Brand Spotlight: Birkenstock
Whether your introduction to Birkenstock sandals was back at Woodstock, or more recently when you switched over for foot pain relief, there are many reasons, old and new, to love "the world's most comfortable sandal."
Along with cornering the market on comfort, Birkenstock has built a brand with time-honored core values, including commitments to sustainability, careful consumption and the pursuit of a proactive lifestyle.
The Young and Old(er) Love to Wear Birkenstock
One thing we love about recommending Birkenstock to our customers is that their comfort-driven appeal seems to make everyone happy. How many brands can you name that look equally perfect on toddlers, twenty-somethings and their parents?
Between our four Vermont locations, the Danform Team sells thousands of pairs of Birkenstocks each year. Many people are looking for functional and supportive summer footwear, while a good amount are fighting the effects of chronic foot pain like plantar fasciitis. Luckily Birkenstock makes some of the finest all-purpose, “orthotic” footwear options available, period.
Which Birkenstock Is For Me?
Choosing new "Birks," it's all about personal style and fit. Do you want closed toe or something free and easy? And, just as some feet are wider or longer than others, some feet prefer a “soft footbed” while others the more firm “classic footbed.” Neither footbed is better than the other, it simply comes down to fitting and personal preference. That is why we recommend visiting a Danform Shoes Location to get a personal fitting and to speak with our trained staff.
The Arizona is probably the most recognizable sandal that Birkenstock makes, yet once you are familiar with the signature cork footbed, you'll be spotting many of the colorful variations and styles available today. If you like the freedom of a slip-on but want a little more toe protection, the Boston delivers on all fronts.
While Birkenstock isn't always counted among dressier brands, their sleek options for women expand every season. A pair of Mayari's easily blends with the professional end of your wardrobe by combining optimum grip and comfort with a light and svelte appearance. The sister Papillio line has flattering wedge styles that cross over from casual to chic. Both models feature the added bonus of bunion concealing straps.
Breaking In Your New "Birks"
If you ever talk to Sean, Manager of our Shelburne store, you'll quickly learn that Birkenstock is his favorite brand and that he loves to introduce them to customers. He begins by asking if they've worn Birkenstock before, knowing that the fit takes some getting used to. Sean is sure to mention, "Birks require a break-in period and will become more and more comfortable with wear."
'Stocks and Socks - Comfort At Its Finest
If you wear your new Birkenstocks for a full day right out of the box, it may cause your feet to ache. We always recommend staggering the break-in period. Sean is confident, "Have a little faith, and before you know it, you will be walking in your own footprint—Birkenstocks become your own personal orthotic."
Once customers discover Birkenstock, they want to diversify their portfolio of comfort. It's hard to get out of them. And easy to keep adding.
Top Tips From Rob, Manager of our Colchester location:
- Don't be afraid to release your inner hippie
- Birkenstock is the most doctor-recommended shoe brand for customers with foot pain because it cups the heel, arch and metatarsal for optimal support.
- Narrow may run shorter than the regular. If the sidewall pinches, choose the regular width
- Some customers prefer to tighten the front strap and leave the back strap looser
- Unfortunately, counterfeit Birkenstocks are rampant online. It is always Best to buy from an authorized dealer, like Danform Shoes.
Are All Birkenstock Sandals Leather or Suede?
Nope! Birkenstock makes many of its most popular sandal styles using synthetic Birko Flor® and Birkibuc, which are easy-to-clean alternatives to leather and suede, respectively. Birko Flor® has a leather-like finish and Birkibuc has a suede-like finish.
Furthermore, as Rob notes, "Leather takes a little longer to break-in. The Birko options are as durable as the leather and suede and feel great quickly."
Check out the Gizeh, one of Danform's fashionable fav's.
The Foundation of a Healthy Footbed
It is common to think a soft and cushioned sole is the best and most comfortable footwear option—after all, most foot pain results from years of walking on hard surfaces. Yet, Birkenstock has worked on this problem for hundreds of years and determined, in short, that all feet are different.
In addition to a typical “shoe size,” which measures length, many Birkenstock styles are available with the option of a “Regular” or “Narrow” width footbed, as well as the option for a "Soft" or "Classic" footbed. The one constant that all Birkenstock styles share is an orthopedic footbed positioned to support the natural contours of the human foot.
Even fashionistas who wear their Birks for looks are reaping the health benefits. Despite the trendy attention the brand is enjoying now, Birkenstock's cork footbed technology hasn't changed since its inception.
- Regular or Narrow Footbed: Every Birkenstock shoe style will feel a bit wider than your typical shoe, as they are made to accommodate the "natural spread" of your foot. People who typically like a "wide" sized shoe will likely feel at home in a regular, while more narrow feet may consider a "narrow" fit.
- Classic or Soft Footbed: A typical soft-cushioned footbed allows the contours of your foot to find their “groove,” while a firm footbed combines a supportive arch, heel cup and defined toe rest which promote the ideal foot alignment from the moment you slip them on.
Danform always recommends an in-person fitting where our team can walk you through all of the considerations and fit options when buying.
The Classic Footbed Has 8 Essential Components:
A Little Bit Softer Footbed for Added Cushion
The classic Birkenstock footbed with an added layer of foam between the suede footbed liner and the layers of cork and jute below.
1 - Suede Leather Lining
2 - Extra Layer of Foam
3 - Upper Jute Layer
4 - Cork-Latex Core
5 - Lower Jute Layer
6 - EVA Outsole
Birkenstock Blue Footbed - Comfort in a Closed Toe Shoe
1. Thin and flexible for a comfortable, cushioned feel
2. Cradles the heel and keeps natural cushioning right under the heel bone
3. Proper support for under the balls of the feet, the transversal arch and the lateral stability
4. Precision-molded cups support the longitudinal arch and guide the foot through its natural rolling motion
Love The Shoes You Wear
No matter which style of Birkenstock you end up with, there are so many reasons to be proud of your purchase. Take steps toward healthy feet and a healthy, sustainable supply chain, all while looking hip in a pair of timeless "Birks."
Shop Vermont's Largest Selection of Birkenstocks at any of our 4 Vermont Danform Shoes Locations!