A Detailed Guide: Can Birkenstocks Get Wet?

Birkenstocks have been among the hottest trends for many years. Therefore, you may be thinking about putting on your Birkenstocks this summer as well! I remember the first time I put on my Birkenstocks, it started raining immediately! I was worried that I had ruined my new purchase before I even got to enjoy it. Therefore, I was curious, can Birkenstocks get wet? 

Fortunately, Birkenstocks can get wet from time to time. Even if they get wet, they can still last for years if you care for them properly; however, you do need to make sure your Birkenstocks avoid prolonged exposure to rain and other sources of moisture. Otherwise, they could get ruined. What should you do if your Birkenstocks get wet? 

Can Birkenstocks Get Wet? Branded image

What to Do When Your Birkenstocks Get Wet 

If your Birkenstocks do get wet, you may get worried; however, there are a few simple steps you can follow to take care of them. 

How To Dry Your Birkenstocks

You should: 

  • Get the shoes out of the moisture as quickly as possible and remove your Birkenstocks
  • Then, place them in a shaded area away from any sources of heat 
  • Ball up a few newspapers and place them inside your Birkenstocks, as the paper will help you soak up extra moisture 
  • After your Birkenstocks have dried, you may want to apply some water or moisture repellent to protect them 

If your Birkenstocks do get wet, you may be tempted to place them near a heat source or set them outside when the sun comes out. You should try to avoid exposing your Birkenstocks to direct heat sources because the soles could start to shrink, causing your shoes to tear. As a result, you may end inadvertently ruining your shoes when you are simply trying to dry them. 

Two people walking their dog in the rain.

Can You Put Leather Shoes in the Washer? 

No, you should not put your leather shoes in the washer. Even though the washing machine will eventually get your leather shoes clean, you can also damage them. If you place your leather shoes in the washing machine, the texture is going to change significantly. For example, your leather shoes may end up shrinking after they dry. In addition, you could run the risk of damaging the grain of your shoes. This means that your leather shoes may not be as durable as they were before, making them prone to tearing. 

What Material are Birkenstocks Made Of?

Traditional Birkenstocks are made out of leather. Birkenstock uses the best leather for all of its shoes. In addition, the company places tremendous value in processing them in a specific way. Therefore, they are stylish, durable, and follow the tradition that has been set by the original shoemakers. 

The leather that is used to make Birkenstocks is tanned using a vegetable dye. Therefore, you do not have to worry about any synthetic irritants being present in the shoes. 

Thanks to the way the leather is tanned, the pores of the leather will remain open. This means that Birkenstocks are among the most breathable shoes available, so you do not have to worry about your feet overheating in warm weather. 

Furthermore, the leather has been specifically designed to showcase the raw grain, so you may notice subtle differences between pairs of Birkenstocks even if they are the same model, size, and design. 

Finally, there are also newer Birkenstocks that are made out of rubber. The rubber Birkenstocks can get wet, which could be helpful for you in certain situations. The newer rubber Birkenstocks also adhere to the high standards set by the original leather Birkenstocks.

Can Wear Birkenstocks to the Beach? 

Yes, you can wear your Birkenstocks to the beach as well. Because they are lightweight and breathable, you do not have to worry about your feet getting too hot. If your Birkenstocks get covered in sand, it is relatively easy to brush them off. Simply take a brush, scrape off the grains of sand when you get home, and your Birkenstocks should be good to go. If your feet are wet when you put your Birkenstocks back on, this should be fine. Simply place your Birkenstocks in a shaded, dry area when you get home.

Beach on a sunny day

How to Make Birkenstocks Waterproof 

If you are interested in making your Birkenstocks waterproof, there are a few methods you may want to try. These include:

  • Beeswax: Beeswax is one of the easiest ways to make your Birkenstocks waterproof. Take some beeswax, rub it all over your shoes, and then melt the beeswax in place with a blow-dryer. Even though it may look like you just covered your shoes in ChapStick, it will become invisible once they dry. 
  • Wax Polish: Wax polish is another great way for you to make your Birkenstocks waterproof. In a single step, you can cover your shoes and wax, wait for the wax to dry, and then they will be able to stand up to moisture.
  • Waterproof Spray: If you are looking for a waterproof method that will drive faster, you may want to try a waterproof spray. This is a lot easier than using wax; however, you do need to make sure you do not miss any spots. 

These are just a few of the easiest ways you can make your Birkenstocks waterproof. If you think your Birkenstocks are going to get wet, you may want to protect them using one of these methods. 

How to Clean Birkenstocks 

In order to clean your Birkenstocks, a few steps you should follow include:

  • First, use a suede brush or clean toothbrush to remove any loose dirt from the shoe.
  • Then, make some baking soda with water until a paste forms. 
  • Take a clean cloth and gently scrub the paste into the footbed.
  • Allow the formula to sit overnight, then use a wet cloth to wipe it away in the morning. 

This should clean the entire shoe. Make sure that shoes dry before you put them on again. 

Toothbrushes lined up

How To Fix Wet Birkenstocks

If your Birkenstocks have gotten wet, there are a few steps you should take to fix them. They include:

  1. Remove the Birkenstocks from your feet and place them in a cool, dry area. Avoid direct heat and excessive sunlight, as this can cause the cork to rot and crack.
  2. Use a soft, gentle brush, such as a suede brush, to remove any dirt and grime that might have built up on the surface.
  3. Your Birkenstocks will take about 24 hours to dry; however, if the cork appears to be drying out, you should apply Birkenstock Cork Sealer, a top care product from Birkenstock.
  4. You should also spray the footbed with the Birkenstock Cleaner and Refresher to restore the leather.
  5. Finally, you should protect your Birkenstocks in the future with the Birkenstock Water and Stain Repellent. This will make your Birkenstocks more water-resistant.  

In some cases, the glue might be peeling where the cork meets the footbed. In this case, you may be able to get some specialized shoe glue and fix the peeling. If you are concerned about doing this yourself, you may want to reach out to a professional cobbler for help.

Which Birkenstocks are Better: The New Rubber Ones or the Old Leather and Cork Style?

Both examples of Birkenstocks are durable and stylish; however, the rubber ones have been designed to get wet. Therefore, if you are concerned that you might get your Birkenstocks wet, then you might prefer the rubber ones. While a lot of this comes down to personal preference, and some people might prefer the traditional, classic, and timeless feel of the traditional Birkenstocks, the new rubber ones can stand up to moisture better than the traditional Birkenstocks.

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