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How to repair a Birkenstock sandal

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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  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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  6. Tip

    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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Things You'll Need

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

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

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