The Birkenstock company has been in the business of making shoes and sandals since 1774. Based in Germany, Birkenstock has developed a strong reputation for quality products as well as versatility, style and environmental sensitivity. This makes Birkenstocks one of the most popular brands of specialty sandals in the world. Birkenstocks are unique and require a little bit of education before purchasing.
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Find a Birkenstock store near you. They're located in most large shopping malls. If your local mall doesn't have a store, use the store locator on the Birkenstock website to find the closest one.
Choose the material you prefer. Birkenstocks come with uppers in traditional, nubuck, faux and faux-nubuck leather. They also come in felt and microfiber, but the base of the shoe is always made out of cork.
Select the model you like best. Birkenstocks come in thongs, open-toed and closed-toed sandals. They also come in styles with straps on the back, without straps on the back and in closed-toed, covered versions.
Get the Birkenstock sales representative at the store to help you find a perfect fit. Birkenstocks fit differently than other shoes, and the sales representative will have a special Birkenstock sizing chart to assist you. The chart relies on width, rather than length, to find the best fit for you.
Stand in each pair of sandals to check for fit and feel, and walk around to make sure the sandals are comfortable. Birkenstock sandals should naturally push you back on your heels into a proper standing position, so make sure whatever pair you buy does this.
Tips and warnings
- Buy a container or two of cork-care solution when you buy your sandals. Regular applications of the cork care will ensure that the beds of your sandals stay in good condition for a long time.
- Purchase a wide variety of accessories for your feet. Birkenstock carries foot-refreshing gel that massages insoles to make your Birkenstock experience more enjoyable.
- The cork soles of Birkenstock sandals will mold themselves to the shape of the sole of your foot in a short period of time. If the bumps and valleys on the soles of your sandals don't feel exactly right to start, give them 1 week. They'll likely start to feel a lot different.
- Refrain from placing your sandals near sources of high heat, such as space heaters. High temperatures can dry out the cork soles and make them crack, ruining your sandals.
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