Trying on your new BIRKENSTOCK’s

  1. Unbuckle all the straps and place your feet in the shoes. Make sure your heels are all the way back in the heel cups. When you start walking, the contours of the footbed should correspond to your own arches and the toe grips should fit comfortably beneath your toes
  2. Before you stand up, look to see if there is about1 cm of extra space for your toes and about 5 mm on each side of your feet. You will need this extra room because your feet will expand when you stand and walk.
  3. Buckle the straps. Support comes from the footbed, not from tightly buckled straps. A securely fastened toe strap should be enough to keep your foot firmly in the footbed. Other straps can be worn loosely.

Breaking in your BIRKENSTOCK’s

Adjust to your new shoes gradually, as they may introduce new movements to the muscles in your feet and legs. Although your shoes may feel rather rigid at first, their flexibility will increase with wear. Leather straps will become more supple and the footbeds will adjust slightly to your feet.

Caring for your BIRKENSTOCK’s

Leather: Apply a good quality clear or colour active cream polish regularly to remove scuff marks and keep the leather supple.
Suede or nubuck: Apply a liquid colour conditioner to nourish the leather and a silicone based waterproofing spray to protect from staining. Use a suede brush to remove surface dust.
Birko-Flor: Wipe Birko-Flor uppers clean with a damp cloth.


Your shoes should not be immersed in water as the leather will become hard and brittle. The glues and sealants will dissolve in water. Salt water is corrosive so you should rinse the buckles whenever they have been exposed to salt water. The buckles and rivets can be replaced.

 Caring for Cork

Cork Life should be applied to prevent your BIRKENSTOCK Footbeds from drying out. When the cork no longer looks shiny, apply a thin coat of Cork Life. Do not be alarmed by cracks which appear where the foot bends. This is an indication that the shoe is adapting to your walking pattern. These cracks are superficial and can be repaired.

Please inspect your cork footbeds regularly. If cracks appear apply cork sealant as described above. If small pieces of cork start to chip out take your shoes to a BIRKENSTOCK workshop as this should be repaired immediately. If the cork breaks down too far the only option is to replace the entire footbed including the EVA sole unit. This is called recycling.

Repairing the soles

The heels and tips of your shoes should be replaced before you start wearing into the cork. It is possible to replace the entire sole unit this should be done when you have worn through the tread pattern under the ball of your foot.

Avoid Extreme Heat

Both the cork and the soles of your BIRKENSTOCK’s can be damaged by exposure to concentrated heat. Do not leave your shoes in closed cars on warm days and keep them away from radiators and fireplaces. If your shoes become wet, allow them to dry slowly, away from direct heat.

Caring for footbeds

The footbed is constructed of layers of jute and cork covered in a suede lining. The footbed is designed to absorb moisture from your feet. It is recommended to air your footbeds regularly to prevent a build up of odours which occur from excess moisture.

Removable footbeds

Many designs come with a removable footbed. If you wear these every day of the week, the footbeds will retain a lot of moisture. It is recommended to remove the footbeds regularly for airing. Replacement footbeds are available from your BIRKENSTOCK retailer giving you the option to alternate between pairs. Whenever you bring your shoes for repair please remember to leave the footbed in your shoes as this will aid in the speed and accuracy of the repair.