Suppose you are planning a vacation, an adventure, or a long day on your feet. In that case, you’re likely be on the hunt for supremely comfortable shoes that mold to fit your specific foot shape. Birkenstocks are known for comfort, but do they mold to your feet?
Birkenstocks mold to your feet over time with regular use. The Birkenstock footbed is made from cork, a material that compresses and moves slightly to make an imprint when you walk. The footbed design features heel cups, arch support, a toe bar, and raised edges to help align your feet, taking on your foot’s unique shape.
I’ve owned several pairs of Birkenstocks over the last 15 years or so and I find they do mold to the shape of your feet. Usually, this takes a couple of months of regular wear for me. Here’s one of my oldest pairs, that has imprints of my feet on the footbeds so you can see what I mean:
They are a pretty beat up old pair, but feel super comfortable. I’m currently breaking in a new pair of Arizona Birkenstocks and expect these to mold to my feet quickly with the amount of use I’m getting out of them.
If you want to give them a go for yourself, take a look at the current price of Birkenstocks here.
For help breaking in Birkenstocks quicker check out my guide: How To Break In Birkenstocks Fast – 10 Ways (My Experience).
Here’s a video of me showing how my pairs of Birkenstocks have molded to my feet:
Wearing the right shoes that take on the shape of your feet, cushion them and keep them stable will make all the difference. Read on for an in-depth guide on the Birkenstock design and how it molds to your feet with time.
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Birkenstocks Comfortably Mold To Your Feet
One benefit that keeps cropping up in reviews is that Birkenstocks mold to your feet. Birkenstock fans wax lyrical about how comfortable their Birks are. Think of Birkenstocks as a personalized pair of orthotics attached to your shoes.
Every inch of a Birkenstock is designed to provide your feet with maximum comfort, and a shoe that molds to your foot provides the ultimate walking experience.
But don’t just take my word for it; more and more articles and reviews list Birkenstocks as comfortable shoes. CNN -Underscored is one of many publications who herald the comfort of Birks.
Birks have also made a name for themselves in the men’s shoe world and are lining up in the comfort stacks. Luxe-digital name Birkenstocks is one of the most comfortable shoes to stand in all day, walk in and take with you on vacation.
Be aware that Birks take a while to wear and mold to your feet. Still, the initial discomfort is nothing compared to the walking pleasure you’ll experience.
Once your feet are accustomed to the Birkenstock footbed and they have made an imprint on your shoes, you’ll be hooked on Birks, and so will your feet (just like me!).
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Birkenstock’s Footbed Is The Original And Best
What sets Birkenstocks apart is the years of development and effort into making a shoe that fits feet perfectly, so much so that your shoe becomes more comfortable with every step.
In 1902 the 1st flexible Birkenstock footbed was launched for use in shoe-making factories. The purpose was to create a footbed inserted into shoes that molded to the foot and provided correct arch support. As they say, ‘the rest is history.’
Birkenstock became the go-to orthopedic shoe expert and, to this day, continues to manufacture footbeds that support and take on the shape of the wearer’s foot. The concept was revolutionary, and Birks became the doyens of orthopedic footwear.
Birkenstocks were a favorite with soldiers returning from the 2nd World War. After years of wearing rigid boots that provided no support, soldiers soon began to value the Birkenstock arch support and comfortable fit.
In 1964, Birkenstocks, as we know them, was launched. The genius of this concept was the footbed is attached to a cork sole. The footbed provides more than arch support; it supports the entire foot from the heel to toe, and after you’ve worn them in, your Birks mold beautifully to your feet.
Birkenstock Molding Mimics The Perfect Step
Added to the Birkenstock legacy is the concept of walking as nature intended. This is the foundation for Birkenstock’s footbed.
If you have walked along the beach, you will be familiar with footprints in the sand. Each time you step into slightly dam soft sand, your foot leaves an imprint. Think of how soft sand takes on the shape of your foot. Arches, foot shape, and toe alignment are visible.
Your heel makes the deepest indentation because it digs into the sand before your arch does, followed by your toes, and is the correct walking action.
This is the foundation for Birks’ foot molding, a shoe that supports your foot each step and takes on the shape of your foot.
