Birkenstocks are a firm favorite of many around the world thanks to their iconic styles and premium, ultra-comfortable materials. Their uniquely contoured footbed shapes are one of their most impressive and distinguishable features with many other types of footwear inspired by the design.
However, you must get the size right for your feet or you run the risk of an extremely uncomfortable fit.
Trying to find the perfect fitting Birkenstocks is not as easy as it may sound, especially if you purchase a pair online. To help you understand how this unique footwear fits your feet, we have made a guide below.
You need to find the right footwear for your feet. If you want healthy feet and a healthy gait, then your Birkenstocks need to include an anatomically shaped footbed and a perfect, comfortable fit. With a correct fit, sore feet and joints can be a thing of the past.
If you are uncertain about the exact size and width your pair of Birkenstocks should be, we are here to help. It can be as simple as measuring your feet or adjusting the straps on the Birkenstocks.
Let’s take a look at Birkenstocks and how they should fit your feet properly.
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Common Issues With Birkenstocks
When buying Birkenstocks online, it can be challenging to find the right size due to varying conversions. As this footwear is designed and manufactured in Europe, the original size before any conversion is always in EU continental sizes. Unfortunately, these do not always correspond directly to US sizes.
Another confusing aspect is that the best-known Birkenstock styles are available with two width options:
- Narrow fit
- Regular fit
Birkenstock “Regular” generally means that they are wide fitting whereas “Narrow” fit tends to be the most desirable size for most people. The main issue is that these different size translations, as well as width options, are frequently published incorrectly online. Therefore, buying your first pair of Birkenstock sandals online can be a risky proposition.
But, there are ways to combat this. Read on to find out more.
Narrow Fit or Regular Fit Birkenstock Sandals?
There are two width-fitting variations with Birkenstocks – Narrow fit and Regular fit. While these fittings seem simple enough, it’s the naming of these fittings which often causes issues for online consumers. But, based on previous customers and regular Birkenstock wearers, here are some helpful tips:
- Narrow fit – Most customers tend to opt for narrow fit Birkenstock sandals. This is because these are considered the closest thing to a “standard fit.” As you can probably expect, its name causes a wealth of confusion with customers.
- Regular fit – This width fitting tends to be best suited to those with a wider foot or for people who prefer more room on the footbed. This is generally the most popular fitting for men but it is worth noting that the majority of the famous Birkenstock styles are unisex. This includes the iconic Arizona style.
Before you go ahead and purchase a pair you like the look of, make sure you choose Birkenstocks that have the right width fitting that suits you best and will help prevent aching feet.
How To Ensure Your Foot Fits Properly
There are certain methods that help Birkientocks fit your feet properly. One method is to stand up with the sandals on. The straps should be fully open if they are adjustable.
Next, feel your feet spread naturally under your body weight. Your foot should now feel fully supported but still able to move freely and easily. Your heel and toes should not be overlapping or rubbing up against the firmer outer ridge of the sandal’s footbed.
You need to ensure that your toes do not rub against the edge found at the front of the sandal. If this occurs, it can rub and cause blistering or corns over some time. If you feel your toes are rubbing a little, don’t be afraid to try one size bigger. You can also consider switching between regular and narrow fits to see which suits you best.
Once you have found a fit you’re happy with, you can fasten the straps. These straps should help hold your foot in the correct place on the sandal’s footbed and prevent you from sliding forward or backward as you walk.
The straps should feel comfortable but hug your feet without being too tight. On hot days, you should leave them a little looser as your feet can expand in hotter temperatures.
The best way to find out if the Birkenstocks fit is to take a few steps with them on. Check if the straps hold your feet down securely. After a few steps, you will probably need to adjust the straps slightly if they are too loose or too tight.
Make sure the buckles do not dig into your feet at all. If this is the case, you will probably need to loosen the strap. Otherwise, the shape and style of the sandals may not be right for you.
Breaking Your Birkenstocks In
The last step when getting your Birkenstocks to fit properly is to break them in. Firstly, ensure that the footbed is the correct length.
No matter how much you wear them, the length will not increase so if they’re not right at first, you will need to replace them with something that suits you better.
We highly recommend wearing your Birkenstocks for a few hours to get used to the footbed. You can begin with short indoor use and then work your way up to longer walks for regular wear.
You will probably end up with sore feet if you go straight into a long walk with Birkenstocks on so you need to take it slow and soften the footbed so it molds to your foot at first.
Although a slow process, any long-time-wearing Birkenstock fan will tell you that breaking in your Birkenstocks is worth the wait. In the end, you will be left with supreme comfort and a healthier gait.