.

Can I wear Birkenstock sandals with socks?

Wearing Birkenstock sandals with socks is a personal preference. Some people find it stylish, while others consider it a fashion faux pas.

Are Birkenstock sandals good for people with flat feet?

Birkenstock sandals can be beneficial for people with flat feet as they provide excellent arch support, which can help alleviate foot pain and promote proper alignment.

Can Birkenstock sandals be resoled?

Birkenstock sandals can be resoled by a professional cobbler or by sending them to the Birkenstock repair service. However, resoling may not always be cost-effective, and it may be more practical to purchase a new pair.

Are Birkenstock sandals worth the price?

Birkenstock sandals can be more expensive than other sandal brands, but many people find them to be worth the investment due to their comfort, durability, and long lifespan. Additionally, the brand offers a range of styles and materials to suit different preferences and budgets.

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