How to repair a Birkenstock sandal

Written by samantha volz
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How to repair a Birkenstock sandal
Keep your Birkenstocks in good nick with occasional patching and repairs. (Image by Francis Bourgouin; Flickr.)

The Birkenstock family was the first to produce shoes that conformed to the human foot, revolutionising footwear. Since the invention of the arch support in 1902, Birkenstock shoes have developed a worldwide reputation for comfort. Like all shoes, these sandals gradually wear out, and may need a few repairs to last through seasons of use.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Heel and toe taps
  • Adhesive
  • Leather cleaner
  • Cloth
  • Water
  • Cork oil

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  1. 1

    Inspect the soles of your Birkenstock sandals. If the material is worn down to about 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) on the heels or toes, you need to repair the sandals to prevent them from wearing out.

  2. 2

    Install heel or toe taps to the Birkenstocks, depending on the area of most wear. Your walk determines whether you will wear out the heels or toes of your shoes faster. You may need to use both heel and toe taps for your Birkenstocks.

  3. 3

    Apply the heel and toe taps following product instructions. Many of these products are self-adhesive, meaning that you need only peel the sticker and apply the taps. Some may require you to use your own adhesive. Use a strong fabric or craft glue, or a shoe-specific adhesive.

  4. 4

    Clean your Birkenstocks with a mild leather cleaner. Rub the cleaner onto the strap surface with a clean cloth. Wipe cleaner away with a cloth dampened in warm water. This will remove stains, dirt and other contaminants.

  5. 5

    Condition the exposed edges of the cork soles with cork oil. Birkenstock produces a product called Cork Life, but generic substitutes are available. Apply a thin coat of the oil to all exposed cork edges on the sides of your Birkenstocks. This oil can help to cover small scratches and nicks, and protect the cork from weathering.

Tips and warnings

  • You will not be able to perform large-scale repairs, such as replacing the soles, on your own. Contact a professional shoe repair shop or Birkenstock dealer for such repairs.
  • Find materials to repair your Birkenstocks from official retailers or shoe supply shops.

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