You may also like: Why Are Birkenstocks So Popular? 10 Reasons
Step Out In The Perfect Walking Shoes
The initial Birkenstock concept featured a foot resting on a bed to indicate how Birks give your feet a rest while walking in them. The original footbed was named the Fussbett, and this concept remains at the heart of the Birkenstock brand today.
Your Feet Leave An Imprint On Cork
Cork is one of the most versatile materials, and its elasticity makes for a perfect shoe sole. Cork provides excellent shock absorbency, so each step prevents jarring through your foot, ankle, and knees. It’s lightweight, too, so wearing your Birks won’t feel like walking around with weights attached to your feet.
Shoes with heavier soles are difficult to walk in. They can strain your foot and damage the shoe, particularly where the straps or upper cover your feet.
Cork dampens slightly with the natural moisture your foot produces. This moisture allows the cork to take on your foot’s form. Each step imprints the cork, letting your Birks gradually mold to your feet.
Another benefit of cork is that it retains its shape; it’s flexible enough to cushion each step but strong enough to keep your foot in place.
Birkenstock uses a latex core to bind the cork and make it more flexible yet stronger, creating an even more malleable sole.
Your Birks’ cork sole is grounded by a layer of jute which is a super-strong, flexible material. The sides of your Birks may also have a jute layer for reinforcement.
Rest Your Feet On A Comfortable Footbed
The Birkenstock footbed is lined with suede, making it ultra-sort and easy on your feet. Underneath the layer of suede is the legendary Birkenstock footbed, which provides the ideal foot shape that molds and takes on the shape of your foot as you wear it.
The footbed features:
- Raised sides keep your feet in place. The great advantage of consistent foot placement is a foot that doesn’t slip around, allowing your sandals or shoes to quickly take on the unique shape of your foot.
- A heel cup protects your heel from jolting as you walk. It cups your heel to prevent too much movement and strain on your ankles and knees.
- The arch support is what Birkenstocks are famous for. A built-in arch is a perfect way to relieve arch pain and the medical problems associated with flat or fallen arches. A built-in arch is far more comfortable and convenient that an insole. The best part of wearing Birks is that the arch also molds to your foot.
- A toe bar positions your toes correctly and ensures that the weight of your body is correctly distributed across your foot. Initially, the toe bar may feel weird, but as it molds to your feet, you’ll be blown away by its comfort.
Birkenstock uppers are made from a variety of leather and synthetic fabrics. The leather strap on sandals is adjustable with a buckle for support. Because leather is pliable, your shoe soon feels like you are wearing a 2nd skin. Birks’ synthetic materials or faux leather are just as soft and skin-friendly.
An article by Spokesmen sums up the importance of a footbed that molds to your foot: “Buying a boot without a custom footbed is a bit like purchasing a luxury car that has been outfitted with economy car seats. Why don’t manufacturers put higher quality footbeds in their $150 boots?”
Birkenstocks do this; the heart and soul of the company revolve around an ideal footbed that molds to your foot. The great thing about Birkenstocks is that with so many years of research and expertise, they have perfected the footbed attached to a shoe which takes the guesswork out of buying foot-friendly shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Get My Shoes To Mold To My Foot Quickly?
Wear your shoes with socks at home for an hour or so each day until your feet are accustomed to the footbed and the uppers have stretched a bit. There is no quick-fix way to do this. There is, however, an unorthodox technique that Birki wearers use; they very gently hammer the arch support and toe bar to soften it up a bit.
How Will My Birkenstocks Mold To My Foot And Correct My Foot’s Alignment Simultaneously?
The main reason that Birks are initially uncomfortable is that they correct your foot placement and support your arches and toes. With your newfound correct alignment, your Birkenstocks will begin taking on the shape of your feet as you wear them more often. When your feet are accustomed to the new footbed, you will begin to enjoy the Birks’ walking sensation.
Birkenstocks mold to your feet. Cork is an ideal material for footbeds as it molds to your feet over time, creating an imprint. The Birkenstock sole is made of cork that is elastic but sturdy, making it super comfortable.
Birk’s cork soles are reinforced with latex, with gives them extra flexibility and strength. The footbed is lined with suede and has raised sides, a heel cup, arch support, and a toe bar which take on the same form as your foot, providing ultimate comfort.
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Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).